Apple, HP, Nikon Get Classy with Must-Have, Back-to-School Gadgets

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Apple, HP, Nikon Get Classy with Must-Have, Back-to-School Gadgets

by Nathan Eddy

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Apple iPad ($499)

Alright, alright, it's an obvious place to start, but the iPad is surely this year's most talked about gadget, and quite frankly, it is THE hippest Internet-capable touch-screen tablet device on the market. You might just use it to play games and surf the Web, but it also serves as a highly alluring conversation piece. Take a walk with it through the quad and see what happens.

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HP Photosmart C4780 ($129.99)

Eminently affordable, this wireless printer from HP prints up to 29 pages per minute, offers a 1.45-inch color display with an intuitive TouchSmart frame and offers instant photo-fix features and an HP photo print gadget. HP's Smart Web Printing technology also allows you to clip and print only Web content you want.

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Shure SE115 Sound Isolating Earphones ($119.99)

The perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle of school (or the obnoxious droning of your pretentious professors), these earbuds with sound-isolating sleeves block more than 90 percent of ambient noise and come with a two-year warranty.

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Logitech N100 Notebook Cooling Pad ($30)

Despite all their technological advances, most notebooks still have a tendency to overheat, and that's not something you want happening on your lap while you're furiously typing notes in Ancient Russian Literature class. The USB-powered N100 distributes air quietly and evenly under the case of your notebook, helping to protect you from the heat.

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Nikon CoolPix S1100pj ($299)

A pocket-size digital camera that also functions as a projector for project demonstrations, this affordable, multifunction device could add a bit of pizzazz to an otherwise staid report. A built-in stand removes the need for a tripod and slides created with PowerPoint presentation software can be converted to JPEG files, which can be played back with the camera.

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Amazon Kindle DX ($379)

Only one-third of an inch thick and boasting a 9.7-inch screen and 3.3GB of storage, this e-reader can help you lighten the load while offering wireless downloads of more than 275,000 books, newspapers and magazines, as well as textbooks from a variety of publishers. It may not have the panache of the iPad, but it packs a punch of its own.

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Harman Kardon SoundSticks II ($169.99)

Annoy your roommate with style while rocking out to the new Matthew Dear album with these futuristic Harman Kardon speakers, which look like something out of THX 138. The audio system utilizes a straightforward interconnect technology, which provides an easy interface with minimum desktop wiring.

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HP c325w USB Flash Drive ($15.99)

Campus life has its share of shocking moments (they want how much for that biology textbook?), but you never want the shock of losing all your files because of a catastrophic coffee spill incident. Thankfully, the waterproof, shockproof, rubberized USB drive, which stores up to 4GB of files, ensures your data is soundly protected. Just don't lose it.

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Nintendo DS Lite ($185)

Take a break from studying with the ultra-compact and portable DS Lite gaming system, which features a WiFi connection for multiplayer gaming and gets up to 19 hours continuous gameplay on one charge. Twin ultra bright LCD screens combine crisp colors, along with touch-screen technology on the lower screen.

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MacBook Pro 13 ($1,199)

Boasting up to 10 hours of battery life, a precision aluminum unibody enclosure and the sleek design Apple is known for, this notebook also comes in 15- and 17-inch versions, if you need more screen space. The base version also comes with an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4GB of memory and a 250GB hard drive.

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