Your two cents' worth: budget-friendly gadgets for students

Are you a student trying to make the most out of your allowance? With an iPhone 6s and Samsung Galaxy S7 each costing over a thousand dollars, it’s getting hard to keep up with the Joneses. But nowadays tech can be affordable, or even cheap. In fact, most of the time you just end up paying for the brand of “better” products, and not actually the quality. Want the best for yourself, but don’t want to break the bank? With this guide, you’re guaranteed the best bang for your buck.

Audio-Technica ATH-WS770iS Solid Bass

Image: Audio-Technica

Bose? Beats? Pssh. While these may be among the top-selling headphone brands in Singapore, there are many alternatives out there that often fall by the wayside -- and that are also often better-sounding and cheaper. If you really must have the the thumping bass of Beats, however, Audio-Technica has you covered.

The mid-tier headphone of Audio-Technica’s latest Solid Bass series, the WS770iS is not only just a fraction of the price of its Beats equivalent, but provides Audio-Technica’s signature sound with cleaner separation, brighter highs and faster-hitting bass response, thanks to their massive 53mm drivers. Deep, plush earcups let you wear them for hours with no fatigue. Furthermore, regardless of which eye-catching colour scheme you choose from (black-red or gunmetal), these gorgeous cans will have heads turning on the street.

HP Pavilion 15-AU077TX

Image: HP

While the rest of the world may be going over the newly-released HP Spectre (and rightfully so), the rest of HP’s products are nothing to sniff at either. Known for providing some of the best specs in the market at the most reasonable price, there’s a good reason that HP has remained a household name.

The HP Pavilion 15 is perhaps the best example of this. In this configuration, this 15-inch notebook is a workhorse to be reckoned with. Armed with a powerful 6th generation i7 processor and 8GB of RAM, the Pavilion 15 also comes with a one-two punch of a 128GB solid-state drive (SSD) and a 1TB hard disk drive (HDD). This means that you can install the operating system on the SSD, making boot and shutdown times lightning-fast, while at the same time leaving a huge amount of hard disk space for your media library.

OnePlus 3

Image: AusDroid

Never settle. This is the motto of Chinese company OnePlus, which released their One smartphone with astronomical success in early 2014. Packing top-of-the-line technology in a phone that cost US$399, OnePlus had a hit on their hands. Following in the footsteps of the OnePlus 2 and OnePlus X, the OnePlus 3 is the current pinnacle of smartphone technology at an amazing price.

The OnePlus 3’s sleek aluminium unibody frame hides the power within. With a lightning-fast Snapdragon 820 processor -- the same one in the Samsung Galaxy S7 -- and a whopping 6GB of RAM, the OnePlus 3 handles any program you may throw at it with ease. Its 16-megapixel rear camera is more than enough to fuel your Instagram addiction, and OnePlus’ Dash Charging technology will get your phone from 0 to 60 percent in just half an hour. It may not be the cheapest phone out there, but you don’t get just bang for your buck with this phone -- you get a full 21-gun salute. Never settle indeed.

JBL Flip 3

Image: JBL

Hosting a social gathering or providing the music for a party? Most times, playing your Spotify straight out of your laptop speakers just isn’t going to cut it. A Bluetooth speaker is the way to go -- forget the wires and hassle, just sync your phone or laptop up and you’re good to go. But with so many options out there, which speaker is best?

Enter the JBL Flip 3. A successor to the Flip 2, which was already an incredible value for its price, the Flip 3 takes everything good about its older brother and builds on top of it. JBL has added extra bass radiators to give the low end some punch, and boosted the battery life to ten hours -- basically an eternity by Bluetooth speaker standards. The Flip 3 is also splashproof, meaning you can bring it to a poolside barbecue and not worry about water fights putting a damper on the mood. If you’ve got a friend with a Flip 3 too, JBL lets you connect them together via Bluetooth to turn the music way up.

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