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The best tech to take to college

Whether you’re going the length of the country to university or just starting college in your home town, you need the right tools for the task.

So whether it’s a laptop, smartphone or iPod dock you’re looking for, we’re here to help.

Choosing a laptop for coursework

A laptop is now the most essential item if you’re starting college or university and if you haven’t got one already, it’s a great time to look with many great value offers.

If you’re just wanting a budget PC to take to lectures and type out essays then a netbook could be a good idea – they run Windows 7 Starter, have enough memory for general web browsing and word processing and, what’s ideal for uni or college they are lightweight.

Check out this HP 210-1165 for £199 – it has a 10.1-inch screen, comes with 1GB of memory and a 250GB hard drive. The £249 Acer One 722 C50 is another great option with a larger 11.6-inch display.

Full-size laptops (with 15-inch screens and above) start at £299, again for laptops for general web browsing and word processing. For the best experience we recommend you spend £399 and above. This £399 Toshiba also has a larger screen and is fantastic for entertainment. However, such a large laptop is designed to be left at home rather than taken to lectures. Still, it’s fantastic for movies, music, web and more.

This HP DV6 is great value for £499 and you get a very powerful Intel Core i5 processor to boot and can be used for basic and medium-level gaming, image and video editing and more. The ideal student companion for work and pleasure.

Tablets are ideal for lectures

More and more of us are choosing tablets as they can often be more flexible in situations such as lecture halls and working on the move. The king of the tablet is the £399 iPad 2.

However, there’s plenty more choice, especially if you like Google’s Android operating system. The Motorola Xoom, also £399, is a fantastic choice for this, as is the £349.99 Asus EeePad Transformer which is also available with a keyboard dock for £429.99.

Speaker docks for your digs

Chances are you’ve got an iPod (or an iPhone for that matter), so a speaker dock is an ideal accessory for the trip to university.

There are thousands to choose from: big ones, small ones and weird ones. There are plenty that offer a great compromise between usability, sound quality and space used. While the £549.99 Bose Soundock will be out of the price range of most, there are plenty of choices for less than £100.

Some, like the Sony RDPM5IPB are completely portable and can be battery powered, while others like the £49.99 Gear4 HouseParty 4 can play and charge your iPod, plus they also have an FM radio.

(All prices correct at time of publication)

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