Feature Index | On the cheap | Mid-range

Hey -- congrats on going to school -- and on having all that money to burn on the higher end gadgets we'd all love to outfit ourselves with. Or, maybe you've been saving all summer long working overtime -- either way -- these recommendations are all in the upper eschelons of the price scale. Now, we didn't just choose a bunch of expensive crap and call it a day -- our recommendations in this category are pricey, yes, but they're also pretty much the best gear we can think of on the market to take off to college with you. That said... onto the gadgets.



Laptops

Netbooks

Mobile Phones

E-reader

Dock / Alarm

Printer

Digital Cameras

Laptop Bags

Television

Fun Stuff!

Psst... see also: on the cheap, mid-range

Laptops

Apple MacBook Pro, 15-inch

Engadget's back to school guide money's no object

Sure, it's an obvious choice -- but there are features to this bad boy that make it worth the cash. About as low maintenance as they come, Apple's laptops are fast, reliable, and they're pretty nice looking too. Apple's student discount and free iPod touch with purchase sweeten the deal.

Key specs: 2.53GHz Core 2 Duo CPU, 4GB of RAM, a 250GB hard drive, NVIDIA GeForce 9400M GT graphics processor with 256MB of memory

Price: $1599 from Apple (with discount)

You might also like...

Engadget's back to school guide money's no object

Lenovo ThinkPad X301

This one fits into the super slim category, with Intel Core 2 Duo ULV CPUs, and optional SSDs.

Price: $1979 from Lenovo

Engadget's back to school guide money's no object

Alienware M17x

Sure, it's giant. And also insanely awesome. If you plan to game as much as you study, consider this one. Seriously.

Price: $1700 from Alienware

Netbooks

Lenovo IdeaPad S12

Engadget's back to school guide money's no object

Lenovo's S12 differs from most other netbooks in that it offers up NVIDIA's Ion chipset. It has a 100% full-size keyboard, is capable of 1080p video playback, has an ExpressCard slot, and weighs less than 3 pounds. Of course, it's running Windows XP and you can configure it 'till your fingers hurt, but this is one netbook we definitely wouldn't mine having around our dorm room -- when it finally launches, which will hopefully be soon.

Key specs: NVIDIA Ion, 12.1-inch screen, 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, 1GB DDR2 memory, Ethernet, WiFi, Bluetooth, 3 USB 2.0 ports, ExpressCard slot

Price: $449 from Newegg (non-Ion version)

You might also like...

Engadget's back to school guide money's no object

Sony VAIO P

Sony might not call it a netbook, but that's what this high-end bad boy is. It can be customized with things like faux animals skins -- for a price, of course.

Price: $999 from Sony Style

Engadget's back to school guide money's no object

Samsung N510

Also Ion-equipped, this one boasts an 11.6-inch display, Atom processor, HDMI output, and GeForce 9400M GPU.

Price: ships in September

Mobile phones

iPhone 3GS 32GB

Engadget's back to school guide money's no object

With advanced and easy to use PDA functionality, seamless e-mail integration, and a ton of available applications, the iPhone is quite possibly the best back to school phone ever. It can manage anything from your textbooks to your Facebook, and it does it all in style. Plus, with all the available study helpers, student planners, and other education-oriented apps, there isn't much this .48-inch thick device can't do -- besides your homework of course.

Price: $299 with contract from Apple

You might also like...

Engadget's back to school guide money's no object

T-Mobile Touch Pro2

A hefty Windows Mobile device loaded up with TouchFlo 3D for a more pleasurable user experience and an spacious, stellar keyboard.

Price: $349.99 with contract from T-Mobile

Engadget's back to school guide money's no object

Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1A

This high end device packs a custom panel interface and tweaked build of Windows Mobile 6.1, and it pays a staggering amount of attention to detail.

