OutletPC’s Ultimate Back to School Guide, Part II: College

Welcome to part two of our Ultimate Back to School Guide! On Monday, we talked about all the necessary Back-to-School stuff that every high-schooler should be equipped with on their journey into the new school year.

But we’ve had enough of the kids’ stuff.

That’s right, we’re grown-ups now. The real world is barreling towards us like a freight train and we fight on, shield and sword at the ready! COLLEGE, HERE WE COME!

THIS…IS…ADULTHOOD!

OutletPC is here with a Trojan horse full o’ awesome stuff that will help you conquer college, get that degree, and then maybe probably hopefully get a job.

THE BAG

The quality of every college experience has a direct correlation to the quality of one’s bag. That is to say, the better the bag, the easier that college gets. College kids have to lug around a LOT of stuff. Three books per class, three or four classes per day, plus a laptop, keys, a water bottle, an umbrella, some emergency trail mix, and twelve cans of Red Bull. Does that sound like something you want to approach with the same old backpack you’ve written on with Sharpie for six years? We thought not.

If you’re more of the shoulder bag type, the Targus CityLite 15.6″ Laptop Carrying Case is an excellent choice. With tons of room for notebooks, laptops, books, pens, and all your other goodies, this bag still remains perfectly slim, durable, and lightweight. It’s got two durable handles and a padded shoulder strap so you can feel alright no matter how you carry it. This is perfect for the light travelers that don’t need to carry around too many books or supplies.

But if you consistently drag heavy cargo, go big or go home. The Case Logic 16″ Laptop Backpack is the perfect choice for those of us who want to carry around a lot of stuff. With enough room for laptops, books, notebooks, and all kinds of junk, this big, comfortable backpack will carry your whole life if you need it to. We have a ton of different backpacks so you can find one that’s just right for you.

 

A NEW LAPTOP

College is the perfect time to invest in a new laptop that will be your companion through your journey into the real world. But having a laptop is no simple choice – you have to decide what specs you need, what size you want, how big the screen should be, and if it looks cool enough to truly be “yours.” Don’t worry, we have plenty of laptops that are sure to fix that spot in your heart.

OUR BUDGET LAPTOP CHOICE: HP 3115m Netbook

Specs:

  • 1.3 GHz AMD E-300 Dual-Core Processor
  • 2 GB DDR3-1333 RAM
  • 320 GB 5400 RPM Hard Drive
  • Up to 10 hrs. battery life
  • 11.6″ Screen

This small, ultra-portable netbook has still got enough power to take on web browsing, word processing, and some light video playback. With up to 10 hours of battery life, you don’t even have to carry your charger around with you all day. This is the ideal on-the-go laptop for the budding collegian.

OUR MID-RANGE LAPTOP CHOICE: ACER 15.6″ Laptop Computer

Specs:

  • 1.65 GHz AMD E-450 Dual-Core Processor
  • 4 GB DDR3-1066 RAM
  • 500 GB 5400 RPM SATA Hard Drive
  • 3x USB 2.0 Ports
  • AMD Radeon HD 6320 Graphics
  • 15.6″ Screen

Still staying on the low-budget end but taking a considerable jump in specs, this laptop has a full 15.6″ screen, a huge 500 GB hard drive, 4 GB of DDR3 RAM, lots of USB compatibility, as well as AMD Radeon HD graphics. This is the perfect middle-of-the-road laptop for college students.

OUR HIGH-END CHOICE: ACER TravelMate 15″ Core i3 Laptop

Specs:

  • 2.4 GHz Intel Core i3-370M Dual-Core Processor
  • 4GB DDR3 SDRAM
  • 500 GB SATA 5400 RPM Hard Drive
  • Windows 7 Professional
  • 15.6″ Screen
  • Built-in Webcam

This is the top-of-the-pops in OutletPC’s laptop selection. With a beefy, 2.4 GHz processor, a big 500GB hard drive and 4GB of RAM on-board, this Windows 7 Pro-loaded laptop is perfect for any college student.

