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Student-friendly tech

College students depend on technology for both academic and entertainment purposes. The Oracle features some student-friendly technology that can both enhance productivity and hinder it.

Tablets (Retail Price $250-$999)

Believe it or not, these touchscreen wonders are good for more than just playing “Angry Birds” on a bigger screen.

With e-reader apps, these sleek devices can drastically lighten your backpack weight and textbook bill. Different brands have flooded the market, offering many choices in terms of size and price.

Tablets can also replace taking a laptop to class, with Wi-Fi capability and note-taking applications. They are certainly far from a necessity, but with companies like Motorola, Blackberry, Apple, HP and many others competing for your business, who knows what’s next for this technology.

Fossil Meta Watch (Retail Price $199)

During the first week of class, many students hear this phrase from their professors: “I don’t want to see any cell phones out during lecture.”

Yet, if you know you’ll be receiving an important message, simply glancing at your watch is far more discrete than fiddling around in your pocket or backpack.

This watch from Fossil allows its wearer to check phone messages, and has as a variety of other handy features such as water resistance, rechargeable battery and light sensor. Plus, a leather strap and stainless steel frame make it far from an eyesore.

Slingbox HD (Retail Price $299)

So you’re in your dorm room watching TV and the basic cable is OK, but you long for your “Dexter” and “Entourage.” Now with the Slingbox HD, you can mooch off of your parents from miles away.

Plug this device into the DVR at your parents’ house and you’ll have a digital link to everything they record. How nice would it be to phone home and ask mom to record your favorite shows and be able to watch them on your TV at school?

The price tag is a bit much for a college budget, but when you consider the amount you might spend for a year’s worth of the top cable package, this might be a sound investment.

Belkin Conserve Socket (Retail Price $10)

For those paying for their own electricity, this gadget might be your best bet to cut down on standby power – the electricity consumed by devices that are plugged in, whether they are being used or not.

This special socket has time settings of 30 minutes, three hours or six hours that allow the socket to automatically shut off once the device is done charging.

With a reasonable price tag, this green technology could pay for itself in a month’s worth of use.

Nescaf Dolce Gusto Circolo (Retail Price $150)

Students needing a quick caffeine fix might be late for class waiting in the line at the Library Starbucks, but what if you could get your frothy life-juice in a matter of seconds at home?

This coffeemaker can make drinks of any temperature – strong dark blends, cappuccinos, hot cocoa and teas. A lever controls how hot or cold you want your drink and a stylish design makes it worth investing in.

This one’s also a bit pricey, but tallying up your caffeine expenses for a month might have you considering this investment.


IOpener (Retail Price $30)

If you’re going to spend a lot of money on an iPhone case, you might as well get one that’s multifunctional. Be the hit at the tailgate party with a phone that doubles as a bottle opener.

3-in-1 Canon Calculator Mouse (Retail Price $60)

Accounting majors and other number crunchers might loathe the horizontal number keys on their laptops and net books. With this multipurpose mouse, users can navigate, calculate and enter values all wirelessly. The Bluetooth connectivity and calculator display make this much more than a portable mouse.

Gripzila (Retail Price $12)

For those with smartphones that don’t have a kickstand, this accessory props up your screen so you don’t have to hold it. The Gripzila is perfect for using your phone as an alarm clock or watching video – allowing for hands-free viewing.