The holiday shopping season is upon us, and the HackCollege writers are salivating at the thought of some of the latest gadgets, toys, and apps out there.  We’ve rounded up a few of our favorites after the break for you to sample, and feel free to leave your own recommendations in the comments.  

 

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iPad (Starting at $499)

We’ve written a lot about the iPad this year, and for good reason. It may prove to be the most transformative device to come along in a while, and it’s a great tool for college students to boot.

 
Kensington iPad Keyboard Case ($69.99)
The iPad is primarily a content consumption device, as its onscreen keyboard isn’t ideal for typing more than a quick email. This case protects your investment while endowing it with a nearly-full sized keyboard. Combined with Google Docs mobile editing, this can turn the iPad into your primary college machine.
 
Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500M for Mac ($418.99)
One of the toughest parts of college is organizing all those pieces of paper. The ScanSnap will quickly scan up to 50 documents at a time and turn them into searchable PDFs.
 

Samsung BX2050 20-Inch High Performance LCD Monitor with LED Backlight ($159.99)
With amazing contrast ratios and super-fast refresh rate, this green monitor is a terrific value for the price.

 

HP 18.5 Inch LCD Monitor (From $118.99)
A second monitor can be a life saver when you’re rushing to finish a project, and this is among the best values if you’re on a budget.

 
Apple 27″ LED Cinema Display ($979)
Widely considered best-in-class, this is the granddaddy of all external monitors. You’ll be the envy of campus if you can cram this beauty onto your dorm room’s desk.
 
Apple 13″ MacBook Air ($1,252)
Touted as the thinnest notebook around, this 2.9 pound wedge of aluminum seems ready to cut down a tree, or your latest paper. Guaranteed not to hurt your back carrying from class to class. For more portability at a lower price, also check out the 11″ model.
 
OWC Data Doubler and Accompanying Drives
If you have a recent Apple Laptop, these items can give it a complete storage overhaul. The Data Doubler replaces the optical drive in your computer with a 2.5″ drive bay. Now you can replace your stock hard drive with a blazing fast 120 GB SSD, and drop a 500 GB hybrid drive in the newly-created bay for added storage space. Be warned that removing the optical drive will void your warranty.
 
G-Technology 2 TB G-Drive ($269)
You should never keep all of your data in one place, even if you have crammed two hard drives into your laptop. This monstrous external drive will hold all of your data, and then some. The firewire connection will make sure you don’t waste all day filling it up.
 
Apple TV ($99)
Apple completely revamped their TV strategy with the new Apple TV. Barely larger than an iPhone, this device will stream movies, TV shows, and music from iTunes, Netflix, and YouTube to your TV in HD.
 
HawkEye RC Chopper ($84)
This one falls into the “just because” category. This affordable RC chopper will buzz around campus, taking videos and photos with the built in camera. Guaranteed fun.
 
“Mind Hacks” by Tom Stafford and Matt Webb ($16)
A fun book that will teach you exactly what is going on inside your brain, and how to optimize its performance. Could prove invaluable on your next test.
 
Beville One-Touch Tea Maker ($250)
For the cultured student: the Beville Tea Maker offers a “revolutionary tea experience,” perfectly managing the water temperature and brew time as the basket undulates to infuse your favorite variety of tea. You will be guaranteed to have the best tea on campus.
 
The McSweeney’s iOS App ($5.99)
The best stories from McSweeney’s.net, delivered via push notification to your iPhone.
 
Evernote Premium Subscription ($45/year)
We’re big fans of Evernote, and while the free version is great, the premium upgrade unlocks more monthly syncing allowance, wider file type support, collaborative notes, and more.
 
BackBlaze Subscription ($50/year)
Data loss is a serious issue, and it’s never a bad idea to keep your hard drive backed up in the cloud. BackBlaze backs up all of your data online when you aren’t using your computer.
 
Pandora One ($36/year)
Pandora is one of our favorite music discover tools and automated party DJ’s, and Pandora One adds to the experience with fewer ads, a desktop app, higher quality audio, and more.
 
Hulu Plus Subscription ($7.99/month)
It doesn’t offer the breadth of programming of say, Netflix, but it’s currently the best option for watching recent TV episodes on mobile devices, including the aforementioned iPad.
 
Dollhouse Season 2 DVD ($32.99)
A favorite of our TV expert, Laura, this Joss Whedon creation explores an alternate reality where human beings are programmed and modified. The second season isn’t available on Hulu or Netflix, so the DVD is your best bet if you want to see it in high quality.