Welcome to residence, college kids. Right now, you’re probably staring at your half-unpacked boxes and suitcases thinking, "How am I going to wedge all this stuff into this tiny dorm room?" We’ve got some suggestions for tech that will make your life at school run a little bit smoother, and don’t fret: These gadgets will fit perfectly between your massive textbooks and that case of Mr. Noodles.
You’ll need all the help you can get scraping yourself out of bed on time for those early classes. Apple aficionados will get a lot of mileage out of an iPod or iPhone alarm clock dock like Panasonic’s RC-DC1. Though small in size, it’s got a huge LCD screen, several dimmer settings and an AM/FM radio tuner. Download the accompanying MeLoad app, and you can manage your favourite radio stations or alarm settings through your phone. Bonus: Its battery backup means your clock will keep on tickin’ in the event of an accidental unplugging. It’s $59.99 at Future Shop.
Is your room short on surface area? Rule No. 1 of maximizing space is to stack things vertically. That’s kind of a tall order when it comes to computers, but Quirky’s Space Bar could provide a little extra elevation. The stand goes underneath your monitor, giving you a mini shelf to store gadgets and knick-knacks, as well as a place to slide your keyboard when you’re not at your computer, clearing up desk space. But there’s function mixed in with the form, too: The Space Bar acts as a USB hub, giving you four extra ports to plug into. It’s $74.99 US at quirky.com.
Power bars and extension cords: You don’t know you’ll need them until you inevitably need them. If you haven’t already stocked up, another Quirky offering — the Pivot Power — makes a neat alternative to the standard strip. The jointed six-socket design means you can wrap it around furniture legs or fit it into hard-to-reach places. But more importantly, the adjustability factor means you can fit all your plugs into all your ports, no matter how bulky or awkward they are. Grab one for $29.99 US at quirky.com.
Sure, you can probably print your essays for free at the campus library. But what do you do when class started 10 minutes ago, and you just finished off the final footnote? A small all-in-one printer like Epson’s NX430 won’t take up too much of a footprint. Copying and scanning capabilities aside, printing on the NX430 is super-convenient: You can print remotely via email, through AirPrint from your Apple devices, or through Gmail or Google Docs with Google Cloud Print. Plus, its individual-colour ink cartridges mean you’re not spending cash on a fresh, three-colour cartridge when you’re really just running low on yellow. It’s $99.99 at Best Buy.