Back to LSE: Technology Guide

by / October 10, 2014 All, Technology No Comments

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A new year at the LSE brings the need for new technology to keep up with our demanding academic lives, as well as activities to take our minds off work. Here is our guide to the best technology for your student life in London.

Laptops:

A laptop is vital for most students, for independent study in the Library, taking notes in lectures and doing readings.

  • MacBook Pro with Retina Display (£999): the most powerful of the MacBook range, and complete with a gorgeous HD Retina display, perfect for browsing photos, catching up on TV shows and typing out that last-minute coursework assignment!
  • MacBook Air (£749): a featherweight laptop, with a huge amount of power in the form of an Intel Core i5 processor and 4GB RAM for academic work, watching movies and multitasking. Easy to carry around campus and has the enticing glowing Apple logo.
  • Samsung Chromebook 2 (£349): a very reasonably priced laptop, with all of the essential Google applications required for your studies. It uses Google Chrome to surf the web, word-processing and photo editing applications and Google Drive to upload and store files.

 

Tablets:

Tablets are increasing in popularity to work or read on the go, and their convenient size makes them easier to carry around university than a larger laptop.

  • Microsoft Surface Pro 3 (£639): this tablet essentially doubles up as a laptop. With an attachable keyboard, it would be possible to write essays on this tablet. However, it may not be the most comfortable screen to read from for a number of hours. It is still versatile, light and packed with powerful features.
  • iPad Mini (£319): the perfect size to carry in a handbag or rucksack, with a 7.9-inch screen to do some last-minute readings on the bus or play your favourite game to pass some time. Versatile with over 500,000 apps available from the App Store.
  • Amazon Kindle Fire HDX (£199): the latest in the line of Amazon Kindle products, with a 7-inch touchscreen, this is a significant advance in technology from the previous generation Kindles. Primarily designed for reading, the choice of 8GB, 16GB or 64GB means the HDX has capacity to hold books, applications, movies and music. It is a reasonable and capable tablet, especially for students.

 

Audio:

As a student, music is important in our lives; whether listening to our favourite tracks on the walk to campus, an energetic soundtrack to our workouts or pumping tunes for pre-drinks.

  • XMI X-Mini II (£19): a small, cheap, durable speaker which is perfect for pre-drinks. Although the sound quality is not perfect, it packs a punch with good bass when left on a hard surface. An 11-hour battery life means fewer recharges and the 3.5mm jack can be tucked away into the base of the speaker.
  • Beats Pill (£169): the Beats Pill is a great sounding party speaker, with the ability to reach a high volume and with strong bass, this speaker is for the discerning party-goer.
  • Bose SoundTrue In-Ear (£90): a small set of in-ear headphones, which fit snugly into the ears. They are perfect for gym workouts and blocking out the sound of London traffic. Great sound quality for such small earbuds, regardless of the genre of music playing.

 

Fun:

After a busy day, there is nothing better than relaxing with some television, a good movie or a game with friends.

  • Apple TV (£99): arguably one of the best additions for your TV, with the ability to connect to Netflix, iTunes and YouTube. Also, AirPlay allows you to connect any Apple device to the TV in order to stream movies, music and shows straight from your computer, iPad or iPhone.
  • Chromecast (£30): Google’s dongle connected to the HDMI port of your TV to provide access to catch-up services, Netflix, YouTube and music streaming.
  • Canon Powershot ELPH 340 HS (£150): although most people tend to use their phones to take pictures nowadays, digital camera technology has improved, with this small, yet cheap camera packing 16 megapixels and a 12x optical zoom. It even has WiFi so you can upload your snaps straight to Facebook or Twitter.
  • Sony PlayStation 4 (£349) and Microsoft Xbox One (£399): the two giants of the gaming world once again go head-to-head. They double up as TV catch-up services, DVD players and music streaming services. Everyone has their preference, but if you can afford to, these consoles provide great gaming experiences, both online and offline; perfect for the quick game (or 6) of FIFA against your flatmates!

Rohan

LSE 3rd Year Law undergraduate student. Beaver Technology Section Editor. Member of the LSE AU (Men's Hockey).