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Gadgets to help you work, rest and play

8/18/2010 by Joseph Gallivan, NY Post

The days of packing your offspring off to college with a large, heavy-breathing desktop computer are over. Now there are a variety of devices for students to do their work on.

  • The fast-selling iPad can do most of what a laptop can do, as well as run educational apps such as The Elements ($13.99) which is the periodic table in all its glory, and ModalityBODY: Interactive Anatomy and Medical Imaging (free). Add to that free textbooks on the iBooks app (iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad) and some learnin’ may get done.

    $499 Wi-Fi only, 16GB, $829 Wi-Fi plus 3G (data plan extra);

  • Apple has another good deal for students — a free iPod (from Nano to Touch) with every computer except the Mini. Consider the 13-inch thin and metallic MacBook Pro. It has 4-GB memory and a 250GB hard drive. Staff in New York Apple stores will also help select a computer based on school curriculum.

    $1,099 with the student discount (and free iPod);

  • Google’s operating system for phones, Android, also runs on tablet computers, and if money is tight the GENTOUCH78 Android tablet, made by Augen, could do the trick. Sold only in K-Mart so far (and on back order at press time), the GENTOUCH78 has an 800x480 color touch screen display, Wi-Fi 802.11G, 2GB of storage, plus an SD card slot up to 16GB, 256MB of RAM and HDMI output for 720P viewing on an external display. It runs Android apps, an eBook reader, YouTube, maps and Skype.


  • The Kindle wireless reading device (pictured)has plummeted in price as ease of use has improved. The latest version claims a 50 percent better contrast than any other e-reader and holds 3,500 books. That’s a lot of reading.

    Kindle Wi-Fi, $139 (with waiting list at press time); Kindle free 3G plus Wi-Fi, $189;

  • Netbooks (small laptops with few or no spinning drives) are good for basic connectivity. The Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3 runs Windows 7, has a 10 inch screen, 504MB of memory and an 80GB hard drive. It also features an ExpressCard slot which can handle cellular Internet cards. At 2.7 pounds it won’t make your Jansport slump.