David Papp Blog

10 Must-Have & Practical Gadgets For Back To School

It’s getting to that time of year again. Yep it’s back to school season. But instead of groaning about the upcoming semester, let’s look at some gadgets that’ll make your life easier. From feel good things to spruce up a college dorm room to tools to help studying or de-stressing, this list is practical and must-have gadgets that’ll help you succeed.

And as always, be mindful of where you shop.

Lifx Mini

If you’ve never been in a college dorm room before let me tell you what they’re like. They’re not much to look at. As such, if you want to spruce it up, one must-have is the Lifx Mini. What’s so special about it?

First of all, the light that it emits is brighter than most other lamps around this price range (Lifx Mini is only $51 CDN). Furthermore, this light connects to Wi-Fi directly so there isn’t a need for wires or hubs.

But one of the most defining characteristics is the fact it can change colors. Best of all there is an app you can get that allows you to control various settings.

This is practical for students as you can use this lamp as a great bedside lamp for studying or through other purposes. Have a lot of school spirit? You can have the lamp rotate between your school colors periodically. There’s even wake up fades so this lamp could serve as a makeshift alarm clock.

NutriBullet Personal Blender

Maintaining a healthy diet can be a challenge, but it’s especially challenging while living on campus. After all, Freshman 15 is a real thing. To help avoid that, one practical gadget is the NutriBullet personal blender.

This can help you by mixing your fruits and/or vegetables into a quick and easy to consume smoothie. It does this by having the lid double as a cup after you’ve blended your food into a smoothie. It even comes with a lid to avoid spillage if you need to pack it for the time being.

Even if your kid isn’t going to college, this gadget can also help in making breakfasts quick and easy if you’re in a hurry.

Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630

Looking for a practical and generally inexpensive laptop? One suggestion is the Lenovo Yoga Chromebook. What’s nifty about this particular laptop is that it can double as laptop, but also a gigantic tablet. Paired up with a 4K display and amazing performance, it’s a surprise that it’s pretty cheap.

You can check out more Lenovo Yoga products here.

Apple MacBook Air (2019)

Last year, Apple announced they were launching a new version of the light-weight MacBook Air. This comes to great relief to most students as the MacBook Air series have been a massive student favourite.

This new version comes with Touch ID, USB-C ports, True Tone and a Retina display. Currently the 13 inch laptops run for a little over $1,000 at Best Buy which is a killer deal right now. Especially since this is one of the most versatile laptops you can find right now.

STM Goods Myth Backpack

Everyone knows that you need a good backpack for various reasons. From housing your other gadgets and items to carrying books. Backpacks should be convenient and comfy. Out of the several backpacks available, one that stands out is the STM Goods Myth Backpack.

It’s rather simple for a backpack, having one compartment, but has several drop-and-slip pockets. It also has a zippered pouch along with fleece lined 15-inch laptop sleeve. The laptop sleeve is suspended which means the sleeve will protect the laptop if you ever drop your bag.

It also comes with a cable clip which will allow you to run a charging cable from within to the zippered pocket in the front. And finally don’t feel bad if you have to pack the bag up a lot. Thanks to the air channel back-panel-and-yoke system, this backpack will ensure you stay comfortable while walking around with this.

You can pick one up here.

Timbuk2 The Closer Case

Another one that stands out that’s worth consider is the closer case from Timbuk2. While backpacks are better in most situations, some people like to keep things light. Really light. This case is nice in that you can easily access everything with little issues.

The case has all kinds of storage space. It’s also coated in fabric which keeps the elements out. You even have various pockets on the sides to house an umbrella, water bottle, or use as extra pockets for more stuff. It’s great for the minimalist.


While there are plenty of home speakers on the market, some people like to keep their privacy. For the person who doesn’t want a smart speaker listening all the time, this speaker is a solid choice.

The notable features of this guy are:

– It’s small which makes packing and travelling with it easy.
– The speakers are splash proof and provide great sound for its small size.
– It’s only $30 on the Sony site and other locations.

SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive

Believe it or not but USB ports and USBs themselves have gone through changes over the years. The changes have been rather subtle is all. Of course, laptops have been keeping up with these changes, now having USB ports that work with USB-C drives.

That being said, there are still a ton of old-school computers who use USB-A ports. Not to mention there are still so many USB-A drives around too. This can present problems because if your child doesn’t have the right USB drive for the teacher’s classroom computer, they may not be able to do their presentation or have the teacher view their assignment.

To avoid that mess, consider this gadget. The SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive comes with two drives: one is for USB-A ports and the other is for USB-C ports. Both of these drives can support up to 128 GB making it the best USB drives for this school year and many others.

Best of all it’s relatively cheap.

Tribit XFree Tune Wireless Headphones

Wireless is where it’s at with headphones these days and they’ve come a long way in delivering quality sound. One cheap example is the Tribit Xfree Tune which uses bluetooth technology. They’re a bit on the higher end at $70 CDN, but are full-sized headphones, block out sound, highly comfortable, and deliver impeccable sound quality. It’s a good purchase for the student who wants to study and take in the silence or some music.

Rocketbook Everlast Notebook

Some students prefer to use their laptops to jot down notes, but what if a laptop isn’t permitted in the classroom? Well one creative alternative is this gadget. It looks like a simple notepad, however there are various perks to it:

– First, it’s reusable so you save a lot on paper.
– It’s perfect for sending notes thanks to it’s ability to send these notes to your email address or save it on a cloud service like Dropbox, Evernote, Slack, or Google Drive.
– You have usability touches. These allow you to mark a page with an icon which will route notes to up to seven other destinations.
– The notebook comes with a Pilot FriXion which serves as your pencil and eraser. You also have a microfibre cloth which wipes pages clean quickly and effectively.

It’s simple, practical, and cheap. Check out Rocketbook’s site for more of their products.

Get The Gadgets You Need For School

Technology has made all of our lives more convenient, so we should be taking advantage of gadgets to help us with school as well. These gadgets are affordable and can provide a ton of practical value to you. Try them out and let me know what you think of them.