HotHardware's 2012 Back To School Shopping Guide

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It's that time again. The time of year when students and parents frantically hit e-tailers with fast shipping in order to get that all-important back-to-school technology into a dorm room or backpack before classes begins.

It's back-to-school season, and whether you've started classes recently or are awaiting (dreading?) that first 8AM lecture, there may be a few bits of techno-shopping that need to be taken care of before you can be on your way to that straight-A report card.


         Credit: Seton Hall University

Whether you're about to begin the Fall semester of college or your senior year in high school (or something else entirely), you'll probably need the right hardware to get you through. In the pages to come, we're taking a look at today's latest and greatest when it comes to systems, hardware and peripherals that could prove useful for any dutiful student. Handling 21 hours of classes while still maintaining some sort of social life (which can mean posting daily on Twitter or Facebook) is hard work, and it's even harder if you're still relying on that old Pentium-based notebook and a Moto RAZR.

Here we will look at some full-sized and full-powered desktops, small form factor or all-in-one desktops (meant to fit nicely in dorm rooms and transport easily for those heading off to out-of-state schools), notebooks, tablets, smartphones and a couple of novel accessories that may have less to do with studying and more to do with keeping you entertained once it's time to blow off steam. We'll also toss out a few reputable e-tailers that we'd trust to deliver the goods. Ready to get your school year started off right? Let's go...

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Thanks for the guide. Not really looking to get most of these at this point. But i am looking to get a tablet. Do you think i should wait for a windows 8 tablet?

Also the accessory link on the introduction page is broken.

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You could wait for a Win 8 tab, sure. The ecosystem will likely time to catch up in terms of apps etc but it depends on what you want to do with it. And aghhh... yes, I saw that and fixed it but thanks for the heads-up! :)

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The Transformer infinity is an incredible tablet, i have had some experience with the transformer line and the Infinity is top of the line, They aren't as fast as the Ipad 3 or as reliable but they are catching up pretty fast.

However the keyboard with the extra battery life adds alot of utility that makes the transformer line perfect for school work.

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Having the extra battery life from the keyboard is amazing and the keyboard is convenient to carry around with the tablets.

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Hey Dave how long do you give it until every kid has one of these and there mandatory in public schools? I say 3 years 5 at the top but I would love to hear what you think!

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I think we're a long way from mandatory but my kids already have had access to the in elementary schools.

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Indeed a very good shopping guide.

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Sweet thanks but my kids wont be needing that for a while craons and paper for a whilem

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does the keyboard come with purchase?

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Great shopping guide Ray. I still havent bought into the whole ultrabook thing. Not that i wouldnt like one, just that the pricing and graphics available are a little...disappointing. Anyway when it comes to tablets Id like to wait and see how windows 8 tablets stack up, RT or x86. Either way the competition is bound to get more interesting in october.

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