With the new academic year upon us, now is the time to get all the gadgets you may need. The right computer or tablet can help make your studies and assignments so much easier. But new tech for Uni students can be expensive, especially for a student who doesn’t earn a lot, if anything at all. Starting your tech hunt early can help you find what you need, without blowing your budget.
KNOW YOUR NEEDS
The first step to saving money is knowing what your requirements are. If you’re not a graphic designer, a gamer or programmer you may not need the most expensive graphics card or the fastest processor which can hike up the price tag. When starting out, a basic laptop with internet connectivity, and basic word processing, like Microsoft Word, is all you will need.
Speak to an in-store expert who can help you find the best laptop, tablet and programmes to meet your needs. Many department stores, supermarkets, electronic specialists and phone shops sell an array of products from laptops to tablets, with offers to help reduce the price. Shopping specials and offers is a great way to make your money go further.
For many students, an entry-level laptop should meet your needs, and allow you the flexibility to work from home or on campus. A basic entry-level laptops can be bought for under £200. However, you may be required to purchase programmes such as Microsoft Word or any others that you will need. You can get an ASUS Vivobook E203NA with Office 365 for around £199.99 from most electronic stores.
If you are looking for something with more memory and faster speeds, there is the Acer Aspire ES 15.6 Inch laptop from around £249.99.
- ASUS Vivobook E203NA 11.6 Celeron dual core processor with 2GB RAM and 32GB SSD storage with Office 365 for £199.99 from Argos
- Acer Aspire ES 15.6 Inch AMD E1, 4GB RAM and 500GB HDD storage from Argos
GET THE MOST FOR YOUR MONEY
A laptop can be pricey, so hunt around for on-going offers. You might get lucky and find a laptop bundled with another gadget or software that you need. Also look out for sales, where you can save and maybe get a better computer or tablet at a lower price.
If you don’t need a laptop, you can also save money by getting a tablet. You can get an entry-level tablet starting at less than £50, with note capabilities. If you are looking for something with more features, you can spend anywhere up of £500. There really is something for everyone.
Many phone provider stores have a range of tablets on a pay monthly basis starting at £39 a month, with an upfront cost £49.99, for those with a monthly budget and looking for higher end tect, such as an iPad. If you are looking for a pay as you go option, look out for the Alcatel Pixi 3 (8) for an upfront cost of around £119.99.
If you are looking for something without a data plan, entry-level tablets can be purchased from around £48.99, such as the Acer Iconia One B1 770, 7 inch 16 GB tablet.
- iPad 32GB Space Grey with an upfront cost of £49.99 and a month cost of £39 (over 24 months) from EE
- Alcatel Pixi 3 (8) 16GB Ash Grey with an upfront cost of £119.99 from EE
- Acer Iconia One B1 770 7 Inch 16GB Tablet for £48.99 from Argos
A reliable anti-virus and firewall is a must in today’s tech savvy world. Computers held to ransom, or viruses that wipe your data, are something you want to avoid. At university, you are likely plug USB drives into your computer and copy or download content, putting your device at risk.
Norton and Kaspersky Lab are two of the largest antivirus providers. But full protection can be costly. Both companies offer basic products at a more affordable price, and the best thing is, you pay once and you are covered for the whole year.
Ryman offers Kaspersky Total Security for three devices for a normal price of £49.99, and Kaspersky Internet Security 2017 for three devices at a normal price of £44.99.
- Kaspersky Total Security for three devices at £24.99 on offer at Ryman
- Kaspersky Internet Security 2017 for three devices at £19.99 on offer at Ryman