The much-discussed potential of `technology-enhanced learning is not always apparent in the day-to-day use of digital technology throughout higher education. Against this background, the present paper considers the digital devices and resources that students engage most frequently with during their university studies, what these technologies are being used for, and perceptions of `usefulness attached to these uses. The paper draws upon data gathered from a survey of undergraduate students (n = 1658) from two Australian universities. Having explored a variety of factors shaping student engagement with digital technology within these university settings, the paper considers how ongoing discussions about digital technology and higher education might better balance enthusiasms for the `state of the art (i.e. what we know might be achieved through technology-enabled learning) with an acknowledgement of the `state of the actual (i.e. the realities of technology use within contemporary university contexts).