Back to School Guide [2017 Edition]

As autumn approaches, it’s time again for students to equip themselves for the school year ahead – which increasingly means purchasing a wide array of tech gadgets and gizmos.  Here at MobileSyrup, the team has compiled a list of our top picks for everything from phones to mobile toolkits. Check it out below.

Incase Icon Lite Backpack

One of things every student needs is a good everyday carry backpack. Enter the Incase Icon Lite. Not only is this stylish backpack attractive and light, it includes several smart features, including a sleeve that can carry any laptop that has up to a 15-inch footprint. There’s also an internal pocket that’s perfect for binders and books.

$140.99 – $179.99

Buy from Amazon
Buy from Incase

Sony MDR-XB50AP headphones

Forget highlighters and cue cards, one of the most essential study aides any student can get is a good pair of headphones. Thankfully, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get a great pair. Despite their modest price tag, the Sony MDR-XB50APs sound great and work with both iOS and Android smartphones.


Buy from Amazon

Tile Pro Style and Tile Pro Sport

Tile's Bluetooth tracking devices have always been some of the best out there, but the manufacturer's new Pro Style and Sport models are the greatest yet. Both tracking devices are extremely durable and leverage a community of 10 million Tile owners for crowdsourced tracking. Never lose your backpack, purse or that expensive MacBook your parents just spent their vacation fund on, with Tile's new high-end tracking device offerings.

$45.99 – $79.99

Buy from Amazon
Buy from Tile

Google Home

If you're looking for a standalone voice-activated assistant in Canada, Google Home is your only option north of the U.S. border. While having fewer options is rarely a best case scenario, Google Home is a great product. The device is the perfect way to link together disparate smart home devices and answer simple homework related questions via Google Assistant. It's also great for playing music directly through your Spotify account.


Buy from Google

Apple iPhone SE

Are you looking for Apple’s high-quality computing power, but stored within a device you can hold in one hand, that also won’t break the bank? Then the iPhone SE is your perfect back-to-school companion. Use it to snap slides in class or snap photos everywhere else, listen to music, play games, and stay in touch with friends. And, most importantly, with the notable exception of its smaller screen, the iPhone SE is almost the exact same device with its larger sibling, the iPhone 6S, so you don’t have to worry about skimping on battery or processing power.

$0 on a 2-year term –
$600 no-term

Buy from Amazon

Nintendo Switch

Yes, school is important; but you know what else is important? Video games and relaxing between classes. Given the mobile nature of the Nintendo Switch, it's easy to take the console whereever you need to go, whether that's to class, back home to your parent's place for the weekend, or in the cafeteria. Nintendo's latest console truly changes the traditional idea of a portable video game system. The only issue you may run into is actually finding a store that has a Switch in stock.


Buy from Amazon

WD My Passport USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive

At some point, either at school or in future work, you'll likely need more space for your computer. That's where an external hard drive comes in, offering you additional storage space within a small, compact device that's easy to plug in and use. Realistically, you'd be fine going with either WD or Seagate, as they are ostensibly the same, but for the purposes of this write-up, I'm specifically going to refer to the former company's 3TB blue model. The drive's sleek and miniature design makes carrying your data around much easier -- certainly more comfortable than lugging around a laptop. Bringing over your group assignment to a friend's place has never been easier. The external hard drive can also be used on your PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles, if you need more space for your games of choice.


Buy from Amazon
Buy from Best Buy
Buy from The Source

ProCase Cable Management Travel Carry Case

The modern student is liable to have more cords and auxiliary tech accessories than pencils and loose leaf. Embrace it. Get yourself a cord organizing case as useful as it is geeky. The Pro Case manages to make your hectic collection of cords, SD cards, USB sticks and miscellany look somewhat badass, like rare collector’s items. Treat your nerdy self.


Buy from Amazon

iFixit Essential Electronics Toolkit

If there’s one thing that everyone can agree on, it’s that the college years can be unkind to personal technology. From spilling beer on your laptop to stepping on your smartphone, you might as well reconcile yourself to the fact that you’ll break stuff. Why not get a jump on the inevitable and grab this handy DIY smartphone fixing kit from iFixit, which also conveniently provides repair guides? You might even avoid telling your parents you broke your iPhone’s screen for the third time.