Price: $699.99 from Sony Style

E-reader

Amazon Kindle DX

Engadget's back to school guide money's no object

If there was ever a Rolls Royce of E-readers, it'd be the Kindle DX. Launched as an attempt to lure people away from traditional textbooks, the DX has a 9.7-inch screen -- which makes a potential switch from paper to e-book a bit more palatable. Of course, it comes at a high price, however -- and that's before you even load it up with books. However, if money ain't nothing but a thing, you'll probably be the coolest kid on the hall -- or the geekiest, we haven't decided yet.

Key specs: 9.7-inch E Ink screen, 4GB internal memory (storage for 3,500 books), built in accelerometer, text to speech, EVDO modem with Amazon Whispernet

Price: $489 from Amazon

Dock / Alarm

Bose Wave system with iPod connect kit

Engadget's back to school guide money's no object

Bose's products are pretty much synonymous with "high-end," -- nearly to the point of ridiculousness. Still, if you're looking for a totally sweet alarm clock, you'll probably want to check into this one. It's got an AM / FM tuner, CD player (for real) and a dock for your iPod / iPhone sitting nearby -- plus a tiny remote. What else can you ask for?

Price: $599.99 from Bose

Printer

Samsung SCX-4500W

Engadget's back to school guide money's no object

The SCX-4500W from Samsung is an printing, scanning, and copying all-in-one that focuses on the aesthetics more than function. Yeah, it might only print in black and white, but it's got a sleek design with a shiny black finish and blue accent LEDs that make this printer look, dare we say it, cool. It's also super quiet, so you won't have to worry about waking your roommates when you finally finish that paper at 3AM, and with the built in wireless, you can print from the comfort of your own bed. Who says we're not looking out?

Price: $349.99 from Samsung

Digital Cameras

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-G3

Engadget's back to school guide money's no object

This slim little fella has WiFi and a built-in web browser so you can upload your photos directly to Picasa, Flickr, etc -- wherever WiFi is available. It's also pretty distinctive looking when compared with other point-and-shoots, which we like a lot.

Key specs: 10 megapixel sensor, 4x optical zoom and Face Detection.

Price: $420 shop now

You might also like...

Engadget's back to school guide money's no object

FujiFilm FinePix F200 EXR

This one takes some amazing shots -- with 12 megapixel resolution, a 3-inch LCD, 28-mm wide-angle 5x zoom lens and CCD-shift stabilization.

Price: $300 shop now

Engadget's back to school guide money's no object

Samsung TL 320

12.2 megapixels, 5x optical zoom, a 3-inch HVGA AMOLED display, and 720p movie recording make this one another great option -- with impressive looks, too.

Price: $320 shop now

Laptop Bag

Tumi T-Tech Adventure Messenger

Engadget's back to school guide money's no object

Tumi's Messenger Bag will house your 15-inch laptop in style made out of "durable" fabric with leather handles, it's the right mix of padding for your goods without overdoing it on bulk. This one comes in grey, too.

Price: $195 from Tumi

Television

Panasonic TC-L26X1 Viera Series

Engadget's back to school guide money's no object

There are way more expensive televisions out there -- don't get us wrong -- but this 26-incher is well suited for a dorm room. The 720p HDTV with a 12,000:1 contrast ratio also boasts a kit to hookup your iPod for even more fun.

Price: $550 from Panasonic

Fun Stuff!

Microsoft Xbox 360

Engadget's back to school guide money's no object

If you can only own one gaming console, we're going to go with the Xbox 360. By far the most "social" console, this one has -- in our humble little opinion -- the best games, and is the one we always come back to. If you're lucky enough to snag one of these for your dorm room, we promise -- you'll make friends easily. While you're at it -- spring for the Xbox Live Gold membership, too.

Price: $299 from Microsoft

You might also like...

Engadget's back to school guide money's no object

Zune HD

The Zune HD's Tegra processor makes an already snazzy UI completely droolworthy, and with a variety of colors and two different capacities, you're bound to find one that suits you.

Price: $219.99(16GB) / $289.99(32GB) from Amazon

Engadget's back to school guide money's no object

Incase Neoprene Sleeve

This one's a deal, but hey -- if you've already sprung for the MacBook, you might as well get something to hug it, right?

Price: $35 from Incase