September is just around the corner
Your school or college life is over. Your A level results have come in and you’ve got your university place (congratulations!). But what now? If you’ve read the news, you’re now faced with increased tuition fees, housing and living costs, as well as the cost of text books and equipment. In the run up to September, you’ll be making some essential purchases and hopefully learning to blag as many freebies as you can!
University purchases can come in many forms depending on the course you’re doing. However, the essentials apply to every student. It starts off with a device that can cope with your ever changing needs whilst at university.
Tablet or Computer?
A computer is a critical part of your success at University. In recent years though we have seen the rise of the tablet, which is now making a case to go to university with you, rather than a traditional “PC”. A laptop Mac, like MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro can offer you more power than their iPad alternatives, which is great for the more specialist subject areas with higher demands for raw computing power (for example, music and video production courses).
That said, for most of us, its more about the price and portability. This is where the iPad Pro comes in, being powerful and quick enough to do many of the tasks you’re required to do whilst studying your degree. The iPad Pro is cheaper and more portable than a highly specced MacBook. Combine it with some great accessories like the smart keyboard, and Apple Pencil, you’ve created a powerful, flexible and portable device that can do almost anything a laptop can, and in some cases even more. Take a look at our blog which goes in to more depth comparing iPad Pro versus an Apple laptop for students here.
Backup your backups
Backing your device up, no matter what is, is of the utmost importance. Take it from someone who lost 6 months of work because their hard drive failed. In fact 1 in 3 people throughout the smartphone world have suffered data loss and only 8% in BackBlaze’s survey backup their computer daily.
There are a lot of backup solutions accommodating all devices. With Mac, the most common is the pre-installed Time Machine application, which is incredibly easy to use. Time Machine really is as simple as plug and play, you just need a suitable hard drive.
Alternatively, there are other solutions out there, including paid options. A popular choice is Carbon Copy Cloner. Which, as the name suggests creates a copy of your Mac’s boot disk, ideal for peace of mind back-ups. Cloud back up services such as Backblaze are easy to use, and cheap, whilst offering increased peace of mind by keeping your backups “off-site” and away from any harm that might come to your machine and data. You can find more cloud-based options and their features with PC Mag’s comprehensive list.
Apple’s integrated iOS solution is much like Time Machine on macOS. iCloud has a free tier, which will allow you to back up the contents of the phone, including settings and preferences as well as data, like documents and photos. Student used applications like Pages, and Word for Mac, can save directly to your iCloud Drive, accessing them on any other device via icloud.com. All of that is under-pinned by the same benefits of services like Backblaze, as iCloud is cloud-based storage. That means, even if your device is stolen or ends up liquid-damaged, your data is safely stored elsewhere. Your iCloud storage can be expanded easily and cheaply, just check out the options here.
With iOS devices you also have the ability to manually backup your device via iTunes, which of course is easy and free to do, but you do eliminate the peace of mind that comes with cloud-based backups.
Protecting the hardware
Cases and bags are a necessity for all devices. Sometimes though, you don't need to go out and buy an expensive bag, simply adapting your old bag to accommodate your shiny new device is a great way to go. Take a look at these tips in converting an old bag.
Should the worst happen however, your device purchased with KRCS is covered by 2 years of manufacturer warranty. We also offer AppleCare to extend that warranty and our own accidental damage cover* that can really save you the headache (and a lot more money…) with those accidental drink spills.
Microsoft Office is the most well known software suite in the world, often because it is required by most schools, colleges, universities and indeed work places. Office 365 is a yearly subscription service where the individual applications are always kept up to date, meaning you’ll always have the latest version. Microsoft offer the office suite for free as long as you have a valid academic email address.
Alternatively on macOS and iOS you have access to Apple’s own version of the popular Office applications, with Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. All of which are free on the app store. All of these applications give you the ability to save files in a Microsoft compatible format too, so you don’t have to worry about compatibility.
There are a number of free alternatives, some that are even browser based. Take a look at this list of 5.
To aid in productivity, we have compiled a list of some great applications that can make your university life that little bit easier.
Make the most of all the freebies that will be coming your way. There’s no better time to get free and discounted products than as a student. There are some great discount sites such as, UNiDAYS, Studentbeans and NUS. So sign up and get your discounts.
Make sure you’re in touch with your university before September. Ask for software recommendations that are specific to your course. Ask for reading material, the likelihood is there will be a downloadable version which could save you a significant amount of money.
University life will be challenging, the pressure to save money, working hard for long hours, broadening your horizons, and trying to get the most from the experience can be tough. Just don’t forget to have fun, too!
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