Buy from iFixit

Samsung Galaxy S8

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is one of the top players in the smartphone world. With Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 chipset, 4GB of RAM and a 18:5:9 aspect ratio, you’re sure to be the envy of all your techie friends. The S8 features a 12-megapixel camera which takes great pictures for Instagramming or Snapchatting during class and carries 64GB of storage with expandable storage, to keep all of your best college memories.

$0 on a 2-year term –
$1,035 no-term

Buy from Amazon

Amazon Prime subscription

An Amazon Prime subscription can either help in a very productive way by getting you packages more quickly, or help you avoid thinking about school for a while. The subscription allows you to get essential textbooks or other school supply needs significantly faster than waiting for standard shipping. You can also purchase video games (like Overwatch), or a variety of other items at a discounted price, and get access to Twitch Prime and Amazon Prime Video, a video subscription similar to Netflix. Price: Six free month trial then $39 per year for students.


Buy from Amazon

Mophie Charge Force Case and Charge Force Powerstation

Whether you’re in class, on-the-go, or just hanging out in a coffee shop, it’s important that your devices are charged and ready-for-use. Luckily, Mophie makes a variety of powerpacks and cases to keep your phones and other devices powered up and ready-to-go. The Mophie Charge Force Case works with iPhone 7/7 Plus devices, as well as Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+ devices. The Charge Force Powerstation packs in an extra 35 hours of juice, so you’ll be able to stay connected no matter where you are or what you’re doing.

$49.95 – $59.95

Buy from Amazon

Linksys WRT 3200 ACM MU-MIMO Gigabit router

The ultimate gamer and streamer needs the ultimate MU-MIMO gigabit router. Enter the Linksys WRT 3200 ACM. It’s big, it’s blue and dual-band with Tri-Stream 160 technology, which works to double the 80MHz channel width on the 5GHz band to achieve faster throughput. All that to say: it’ll blast your ISP’s router out of the water, providing you with the super high-quality internet experience you deserve.


Buy from Staples


If you're at school a need a break from studying, look no further than extremely accessible first-person shooter Overwatch. You can play the game competitively or just for fun, but either way it's available on a variety of platforms, including the PS4, Xbox One and PC. Overwatch won numerous game of the year awards in 2016 and is continuously being updated, with Blizzard adding four new characters since the game's launch, as well as five new maps.


Buy from Overwatch


Though the Samsung Galaxy S8 garnered more attention when it launched around the same time as the LG G6, the latter device offers a competitive — and in some ways arguably better — experience. The flagship device has a 18:9 aspect ratio allowing for a slim, elegant design. It also offers high-quality audio and a dual rear camera setup that allows for super wide-angle shots that capture all the action. What’s more, it’s more affordable outright than the S8 — perfect for a student’s budget.

$0 on a 2-year term –
$900 no-term

Buy from Amazon

Kobo Aura e-reader

For the avid readers out there, the 6-inch Kobo Aura is a great way to consume literature. With 4GB of on-board memory, this e-reader can carry up to 3,000 eBooks. With a selection of all kinds of fiction and non-fiction books, magazines and more, you'll have plenty to read to occupy your commutes or downtime in between classes. You don't have to be a student in an English program to get ample use out of this product. You'll also get $5 in credit from Kobo whenever you sign up for an account. More details can be found here. As well, there's a more premium waterproof version that costs $200, for more reading options.


Buy from Chapters

Fitbit Alta HR

Okay, hear us out on this one. While not strictly school related, we think a Fitbit could be of great use to a student. The Fitbit Alta HR can be a low-cost investment to help get you thinking more about fitness and starting a healthier routine by tracking your daily activities and sleeping patterns. Of course, there's also connectivity with your smartphone through a dedicated Fitbit app, which will not only help with Fitness tracking, but also notify you of incoming calls and text messages. Finally, the Fitbit smartly reminds you went to start moving, which can be all-too tempting after long sedentary days of classes and paper writing.


Buy from Amazon