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9 Pieces of Electronics to Build a High-Tech Dorm Room

As college students head back to school, they are stocking up on high tech items to outfit their dorm rooms. Check out these must haves to kick off the semester.


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Jason Knott · August 26, 2014

Necessary dorm room electronics include wireless routers, laptops, headphones, TVs, surge protectors and even small soundbars. Mobility is the key.

Just in time for back to school, students across the nation are prepping to head off to college with the basic necessities. Today, that means a slew of electronics.

For integrators, the odds of doing an installation at a dorm are slim, but hhgregg, the large regional electronics retailer with 229 locations in 20 states, has found a niche there. The company is doing strong business these days serving students as they prepare to go back to school, including installing electronics in dorm rooms.

“Mobility is most important,” says Kevin Lyons, senior vice president of ecommerce at hhgregg. “Fixed electronics in a dorm are not secure. Students want to be able to pick it up and take it with them.”

Lyons estimates each year that students spend $500 at the low end on new electronics for their dorm. “We do a lot of systems between $1,000 and $2,000. When you include gaming and TV, it can add up quickly.”

So what are the most important (and least important) pieces of electronics in dormitories today? Here’s hhgregg’s list in order of need:

1. Laptop or Super Tablet: Having computing power is the name of the game for students. Lyons says the days of large desktop units that can be stolen are gone. Mobility is the key. Also, students tend to require a new tablet every year as computing power grows and these units become obsolete very quickly.

2. Gaming Consoles: What teenager doesn’t require one of these today? It is near the top of the list.

3. Headphones: Dorms can be noisy, so headphones are a must. “Students want branded units, like Beats,” adds Lyons.

4. Smart TVs: Similar to headphones, Lyon says have a brand name TV is important to Millennials. Lyons says smart TVs like Samsung in sizes 22- to 42-inches are the most popular.

5. Wireless Routers: A lot of dorm facilities have 4G network capabilities, but many students are opting to bring their own wireless routers to create individual networks on 5G, says Lyons. These networks allow them to stream Netflix at 1080p resolution and “close to 4K.” “Students today do not want to compromise,” says Lyon.

6. Blu-ray Players: These may not be necessities anymore, says Lyon, especially since most students today are gamers that will have Blu-ray capability built-in.

7. NAS Devices: With the advent of cloud storage, NAS devices are quickly becoming obsolete for today’s college students.

8. Speakers: While students definitely want speakers for their gaming and computing needs, the call for “big bulky speakers and subwoofers” is slim, admits Lyons. He points instead to units like the Bose SoundLink and the Beats Pill as the speakers of choice. He also gives props to units from the House of Marley that he says are gaining in popularity.

9. Surge Protectors: While these units are not top of mind, Lyons says, “we try to install them to help protect the students’ investment.”



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  About the Author

Jason Knott is Chief Content Officer for Emerald Expositions Connected Brands. Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990, serving as editor and publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He joined CE Pro in 2000 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of that brand. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He has been a member of the CEDIA Business Working Group since 2010. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Jason at jason.knott@emeraldexpo.com

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