Man. I already feel old and I've only been out of college for 5 years. I didn't have ANY of these objects and I got through college just fine. (Wow. I sound old.)
Must-Have Gear for the Freshman
The road to college is full of tradeoffs. For a fresh freshman it's a tradeoff in terms of price versus getting a setup that'll last. So what to pick? This list or essentials will get you what you'll need to be successful at school, and still leave you with a few extra cents for pizza.
The workhorse PC for students' needs
This year’s sweet spot in the Dell Inspiron lineup is the 1520/21 model with its 15-inch display and slick ATI graphics. Deals of the moment include a free upgrade to 2GB of RAM and a huge 160GB hard drive. One potential downside is that there’s no built-in webcam option, but it does come in eight colors.
The classic student favorite that’s now faster than ever
Don't want a Dell? Try the new MacBook with its faster Intel Core duo processor. Plus, its 15-inch display, built-in camera, and iLife applications make it a one-stop answer to your college problems. Even sweeter: Buy a Mac before September 16 and you get a free iPod Nano by mail-in rebate.
Store a ton on a fly-weight card
Win brownie points when you buy these 1GB or 2GB microSD cards emblazoned with your school’s name, wallpaper, and fight songs. Badgers and Tarheels, you can have a memory card with memories. Check to make sure link to Kingston your school is supported — but these are a real conversation starter and they're priced at an introductory $10.99 for 1GB.
A router with killer speed and range
Just in time for back-to-school, this powerful router addresses the needs of gamers or just about anyone who needs a fast, reliable wireless network. Linksys claims up to four times the range and 12 times the throughput of the old Wireless-G series.
Swap out your music collection daily
If you're easily bored by your music selection, you may want to pick this Sandisk MP3 player for toting your tunes. It's got 2GB of flash memory — just enough for your walks to and from class, and an FM/voice recorder (good for notetaking). Couple the Sansa's built-in Wi-Fi with a Yahoo! Music subscription, and you’ve got a never-ending, constantly changing supply of music for a reasonable price.
A USB port for every gadget
You can never be too rich, too thin, or have too many USB ports. For $20, the Belkin hub adds another four USB ports to your laptop. Plus, you can cut down on cable clutter by converting one USB on your desktop or notebook into four.
The perfect digicam for YouTube auteur
To record those freshman yea memories , you'll need the right digital camera. The Exilim EX-Z1050 has one of the slimmest, sexiest form factors on the market. And now, future filmmakers will love how the Exilim also doubles as a video camera for super simple capture and upload of YouTube opuses.
Multimedia, Internet browsing, full QWERTY keyboard, high-speed network, and now the ability to use public hotspots, the T-Mobile Dash does it all. It's one of the best-priced, full-featured smartphones around.
Clouds in your coffee?
Believe it or not — this is a Windows-based coffeepot that delivers the weather along with your java. Dory Devlin tasted the coffee and says it’s great. Students might prefer an alarm clock, but this will tell you "weather" you should bother going to class.
Gizmodo’s pick for pimping your dorm.
Looking for a place to flop while you play games, read, or just chill? Check out the Ozone, an inflatable chair with built-in speakers and input for iPod, MP3, or DVD players. Starving student bonus: it's less than $50.