Back to School Guide 2015
The Only Items You Need For the Year Ahead
The Business School Student
Microsoft Office Lens
Liberate your ideas from the whiteboard or dinner napkin! This image-scanning app easily converts your doodles or documents into easy-to-read and searchable Word, Powerpoint, or PDF files.
Free, iOS, Android, and Windows Phone
Save, organize, and share your brain-bursting ideas while homing in on must-haves such as the elevator pitch and the specific problem you're looking to solve.
Paper by 53
When it comes to presentations, studies show that drawing on a whiteboard can be more effective than a polished Powerpoint. With this sketching app, they can be just a little bit less crude: It automatically turns illegible stream-of-consciousness flowcharts into tidy boxes.
13" MacBook Air
There's a reason this has become the de facto laptop for most students: It does everything you need and won't weigh down your bag at that critical networking cocktail party.
To Boot chukka boots
Sony RX100-III Camera
About as good as a pocket-able camera can get.
$798, B&H Photo
The Engineering Student
Crunch just about any number: Wolfram Alpha’s app gives you access to its vast library of data and algorithms. Bonus: Instead of just spitting out answers to your problems, it shows you the step-by-step solution.
$3, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Kindle
Autodesk ForceEffect Motion
There was a time when simulating how designs would function in the real world involved a whole lot of math, a whole lot of time, and a whole lot of opportunity to insert error. This simulation tool takes your designs and turns them into living, breathing, moving, functional systems.
Free, iOS and Android
Mathlab Graphing Calculator
Cheaper than your old TI, and it displays the ongoing calculations as it drives toward answers. (Great for the all-important "showing your work.")
Free, Android, Kindle, Nook
Dell XPS 13
With the release of Windows 10, there hasn't been a better time to buy a PC, and this one combines good industrial design with top-notch performance.
COS cotton raincoat
Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless Headphones
The best of warm Bowers & Wilkins sound without all the cables getting in your way.
The English Major
The word-processing program designed specifically for writers. Move chapters, quotes, and scenes around with ease while organizing your ideas and adding notes and annotations.
$44.99, Windows and Mac
Chances are, your word processor's grammar check lets its share of errors slide. This Chrome extension gives your computer a far smarter grammar and spelling check and instantly lets you know when you're mucking things up.
Free for basic version, Chrome
Serious reading and writing often requires serious silence. This app features a library of thousands of background sounds (white noises, rolling waves, thunderstorms) that are designed to make noisy environments feel as quiet as a library.
$2.99, iOS, Android
Google Chromebook Pixel
The Pixel's bright touchscreen and fast processor are perfect for watching Netflix or catching up on Pinterest—while writing that important paper about consumerism in Dickens's novels, of course.
Burberry Brit Splash eau de toilette
Etymotic HF5 Earbuds
These sound way better than any of those fashion earbuds you'll find at the campus book store.
The Law Student
Black's Law Dictionary, 10th Edition
Black's is the Merriam-Webster of legal dictionaries, a must-have on any aspiring attorney's shelf. It's also really, really bulky. The mobile version fits on your phone and provides audio pronunciations of many hard-to-tongue terms.
Wolters Kluwer LawInAFlash
This series of flash card apps let students study up on bar basics–or specific legal topics.
$9.99-$29.99, depending on topic, iOS and Android
Kaplan Bar Review
Studying for the bar? This Kaplan app lets you chart your course progress, take on-the-go quizzes, download lectures, and stare at flashcards until your eyes bleed.
Free for Kaplan online course subscribers, iOS and Android
Surface Pro 3
It's actually a tablet with the power of a laptop: When you're done cramming you can pop off the keyboard and browse more easily during a much-needed study break.
Club Monaco Made in the USA striped shirt
Bonavita 8-Cup Digital Coffee Maker
You need coffee, and this machine lets you think about having to make it as little as possible.