Gadget Guide

Laura Enderle Associate Editor
Published Online: Monday, October 3, 2011
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This semester, hit the books—and have more fun—with help from these handy gadgets. 


Nook Color

If you’re not in the market for a smartphone, but find yourself sneaking off to check e-mail on your roommate’s iPad, the Nook Color is your gadget. Not just an eReader, the full-featured tablet boasts a slick 7-inch touchscreen, 8GB internal memory, and built-in WiFi with full e-mail and Web-browsing capabilities, including images and video via Adobe Flash Player. In addition to displaying books, newspapers, and magazines in full color, Nook supports Word docs and PDFs—ensuring a seamless switch from lazy beach reads to assigned readings. BarnesandNoble.com, $249

 

Withings Wifi Body Scale 

When your schedule is tight, it’s easy to let fitness goals slide. Whether you’re aiming to lose fat, gain muscle, or maintain your weight, the Withings body scale helps you stay motivated and keep tabs on your progress. Each time you step on the scale, it wirelessly transmits data to a designated smartphone or computer. Results are displayed in graphs detailing changes in weight, muscle mass, and body mass index over time. For an extra dose of moral support, you can share your stats with friends on Facebook or Twitter. Withings.com, $159

Roku 2

Roku’s newest line of compact set-top media boxes make it easy to cut the cord on cable TV. Whereas a cable subscription delivers a fixed, standard selection of channels for a high monthly price, the Roku set-top box offers viewers an “a la carte” selection of streaming media from more than 300 sources. Choose movies from Netflix, entire seasons of current shows from Hulu Plus, sports programming from national sports leagues such as UFC and NHL, or music from Pandora. Angry Birds addicts can get their fix with the Roku 2 XS, which comes standard with a motion-sensing remote and a free version of the game. Roku.com, $59.99 to $99.99

Zomm Wireless Leash

Never leave your phone in a public bathroom again—unless you forget your keys too. Designed to hang from a keyring, the ZOMM wireless leash for mobile phones connects to your cell phone via Bluetooth and springs into action when you leave the phone behind by accident. The gadget flashes its lights, vibrates, and sounds an alarm when the user carrying it walks outside the Bluetooth technology’s 30-foot range. It also doubles as a hands-free speakerphone with one-touch answering. Zomm.com, $79.99  

 

Coffee Cup Power Inverter 

A dying battery can bring your impromptu outdoor study session to a grinding halt. Enter the Coffee Cup Power Inverter, a quirky cup that turns your car’s cigarette lighter and cupholder into a power station for laptops, smartphones, MP3 players, and other portable devices. Equipped with 2 standard plugs and a USB port, it can power up to 3 gadgets at once. ThinkGeek.com, $34.99



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