Consumer

Back-to-school gadgets

Friday, August 17, 2012

Forget books and binders, today's tech-savvy students want broadband and Bluetooth.

At the Best Buy store in north Fresno, back-to-school is a busy time, and tech expert Mike Leclair says topping students' wish lists is Apple's iPad, which starts at $500.00.

"It's kind of a replacement for a laptop in a lot of situations," Leclair said. "It's easier to carry around on campus. I mean, the days of walking around with a backpack carrying 50 books is kinda over."

The android-based tablet options include Samsung's Galaxy Tab for $400.00, and the smaller $200.00 Kindle Fire.

Leclair said, "You want the item that fits your lifestyle, that fits what you want it to do."

If your tablet or smartphone doesn't have enough storage, the $200.00 GoFlex Satellite Mobile Wireless hard drive serves as your own personal cloud, where you can store and access your files and content wirelessly any time.

Ultrabooks are hot among the college crowd because these laptops are super slim and lightweight, with instant-on access and long battery life.

Leclair said, "If you have classes all day from 10am to 6, this will stay on all day."

The new 15-inch Samsung Series 9 for $1,400.00 is the top-of-the-line pick for on-the-go students. The MacBook Air, starting at a thousand dollars, is the Apple equivalent. Laptop accessories like wireless mice that work on multiple surfaces make computing more comfortable.

In addition to printing, scanning, and copying, this $130.00 HP Photosmart Wireless e-All-in-One lets you print from any computer, smartphone or tablet, wherever you are. And the TV in your dorm room can double as your computer monitor. A 32-inch LCD screen will cost you about $200.00.

Leclair said, "Everything's networked now so we want to make sure you can come in, get one or two things and have them all work together."

He says with minimal space and budgets for college students, it's all about doing more with less.

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