Here are a few dorm room gadgets we think you might be able to use at school or home to keep yourself online, in-touch, and entertained without much set-up time.
zBoost YX110 – $119 – www.wi-exstore.com
We begin with the zBoost YX110, a personal cellular booster that will ensure you have a strong cell connection even behind heavy concrete walls. With more students using cellphones instead of landlines, the YX110 improves your reception without costing very much and it prevents dropped voice and data calls on almost every carrier and phone except Nextel. If you have no reception, give this a try.
Airport Express – $99 – http://www.apple.com
We all need a secure wireless hotspot but this wireless hotspot also streams music from your Mac or PC. It’s compact, powerful, and the set-up is dead simple. A great way to get local wireless and even share wireless in a conference room or at a study group.
StudioDock 3i Active Speakers – $149 – www.samsontech.com
While you might want to get a full set of surround sound speakers, these Samsons are pretty good. With a built-in iPod dock you can easy sync your iPhone or iPod with your PC without cables. It has great range and can get extra loud – or soft – if the mood hits. AUX-IN lets you play other devices through the speakers and a headphone jack let’s you game in silence.
[re]Drive Hard Drive – $159.99 – www.simpletech.com
The key to computing happiness? Back up, back up, and back up. This 500GB drive costs about $150 and looks great. It’s quiet so you won’t have to listen to hard drive noises all night either. We ran a full review right here but no matter what else you do, get an external hard drive.
Harmony Advanced Universal Remote for Xbox 360 – $99 – www.logitech.com
This looks pricey but it’s worth it. The Harmony for Xbox 360 controls your Xbox and up to eleven other devices and you can set up macros for various activities like playing movies, music, or powering up your computer from your bed. You’ll probably have a few devices in your room so do yourself a favor and get a universal remote.