By Andrew Zaleski>Senior>English>Loyola University Maryland
Forget bringing the Bank of Mom and Dad along to your back-to-school-clothes shopping spree. Better take them to the nearest tech store in your area to help you stock up on the gadgets and gizmos to have this school year. College magazine has scoured the Intra-Webs to find five items we think no college student should be without.
COBY® TF-TV791 7" Portable Widescreen LCD TV – $88.99
The 411: It’s a portable TV. For all those times you want to soak up the sun and catch the Saturday college football games. Or for that economics class you’d otherwise be snoring through.
The Breakdown: This Coby TV comes standard with a remote control, headphone jack and dual ATSC/NTSC tuner (fancy talk for: if you want something in HD, you’re covered). The A/V cable and jack make it easy to plug a set of speakers into this Lilliputian boob-tube. Not to mention that you can power this thing off a lithium-ion battery. So when you’re being obnoxious in class and propping this thing on your desk with the built-in stand, you can at least ensure that other students won’t trip over your extension cord.
Yamaha TSX-130BL Desktop Audio System – $349.95
The 411: The only shelf-friendly iPod dock you need.
The Breakdown: So the price tag is a teensy bit intimidating (you have Mom and Dad with you, remember?). But what you’ll get from this nine-pound unit makes up for it. For music playing, the Yamaha TSX incorporates a CD player, iPod dock and a top-side USB hook up for easy file sharing among thumb drive-toting friends. It also accommodates 30 preset FM stations (no more tuning, eureka!) and comes equipped with a dual-alarm system: wake up to your favorite song instead of that annoying beep. Better yet, try the alarm mode that allows music to fade in and out gently, with a safety beep! at the end for those heavy sleepers. The downside? According to
, the bass on this baby leaves something to be desired.
Sudsbuddy Beer Keg Cooler – $840
The 411: A thermoelectric-cooled keg, with temperature controls for getting your beer even colder than the Rockies.
The Breakdown: If there are six of you or more in the apartment, you should not be scoffing at the price. Six or more of you probably means a fair share of partying, with a (more than) fair share of beer, which means the Sudsbuddy is something worth investing in. At 70 pounds, the Sudsbuddy weighs in at average
½ barrel keg weight
(that’s 15.5 gallons). But not only can the temperature on this thing be maintained to anywhere from 32 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit (imagine: no more “skunked” beers), the digital display also informs you how much beer you have left in the tank. Plus, you can slap on the optional 12-volt cigarette adapter for use out at your car in the football stadium parking lot. No cans, no bottles, no mess. Just red cups. Filled with “soda.”
Walmart Back-to-College Student Bundle – starting at $384
The 411: Need a new laptop? How about a laptop, laptop case, a 4GB flash drive and a printer?
The Breakdown: Walmart.com is offering a great package deal for students in need of new paper-typing (or Netflix-watching) gear. Choose the laptop you want from such brands as Acer, Toshiba, Compaq, Sony and more, and pick the color and type of carrying case, flash drive and printer you like. All from the convenience of your home computer. You know, the computer you can’t take with you to school. Because it’s your home computer. Hence why you need to be shopping for a laptop computer.
Downy Wrinkle Releaser – $9.99
The 411: Alright, so it’s not technically a gadget. But do you know how to iron?
The Breakdown: Have a presentation to do? A night out on the town planned? A romantic evening with that girl/guy who sits in front of you in your Intro to Western Civilization course? You can’t do any of that with wrinkled clothing. So skip the hassle of the iron and ironing board and invest in Downy Wrinkle Releaser. You can find it at most grocery and drug stores. Simply spray it onto the wrinkled garments and tug and smooth the wrinkles out. Then let your clothes air dry. For heavy-duty wrinkles, don’t be afraid to apply a generous coating to the offending clothing items.