It’s that time of year again, the summer is about to be over as we’re in the last days. So, what do we do now? We begin to prepare for Back to School sales. There’s always going to be some suggestion about what you’ll need or what you should probably pick up and it’s cliche as a topic but, it’s effective in helping you sort out your choices.

I figured that I would get a jump start on my suggestions of what you should probably pick up for Back to School. I’ll advise you though, everything I choose won’t necessarily look like other lists in that it may not be cheap as Back to School lists can tend to be. They’ll however be gadgets that offer a significant value over time even if it means that you may have to spend a little more for it.

The list is also mostly for the back to school gaming crowd. Oh, and if you’re in a dorm or home during school there are some games you may wanna play to wind down during the year if you have a PC, PS4 or Xbox and some quality accessories you’ll need too. I have a few good choices because gaming matters too even during school time.

The DROP CTRL Mechanical Keyboard

I’m going to start off with an unusual pick. It’s unusual mostly because of it’s price but not because of its functionality, look and usefulness. My favorite keyboard to use this year is a keyboard that some may not know even exists. It’s the Drop CTRL keyboard. It’s a mechanical one with RGB all over and while it may not do anything different from any other mechanical keyboard, where it shines is its look. Seriously, look at it. It’s comfortable and it adds so much flair to your room or boring looking dorm room. You wouldn’t want this keyboard on your desk? Of course you do. You want some flair? Head over to Drop.com and pick it up HERE. It’s $200 which is pricey yes, but how many of your friends will have a mechanical keyboard like this?

Acer Nitro 5

Last year I did a review on the Acer Nitro 5 as I thought it was one of the best values for the money as a PC and gaming machine. Well, Acer refreshed an already good machine and made it much better. Acer, took this version, streamlined it so it’s better looking overall, made sure it’s up to date with the latest Intel CPU, a GTX 1050 or 1060, and they did all of that and kept it under $1000. Acer also has AMD variant versions as well having a Radeon 560RX at just under $700. It’s a great machine for productivity and gaming and if you’re interested you can pick one up HERE

BenQ Laptop LED Screenbar Lite

This is a product that has nothing to do with gaming at all but it’s a super important device for YOU, the student. You’ll be up late at night for sure doing research, writing papers, surfing the web, whatever. Over time it will take a toll on your eyesight and make it harder and harder to want to stay up at night and do your work. BenQ has a great solution for this problem and it’s their laptop LED screenbar that attaches itself right to the top cover of your laptop. We reviewed the original desktop BenQ screenbar LED lamp here at GStyle and it was a game changer for me in how it helped me on those late nights (You can check out that review HERE). This smaller version is just as good but made for your laptop. It’s an incredible device and you’ll want to get one of these. Grab one HERE for $99 and you’ll see for yourself.

Turtle Beach Elite Atlas headsets

Turtle Beach is one of my favorite companies for gaming headphones. Although you’ll find that a lot of other companies also make comparably good gaming cans but these are a personal favorite of mine. These headphones will give you a solid balance in more ways than one. Great price, good looking, really good sound, quality mic, durable and comfortable. $99 is all you’ll pay for these cans and if you’re on a budget as I imagine you are then these will fit your needs. Check them out HERE.

Astro A40s+ with MixAMP Pro

Astro refreshed their A40 wired headphones earlier this year and they are some of the best headphones that I used this year. Of course, as students we don’t want to take on excesses like Astro A40’s because they’re expensive but, these are the type of headphones that are so good. While the initial investment say seem steep in terms of its cost, these are headphones that you’ll be able to keep for years and if you take care of them they’ll always sound great which makes the investment pay for itself over time. Listen to a pair and you’ll get it. This is a BTS gamers must-have, not just a holiday pickup. The Astro a40+ w/ MixAMP is $249 and you can get a set HERE. You may hate spending that money right away but it’ll all make sense once you start gaming with these.

Build a PC (Or get one built)

While this isn’t a necessarily a one stop pickup, building a PC has a ton of advantages. The Windows 10 experience is probably the best experience that MS and Windows has put forth. It’s clean, smooth and you can be super productive with it and since this is about the gamer, there’s no better platform to game on than a PC. Best part about building a PC? It’s doesn’t take years of experience and a ton of technical know how to do it now. Just read and follow your manuals and you’re okay. Parts are cheaper and more powerful and you can really go long and play good games for under $500. Check YouTube and you’ll find a bunch of sub $500 builds that you can really game with and be able to be productive at the same time. Build a PC

Seagate XBOX ONE or PS4 external Game Drive

If you don’t have the know how or you just don’t want to bother with switching out the internal hard drive on your console then there are alternatives. Seagate offers that with external drives that allow you to back up your game saves and games on the go. Seagate’s game drives come in two storage sizes for PS4 and you can pick one up HERE and for XBOX ONE X you can pick one up HERE. The 2TB size is priced at 109.99 and the 4TB size is priced at $149.99.

Get an XBOX ONE X, Nintendo Switch or PS4

If you’re in school, console gaming is a huge part of getting through the school year. I won’t elaborate too much on this because it’s kind of a given. Get a console and play some games. This is a gaming back to school list. If you don’t have a console then you’re not gaming. Get it together.

Games you should buy and play during the school year

This list is after all about games and back to school. If you are considering picking up anything on this list then you’ll need games to play. Which ones? I have a few choices that you should probably play. I’ve played them all and they’re all super fun. Check it out below and look up these games and play them and enjoy this back to school time. No Fortnite, Apex or Overwatch on this list either.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Civilization VI

Metro Exodus

Street Fighter V

Blazing Chrome

GTA V

Dead Cells

Forza Horizon 4

Monster Hunter World

The Division 2

Anno 1800

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Mike Bitter is a born gadget head and true lover of technology. It all started with computer classes at age 10 and his first PC the Tandy 1000. From then on he found his love and he became a gamer and a PC builder and has not stopped since. He specializes in hardware, troubleshooting and custom PC building. He’s known as the “fixer” amongst his friends whenever there is a problem with a PC or a Mac. He’s also fully immersed in all things that pertain to the world of computers and gaming. He's an 80's baby and he grew up watching technology evolve from the NES to PS4 and from the Commodore 64 to the iMac. He has a unique and minimalist perspective on technology and is here to help the average person to understand technology today.