Thursday, July 26, 2007
The Best Affordable Tech Products for Students
Sony VAIO VGN-C290 Graphic Splash Edition
Make a splash on campus with Sony's eye-catching VAIO VGN-C290. This $1,079 laptop has triple appeal, with its slick design, stellar performance, and down-to-earth price. Plus, it packs a solid set of components, including a peppy dual-core processor, a bright 13.3-inch display, a DVD±RW drive, and integrated 802.11a/b/g wireless. You can customize the totable 5-pound case with one of four fun patterns, along with free personal engraving.
Acer Aspire 9300-5005
Sometimes sacrificing mobility for usability isn't such a bad thing. Measuring nearly 16 inches wide and weighing a whopping 8.1 pounds, the $899.99 Aspire 9300-5005 won't be a joy to lug to class. But for all that heft, you get a spacious 17-inch LCD, a full-size keyboard with a dedicated number pad, and a bevy of quality components you don't usually find in a budget notebook.
Dell Inspiron 1420
It's all about choices with Dell's brand-new Inspiron 1420 line, which starts at $849. Build the notebook you really want, starting with a 14.1-inch wide-screen display and a case that comes in eight cool colors. Then choose among several Intel processors, opt for up to 4GB of memory, select integrated or discrete graphics, pick one of three optical-drive types (including a high-definition Blu-ray model), and, if you like, add mobile broadband.
Toshiba Satellite A135-S4427
If you'll be spending your days and nights staring at text on your laptop, consider the $899 Satellite A135-S4427. It has one of the sharpest, brightest displays (a 15.4-inch wide-screen) we've seen on a budget machine. Toshiba didn't skimp on components, either: The Satellite comes with plenty of power to run the included Windows Vista Home Premium operating system.
HP Pavilion TX1000z
If you're really serious about your note taking, consider the $1,149 Pavilion TX1000z. Powered by AMD's dual-core Turion X2 CPU, this versatile machine has a full-size keyboard, as well as a 12.1-inch touch-screen display that lets you jot notes on the screen. You also get a bundled software package for converting your notes into typed text, adding handwritten notes to documents, and drawing pictures. At 4 pounds, it's light enough to tote from class to class.
Fujitsu LifeBook A6025
A well-priced, well-rounded mobile machine with some nice extras, the $799 LifeBook A6025 won't turn many heads on campus—but, more important, it won't leave you hanging at crunch time, either. The component choices are about average for an entry-level laptop, but it's the extras that set this model apart from the competition: a spill-resistant keyboard, a hard drive motion-detection sensor that can activate password protection, and a unique touch pad that doubles as a tablet for jotting notes.