It's that time of year again -- back to school has arrived. Plenty of you will be shoving off to college for the very first time, and Engadget's here to help you out. In the emotionally uproarious time that is now, you've probably realized there's truly an upside to higher education: it's a great excuse to get some new gear. And that's where we come in. No matter what your budget, we've got you covered, with recommendations and options galore. Whether you're going to be a new student in the brilliant world that is academia, or you're the proud parent / guardian of one, we've done some leg work to make the transition a little bit easier. We decided that choosing gadgets in three "budget" ranges would be most helpful to you, the reader, and we've chosen a kit of gear we think any student would do well to grab up for each -- covering laptops, netbooks, mobile phones, e-readers, laptop bags, and so on. Knowing that our readers re not one-size-fits-all, however, we've also chosen some alternate options in the categories where choice makes sense -- choice is, after all, part of what we love about gadgets -- without providing an overwhelming list. Of course, our choices aren't meant to be all-encompassing, but we think they'll provide a pretty good place to start your shopping!

Read on for our recommendations -- we promise, they're very very, helpful. Oh -- did we mention we're going to be giving away a bunch of this gear, too? Keep your eyes on the site in the coming days for more on that, and hit the links below for our guide.

Back to school guide: on the cheap
Back to school guide: mid-range
Back to school guide: money's no object