Tech for the Tightfisted: Budget tech for the cheap or the average college student


Remember those old cartoons and movies about the future? “The Jetsons” and “Back to the Future 2” have envisioned a future that we haven’t quite reached yet, but we’ve got to admit we’re pretty gosh darn close. We are currently living in the future with technology to solve the biggest problem or the smallest issue, yet the cost of these items cost a pretty penny or two. But of course, here are some great pieces of tech that won’t break the bank.



  • Chromebooks ($140-$250)

Chromebooks are really rising in popularity good reason. Even though lacking in functionality and power compared to Mac and Windows laptops, what you get is done well and way more than what you need. You’re not going to a Chromebook to edit 4K videos, but if you need to just write a few papers, do some online research, or just want to kill time with watching Netflix or YouTube, Chromebooks in the $140 to $250 range are perfect.

  • Acer Aspire 5 ($600)

If you need more power, maybe you do edit videos and want to play a few games, the Acer Aspire 5 is perfect for the college student on a budget. There are a few drawbacks, the biggest one being the screen, totally usable, just not the best. But all the other issues are very minor and the benefits of this guy outweighs the drawbacks. Plus, for those of you who like to upgrade and mess with hardware, it’s really easy on this laptop. You don’t need to open the whole back, you just need to open a door or two if you want to increase the RAM or storage.



  • Samsung Galaxy A50 ($300)

If you’re looking for an upgrade in the android space but can’t spend the money for a flagship device, the A50 is a great pickup. For it’s price, they do their job well. It won’t get the best camera or best screen, but for the price, it does a great screen and a decent camera.

  • iPhone 6 ($200)

Maybe you want something within the Apple ecosystem, well even though the iPhone 6 is fairly old at this point, it’s still supported by the latest version of iOS. The camera isn’t special, but is still pretty good, the screen is small, but does look really nice, and the size is larger and thicker, but still comfortable to hold in one hand. Overall, still really good.



  • Sandisk Extreme SSD (250GB for $72)

Now that we’re adults, we have some really important files to either backup or need to transfer. Portable hard drives are great but are easy to break and are slow and heavy. SSDs are actually getting cheaper, are faster and are less likely to break if you drop them. If I were to recommend one, I would recommend the SanDisk Extreme. It has all the benefits of an SSD and has some extra features with its durability for that extra piece of mind.

  • Sony 700N ($100)

I profess that with headphones, as long as they work, they work. But if you want to have a better time listening to your music without having to hear that crying baby across the room while you try to buy milk for your morning breakfast cause your roommate Matti didn’t buy any, the Sony 700Ns are a great buy for the price. Of course there are headphones that sound better and have better noise canceling but for the price, these headphones are a great balance for all these points.


For all the technology we have available nowadays, It’s kind of hard to find great budget tech under a mountain of mostly poor products. But given enough time and effort, you can eventually find some good stuff.