MICRO CENTER: COMPUTERS AND ELECTRONICS
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Tech Take-Apart
College Essentials
by kp

Whether you are a traditional or non-traditional student, one of the biggest challenges of college is managing your time. With the introduction of online classes and WiFi universities, one of your most valuable educational assets is your personal computer. Keeping your system protected and portable is essential. Here are a few recommendations to help you get organized and ready for classes.

Hawking Tech's WiFi Locator
Hawking Tech's WiFi Locator

Where's the WiFi?
Many colleges and universities offer free WiFi to students, and use online services for everything from scheduling to financial aid. Locating a hotspot is key, so don't leave home without a WiFi signal locator. Try Hawking Tech's WiFi Locator with Directional Antenna that searches for any 802.11b/g wireless network and displays the signal strength. Also, don't forget to protect your laptop with anti-virus and firewall software. If you need some help setting up your computer for wireless networking, check out Chris's and Rob's previous article on Wireless Security.

Logitech Mobile Freedom Headset
Logitech Mobile Freedom Headset
Gear for your Ear
The Logitech Mobile Freedom Headset is a great companion to any Bluetooth-enabled cellphone. This headset is designed for convenience and blocks interference in high-traffic WiFi areas. Whether you are driving or walking to class, this headset gives you 7 hours of talk time and is small enough to fit in your pocket.

Juice on the Go
A wall plug for your notebook power adapter is not always available, so having an extra battery is critical. Keep at least two charged and available in your laptop bag for emergencies. If you share your laptop between home, the office and school, having an additional power adapter at each location saves time and the frustration of having to bundle up and haul a single adapter everywhere.

HP OfficeJet 5510
HP OfficeJet 5510
All-in-One Office
Staying up late to finish term papers is a typical part of college life, but you don't need to make a 2:00 a.m. drive in your pajamas to your local printing store. Investing in an multifunctional printer can be a lifesaver, especially if you're a procrastinator. The HP OfficeJet 5510 is a compact, inexpensive, multi-tasking printer that scans, faxes, prints, and copies at just the press of a button. Both Mac and Windows® compatible, this printer uses a USB interface and outputs photo-quality prints at 4800dpi.

Grand Tec's Virtually Indestructible Keyboard
Grand Tec's Virtually Indestructible Keyboard

Tough Keys
Caffeinated beverages are a major part of the college diet, but an accidental spill is not good for your keyboard. Grand Tec's Virtually Indestructible Keyboard is not only water-resistant, but washable. This keyboard is flexible enough to roll up to fit into any laptop bag and only requires a USB port to operate.

STM Eclipse Backpack
STM Eclipse Backpack
Haul your Gear
The STM Eclipse Backpack was made for geeks. It has multiple padded compartments and sturdy straps for heavy loads. The laptop compartment is specially designed with a waterproof zipper and an extra innersole to protect your computer from shock. The front compartments have plenty of zippers and straps to keep your accessories tied down and even a earphone cord access on the outside. There is plenty of room left over for a few books.

STM iPod mini Cocoon
STM iPod mini Cocoon
Protect your Pod
The STM iPod mini Cocoon is a water-resistant shell for your iPod mini that has a snug design and a soft, plush interior to protect your iPod's finish. With a mesh pocket to secure your earbuds, the Cocoon has ample room at the top to run your earbud cord through, and a dual zipper design for easy access, plus a belt clip and lanyard hook. The Cocoon includes an iPod mini skin with matching lanyard for more versatility and mobility.

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