Back to School ’13: Odds & Ends

Back to School ’13: Odds & Ends

Odds & Ends Cover

Accessories – it’s the little things in life that matter the most.

Your laptop, smartphone, and tablet aim to satisfy as many of your needs as possible – but they never satisfy every single need you have.  That’s a job for the little thing, the accessories.  Your phone might have the best camera in existence, a beautiful screen, and Godlike power but it has a really crappy battery.  The headphones that came with your MP3 or iPod are uncomfortable or not good enough for your inner audiophile.  Or maybe you just want something to carry everything around in.  This is what that guide is about.  Plugging the holes in the perfect kit bag.


You’ve got to carry everything around with you.  Your bag’s got to be comfortable, functional, and good looking.  Look no further!

Case Logic Lifestyle BackpackCase Logic Lifestyle Backpack

This bag hits all the right buttons.  It’s got good looks, a reputable brand, plenty of storage, and a decent price.  It’s not cheap but this bag should last you for years, definitely the length of your course.  And then some.

Can carry laptops that up to 15.4″ in size.

Best Price: €41.25*


Dicota Taleoff Shoulder BagDicota Take Off Shoulder Bag

Some like backpacks, some prefer messenger bags.  This Dicota is a good looking bag with plenty of storage but be warned – carrying a laptop and charger means that not much else will fit.

Can carry laptops that up to 15.4″ in size.

Best Price: €35.00

 HP Business 17-3HP Business Backpack for 17.3″ Notebooks

If you choose to go for the Asus G750 I recommend in the Notebooks guide then you’ve got to go for this bag.  It’s got plenty of storage space so you can carry your laptop, the charger, a refill pad, a slim textbook, and a few small odds and ends.  I wouldn’t recommend getting a shoulder bag because of the sheer weight you’ll be carrying around – putting all that weight on one shoulder will kill your back.

Best Price: €45.00


External Batteries

Poor battery life is the bane of the smartphone’s existence.  Gone are the days when you charge your phone once a week, these days it’s every night or never.  Sometimes your phone just won’t last the day – and you don’t have time to camp out next to a free power outlet to let it charge.  An external battery does the job in a jiffy: connect your phone to it and you can leave both devices in your bag as they charge.  You’ll get two, if not three charges from the devices I’ve listed below – one of them can even charge your tablet!

Anker Astro Slim 3Anker Astro Slim 3

This 6000mAH external battery can charge most smartphones twice before it needs to be recharged.  It’s got a small microUSB plug that slots into the side as well as a USB port if you need to use a proprietary charger or a longer charging cable.

The 1A output is perfect for phones but not enough for most tablets and those that will charge will do so very slowly.

Best Price: £25.99*

Anker Astro 3EAnker Astro 3

The big daddy of external batteries this model has a capacity of 10000mAH – that’s enough to charge most smartphones three or four times fully.

The Astro 3 can charge two devices simultaneously with a combined output of 3A – that’s enough for a phone and a tablet.  Yes, this battery can charge your tablet with no problem whatsoever, but not two at the same time.

Best Price: £25.99*



It doesn’t matter how old you are, where you’re from, or what stuff you’re into – everybody likes music and everybody’s got a little music they like to listen to every once in a while.  Some people are willing to spend good money on a pair of headphones, others just want to hear their music no matter the price of their gear.  I’m going for quality here, you’re not going to find any status symbols like Beats.  If that’s what you’re looking for, you won’t find it here.

Sony MDR-V6Sony MDR-V6

These headphones are legendary.  They provide excellent quality at what is a very affordable price, considering.

The MDR-V6 is exactly the same as the “Pro” 7506 except for a stick on the side.  Bear in mind that the 7506 is used in recording studios around the world.

These aren’t meant to be replaced by another model a few years down the line.  Almost every part of this pair is replaceable so you’ll be using these headphones for many years.

Best Price: £69.95

Marshall MinorMarshall Minor

There are three things that go for this pair of headphones: the brand, the look, and the quality.

Firstly, they’re Marshall.  Anyone that’s into guitars at all has heard of them – Marshall’s a legendary brand with an interesting backstory.

Secondly they have this rockabilly retro chic look going on that I totally dig despite my dislike of anything gold.  Finally, they sound fantastic.  Their price is also pretty decent for what’s in the package – they’re a good deal through and through.

Best Price: £39.90 |

Altec Lansing MZX736Altec Lansing MZX736

These headphones are for kind of person that loses headphones all the time. Or drops them.  Or breaks them.  You’re wary of spending too much money on something because you might not get your money’s worth in the long run.  These headphones are ideal for you.

At under €6 they’re so cheap they’re practically disposable.  The brand’s reputable (one of the best, in fact) but I wouldn’t get my hopes up too much.  They do just cost €6 after all.

Best Price: €5.50

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* Price does not include Postage and Packaging and Import Fees. does not charge import fees, however, and delivery is always by DHL (very quick, couple of days at the most) and costs around €11, but the price varies from device to device.

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