HotHardware's 2012 Back To School Shopping Guide

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Must-Have Accessories

Canon EOS M Mirrorless camera

No longer do you need a DSLR for most photographic opportunities. Say hello to Canon's own mirrorless entry. It has the specs of a Rebel T4i, but a size that's far smaller. There's an 18MP APS-C CMOS image sensor, and the company is shipping two lenses for the new format: the EF-M 22mm f/2 STM kit lens and the optional EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens– and the ability to use the full line of Canon EF and EF-S lenses through the optional Mount Adapter EF-EOS M. It'll also handle 1080p HD movies, and comes with an ISO range of 100-6400 (expandable to 12,800 in High mode), a DIGIC 5 Image Processor and an SD/SDXC card slot.

The EOS M Digital Camera bundled with the new EF-M 22mm f/2 STM kit lens will be available in October for an estimated retail price of $799.99; it'll hit most stores in black, but a white model will be available via Canon's website.

Microsoft Touch Mouse

This is easily the most suave mouse of the past year, and it's engineered to work beautifully with Windows 8, launching this fall. For those expecting to upgrade, this is a great way to ensure you're ready for the gesture control that lies ahead. It also features BlueTrack Technology so you can use it on virtually any surface, and it includes Backpack Mode to power down and sleep along with the computer it’s paired to. It'll ship for $69.95, presumably in time for the Windows 8 launch in October.

Astro A50 Audio System Headset

Gaming in college? Yeah, you'll be doing that. You'll need some serious head-shakers to make the experience truly genuine, and there are none better than these guys -- for $300, of course. It's a wireless affair that supports Dolby 7.1, making it great for movies as well.

Ion Cade Core

Why settle for just modern games? Retro games will always be in style, and if you've got an iPad, you need this. It's a compact, arcade-style cabinet that gives physical controls to your iPad, and works in conjunction with an app that brings retro titles to your iPad's display. At $89.99, it's a must-buy, even if it means sleeping with no sheets or forgoing other basic dorm room necessities for a while.

Duracell Powermat 24-Hour Power System

What's a phone without a charge? A paperweight. Cordless charging has been in its infancy for what feels like forever, but Duracell is aiming to bring it into even more dorm rooms with its new 24-Hour Power System. You can pick up a wireless case for your iPhone, and then just tap it on the base station to charge -- no more fiddling around for a charging cable. At $99.99, it's pricey, and sadly it only works with the iPhone 4 / 4S right now, but hopefully more phones and tablets will be welcomed in soon.
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