Apple devices, apps, and accessories for back to school: The ultimate guide

It's time to hit the books again for many students. Whether you're getting ready for the first day of high school, finally getting comfortable in college, or you're in the home stretch of post-grad at university, we've rounded up the best Apple tech for the back to school season.

We're keeping an eye on budget here. If money is no object, we'll list a few alternatives. Otherwise, we want to help get you through school without breaking the bank.

The best iPad for students

Best iPhone for students

Best MacBook for students

Best desktop Mac for students

Best iPhone cases for students

Dropping your iPhone is inevitable when you're juggling books and bags while running around all day long. Make sure you aren't stuck with a cracked iPhone until graduation by picking up one of these excellent cases.

Best note-taking apps for students

Between the lecture hall, library, and your dorm room, you're going to be writing a ton of notes. These apps can keep them shareable, organized, and searchable. They're free downloads, but premium subscriptions provide extra functions like more cloud storage space. Whatever you pick, you'll be happy to have an app like these installed when term paper time rolls around.

Back to school apps

Best desktop chargers for students

Let's make sure you're comfortable for the long hours you'll be spending at your desk. The right cradle for your iPhone and iPad can keep you connected and fully-charged for the second you have to head out the door.

Best iPad stylus for students

Whether you're pursuing artistic studies or you just prefer taking notes freehand, the right stylus is imperative if you're going to be spending a lot of time with your iPad. Precision, responsiveness, and comfort are all hugely important, and you'll need app support to get the most out of it.

Best bags for students

These top-notch bags and backpacks can handle all of your gear for a busy day. iPhone, iPad, and Mac pouches are obviously helpful, but you'll also need plenty of room for books, a water bottle, and many other personal effects. Whatever you need, these bags should survive this year and those beyond.

Back to school backpacks

Best backup batteries for students

A dead iPhone battery can be a huge hassle if you're out partying with friends and trying to coordinate. These battery packs should provide you or a buddy enough power to make it through a busy night of selfie-taking or a late-night cram session.

Best Bluetooth speakers for students

You'll want some music if you're taking a break with some friends in the quad. A wireless speaker beaming tunes from your phone can be handy around home, too. Take a look at these portable Bluetooth speakers that fit in a student budget.

Best Bluetooth headphones for students

Pop on a pair of these excellent wireless headphones to find your groove when churning out an assignment. They're comfortable enough and should have enough power for a long stretch of writing in the library.


$180 Buy

The Plantronics BackBeat Sense will suit you well if you plan on staying put for awhile. They're light on the head and have a solid 18 hours of playback time. MicroUSB charging means you can plug this one in just about anywhere, while a 3.5 mm input is also available if you need to listen to other devices.

Plantronics BackBeat Sense

Now hit the books!

Hopefully these fine pieces of gear will prepare you for the onslaught that is to come. With any luck, these will help you take care of smaller inconveniences so you can focus on your studies. Before making the plunge on anything, be sure to check out Apple's educational discounts to see which promotions you can take advantage of. We tried to be as comprehensive as possible here, but which iPhone, iPad, Mac, and general tech would you suggest for students?

Simon Sage

Editor-at-very-large at Mobile Nations, gamer, giant.