Back when many of us were gearing up to go back to school, the shopping list was filled with notebooks (the kind without a battery), pens (read: not a stylus), and a few dozen pencils (old-school #2s that required manual sharpening). Maybe, just maybe, we would have a new graphing calculator to look forward to, but if we ever saw 'smart' and 'phone' in the same sentence, it was probably in a handwritten note from mom begging us to stop making long-distance calls on the landline.
Now, back to school means picking up extra shifts at work to pay for new computers, cameras, smartphones, e-readers, and tablets -- not to mention those still-sky-high prices publishers are commanding for textbooks at the college store. We want to relieve some of that burden -- for a few of you, at least. This year, we've partnered with top manufacturers in nearly every category to bring you one epic giveaway, complete with all of the products we mentioned above, plus a whole lot more! Lucky winners will receive an Engadget-branded messenger bag, overflowing with the latest tech gear. Jump past the break for the full rundown of prizes, along with instructions for entering our back to school giveaway.
Oh, and one more thing: We won't be giving away just one of these loaded messenger bags -- we have 15! All of the giveaways will be identical, so feel free to enter by leaving a comment at each of our back to school posts (not including the back to school hub), including yesterday's digital cameras guide (note: you'll only be allowed to win once and multiple comments on a single post will not increase your chances of winning).
Sure, Apple's 11.6-inch MacBook Air is sleek, sexy and powerful, but it starts at $999, and, well, you'd probably rather spend that money on ramen. The HP Pavilion dm1 gets the job done for less than $500, offering great performance, over five hours of battery life, and a compact design to boot.
You'd be hard-pressed to find an interchangeable lens camera that offers more bang for your buck than the Sony NEX-C3. With the same size sensor found in many full-size DSLRs, this compact sports excellent image quality, 720p video, and a slick tilt-enabled high-res display.
Samsung's Android 2.2 Froyo-powered 7-inch Galaxy Tab lets you stay connected when you don't want to haul around a laptop. This WiFi-only model won't be hopping on T-Mobile or Verizon, but you can use your university's wireless network to check exam scores, poke cute girls on Facebook, or fire off an email to your professor -- assuming you go to school anywhere but here.
What sports a 1GHz dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, HDMI connectivity, and a 540 x 960-pixel display? Well, it's not a tablet. Motorola's Photon 4G is the first Sprint smartphone to include both WiMAX and GSM connectivity, letting you make calls and surf the web while studying in the US, and during your semester abroad.
Your HP notebook can do a fine job of pumping out quality tunes when you consider its size, but it won't be filling your dorm room with crisp, distortion-free sound. For that, you'll need Altec Lansing's new Octiv 650, which also lets you output video from a connected iPhone or iPod touch, or connect any other musical device using the auxiliary input.
Perhaps best known for its football-shaped Zeppelin series of speaker docks, Bowers & Wilkins' C5 in-ear headphones will come in handy when you need to listen to music as your roommate sleeps in the dorm room, or when you want to tune out in the lecture hall. These bullet-shaped 'buds also include an inline mic, letting you chat on your Photon without skipping a beat.
We can't force all of your professors to ditch those $200 hardcover textbooks, but at least you'll save some money by purchasing the rest of your required reading materials in digital form on your All-New Nook by Barnes & Noble. You can also send book quotes and recommendations to Facebook and Twitter using the e-reader's built-in WiFi.
You can't have an overstuffed messenger bag without the bag itself, and Timbuk2's durable, airport-friendly Command Messenger fits the bill. Your bag will arrive custom-embroidered with the Engadget logo, and will have plenty of pockets to contain all of your new tech toys as you trek around campus.
Do we have your attention? Now, assuming you're a legal resident of the United States or Canada (excluding Quebec), and you're over 18, all you need to do is read through our official rules (down below) and leave a comment. Make sure the email address on your Disqus account is correct, since that's how we'll be getting in touch. And again, don't worry if you don't win this time around, as we'll be hosting a total of 15 identical giveaways over the next month -- yes, that really does mean complete back to school kits for 15 of you! You'll be able to enter in the comments section on each of our back to school posts, including those from earlier this week. Good luck!
