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Cool gadgets for your dorm room

Roku Streaming Stick Plus delivers 4K and HDR

Roku Streaming Stick Plus delivers 4K and HDR video in a compact package for an affordable price. Credit: CBS Interactive/Sarah Tew/CNET

For many college students, the new school year marks their first time out of the nest. Fortunately, there are a lot of cool gadgets available to make your dorm room feel more like home. Here are four that are worth checking out.

The following CNET staff contributed to this story: executive editors Rich Brown and David Carnoy, senior associate editor Andrew Gebhart, section editor David Katzmaier and senior editor Laura K. Cucullu. For more reviews of personal technology products, visit

Roku Streaming Stick Plus

CNET rating (out of 5)

5 stars out of 5 (spectular)

THE GOOD It delivers 4K and HDR video in a compact package for an affordable price. Its dead-simple interface puts every streaming service on a level playing field. Roku has more 4K HDR apps and better search than competitors. Its responses are lightning fast.

THE BAD The menus can seem dated compared to rivals, and some apps use old-school layouts.

THE COST $59-$69.99

BOTTOM LINE A simple design and features you'll actually use make it a winner.

Sony WF-1000XM3 true wireless headphones

CNET rating (out of 5)

4 stars out of 5 (excellent)

THE GOOD The sound is excellent and the headphones have a premium look and feel. They have effective active noise cancellation, decent battery life and USB-C charging (with a quick-charge feature).

THE BAD They are not sweat-resistant nor are they as discreet looking as some competing models. Call performance could be better.

THE COST $229.99

BOTTOM LINE Despite some small drawbacks, they are among the best true wireless headphones.

Lenovo Smart Clock

CNET rating (out of 5)

3.5 stars out of 5 (very good)

THE GOOD You can choose from a variety of clock faces, and the alarms are highly customizable. The sunrise alarm feature is particularly neat.

THE BAD The touch screen is limited -- you can't watch videos, access a smart home control panel, look at pictures or use the touch screen for anything beyond a few prescribed functions.

THE COST $79.99

BOTTOM LINE While not perfect, it does a lot of things well enough to be a helpful addition to your nightstand.

AmazonBasics Microwave Oven

CNET rating (out of 5)

3.5 stars out of 5 (very good)

THE GOOD Alexa voice commands add convenience and hands-free time in the kitchen. The popcorn replenishment feature is handy if you're really into popcorn. Amazon says it can add and improve features via software update.

THE BAD You'll need to adjust recipes and settings for prepackaged food to account for the 700-watt power rating. Some preset cooking commands via Alexa produce poor results.

THE COST $59.99

BOTTOM LINE Using your voice to control a microwave is a natural fit.

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