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Back to School Gear Picks

Your return to campus is just a few weeks away, so it’s time to get serious about gearing up. Here are some of our top picks for the gear you’ll need to make it through the school year. From productivity to entertainment, Abt has everything you’ll need to survive the coming school year. Looking for something that’s not on this list? Check out the Abt Back to School page for all of our scholastic specials.

DeLonghi Combination Espresso & Drip Coffee Maker—It goes without saying that coffee is crucial to college survival. And there will be plenty of days where a regular cup of joe doesn’t have what it takes to wake you—you’ll need something stronger. It doesn’t get much stronger than freshly-pulled espresso. The Delonghi excels at brewing both traditional American coffee (up to 10 cups at a time), and its more potent Italian cousin. And when you’re feeling fancy, you can even craft an authentic cappuccino or latte. At just over two hundred bucks, it’s a bit of an investment compared to your standard percolator, but if it gets you to skip the Starbucks, it will be well worth it. 

Lekue Popcorn Maker—From movie nights to study sessions, popcorn is a a great go-to snack, especially if you’re trying to avoid junk food. Since you’ll likely only have access to a microwave, it’s also a nice treat when you want a warm snack. But microwave popcorn can get expensive, not to mention the added artificial ingredients and salt you may not want to consume. DIY popcorn in the microwave solves both of those problems. Toss your kernels into the Lekue Popcorn maker and in a few minutes you’ll have freshly popped popcorn with no oils, chemicals or other additives. 

Sony Noise Canceling Headphones—A good pair of headphones are a must-have on campus. From giving you a chance to enjoy music without bothering others, to blocking out dorm room disruptions, they are key component in the quest for focus. You’ll enjoy the excellent audio quality expected from a pair of Sony headphones, and the addition of noise cancellation technology turns these cans up a notch, With a 35-hour battery life, you’ll have a portable, private oasis anywhere from the library to an airplane.      

Microsoft Surface Go Bundle—A PC is an indispensable tool for school, capable of doing everything from letting you take notes in class to entertaining you in the dorm or on a train ride home. But not everyone wants a full-fledged, high-powered laptop. There’s no need to spend big buck on a high-end machine when there are options like the Microsoft Surface Go. Part laptop and part tablet, it’s the best of both worlds. The ten-inch screen is big enough for you to take notes or binge a couple episodes of The Office, but keeps the machine small enough to disappear in your bag. The Intel Pentium Gold processor won’t let you play high-end games, but it’s got enough oomph to power through your typical school tasks. And right now, our special Back to School bundles mean that with your purchase, you can score a discount on Microsoft software—or even get a free  HP multi-function printer.

Cuisinart Electric Kettle—Being stuck in a dorm room severely limits your options for warm food and drinks, but an electric water kettle can change that. Because they don’t have an exposed heating element, electric water kettles are often one of the few small appliances allowed in a dorm room. And it’s good for more than just tea. On-demand boiling water means you can make fresh pour-over coffee, instant soups, oatmeal, and anything else that just needs some boiling water.

Breville Mini Smart Oven—The microwave is the king of college appliances, but if your living situation allows it, consider upgrading to a toaster oven like the Breville Mini Smart Oven. It’s smaller than most microwaves and does most of what they do—like reheating leftovers or warming up Hot Pockets. But it also opens up a whole new universe of cooking options that you can’t get with nuking. Cook an entire 11-inch frozen pizza, toast bread, and even bake a cake. No more soggy, rubbery chicken either. Quicker and easier to use than a normal kitchen range (and much easier to keep clean), it’s an ideal addition to any college apartment.

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