Engadget's Back to School Giveaway
No Purchase Required to Enter or Win
Eligibility: Engadget's Back to School Giveaway (the "Giveaway") is open only to individuals who are legal residents of the fifty (50) United States (including the District of Columbia) and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 years of age or older. Employees of Weblogs Inc. LLC, AOL Inc., their advertising or promotion agencies, those involved in the production, development, implementation or handling of Giveaways, any agents acting for, or on behalf of the above entities, their respective parent companies, officers, directors, subsidiaries, affiliates, licensees, service providers, prize suppliers any other person or entity associated with the Giveaways (collectively "Giveaway Entities") and/or the immediate family (spouse, parents, siblings and children) and household members (whether related or not) of each such employee, are not eligible. All U.S., federal, state and local and Canadian federal, provincial, and municipal laws and regulations apply. Void in Quebec, Puerto Rico and where prohibited by law.
Sponsor: The Giveaway is sponsored by Weblogs Inc. LLC, 770 Broadway, New York, NY 10003 ("Sponsor").
Agreement to Official Rules: Participation in the Giveaway constitutes entrant's full and unconditional agreement to and acceptance of these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor, which are final and binding. Winning a prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein.
Giveaway Period: The Giveaway begins at 12PM ET on August 2, 2011 and ends at 12PM ET on September 9, 2011 (the "Giveaway Period"). The Giveaway Period shall be divided into fifteen (15) separate Entry Periods:
Entry Period 1 begins at 12PM ET on August 2, 2011 and ends at 12PM ET on September 9, 2011.
Entry Period 2 begins at 12PM ET on August 2, 2011 and ends at 12PM ET on September 9, 2011.
Entry Period 3 begins at 12PM ET on August 3, 2011 and ends at 12PM ET on September 9, 2011.
Entry Period 4 begins at 12PM ET on August 5, 2011 and ends at 12PM ET on September 9, 2011.
Entry Period 5 begins at 12PM ET on August 8, 2011 and ends at 12PM ET on September 9, 2011.
Entry Period 6 begins at 12PM ET on August 10, 2011 and ends at 12PM ET on September 9, 2011.
Entry Period 7 begins at 12PM ET on August 12, 2011 and ends at 12PM ET on September 9, 2011.
Entry Period 8 begins at 12PM ET on August 15, 2011 and ends at 12PM ET on September 9, 2011.
Entry Period 9 begins at 12PM ET on August 17, 2011 and ends at 12PM ET on September 9, 2011.
Entry Period 10 begins at 12PM ET on August 19, 2011 and ends at 12PM ET on September 9, 2011.
Entry Period 11 begins at 12PM ET on August 22, 2011 and ends at 12PM ET on September 9, 2011.
Entry Period 12 begins at 12PM ET on August 24, 2011 and ends at 12PM ET on September 9, 2011.
Entry Period 13 begins at 12PM ET on August 26, 2011 and ends at 12PM ET on September 9, 2011.
Entry Period 14 begins at 12PM ET on August 29, 2011 and ends at 12PM ET on September 9, 2011.
Entry Period 15 begins at 12PM ET on August 31, 2011 and ends at 12PM ET on September 9, 2011.
Entry: During the Giveaway Period, go to https://www.engadget.com/2011/08/02/engadgets-back-to-school-2011-sweepstakes-were-giving-away-3/ and add a comment to submit your entry. The use of any agencies or automated software to submit entries will void all entries submitted by that person.
Drawing: At the conclusion of the Giveaway Period, Sponsor will select the name of one (1) Grand Prize Winner from each of the fifteen (15) Entry Periods in a random drawing of all eligible entries received during each Entry Period. The odds of being selected as a potential winner depend on the number of eligible entries received during the applicable Entry Period. Potential Winners will be contacted via email and asked to provide their full name, age and mailing address within a specified time period. If a potential winner does not respond within the timeframe stated in the notification email, the Sponsor may select an alternate potential winner in his/her place at random from all entries received during the Entry Period. Non-winning entries from one Entry Period do not carry over into subsequent Entry Periods.
Requirements of the Potential Winners: Except where prohibited, the potential winners will be required to complete and return an affidavit of eligibility and liability/publicity release (the "Affidavit/Release") and IRS W-9 form within seven (7) days of being notified. If a potential winner fails to sign and return the Affidavit/Release and W-9 form within the required time period, an alternate entrant may be selected in his/her place in a random drawing of all entries received. Acceptance of a prize constitutes consent to use winner's name and likeness for editorial, advertising and publicity purposes without additional compensation, except where prohibited by law. In the event the potential winner of any prize is a Canadian resident, he/she will also be required to correctly answer a time-limited mathematical question to be administered by email, mail or phone to receive the prize. Limit one (1) prize per household.
