‘Hardware’ Posts

Tips on Buying an Unlocked Smartphone

So you’ve decided to dump your wireless contract. That’s a big step in not only saving yourself money, but saving yourself tons of money over time. Now the only problem is finding a good unlocked smartphone to go with your newfound freedom. The following tips will hopefully make the process of buying an unlocked smartphone ...

5 Essential Gadgets For The College Student Without A Budget

The start of another school year is now upon us, and students will once again need to stock up on supplies to help them make it through another grueling semester. The average college student needs so much now, compared to only a few years ago, when college students only needed a calculator, a notebook and a few ...

Swag Review: Windows 7 Asus Eee 1008P PC

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Today I received a 10" Asus Eee PC 1008P in the mail from Microsoft. As part of their loaner program, I'll be using it for the next year before I ship it back. The video above shows my initial impressions (and my deathly pallor).

So far it seems like the pros are the long battery life (6 hours!), good keyboard, and sensitive trackpad; the cons are the silly casing on it and the poor mic quality. The rest of the HackCollege staff agreed that I sounded like I was eating mud while talking during our weekly conference call, so take that as you will in regards to mic quality.

What are some things you'd like to see us try on the machine? So far I intend to use it for basic notetaking, and clearly I'm able to record video on it, but that's the extent of my ideas for now. Please, give suggestions in the comments or on Twitter!

More photos after the jump.

Review: Asus G Series Laptop with Intel i5


Some aspects of this laptop were a bit disappointing, but you can't argue with performance.Full disclosure: Intel sent me this laptop as a part of their Youth Product Review program. I kept it for two weeks before sending it back.

Intel was nice enough to send me a loaner laptop for a couple weeks to get acquainted with their relatively new i5 processor, and I must say I came away pretty impressed.

The laptop I received was an Asus G-series gaming rig, so the specs were higher than you see on most college notebooks.  I'm spoiled by the build-quality, battery life, and operating system of my Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro, so the Asus was in many respects a step down for me.  The materials used felt a little cheap, it was very heavy, and the battery life left something to be desired.  It was perfect for a gamer who would be keeping the laptop plugged in at a desk, but I couldn't see myself carrying this beast to class.  That said, the i5 processor onboard can be found in a ton of student-friendly laptops these days, and it shined.

What the iPad Means for Students

div>Ooooooh. Or eeewwwwwwww? Photo by Matt Buchanan. Licensed under CC 2.0.

It's fair to say these days that students love Apple. The MacBook outsells every other laptop out there n the student demographic. The iPhone is the go-to smart phone for students: the $99 entry point is affordable and you can leave your parents with the monthly bill. Apple tried once again to explode the world today with the announcement of the iPad, the mythical Apple tablet. Unlike unicorns, these actually exist. There are many features on this thing, but I'm going to highlight the ones that will be particularly applicable to a student's lifestyle.

So what does the iPad mean for students?

Guest Post: Blackberry Bold 9700 Review

an class="full-image-float-right ssNonEditable">The Blackberry Bold 9700. Image by Dan Northern.

Today's guest post comes from Dan Northern, a current student at the University of Alabama. He runs the site CollegeThrive.com. If you are interested in guest-posting for HackCollege, please see our Guest Blogging for HackCollege page.

I recently picked up the new Blackberry Bold 9700. It is easily becoming the best phone that I have owned, and here is why.

LG eXpo Phone Review

I was able to get my hands on the new LG eXpo, which has some pretty humorous commercials floating around the ‘Net. It’s biggest selling point is the “Pico Projector” that you can buy for it. That’s right: it’s the first phone in existence that has a projector you can attach to it. Why would ...

The HP Mini 110 – Best All Around Netbook for College Students – Review

em>We're giving one of these away to one lucky back-to-school student! You should check it out.

The Mini 1000 was the only computer I’ve ever had that got me a phone number. If I set up in a coffee shop, girls would strike up random conversations about it – like I was walking a cute dog through the park. That’s a testament to just how slick that thing was. The Mini 110 is a slightly updated version of the Mini 1000. I don’t believe that HP sells the 1000 anymore but the modifications are mostly for the best and I still highly recommend this computer. In fact, I demand that every student has one – even if that means having a second computer. And at $279, you can definitely afford it.

A netbook is not going to do a lot of extremely heave-lifting for you, but if all you need is email, word processing, spread sheets, internet, AIM – simple tasks – I recommend a netbook, and I recommend the HP Mini 110.

The feel

This is why the Mini 110 kills. It’s small enough to fit in a purse or a big cargo pocket. It’s light enough to pick up in one hand. You’ll never understand the freedom of a small laptop until you experience one this tiny.

In spite of its size, the biggest highlight: the keyboard. This is really a writer’s computer and it has the smartest keyboard layout I’ve ever seen. It takes a little getting used to since it’s off-center with the screen, but the keys feel full-size even though they’re slightly shrunken. The track pad has the buttons moved to either side, a clever space-saver that’s never bothered me.

The screen is small – a given. But as long as you don’t have many toolbars and you’re not multi-tasking, it’s all you need.

The technical stuff

There’s no CD or DVD drive. That might hold you back a bit. But think hard – when was the last time you needed one?

There’s 160GB of space which is plenty for the average student – that’s enough for a ton of music and a little video. If this is your second computer, you might opt for the 8GB solid state drive which is more robust and faster, but doesn’t cost extra.

For $50 more ($329 total) you can opt for the Mini with Windows XP as opposed to HP’s “custom” operating system (“Mi”), which frankly, sucks. It’s tolerable, though, if $50 is a lot to you. HP’s operating system will restrict the new software you can install and it’s littered with frustrating bugs and quirks.

For a quick comparison between the Mini 1000 and the Mini 110, click through.

The Timbuk2 H.A.L. Backpack Will House Any Student’s Mobile Office

We’re giving one of these away to one lucky back-to-school student! You should check it out. I’ve never loved a backpack. But this one, I love. Here’s the caveat: It costs $120. $50 of that goes towards stiching a yellow spiral (their logo) on to it. Get ready to port your whole desk anywhere. You’ll ...

The HP dv6 is a Burly Machine for Students – Review

We’re giving one of these away to one lucky back-to-school student! You should check it out. In all, the HP dv6 is for a very specific type of student. You gotta need power or crave an intense amount of media. The size (and even the price) just isn’t going to be worth it if all ...

A Tale of Two Computers

This past week I had the opportunity to review both a netbook and a notebook and compare them and see which computer is better fit for the padding inside your backpack this fall. The netbook was a Dell Mini with a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom processor running Windows XP. The notebook was a Dell Studio 15 ...

My Weekend with the dv2

We packed the house.So we just wrapped up the HackCollege party in LA this last weekend. To say it was a success would be an understatement. So the question is: how did some broke, delinquent college students manage to throw a party with an open bar? The answer: HP helped us out. In the face ...