Back to school season is upon us and in full swing! As we sail into July and prepare to run headfirst into August, students in high school, college, and even graduate programs have a lot to do to prepare themselves for the school year start. The twenty-first-century student is as plugged in as ever, and it is necessary that you have all your tablets and phones ready to go at a moment’s notice. After all, many students these days utilize tablets and mobile phones as integral parts of their student experience.
It is not uncommon to see many students taking handwritten notes on a tablet in college intro lectures and high school classrooms around the world or frantically taking photos of complicated equations on their smartphones, in order to use them as guides for later study sessions or problem sets.
It is imperative, then, that your back to school list include the very items that are the lifeblood of a student’s gadgets: the USB chargers, adapters, and cables that keep their batteries full and enable them to work seamlessly with various monitors and devices. The following is a list of some of the most important USB accessories to add on to your school shopping list. Trust us―your wallet and gadgets will thank you!
Back to School Tablet and Smartphone USB Essentials
- USB Mini Cables. USB mini cables are some of the most versatile and inexpensive items on the electronic market. These are designed almost exclusively for devices that you use on the go―including smartphones and tablets, of course. Recognizable due to their gray receptacles and efficient four- and five-pin setups, these connectors are primed for smaller gadgets such as portable gaming devices (think Nintendo DS or Game Boy), digital cameras, smartphones, and tablets.
Most USB mini cables come in two distinct sizes: three feet or six feet long. You may prefer a six-foot cable if you plan on charging your tablet or phone in class; on the other hand, if you plan on charging your gadgets outside of the classroom setting―or even in cramped spaces such as cars or shared dorm rooms―you may prefer the three-foot USB cable in order to avoid messy tangles and extra weight.
- Micro USB Cables. Micro USB cables are one of the most flexible cables that you can purchase. Many times, they are the long cord section of the actual original charger that you purchase with your tablet or smartphone―think of the white cord that you can detach from the square adapter of your iPhone or iPad! This cord generally connects to your smaller gadgets to a larger computer, and is perfect for transferring your videos, photos, music, documents, and more from one to the other.
The Micro USB end is inserted into your tablet or phone, while the larger Type A male end is plugged into the laptop or desktop computer. This is ideal for transferring notes that you may have taken on your tablet or studying larger versions of the pictures that you take with your phone of your professor’s notes on a blackboard.
The best part? These USBs almost always allow you to charge your phone or tablet while it is hooked up to your computer! Micro USB cables are relatively inexpensive, and you can find many fantastic ones for little more or less than a buck.
- USB Mini Adapters. USB mini adapters are convenient and very cost-effective solutions for all of your connectivity requirements as a student! Featuring a mini female end in addition to a micro B-type male end, these adapters greatly lower the stress placed on the points of connection―thereby reducing the likelihood that your chargers or cables will break or stop functioning normally.
The adapter cable enables the user to work with the aforementioned USB mini cable in order to charge or sync all devices that utilize micro USB ports, such as the BlackBerry or all Android smartphones. The cable itself provides an efficient, portable alternative to adapters that don’t utilize cables or cords, allowing the device to sit away from the computer while you are transferring materials or charging your battery.
This flexibility provided by the cord makes USB mini adapters a much more versatile option for students. For instance, if you are taking notes on your laptop and need to charge your phone without taking up too much space on a small desk, you can charge it while it is hooked up to your laptop as it rests inside your backpack.
There are a wide variety of USB products specially designed to keep your life as a student hassle-free. With a little research and the right purchase, you can jump right back into autumn knowing that your smartphone or tablet will be working for you and not the other way around!