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Top student gadget trends for 2013 revealed

Laptops, smartphones and tablets popular with students


The average student takes more than £2,000 worth of possessions with them to university and is more likely to arrive with an iPad than a TV, according to a new poll.

Portable gadgets are the most popular student buys, with 96% taking their own laptops to university and 90% owning a smartphone.

While bulkier gadgets such as separate TVs (owned by 20% of students) and stereos (12%) have declined in popularity, tablets are rapidly becoming a student ‘essential’, with almost one in four now owning an Apple iPad – up 147% on last year, according to the survey by Endsleigh Insurance.

If your child is going to university this September, check out Which? University’s free parents’ guide for our top tips on getting prepared for university.

Tech-savvy students

Overall, the average value of a student’s possessions now stands at £2,266.91, according to the survey.

It also found that students are additionally investing in digital files for their devices, with the average student spending more than £200 on online journals or textbooks and possessing £715 worth of digital music.

As gadgets become more multi-functional, students are relying on just a few portable devices both for work and play – from listening to music, watching films and taking photos, to using them as part of their academic studies, the report added.

Gadget buys on a budget

If you or your child is off to university this autumn, here are a few ideas of what to look out for when investing in some cheap and cheerful gadgets. Which? Members can click on the product links below to view in-depth reviews and find out which gadgets scored highly enough to earn a Best Buy recommendation.

  • Laptop: as something of a study kit essential these days, try and choose an option that combines a good price with a generous memory for all those digital files, such as the £350 HP Pavilion G6-2251SA.
  • Tablet: while a laptop should do the job, having a tablet could make note-taking in lectures and studying on the move that bit easier. The 16GB Wi-Fi version iPad Mini is priced at around £269 – but wait until they get to university to be eligible for an Apple student discount.
  • Kettle and toaster: kettles such as the Philips Energy Efficient HD4644 from £23 can boil as little as a single cup of water at a time for a quick and energy efficient brew, while the £20 Breville VTT210 toaster offers speedy toasting. Plus, keep an eye out for no-frills kettle and toaster combination sets to make extra savings.
  • Printer: their university will have printers, but printing costs quickly mount up, so it could be more cost-effective to invest in one. Look for a good basic all-in-one printer, scanner and copier such as the Canon Pixma MP230 (from £20).

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