Dorm Life: Choose the Tools to Simplify Setting Up a College Workspace

When kids head off to college, setting up a dorm or apartment – at least from a productivity / school work perspective – is much like outfitting a home office. Both require traditional technology – the computer / laptop and printer (most already have Internet access). Both spaces also need the accessories that make work work – like USB hubs, MP3 docks, lights and stuff.

The problem is, for many kids, “set up” has to be silly simple, and functionality has to be equally so. Beyond the laptop, smartphone and their array of apps and social media, little else can break into their sphere of entrenched technology.

So, as parents look to set Junior up for college, we look for that space where functional meets simple. Actually, options abound. Looking to set up a son or daughter’s college pad for school? Check out some of these must-have and might-wanna-have tools and accessories.

For the printer, easy to use and functional must be key. The world is not yet 100% digital – even in college. While many students attend online courses and use Blackboard to submit and track assignments, paper documents still have their place. It’s important to have an economical, simple and fast printer that creates sharp color or black and white docs.

Way back when, set-up could be a struggle. Not any longer. Products like the HP Photosmart 5520 (about $130) deliver a device that’s simple, smart and small enough for the school environment. Like many printers, it features out-of-the-box functionality and a host of features that make a real difference. These include wi-fi (sorry, no Ethernet port) – for printing directly from an iOS and Android handheld device using HP ePrint cloud-based printing. Numerous web-based apps also are available (some such printing requires the device be connected to a computer on the network, which to use ePrint and web apps must be connected to the Internet).

A touch-screen control panel delivers simple interaction with a host of well-considered menus. For those who want to conserve paper (it holds 80 pages, which helps reduce its footprint), duplex printing uses both sides of the page. This multifunction device will print, scan and copy, using documents or memory cards. Built-in templates allow the student to create notebook, graph or music paper, and a host of games.

As wrote, “The result is a printer that’s basic in some ways, highly sophisticated in others, and well worth considering for home use or for the dual role of home and light-duty home office printer.”

Check back soon for more tech-cessories that will make the dorm or apartment a place of business – even for school

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