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Posted by on 16/01/2011


It’s college time again! Students from across the world are heading back or have already started their classes for the second semester. To help you all along in the world of learning, here are some must-have gadgets for 2011.


It’s time to ditch boring old iPhones and head over to the Android platform.

Year of the Android

Even though the Optimus 2X still won’t be out till February, it boasts some serious features including a Dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor at 1000Mhz, Android 2.2 OS (with support for 2.3), an 8 megapixel camera and 1.3 megapixel front facing cam for video chat and 1GB of RAM. On benchmark tests, it blew most of the other powerful Androids out of the water, with the Nexus One on Android 2.2 barely competing. It has all the great features of popular Android phones, great camera quality, access to the Android Market and much more. Now why would you want an iPhone?

Overall, picking up any of the new Android powered phones from HTC, Motorola, LG, Samsung and Sony are pretty good options. Each of them have varying options, with most of them still having a customized version of Android’s 2.1 or 2.2 OS. I would advise against buying a Windows Phone 7 device until they work out some of the bugs. The HTC 7 Trophy seems to be the best Windows Phone 7 on the market so far, but is riddled with compatibility issues and synchronization problems.

If you insist on buying a BlackBerry though, please avoid the Torch and stick with the Curve, which seems to be the best of the lot so far. However, as most BB owners hate to admit, the phones are really flimsy after a while and get damaged at the slightest fall. However the unlimited messenger service seems to keep many addicted.

Tablets and Readers

Amazon’s Kindle

Tired of paying hundreds to university text books, how about going for a Kindle version of your college books? In some cases where you may find yourself reading on the go, having a Kindle version of a text book would be pretty efficient. The Kindle is very light weight, easy on the eyes and with the text being size adjustable, it’s a good bet. People who do a lot of reading in the Literature or Law departments may find this of interest. Now you can’t complain of having to lug around huge text books.

Apple’s iPad

Even though I hate to admit it, the iPad is a handy device when it comes to work purposes. The very accurate and clear touch screen makes browsing through colored PDFs a breeze. With special apps, you can even make markered notes on certain pages… basically highlighting virtually. The iPad is surprisingly light weight and can also save you a few bucks in the long run, that is if you can get enough digital media from your class lecturers.

Archos 70 or Advent Vega

If you want a cheaper alternative, the Android powered Archos 70 or Advent Vega tablets seem to be a very good option. With many PDF and office editing programs on the market for free, you can easily turn one of these devices into a useful tablet reader for class. Androids have a slightly slower or laggier touch response compared to the iPad, but when you consider the price savings ($300 versus minimum $499 for the iPad), it’s not much to complain about.


It’s time to get over the silly netbook craze and get a real laptop. Since netbooks (not Apple Netbooks) are so underpowered and frustrating to use, it seems rather pointless. Here are some better recommendations for the price savvy college student.

Dell Inspiron 1545

This 15.6″ laptop has made a name for itself as being quite a resilient and powerful machine for a very decent price. At under $500, you can run some pretty high end media applications, watch streaming content and movies with ease, and even play a few decent video games. Besides the number of customizable hardware options, there are also a lot of aesthetic options, so it’s possible to make a laptop that goes along with your life. With Windows 7 being included, there are no more worries of lagging windows or crashing programs.

Sony VAIO EB or Dell XPS

If you are looking to play some games while in your free time, how about checking out the Sony VAIO EB line or Dell XPS series? They offer some very pre-configured packages for just under $1000 and are very good for intermediate to semi-hardcore gaming, plus are very good for those pursuing Media and Design as their major. With these units offering powerful i5-i7 processors, 1GB video cards, tons of RAM and storage space, they are a great buy for anyone willing to put out a little bit more cash for a decent laptop.

We hope you enjoyed this guide and have fun shopping for the new semester. Also, feel free to tell us what you got for the new year and what products you favoured.


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