Best back-to-school gear and gadgets to upgrade your workspace

It may be hard to believe, but the summer is winding down, with only a few weeks left before students are back to hitting the books. To make sure you or that special scholar in your life is heading back to school prepared, we’ve rounded up the best tech, accessories and more to take your desk setup to the next level.

The back-to-school season is a pretty hectic time for students and parents alike. Aside from picking up textbooks, notebooks and whatever else you’ll need to tackle the school year, making sure you’re prepared on the technology side is just as important too.

So whether you’re working your way through high school, just heading off to your first college semester or finishing up with your Senior year, you’ll want to check out our tips below. From keeping your desk organized, to the best accessories to complement your workspace, you’re sure to find something to help master the upcoming school year.


With the presence of technology growing in the classroom, having the right computer is the cornerstone in any great desktop setup. For Apple fans, it’s hard to go wrong with the latest MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. Starting at $1,800, it offers a great mix of power and portability. But for those who aren’t quite ready to give up their standard USB ports, the MacBook Air is a solid choice for students as well, coming in at $1,200. On the PC side, you’ll find a similar form-factor to Apple’s line of laptops in the Dell XPS. At $1,400, it features a 2-in-1 design along with a 13-inch touchscreen display.


As the school year ramps up, you’ll most likely find yourself spending more and more time hunkered down at your desk getting things done. In order to make sure your devices can keep up with that brain of yours, a suitable charging station is a must-have.

While any old power strip may be fine for just charging your computer, odds are you have a slew of other devices to keep powered-up. That’s where something like iClever’s $25 smart power strip comes in, offering 6 outlets and USB ports to suit even the most gadget-heavy user. A more lightweight option is Anker’s PowerPort 6 Wall Charger which sells for $28 and is equipped with six 2.4 Amp USB ports.


Nothing helps get you motivated like your favorite tunes, which is why having some top-notch speakers are a must-have for any desk setup. On the portable side, the $30 Anker SoundCore is great for dorm or on-the-go listening. But if you’re looking for a dedicated stationary speaker, it’s hard to beat something like the Harman Kardon Soundsticks for a rocking setup at $167.

For those nights when you’re really hitting the books and need to clear up some space, a laptop stand should be your go-to. A favorite is the $42 Rain Design’s mStand Laptop Stand which also raises your machine to eye-height, helping avoid back and neck strain.

Whether you’re working on a monumental essay, crunching numbers in an excel sheet or grinding through those homework assignments, extra screen real estate makes all the difference. The 22-inch HP Pavilion Monitor is a great place to start thanks to its small footprint and slim design, at only $90. But if you’re looking to really takes things to the next level, Acer’s $400 27-inch USB-C Display offers a fairly seamless desktop solution thanks to sending power and video output through the single cable.


Keeping your workspace tidy is an important task as well, as the more clutter you have, the harder it can be to get things done. A great solution to tackling cable messiness is Velcro ties, which help avoid the dreaded rat’s nest of cords. Paired with these cable holders, you’ll never have any issues getting a charger when you need it.


No desk setup would be complete without something to make it yours. Whether it’s figures from your favorite superhero movie or photos of your family/ beloved pet, they’re great to add those extra personal touches.  One of my personal favorites are LEGO’s line of Architecture kits, like the London Skyline, which are a neat way to add some character to your station. If you’re looking to brighten up your room, flowers and succulents are a wonderful way to spruce up your workspace.

Have a favorite gadget adorning your desk that we left out? Let us know in the comments below!

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