The Best Refurbished-Tech Options for Students On a Budget

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When you become a student things change. Mum’s not cooking dinner for you any more. You have to set up something called a direct debit. And that small amount of money you have to call your own has to last three whole months! In these strange and scary times, you don’t want to blow your precious loan on overpriced gear. Instead, begin adulting in earnest with these super-affordable refurbished technology essentials. 
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Headphones

If we have one piece of advice, it’s this – get yourself a pair of on-ear headphones. If they’re wireless models, great, and if they’re noise-cancelling, even better.

If you're looking to save money, going for refurbished headphones means you can get a better standard than otherwise for less than £50, sometimes even less than £20. The Sony MDR-10RCs are a good shout – they’re super affordable but they’ve got 40mm drivers, in-line volume and they’ll fold up into your satchel. 

You’ll need the best you can get for all those hours of reading, studying and walking to and from classes. Plus you’ll want something to grab so you can actually concentrate when you can’t get involved in the party in the room next door. 
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Laptop

If the latest all-singing, all-dancing laptop is a bit out of your price range, don't despair. All you need for now is a reliable machine that you can knock around with for a couple of years. If you hunt for refurbished laptops on eBay, you can save up 50% off the price of a brand-new laptop, so you may even find you can afford more than you think.

Unsure what size screen to go for? A 13-inch/14-inch screen is perfect for a uni laptop – good for work, not too big and heavy to lug around, and pretty good for watching Netflix in bed, too. Try something like a refurbished Acer Aspire ES1-411 – it’s 14-inch, comes with 500GB of storage, runs Windows 8.1, and you can often find them for around £120-£150. 
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Google Chromecast

If you’ve just moved out of halls into a student flat or house, all sorts of extra costs will pop up, so forget about an expensive Sky/Virgin package. Instead grab a refurbished Google Chromecast stick and shave a few more pounds off an already very affordable – but truly awesome – gadget.

Plug this into a cheap TV or monitor and you can stream Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube and Google Play TV and Google Play Movies. Plus you can pack it up when you move again. 
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32-inch HD-Ready TV

Pair an affordable 32-inch TV with built-in Freeview and your Chromecast, and you take all the hassle out of film nights and hungover Sunday mornings.

Why 32-inch? Unless you’re in a big house and can get four or five people to chip in, you can get a telly this size for less than £150, which is a good price as these things go. It’s a good sweet spot and it’s not too embarrassingly small for when you have mates round for Pixar marathons. Only gamers who want multiplayer Super Smash Bros or Call of Duty sessions will need bigger. 

A Toshiba 32-inch W1533DB LED TV is a good shout as it comes with built-in Freeview and USB, HDMI and PC input, and if you're splitting the cost between housemates it's a steal.
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DVD Player

One last thing on the TV and film front. You’ll need to impress visitors to your room/flat/kitchen with your good taste in movies and you can’t do that with a Netflix profile. Save the Blu-ray collection for after university, when you can upgrade the TV and bring a curated collection of your foreign and indie DVDs from home.

Pick up a super-cheap refurbished £20-ish DVD player to make sure you’re covered when there’s nothing on Netflix. The Sony SR170 is a good option. You can pick one up for around the £20 mark, plus it’s a neat, compact size and energy-efficient, too.
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Hand Blender

Kitchen gadgets might be the last thing on your mind, but when you’ve got two weeks to go until your next student loan comes in – and only two scrumpled up £10 notes to your name – you’ll thank us.

Pick up a refurbed blender from eBay, with a 12-month warranty, at the start of term. Then you can keep yourself nourished on all manner of soups when times get tough, money-wise. The VonShef 3 in 1 Hand Blender is the real deal, with stainless steel blades, 800W of power and attachments for blending, chopping and whisking. And it's less than £20. 
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Bluetooth Speaker

For your room, for the kitchen/balcony/picnic in the park, all you need is a decent Bluetooth speaker cranked up as high as it goes. Sure, it won’t do for a party. But get yourself a tidy, portable speaker for less than £40 (refurbished), and you’ll be able to take it to festivals, too. Our party pick is the Sony SRSX11 cube, which is more powerful than it looks. It comes in a bunch of colours, with 10 watts per speaker – and it’ll work with your iPhone, iPad and iPod, too.
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Amazon Kindle

Sure, we know you lugged cases of heavy books down in the car so you could style out your room like a true scholar. But there will be plenty of times when it gets to 10pm, you didn’t make it to the library or bookstore on time, and you need to read a very particular book before your morning class.

Enter the magic of the Kindle. Put any snobbishness to one side and pick up a refurbished Kindle e-reader – without the touch controls, but with 4GB of storage – for less than £50. Life-saver. 
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