ESSENTIAL LAPTOP ACCESSORIES

A sleeve

Since your laptop is a long-term investment, after all, you should always do whatever you can to keep it protected. A snug, zippered neoprene sleeve is one of the easiest ways to keep your laptop safe. Just slip the laptop into the sleeve and you’ve added another layer of protection while your laptop is in your backpack or under your arm. This 16″ Case Logic Plaid Sleeve is elegant and refined-looking, and will probably be the classiest laptop sleeve on your entire campus. It fits any 15″ to 16″ laptop. We also have a wide variety of different sleeves in different sizes to fit your laptop and style perfectly.

A wireless mouse

That little touch pad on your laptop gets annoying sometimes. It’s no more difficult than getting a portable wireless mouse that you can throw in your bag and take with you wherever you go. With a wireless mouse, a tiny USB dongle will set your fingers free and make you feel like a real human being when you’re using the computer again. The Logitech M305 Wireless USB Optical Mouse is one of the most popular wireless mice ever, and with good reason. Its comfortable design, unmistakable style, and tiny USB receiver makes it desirable as can be. This sleek, black Logitech M305 is the perfect choice for a companion to your new laptop, but we carry a huge range of brands, styles, and prices of wireless mice for you to choose from.

A USB hub

What with all the USB devices we use nowadays like phone cables, USB toys, mice, keyboards, flash drives, and all kinds of other things, it’s really easy to run out of usable USB ports. Luckily, a low-priced hub can do the job of expanding your USB compatibility without hassle or fuss. We carry a ton of these essential college tools, but this one’s just too fun to pass up: it’s a USB 2.0 Co0l Dude Hub! He’s always down to party, look at his arms! He’s got four fully-functional expansion USB ports and can be used with any USB 2.0 devices! What a cool dude! I’m gonna call him Hub Bro.

HEADPHONES

Headphones are an absolutely crucial piece of hardware to make college easier to handle. They entertain you as you’re walking between classes around campus, they help you drown out noise when you’re trying to study, and they’re just generally there to kick out the jams whenever you need them. Good headphones are key to a good college experience, so go for comfort as much as you go for quality.

If we’re talking quality, the Pioneer SE-M930 Bass Boost Over-Ear Headphones are the way to go. With the ability to plug into 3.5mm and 6.3mm outputs, these bass-heavy headphones will envelop you in sound and not let any noise in while they fill your ears with crisp bass and clear highs. They’re also incredibly lightweight and comfortable to wear.

Just as well, if your MP3 player or smartphone is Bluetooth-enabled, you can ditch the wires and go for cordless Bluetooth headphones! Whether you want something sleek and lightweight or big and still comfortable, we have all kinds of Bluetooth wireless headphones for you to choose from, in great colors and styles!

A FLASH DRIVE

College students have to juggle tons of data. Whether it’s Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, embarrassing videos, sweet music, lots of pictures, or class assignments of many varieties, the type of data exchange that goes on in the collegiate environment is exhausting. It’s always good to have a trusty flash drive handy to handle the pressure. We carry a lot of different flash drives of different capacities and styles, but the most novel of the bunch is easily the least forgettable – both literally and figuratively. The LaCie iamaKey 8GB Flash Drive is your perfect companion to make sure you always have some free data on hand. With 8 GB of space, this flash drive is molded and modeled to look and feel just like a key so it blends into your keychain and is with you whenever your keys are!

A WEBCAM

The truth is, people in your life will miss you when you go off to college. Mom and dad, your brothers and sisters, friends, aunts and uncles, your dog, they’ll all want to communicate with you from time to time and hear that you’re doing okay. A phone call is good, sure, but a video chat is even better, so a high-quality webcam is an absolutely essential college tool. The Creative Labs Creative Live! USB Webcam is perfect for chatting with everyone back home and across the country thanks to its full 720p HD video capability, as well as its noise-cancelling microphone and one-click upload feature. Don’t just do it for us. Do it for mom and dad! They need you!

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