Student Guide 2010: Five cool gadgets for college students


With the fall semester upon us, we’re sure most students have the necessary technological devices like an iPod, a smartphone and a laptop. But there are a number of other gadgets that could make any college student’s life that much easier. We compiled a list of five gadgets college kids ought to be looking for.


 The bane of any college student’s existence has to be carrying arms and backpacks full of textbooks. They’re big, they’re heavy, and once you start to use them there’s a chance you’ll be nodding off in no time.

The solution? Try Amazon’s new Kindle Wireless Reading Device. The latest iteration of the Kindle hits the online store at the end of August and will feature free 3G wireless, built-in Wi-Fi, a battery life of up to one month and a hard drive than can hold more than 3,500 books. It only weighs 8.7 ounces and is so thin and compact that it barely takes up any room in a bag. Prices start at $189 at

Livescribe Pulse Smartpen

We’ve all had that professor who doesn’t like to pass out a summary of his lesson, lectures during the entire class and speaks too fast for us to get anything down. You always end up missing key pieces in the lecture and, lo and behold, they are always questions on the exam. Fear no more — the Livescribe Pulse Smartpen is an amazing tool that has a built-in audio recorder that records the entire lecture while you’re taking notes. The pen connects the audio and the notes, so that when you’re looking over your notes later on, you can tap what you’ve written and the recorder will play what you were hearing while you were writing those specific notes. And, if needed, the pen can also spit out a nifty PDF file so you can have a copy of your scribbles on your laptop. There are 2GB and 4GB versions that start at around $128 at

SunPlug Solar Charger Backpack

Don’t you hate it when you’re walking across campus and your iPod dies? Or the battery on your phone is so low that if you try to send a text, it would drop to zero percent? A good investment would be the SunPlug Solar Charger Backpack. The backpack will not only carry your books and laptop, but also charge your iPod, cell phone, PDA, GPS and other gadgets. Of course, you have to be directly in the sun. The backpack is equipped with a 6V, 450mA, 2.7W solar panel and a 2,200mAh Li-Ion battery, with a DC 6V/650 mA output to plug everything in. Prices start around $129 at

SolidTek DigiMemo Digital Notepad

Sometimes good ol’ pen and paper isn’t good enough. There’s always the threat of morning coffee spilling across the pages, and papers getting ripped, trashed or eaten by the dog. But there is a way to back up your work. SolidTek’s Digital Notebook looks like a regular clipboard, but once you put that piece of paper on there and start writing, the pad captures what you write and draw, remembering all of your strokes. Once you’re finished you can upload it to your computer as a JPG, GIF, BMP or PNG file. It has a built-in storage of 32MB with a memory card slot for expansion. Prices start at just under $140.

Honeywell Weather Forecaster and Atomic Clock

One of the most important things for students is waking up and getting to class on time. In an effort to make that happen on a consistent basis, students need an alarm clock that’ll get them up and moving in no time. The Honeywell Weather Forecaster and Atomic Clock displays not only the time, but also the current temperature and the day’s weather forecast — while projecting it on the ceiling or wall. The time automatically stays current with the U.S. Atomic Clock through radio signals and comes with a remote. The clock costs about $70 at