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Dorm Room Tech

The Party Room

For the college bound, this tiny, postage stamp-sized blank slate, or something like it, is where you will spend the next four years of your life.

If you, or someone you know, will soon set foot on campus, listen up: With only 25 square feet of personal space, college kids for decades have managed to find ways to enjoy themselves, even during harsh New England winters. Stay in, we say. It’s easy to turn your bitty abode into the room in which everyone down the hall wants to loiter. Whether it be an affordable HDTV, a cheesy-yet-awesome light show, a girl-and-guy friendly video game or a pack of entertaining RC helicopters, you’ll find something here to help you make friends quickly and keep you away from the library.

Feeling responsible? Check out our Back To School guide to gear that will help you take care of the academic side of school.

Samsung LN22A450

$499

Yes, you can fit an LCD HDTV in a dorm room if you really want to. Were you seriously considering bringing your grandma’s old Zenith CRT? C’mon. This Samsung is only 22 inches, but it will beat watching DVDs on your laptop, no matter how great a screen it has. For under $500, you’ll get 720p resolution, a 3000:1 contrast ratio, HDMI/Component/S-Video/Composite inputs and 5.1 surround sound compatibility. Gather round, floor-mates — it’s time to watch Accepted.

Check out our Back To School guide to gear that will help you take care of the academic side of school.

Flip Mino

$180

Stir-crazy college kids produce the funniest videos — we swear. So you’re going to need an easy-to-use, durable digital camcorder to capture the antics for posterity. And, er, Youtube. The Flip Mino Camcorder holds one hour worth of shenanigans at a time on 2 GB of flash storage, so be sure to dump its contents via USB onto your computer every once in a while. The Mino connects to a TV or your laptop for instant viewing.

Check out our Back To School guide to gear that will help you take care of the academic side of school.

Dash Express

$299

This one’s for all the commuter students out there. We figure that the Dash Express — which uses a wireless Internet connection to get traffic data sent from other Dash Express devices on the road — could buy you at least 30 minutes more sleep per night by helping you navigate your route from home to school. Now, if only the Dash Express could help you find a great parking spot and you’d be all set.

Check out our Back To School guide to gear that will help you take care of the academic side of school.

Rock Band 2

$199

The second iteration of the beloved band-simulator debuts September 14 for Xbox 360, and later in the year for PS3 and Wii. The best part about Rock Band is its ability to attract gamers, non-gamers, men, women, slackers and the studious. You’ll start out with The Donnas’ “New Kid in School,” but progress in no time to The Offspring’s “Come Out And Play.” Just don’t start thinking you should drop out of school and take the show on the road.

Check out our Back To School guide to gear that will help you take care of the academic side of school.

PlayStation 3 40 GB

$399.99

If you’re in the market for the best all-around Blu-ray player, are considering the purchase of just one video game console to take with you to school, or both, the Sony PS3 is the easy choice. It’s not cheap, exactly, but it’s multifunctional. It will play nice with the Samsung 22-inch HDTV we discussed earlier, and, eventually, with the PS3 version of Rock Band 2. Not to mention, it’s a solid upscaler of standard DVDs as well. You’ll also be able to get HD movies available for download onto the PS3’s hard drive.

Check out our Back To School guide to gear that will help you take care of the academic side of school.

Mario Kart Wii

$49

Although we recommend the PS3 as the one game console to bring to school, we figure many of you already have a Wii at home that you’ll bring along. If this is the case, Mario Kart can provide nearly as many hours of group entertainment as Rock Band. You can play with three players in your room, and up to 11 players over Wi-Fi (down the hall or across the country). Remember: Whoever plays as Peach gets to use the one Wii Wheel!

Check out our Back To School guide to gear that will help you take care of the academic side of school.

Sony Rolly

$399.99

A pricey device whose only claim is that it’s “entertaining,” Sony’s Rolly is nothing if not fun to watch. It holds 2 GB of music (about 500 songs), but you can also stream music to it wirelessly from a computer or a mobile phone. So, what does it do? It dances, naturally. Watching the awkward robot rock out to your tunes is its whole appeal. It also can be man-handled to switch its playback mode to shuffle and other functions.

Check out our Back To School guide to gear that will help you take care of the academic side of school.

