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Logitech VX Revolution Cordless Laser Mouse

Some people are really good at using the trackpad on their notebooks, but nothing quite offers the same level of comfort and precision as a physical mouse. If you plan on doing any picture or video editing (and you don’t want to invest in a tablet), you’re probably going to want a mouse. And if you’re getting a mouse, you’ll want the accuracy of a laser mouse.

Back to School 2008: A Guide to Dorm-Friendly Tech for Budget-Minded Students

The Logitech VX Revolution Cordless Laser Mouse was designed with notebooks in mind, storing the wireless USB receiver right into the body of the mouse itself. It’s almost as good as the larger MX Revolution, but in a smaller form factor and at a more affordable price. The MicroGear “free spin mode” is particularly cool and that’s partly why the VX Revolution is a winner of the Editor’s Choice Award here on Futurelooks.

Saitek Cyborg 5.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset

I know. I know. When you’re at school, you should probably have your head in the books and the only reason why you’d be on the computer is so that you can type up a paper or interact with your fellow students. That said, we all need a break from time to time too.

Back to School 2008: A Guide to Dorm-Friendly Tech for Budget-Minded Students

While the aforementioned Dell Studio 15 may not be able to handle the latest games at the highest resolutions, you can probably still get in some gaming on that thing. The trouble is that it may be hard trying to outfit your dorm room with a 5.1 speaker system. The Saitek Cyborg Surround Sound Gaming Headset mimics the 5.1 experience without taking up any more room than a regular headset.

In addition to the 5.1 thing (which is achieved via USB and an inline sound card), the Saitek Cyborg Gaming Headset also has standard 3.5mm connectors for the microphone and headphones. This little bit of extra utility can come in pretty handy.

OCZ Rally 2 USB Flash Drive

Going to college and university probably means that you’ll have some group projects to do or study groups to attend. It is in your best interest to network with your fellow students, after all, so you’ll want to make it easy to exchange files and information.

Back to School 2008: A Guide to Dorm-Friendly Tech for Budget-Minded Students

Of the USB flash drives that I have used, the OCZ Rally 2 is one of the best. It doesn’t come with any fancy encryption software or a biometric fingerprint reader, but it gets the job done and it can get it done at an affordable rate. The metal body offers durability and you know that OCZ only outfits its products with quality memory.

Prices will vary, but I was able to find 4GB and 8GB versions of the OCZ Rally 2 HIgh Performance USB 2.0 Dual Channel Flash Memory Drive for $14 and $22, respectively. At that price, you may want to pick up a couple. 

Exercise Restraint for Back to School

As much fun as it would be to have an incredibly powerful laptop that would rival even the best of desktops, you may want to make sure that you can live on more than Kraft Dinner during the school year. The products described in this guide are reasonably priced and are more than “good enough” to satisfy most of your student needs. Just make sure you set aside some beer money and you’ll be fine.

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