Tech for University
Now that you're in University, you might be wondering what new tech you might need. In the run-up to University, big store pushing ‘back to school’ tech sales in our face. You might see PCWorld having big banners advertising £100 discount off the latest computers or £50 rebate with the purchase of a certain brand of computer. And it may seem that technology may be embedded into our daily lives, but I’m here to guide you through the maze of tech buying. I will help you stay cool and within budget.
It is no arguing that computers and students go hand in hand. Almost all of the lecture notes in the upcoming weeks can be found on Blackboard (Blackboard.swan.ac.uk) and most of you will be writing essay papers on computers to be printed out later.
Today, there are so many laptops and so much competition in the market you should have no problem finding one that suits your needs at a reasonable price.
In addition, many computer manufacturers have ‘student stores’ that offer discounts on the popular range of PCs. The following is a list of popular student discounts. It's not an exhaustive list and you can probably find more with the following keyword "[manufacturer] student discount"
It seems that cellphones are all the craze nowadays, with the top of the line Samsung Galaxy S10+ or iPhone 11 Pro Max seen as ‘cool’ and hip. But do you really need those phones or that many minutes? Shop around and find the best deal to suit your need. You may find out you don’t actually need that many minutes offered on the plan.
In addition, you could try getting last year model or the year before that. They are just as capable. How much do you need the new iPhone 11 or the new Samsung Galaxy S10? You could easily grab a bargain on the old iPhone 9 or the old Galaxy S9 or S8. Last year’s flagship models are just as capable as this year’s model for a fraction of the cost. In addition, there are tons of cheaper alternative.
Tablets are perhaps the least appreciated technology. With phones getting bigger and computers getting smaller, tablets are slowly getting crowded out of the market. But tablets are great for taking notes. I have one and frequently use that to scribble on lecture slides with any notes that I want to add during lectures. However, but you don’t need to go purchase a new tablet just for University. You could always search eBay for a good second-hand tablet
There are many tablets out there, but I personally recommend a tablet that has a stylus, which is good for taking notes.
Now we move onto the software. I’m sure many of you are familiar with Microsoft Office for writing documents. But if you don’t have that, don’t fret. Swansea University provides a free copy of Office ProPlus for the PC (inc. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Publisher, etc.) or Microsoft Office for Apple Mac (inc. Word, Excel, and PowerPoint). To download a copy go to https://myuni.swansea.ac.uk/it-services/software-enquiry/.
In addition, there are tons of free Microsoft office alternative out there. One of them is Google’s Docs, which is an online document writer that is just as good as Microsoft Office. One advantage of Google docs is that it allows easy collaboration of the document with other students. Just click “share” on the document and then type in the email. Then all your friends or group partner can type in the same document in real-time. There’s even a Google chat to discuss ideas.
Another free alternative is Openoffice or Microsoft Office Online, which is a watered-down Office provided online by Microsoft. It is quite similar to Google docs.
In summary, you don’t have to spend big bucks and go broke buying all the necessary techs for university. And wherever the road may take you, have fun and enjoy your time at your chosen university!
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