Nanda Clocky Alarm Clock

$49.99

This device may look something like the Sony Rolly, but its functions are a lot simpler — it’s a funky-looking alarm clock on wheels. When it goes off, its wheels turn and it jumps off your night stand (it can handle a fall up to three feet from the ground). Then, it rolls around on the floor (either wood or carpet), emitting noisy beeps until you muster the strength to chase after it and turn it off. Okay, so no alarm clock is truly fun, but this one has to bring a smile to your face.

Check out our Back To School guide to gear that will help you take care of the academic side of school.

iPhone Games

Free

When your classmates and dorm-mates see your iPhone, they will inevitably want to be impressed with it. You’ve got to show them some killer apps, so come prepared with a few freebies. In our experience, non-iPhone owners are easily wowed by two apps: Shazam (the song identification tool) and Tap Tap Revenge (the silly rhythm game), both free. We’re sure these will help you while away idle minutes spent in line at the dining hall.

Check out our Back To School guide to gear that will help you take care of the academic side of school.

Brando Chromatic Square USB Hub

$12

USB hubs aren’t by default entertaining — they’re just necessary. As simply another add-on that you’re going to need to outfit your computer setup, you might as well find a fun one. Brando’s eye-catching color blocks look like toys. You can change the hub’s configuration and restack it whenever fancy strikes. Whimsical.

Check out our Back To School guide to gear that will help you take care of the academic side of school.

  • randomizer
    I love this article! I want some Tic Tac Toast! :lol:
    Reply
  • sandmanwn
    Headplay Personal Cinema is sweet. Wish I had that in college. More than enough times I wanted to get away from the roomie but couldn't leave the dorm.
    Reply
  • gaiden
    personally i wouldn't want to put most of these things in a dorm when you are share a room, unless it's your brother or cousin. ...wait i take that back, bastard too my nano :\
    Reply
  • amdfangirl
    Best THG article ever!!!

    What is this about anyways?
    Reply
  • blackened144
    I wish I had the Nanda Clocky Alarm Clock. Just not in college. Ive broken my last 2 alarm clocks just by knocking them off my nightstand. The last one I broke happened to double as my cell phone.. :(
    Reply
  • malveaux
    Heya,

    So this was amusing. Funny junk to play with.

    But in all honesty, it's disturbing to see how we treat `education' and college in general as basically a big-kid play ground and day care center where kids run off to `grow up' and play with more expensive toys while they're supposed to be getting some kind of actual education.

    Cool gadgets. Wish they weren't being advertised for STUDENTS.

    Very best,
    Reply
  • snarfies1
    Did college students somehow get a hell of a lot more disposable income since I graduated in '02? I wouldn't have been able to justify spending on most of the things listed here, and I was working while going to school.
    Reply
  • malveaux
    Snarfies1,

    Check out what has happened since then in regards to students and credit. We've bred a culture of `buy now, pay later' and students get loans and credit lines and buy this kind of stuff instead of actually going to school. These are your future professionals that will some how effect your life. The ads these days are disgusting. They joke on commercials about your "pc for school" and of course, show you gaming and watching music videos. All these fun little gadgets have nothing to do with school, or even life while at school. Kids have always found ways to amuse themselves. They don't need thousands of dollars worth of stuff to help them figure that out. But, good ad placement by companies that want to make the might dollar are in charge.

    College is the new kindergarten. And 35 is the new 16.

    Very best,
    Reply
  • Dorm room tech my ass. Yes a 499 lcd monitor = bragging rights, but seriously, how many parents will be willing to buy these outrageous and useless gadgets for their kids who are suppose to be studying?! This article should be renamed to "bragging rights gadgets" or "rich mens offsprings' toys selection"
    Reply
  • eccentric909
    haha.. I love the "This generation is going down the tubes, we're all doomed!" comments which each and every pre-generation forecasts.

    A lot of parents spoil their kids, or buy them fun stuff before going to college. A lot of kids also have high school graduation parties which end up bringing them upwards of $1,000-3,000 from relatives and friends.

    Many kids do very well in college, which classes get harder and more advanced as time rolls on, yet still find time for video games and other fun recreational activities. I'd much rather see the kids buy these "toys" than alcohol and drugs.

    My 12 year old has his own gaming pc, XBox360, Wii and LCD TV all in his bedroom. He still gets straight As in school.

    Quite a few of the gadgets are silly and useless, however it's not the gadgets, the marketing or whatever destroying this 'generation'. There will always be bad apples in the bunch, but this generation of college students is no more or less worse off than the last.

    The world isn't going to end and when these kids grow up they won't be screwing up the country/world any worse than the current adults running the show.
    Reply