Looking for the perfect gift for your geeky roommate? Or the perfect gift to add to your own holiday wishlist? Look no further. SIOC has the top 10 gadgets of the season, from grasshopping to GPS to the newest digital pen technology:
• GPS. When it comes to GPS, Garmin is a Godsend. Although discontinued, the Garmin StreetPilot c340 can still be purchased on Amazon for under $225. Right out of the box, very little configuration is necessary. Charge it up, plug it in, tell it where you're located, and bam. Done. It comes with several pre-loaded voices to guide you along your way, so you can keep your eyes on the road. If you're looking to purchase a more recent GPS from Garmin, that feature is a must. But stick with Garmin. Their products are cleaner and much less expensive.
• Music. So you have 50 gigs of .mp3s on your computer, and you're throwing a party. Please don't bring your laptop to the common room; the last thing you need is alcohol spilled on your keyboard or your drunken friends messing with your playlists. Roku's SoundBridge Network Music Player allows you to stream and browse all your music and playlists from your computer (or any Internet Radio station) to any room in the dorm. Wirelessly. And it's very easy to setup if you're already using iTunes or Windows Media Connect. Under $150.
• Cell Phone Signal Extender. Do you only get one bar of signal when you're in your dorm room? That's awful. From ThinkGeek, the Cell Phone Signal Extender will transform your single-bar reception into 2500 square feet of prime signal reception. Now that's hot. $249.99. See also: Wi-Fi Detector Shirt, another from ThinkGeek.
• Digital Pen. If you don't take a laptop to class, a digital pen is the next best thing. The FLY Fusion Pentop Computer takes all your handwritten notes and digitizes them, ready to upload to your PC via USB. Imagine being able to search all your notes instantaneously just by typing in a few keywords. Or email them quickly to your friend who missed class. The FLY Fusion also comes with a built-in calculator and mp3 player. And quit taking a Spanish dictionary to class. This pen will translate for you. $79.99
• Digital Pen Recorder. Similar to the FLY Fusion but without the excess software, the Livescribe Smart Pen digitizes your notes but also records the lecture at the same time. So if you often find yourself too busy copying down diagrams to actually listen to your professors, fret no more. Go to your notes, and tap your pen twice. You'll hear an audio recording of what went on exactly at the time you were frantically trying to catch up. Amaaaazing and under $200.
• Digital Voice Recorder. Audio recording is nothing new, but few students take advantage of the technology. The Olympus DS-40 Digital Voice Recorder is an excellent choice. It records to both .mp3 and .wma, has 512MB of internal Flash memory, runs on AAA batteries, and comes with 5 folders for organization. If you're ever too tired to go to class, sleep through it. But make sure to click record before you doze off. Under $150.
• Laptop Bags. The three most important things to consider when looking for a new laptop bag are: protection, comfort, and eyecandy. BBP Bags are all three. Water resistant. No noisy velcro. A variety of colors. And whether you're looking for a backpack or a messenger bag or a carrying case, BBP Bags are still all three. In one. BBP Bags are revolutionary and a must-have for any geek carrying their iPod, laptop, cell phone, PSP, etc., etc. around campus each day. $95. See also: Backpack Shield.
• Bluetooth Headset. The Jawbone Bluetooth Headset is the highest-rated, best-selling Bluetooth headset ever. Enough said. $119.99
• Cell Phone. It's futile to list a top cell phone with the many, many out there. Though if yours is without a 2MB Camera, WiFi, Bluetooth, or a Web Browser, seriously consider upgrading. Then check out 30+ Uses for Your Camera Phone, How To Access Your Computer from Your Cell Phone, Zyb, and the illustrious Mosquito Ringtone. Oh, the possibilities are endless.
• Vaporization. The Volcano Herbal Vaporizer strips your tobacco or herb of harmful carcinogens, leaving you with just sweet, sweet vapor. Although it'll set you back $539, the Volcano Vaporizer is the perfect gift for the geeky smoker or toker.
Rosario Doriott is a graduate of Yale University and an editor of HackCollege.com, a life hacking blog made for and by college students.
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.