It’s that time again, doing our best to keep you in the tech loop 🙂 The last time we did this, we pitted the girls against the boys in a battle of must have gadgets. This time round, no gender specifics, just 3 gadgets that might prove to make studying at university a little bit easier all-round.
1. All-new Kindle
Amazon have kindly released a more compact and more economically priced 😉 all-new Kindle. I have been educating myself on this nifty
gadget. It turns pages 10% faster than its larger Kindle counterparts and is on average 70% lighter. Priced at £89 you get 1 month battery life and can probably carry a lifetime collection of books on there (up to 1,400 they say). I do appreciate this is often an overhyped gadget that many carry purely for the sake of carrying. After asking around and calculating that almost 50% of the recommended books for my modules were available in Kindle Store I was sold. Additionally, one can upload pdfs onto the Kindle and make accompanying notes as one reads so it goes beyond just being a conveniently portable library into somewhat of a combined notebook. Disclaimer, this is not an informercial and I am not being paid to buy this product, although if Amazon wish to sponsor me as their student spokesperson I will be more than happy to oblige 😀
2. iPad 2
As you well now, I am Mac certified and we are all big Apple lovers here at The Lecture Room. We REALLY should have featured this item a lot earlier, but at least we are featuring it now. The iPad has become the Apple gadget of choice both in classrooms and beyond, I was pleasantly surprised to find it being used as an easy to use catalogue in All Saints Regent St the last time I visited the store. It has the standard built in apps like Notes, Find my iPad if you misplace it and iBooks but to name a few. The new built in apps include Newstand which allows you read your subcscribed newspapers and magazines all in the same place and iMessage which is the instant messenger platform for iPads, iTouchs and iPhones. This tablet runs on iOs 5 and iCloud. This is where I side with the iPad over the Google Samsung Chromebook. The idea of all my information floating in cyberspace does not sit well with me. There is of course the App store as well where you can buy additional applications to assist you in both school and business. Apple has great tips, in fact one app that I have heard would be useful in lectures is Dragon Dictate which captures notes 5 times faster than typing on a keyboard. Just be careful to give your eyes a break because of the back lit display and your fingers a rest because of the awkwardly bent position they will be in whilst tapping away on your new favourite gadget.
3. Echo smartpens (luxury buy)
We are on the ball, we have seen the adverts on the train and I was in love at first sight. It’s a dictation device that allows to record
and playback what you have heard all with a tap of the pen. It comes in 3 different capacities 2GB, 4GB and 8GB. When buying from the UK, we would recommend buying from MicroAnvika because when you buy your chosen size you receive 4 free additional special dotted paper notebooks required to work the pen, a refill and loads of other goodies. Good value for money considering you are paying under £100. With the 2GB one, you get up to 200 hours of recording time, why pay more? The Echo smartpen comes bundled with its own apps like a scientific calculator and a paper piano.
If you already own any of these gadgets, comment to leave a review or feedback on the benefits/downfalls.