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Amazon Echo Dot (2nd Generation)

Small, smart home devices can easily upgrade your dorm room when you head back to school. Take, for example, the $50 Amazon Echo Dot smart speaker. 

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The Echo Dot, which is powered by the Alexa voice-activated digital assistant, does everything the full-size Echo does for half the price: Control other smart home devices like light bulbs, set timers, answer the random questions that keep you up at night. It also includes an aux-out jack for quick, direct connections with external audio setups.

Published:Caption:Photo:Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Amazon Echo Spot

If you need a little help getting up for class, the $130 Amazon Echo Spot might be the smart speaker for you. It has all the features of the Amazon Echo Show in a cuter, smaller package on which you can throw up a clock face. Plus, the Echo Spot is handy for quick, voice-activated video calls.

Published:Caption:Photo:Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Google Home Mini

Not into the Amazon smart speakers? Google's $50 Home Mini puts all of the smarts of Google Assistant into a small and affordable package.

Published:Caption:Photo:Chris Monroe/CNET

Apple HomePod

The $350 Apple HomePod smart speaker is a good pick if you're Team Siri. Plus, it has excellent bass and consistently superior sound quality across a wide variety of music genres. 

Published:Caption:Photo:Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Sengled Element Color Plus Starter Kit

These color-changing LED bulbs offer full compatibility with Alexa and Google Assistant.

Published:Caption:Photo:Ry Crist/CNET

Lifx Mini

This $45 color-changing LED work with Apple HomeKit and put out plenty of light for those long study sessions.

Published:Caption:Photo:Ry Crist/CNET

GE Smart Countertop Microwave

When you're about to heat up your favorite frozen food, you scan the barcode with an app on your phone, which will send appropriate cooking times and power levels to your microwave. Plus, the microwave works with the Alexa, Amazon's voice-activated digital assistant.

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Eufy Smart Plug Mini

The Eufy Smart Plug Mini, like other smart plugs, lets you turn whatever's plugged into it on and off from your phone. This model is a smart, affordable space-saver with a solid mix of in-app features that works with both Alexa and the Google Assistant. 

Published:Caption:Photo:Chris Monroe/CNET

Ember Travel Mug

OK, $150 is a lot to spend on a coffee mug. But when you're nodding off in class, you might wish for the Ember Travel Mug, which precisely controls its beverage temperature to keep your coffee hot.

Published:Caption:Photo:Tyler Lizenby/CNET
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