USB Memory Key â€“ Corsair Flash Voyager GT 2GB
If you can't afford a notebook, or simply don't want to carry it around with you all the time, then you'll need something to carry your data files around with you. Since floppy disks have officially bitten the dust, and emailing documents to yourself is a pain in the proverbial, a USB memory key is an essential. And if you want, speed, reliability and security then look no further than Corsair's Voyager GT range.
We've already reviewed the 8GB edition, but for most purposes this is a tad excessive and the far cheaper 2GB edition will suffice. These are the fastest and the most reliable flash memory keys out there, while the rubberised outer casing makes them highly durable and water proof â€“ so you can drop them into your pint and not lose all your precious data.
Printer and Scanner â€“ Canon PIXMA M160
Take our word for it, university printer systems cannot be relied upon. As such having your own printer is definitely a good idea, and considering they're so cheap these days there's no reason not get one. Hell, you can get a printer and scanner for Â£35!
The Canon PIXMA M160 combines both scanning and printing functionality into one ridiculously cheap unit, and received a Recommended Award back in September. This should save an awful lot of time mucking about buying printer credits, and the scanner could be used to copy pages from books that can be perused at your leisure. Plus, you could save money by using ink refills â€“ though you might want to check out our Inkjet Investigation feature first.
MP3 Player â€“ SanDisk Sansa E200 Series
When you're sitting in the library for hours on end a little musical entertainment can be essential, and for us the Sansa E200 series combines great design, functionality and affordability. Capacities range from 2GB all the way up to 8GB, with the 6GB Sansa E260 that we reviewed coming in at Â£85.
If you want as much space as possible, however, Play.com are selling the 8GB Sansa E280 for Â£99.99 inc. VAT and delivery. That's some great bang for your buck.
That just about wraps it up for our Student's Guide to Technology. As parting advice if you're shopping for a notebook then make sure you know what you're looking for, and whatâ€™s most important to you. When you're spending as little as Â£500 or so you're going to have to make compromises, and it's best to know what you can do without. If you're buying a Vista machine then 1GB of RAM is a bare minimum and 2GB preferable, as is a dual-core processor. As we've seen in this feature, certain items such as hard drive capacity are the first to be cut back in cheaper models, so be prepared for this, and given external storage is so cheap these days a smaller hard drive is pretty good compromise to make.