Students are most interested in buying laptops, fridges, and large televisions to take with them as they begin college life, according to a survey from Newegg and Wakefield Research.

Also, though college tech needs are shifting overall—toward products that provide mobility and convenience—the tech items viewed as most essential to college life are still the basics: laptops and printers.

Among the college students surveyed, 92% cite a laptop as a necessity for college, 66% cite a printer, 46% cite speakers or headphones, and 44% cite a smartphone.

In addition, some 40% of college students cite up-to-date software as a college necessity.

Below, additional findings from the Newegg report, based on a survey of 502 college students (age 18-24), conducted by Wakefield Research.

Interestingly, 36% of college students who started school with a laptop admit they were not completely happy with the device throughout the academic year.


More than one in four (25%) college students say tablets will help their grades while at college.

Most college students can identify at least one way they would use a tablet for class; using the device for research ranks first (61%), followed by reading textbooks (60%).

Essentials of a Fun Dorm Room

One-half (50%) of college students say a big TV is essential for the "fun" freshman dorm room, and 48% say price is not the most important characteristic to consider when choosing a TV for college: 

Despite the tech options available to students, nothing beats access to food and cold drinks: 55% cite a mini-fridge as essential to a fun freshman dorm room.

Maintaining ties with family and friends back home is also important for students, particularly for first-time freshmen. However, most (73%) don't plan to use a landline connection while at college.

In addition, the findings show that buying tech devices and software programs for college should be a joint purchasing decision between students and parents.

One in three students own an item purchased by a parent that they don’t like or use, with 36% citing their laptop as that item.

Clearly, students want to provide input when buying tech items: 53% say they don't trust their parents to select the right printer, and 70% want to select their own software programs.

About the data: The Newegg survey was conducted by Wakefield Research among 502 currently enrolled undergraduate college students in the US, age 18-24 via email invite and an online survey, May 16- 24, 2012.

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Laptops, TVs Most Popular Tech Products for College

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