Nothing makes us happier than being able to do lots of our back to school shopping all in one place, especially when that place is…oh, a website. Hey, we’re busy! But that doesn’t mean we don’t want to find the absolute coolest and most useful technology for our kids. So we’re happy to be working again with our partner Best Buy, since they have a ton of awesome back to school shopping must-haves for college students, from hot tech to those small appliances that make that door room feel like home.

Whether you’re shopping for a first-time freshman, a seasoned senior, a kid of your own or a lucky niece, nephew or grandchild, we’ve scoured the site and picked some of our very favorite tech picks to make the end of the summer a little less sad.

– Don’t miss an awesome Best Buy gift card giveaway just for CMT readers below, plus a chance to win a HUGE grand prize!  – 



For the student adapting to life in a room the size of the bathroom back home

Jam Portable Bluetooth Speaker: Affordable tech for college back to school shopping

Jam Wireless Bluetooth Speaker ($31.99, on sale)

When shelf space is at a premium, these little speakers pack a nice punch in a small space, whether your kid is more inclined to rock out to the local college station on Saturday night, or chill to NPR on Sunday Morning. It comes in four cool colors, too.


For the student with the professor who talks faster than anyone can type

Livescribe Echo Smartpen: Great tech for college students heading back to school

Livescribe Echo Smartpen ($120.99)

This amazing smart pen not only takes notes, it records everything you hear or say while linking that audio recording to the notes. In other words, when you can’t read your own scribbles, you can play back exactly what the professor was saying at that very moment with a tap of the pen, or through your computer or mobile device. Don’t forget to add plenty of extra dot paper notebooks.



Cool Tip: Students can get great deals on all your back-to-school tech just by registering at with your .edu email address. You’ll score coupons for laptops, printers, microwaves, software, headphones, and more.



For blocking out the roommate with a snore to wake the dead

Bose QuietComfort Noise Cancelling Headphones: Great back to school gift for college students

Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones ($299.99)

Between the fantastic sound quality and outstanding noise-cancelling abilities of these headphones, this may be the number one most helpful purchase for any college student who’s trying to cram with a roommate four feet away — or just trying to get some sleep.


For the student who doesn’t get a pair of Bose headphones until those first 4.0’s start rolling in.

Skull Candy Over-Ear Headphones: Great affordable tech gift for college students

Skullcandy Uprock On-Ear Headphones ($29.99)

Yep we get it.


For the dorm room that never has enough outlets

Belkin Mini Surge Protector with USB | College tech for back to school


Belkin 3-Outlet Mini Surge Protector with USB ($24.99)

Oh wait…that’s every dorm room, isn’t it. There are plenty of surge protectors out there, but we have had great luck with Belkin, and love the small size and the convenient USB ports. It makes for an affordable gift that will be used. A lot.


For the student who’s always texting…er, studying on the go.

myCharge Portable Power Bank: Great back to college tech gift

myCharge Portable Power Bank ($49.99)

A portable battery is a must, if you’re even thinking about taking notes on your tablet or recording a lecture hall with your phone’s mic. Or you know, sending emoji to friends. We love myCharge’s portable batteries, and this one is small enough to tuck in a backpack or jacket, plus it has a convenient prong for charging without the need for another cord.



For the student who doesn’t want to run out at 2AM looking for printer ink

HP Envy printers are great for college, since the Instant Ink service automatically sends you the ink you need before you run out

HP ENVY 5530 Wireless All-In-One Printer ($129.99)

We hear there actually is one student like that, but it’s probably an urban legend; Snopes is on it. We like HP Envy printers because they’re Mac and PC compatible, plus Instant Ink service means your printer automatically pings HP when ink is low, so a new shipment comes right to your door before you even realize you’re out. Is that made for college kids or what?


For the student who’s bringing home the Cum Laude

Microsoft Surface 3 tablet: Cool tech for college students

Apple iPad Air 2 on sale: Cool tech for college students

Microsoft Surface 3 64GB tablet
 ($499.99) or  Apple iPad Air 2 64 GB tablet ($524.99, on sale)

Between the ample storage, speedy processor, great graphics, and durable magnesium frame, the Surface 3 is the perfect gift for your favorite, high-achiever. Throw in the compatible Keyboard Type Cover ($129.99) if it’s going to be used for speedy in-class note taking, too. Plus, buy it now and it includes one year of Microsoft Office 365 (a $69.95 value) plus OneDrive cloud storage.

Then, there’s always the iPad Air 2, which hardly needs any preface. It’s Apple’s best tablet yet and we can’t imagine a single student who wouldn’t jump for joy to open one of these just before move-in day.


For the student who will know the perfect tech gift when he or she sees it.

Best Buy gift cards: Great gifts for college kids

A Best Buy electronic gift card

Hey, some college kids are picky. We don’t blame them one bit. We love the gift cards from Best Buy which come in whatever amount you’d like, can be used online or in store, and never ever expire. Sweet.


Thanks to our sponsor Best Buy, for offering tons of cool tech and small appliances for college kids that we kind of want for ourselves too. And giving lots of them away free! Follow them on TwitterFacebook, Instagram, and Pinterest and follow hashtag #BESTCOLLEGE


EXTRA COOL: WIN IT!  We’re giving away one $250 Best Buy gift card to one lucky CMT reader – whoo! Just leave a comment letting us know which one tech item from Best Buy you wish you had in college, or that you’d like to buy for your own kid. Leave it along with a link to that item and you’ll be entered!

Enter by Friday, August 14 at midnight PT to be qualified, one entry per person, US only please 18+. One winner will be selected at random. See our general contest rules here.

BONUS: You have a second chance to win another $250 Best Buy gift card on the Cool Mom Picks small appliance college shopping guide, too.

Also, encourage your college-aged child to enter to win one of six Grand Prize packages from Best Buy, featuring approximately $2,500 worth of the latest and greatest back-to-school products in the #BESTCOLLEGE Challenge Contest. A full-teched out room seems totally worth it to us.

Congratulations Annie B., winner of the $250 Best Buy gift card!

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