Holiday Shopping Guide: Tech Corner

Nook Tablet versus Kindle Fire

Nook Tablet

Priding itself on user friendliness and a customizable interface, the Nook Tablet lives up to its reputation.

The Nook has customizable home screens and can group books and magazines on virtual shelves. While both tablets offer high quality color magazine viewing, the Nook’s article-view mode is more like reading a real magazine.

A key selling point for students is increased storage capacity. Nook Tablet offers 16 GB of storage and a memory card slot, while Kindle Fire has only eight GB. Connecting to GW’s wireless networks with either tablet is tricky at best, so it may be more convenient to have everything stored at your fingertips rather than using Kindle’s method of storing things in the cloud.

Nook Tablet boasts one GB of RAM to Kindle’s 512 MB, and a reported 11.5 hours of battery life to Kindle’s seven and a half hours.

To pick, you have to decide whether the extra $50 is worth a gadget with more storage, at the expense of sacrificing Amazon’s greater pool of products and apps.

Nook Simple Touch (e-ink): $99
Nook Color (touch): $199
Nook Tablet (color, touch): $249

Kindle Fire

Similar in size, shape and general character to the Nook Tablet, the Kindle Fire may have less memory and battery life, but appeals to those searching for extra user-friendly services and features.

Kindle Fire offers roughly the same book and magazine reading, but Amazon offers a larger selection of apps. Also, web browsing is faster on the Kindle Fire, if you can connect to Wi-Fi somewhere around campus.

With purchase of the Kindle Fire, you get a free 30-day trial period of Amazon Prime, which offers free, instant video-streaming. After the trial period, membership is $79 per year.

Even with less memory, RAM and battery life specs on paper, some say that the Kindle’s performance doesn’t noticeably suffer compared to the Nook.

To pick, one has to decide whether to take less impressive tech specs to save $50 dollars and access services like Amazon Prime and streaming videos.

Kindle (e-ink): $79
Kindle Touch (e-ink): $99
Kindle Touch 3G: $149
Kindle Fire (color, touch screen): $199

Simple home stereo system

For anyone wanting to bring a little bit of home theater into a dorm room, a relatively inexpensive three-piece stereo system (with two speakers and a subwoofer) does the trick. An added bonus? The auxiliary input can also be hooked up to MP3 players if you’re looking to play a little music with a few friends over.

Coby CSMP67 2.1 Speaker System, black: $18.24
Coby DVD420 2.1 Home Theater System (includes DVD player), black: $40.03
Creative Lab Inspire S2 2.1 Speaker System, black: $52.24
From Best Buy (Columbia Heights or Pentagon City)

Laptop case or cover

Everyone has that friend who has dropped his or her laptop one too many times. Each time, you wonder how it’s still functioning and tell them to get a case. For this season, breathe a sigh of relief by gifting them cases or covers. Models vary greatly depending on the type of laptop, so make sure you choose the correct type.

Incase Hard Shell Case for 13″ Aluminum Apple Macbook, multiple colors: $49.99
Dell Switch Lid for Dell Inspiron Laptops, multiple colors and sizes: $29.99
Init Laptop Sleeve, with zipper, multiple colors, fits most laptops up to 15.6” display: $24.99
From Best Buy (Columbia Heights or Pentagon City)

Earbud Earmuffs

Maybe you’re used to foregoing listening to your favorite tunes in lieu of warm earmuffs, or worse – uncomfortably wearing earmuffs over your earbuds. Any music lover with an aversion to cold weather will appreciate a pair of earbud earmuffs, so that they can jam out in style even on a cold wintry day.

American Eagle, multiple colors and patterns: $19.50

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