As summer draws to a close, many parents are getting their college students ready for the new school year. But it can be hard to outfit a college-bound teen for dorm life for the first time, especially on a tight budget.
"Good Morning America" technology contributor Becky Worley has found the best deals on the gadgets and gear for your college kid.
The key to dorm room gear is that it must be compact and multi-functional. All of the products we found earn "As" on that score.
At just 5.5 lbs, this lightweight laptop is easy to carry around campus and starts at the low price of $499. To get it completely tricked out and future-proofed, with extra memory and good software, plus a printer, it costs $799.
Click HERE to find out what not to take to college this semester.
In a dorm room, a printer has to be more than a printer to make sense. The HP model can scan, fax and copy and there's a brand new feature that connects the printer to the web. You can wirelessly email a document to the printer from a smart phone or a computer and it will print, which makes it great for study groups or if you're sharing your printer with a roommate. It's all wireless, so there are no wires to trip over in close quarters.
For Mac lovers, you can get a laptop, printer and an iPod Nano Touch for $999.
Before you spend any money, check your college's discount. Most universities have some kind of discount with computer companies. Go to your school's online bookstore to find out what's available to you.
To protect your computer, you need a laptop lock. The Kensington Combosaver is like a bike lock for your computer. Lock it up in your dorm room, at the library or coffee shop -- anyplace where it could be out of your sight even for a moment. It's an extra level of security for under $40.
Livescribe Smartpen, $129.95
The Livescribe Smartpen and notebook is one of the best new tech gadgets out there. The pen turns taking written notes into an interactive experience. It records audio while you're writing, so if you miss something the professor said, you've got a back-up. It will digitize your notes and the audio so you can transfer all the data to the computer.
For example, if you've taken notes on earthquakes, you can find all the times the word "earthquake" appears in your notes with just a tap. It's a little pricey, but sure to be on many kids' wish-lists this year.
Textbooks are one of the biggest expenses for college students, totaling between $700 and $1,000 a year. How can you save on those costs?
Used Books: The tried and true method is to buy used textbooks and resell them when the class is over, which can save you about 65 percent.
Rent Books: You can also rent books at Chegg.com. Go to the website, type in the name of the text and the book will come to you in the mail. It's due back at the end of the semester. On average, a student will save over $500 a year by renting compared to buying textbooks.
There's also a new iPhone app that allows you to comparison shop on the spot. Just scan the textbook's ISBN number to find out how much it would cost on Chegg.com. Plus, Chegg plants a tree every time you rent.