Prizes: Fifteen (15) Grand Prize Winners will each receive a Back to School Prize Pack containing the following items: HP Pavilion dm1z laptop, Sony NEX-C3 digital camera, Samsung 7" Galaxy Tab, Motorola Photon 4G (Sprint) smartphone, Altec Lansing Octiv 650 speaker doc, Bowers & Wilkins C5 headphones, Nook E-reader, Timbuk2 Command Messenger bag, Elgato HDHomeRun TV tuner, Kingston Wi-Drive, 1-year Premium Spotify subscription, Scosche: goBAT II, iMainGo: X, G-Form 11" Extreme Sleeve, Canon X Mark I Mouse Lite, 1-year Premium Skype subscription, Sonic Bomb Alarm Clock, Red Swingline Stapler, Toddy Smart Cloth and Pogo Sketch. Approximate Retail Value of each Prize Pack is $3,151. Subscriptions are subject to issuer's terms and conditions. Activation fees and monthly service fees not included with any smartphone/digital devices. No cash or other substitution may be made, except by the Sponsor, who reserves the right to substitute a prize or portion of a prize with another prize of equal or greater value if the prize is not available for any reason as determined by the Sponsor in its sole discretion. Winners are responsible for any taxes and fees associated with receipt or use of a prize.
General Conditions: In the event that the operation, security, or administration of the Giveaway is impaired in any way for any reason, including, but not limited to fraud, virus, or other technical problem, the Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, either: (a) suspend the Giveaway to address the impairment and then resume the Giveaway in a manner that best conforms to the spirit of these Official Rules; or (b) award the prizes at random from among the eligible entries received up to the time of the impairment. The Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual it finds to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Giveaway or to be acting in violation of these Official Rules or in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner. Any attempt by any person to undermine the legitimate operation of the Giveaway may be a violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, the Sponsor reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law. The Sponsor's failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision. In case of a dispute as to the owner of an entry, entry will be deemed to have been submitted by the authorized account holder of the screen name from which the entry is made. The authorized account holder is defined as the natural person who is assigned to an e-mail address by an Internet access provider, online service provider, or other organization responsible for assigning e-mail addresses for the domain associated with the submitted e-mail address.
Release and Limitations of Liability: By participating in the Giveaway, entrants agree to release, defend indemnify and hold harmless the Giveaway Entities from and against any claim or cause of action, including without limitation, any third party claim, arising out of participation in the Giveaway or receipt, use or misuse of any prize, including, but not limited to: (a) unauthorized human intervention in the Giveaway; (b) technical errors related to computers, servers, providers, or telephone or network lines; (c) printing errors; (d) lost, late, postage-due, misdirected, or undeliverable mail; (e) errors in the administration of the Giveaway or the processing of entries; or (f) injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from entrant's participation in the Giveaway or receipt, use or misuse of any prize. Entrant further agrees that in any cause of action, the Giveaway Entities' liability will be limited to the cost of entering and participating in the Giveaway, and in no event shall the Giveaway Entities be liable for attorney's fees. Entrant waives the right to claim any damages whatsoever, including, but not limited to, punitive, consequential, direct, or indirect damages.
TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, THE PRIZES AND ALL ELEMENTS THEREOF ARE PROVIDED "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF ANY KIND. SPONSOR DISCLAIMS ALL EXPRESS AND IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, TITLE AND/OR NON-INFRINGEMENT. Some jurisdictions do not allow the disclaimer of implied warranties. In such jurisdictions, some of the foregoing disclaimers may not apply to you insofar as they relate to implied warranties.
Disputes: Except where prohibited, entrant agrees that any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of, or connected with, the Giveaway or any prize awarded shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and exclusively by the appropriate court located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, entrant's rights and obligations, or the rights and obligations of the Sponsor in connection with the Giveaway, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules (whether of the Commonwealth of Virginia or any other jurisdiction), which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Giveaway Results: To request the names of the winners, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Engadget Back to School Giveaway Winners, Zach Honig, 770 Broadway, New York, NY 10003. Requests must be received by September 30, 2011.