HotHardware's 2011 Back To School Shopping Guide

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Asus ET2011ET

All-in-ones are designed to save space while still giving you plenty of functionality. At less than 1-inch thick, the Asus Eee Top PC 2011ET uses a space-saving design that can also be wall-mounted. This AIO features a 20-inch optical multi-touch screen. Asus claims that by using optical touch capabilities, the screen is able to offer better image clarity and reliability than resistive and capacitive multi-touch screens.

The Eee Top PC 2011ET offers a few processor options, including the Intel Pentium Dual Core E5700. Other key specs include up to 4G of DDR3 memory, up to a 1TB SATA II 7,200rpm hard drive, and an optional Super Multi drive. For connectivity, the Eee Top PC 2011ET offers two USB 2.0 ports, VGA, and a COM port. The Eee Top PC 2011ET also features a built-in 1.3MP webcam for keeping in touch with friends and family.


 

Apple 27-inch: 2.7GHz iMac

With a price tag that's just shy of $1,700, the Apple 27-inch iMac with a 2.7GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5 processor offers plenty of screen real estate for watching movies and writing term papers. This AIO also features 4GB of memory and a 1TB hard drive. For graphics, the 27-inch 2.7GHz Apple iMac uses an AMD Radeon HD 6770M with 512MB of RAM.

The 27-inch 2.7GHz Apple iMac also includes a FaceTime HD camera for keeping in touch with friends and family. In terms of ports, the 27-inch 2.7GHz Apple iMac has two Thunderbolt ports, a mini DisplayPort output, a FireWire 800 port, four USB 2.0 ports, and an SDXC card slot. The AIO also features a slot-loading 8x SuperDrive with 4x double-layer burning. To help you keep the cords at bay, input options include a full-size wireless keyboard and Apple's Magic Mouse in the box.


 

MSI Wind Top AE2420 3D-204US

Just because you're looking at an all-in-one machine to save some space on your desk, you don't have to sacrifice a lot of functionality. The MSI Wind Top E2420 3D-204US features an Intel Core i7-870S processor, discrete ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5730 graphics with DDR3 1GB VRAM, 4G of DDR3 memory, a 1TB SATA2 hard drive, and a Blu-Ray DVD drive.

The 23.6-inch 120Hz LED back-lit panel found on the AE2420 3D also has multi-touch and 3D capabilities. With MSI's 3D Station technology, you'll enjoy a precise and smooth 3D video experience. MSI didn't forget about the audio component on this system either; You'll find MSI Premium Sound Technology, full range 5W left and right channel hi-fi speakers, a 10W subwoofer, and THX TruStudio Pro surround sound technology in this system. The Wind Top AE2420 3D also boasts of being the first all-in-one to feature USB 3.0 technology.

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Very good, small comment is that there are some gamer oriented items that most college students wouldn't want or could not afford anyway...

Other then that, good job!

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Nice collection of stuff for us parents to buy. I like the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer a lot.

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This is a great list of items for back to school. I think it would be a great idea to provide a list like this every 3-4 months as hardware changes :)

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Believe it or not that time of the year is my favorite. I love shopping for school! I so far have three degrees and I don't plan to stop, these degrees have done so much for me already.

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