Students embrace technology

Robin Heim

Villanova, students take quizzes online, download assignments from their professors’ websites and receive important announcements several times a day via e-mail. Cell phones are so popular on campus that the University has virtually done away with landline service in dorms, except for calls to other lines on campus.

Being tech-savvy is a must, and ‘Novans do it with style by keeping up with the latest trends in technology. With newer and faster models appearing on store shelves every day, deciding which cell phone has the best features or which laptop is fastest can quickly become overwhelming. Before you buy, research your options. To get you started, here is a list of some of the hottest laptops and cell phones on the market.

In the world of computers, laptops reign. For students who lug their computers from class to class, the new generation of smaller, lighter notebooks is a godsend.

One such model is Sony’s VAIO TX670P/W ($2,499.99). Weighing in at only 2.76 pounds, this sleek unit is lighter than most college textbooks.

“I can take it with me anywhere,” junior Michaela Kreter said about her VAIO. An added bonus is the long battery life. “I love not having to worry about my battery going dead while I’m studying in Falvey,” she added.

Now featuring the same USB ports and wireless standards as PCs, plus many formerly “PC-only” programs like Microsoft Office (which includes Word and PowerPoint), Apple’s G4 series iBook and PowerBook are easier than ever to use. With a relatively low base price of $999, Apple notebooks are fast, portable and virtually virus-free, and their sleek, futuristic appearance is the epitome of cool. An added bonus: college students receive a discount on Apple products when they order from

It seems as if wireless companies are coming out with newer, shinier and more feature-loaded cell phones every day. A novelty two years ago, almost every new cell phone now has a built-in camera. Some, such as Sprint’s Multimedia Phone MM-A800 by Samsung ($350) which boasts a 2.0 megapixel camera and camcorder, snap photos with the same quality as many stand-alone digital cameras.

Want a cell phone that fits easily in your pocket? Major carriers, including Verizon, Cingular and T-Mobile, sell the “razor-thin” Motorola RAZR ($299) that is as functional as it is good-looking. Another ultra-thin phone is the Motorola SLVR ($199), which is the second phone offered by Cingular that doubles as a way to play Apple’s iTunes.

Students willing to sacrifice size for extra features might prefer Verizon’s V phone by LG ($299). Though bulkier than many newer phones, the V has a 1.3 megapixel camera and camcorder, high-quality speakers for playing music and watching CNN mobile, a memory card for holding songs and images and best of all, a full qwerty keyboard that makes text-messaging and web browsing a cinch.

The latest phones have photo caller-ID and allow owners to download clips of popular songs to use as ring tones. Even cooler is Verizon’s ringback tone plan. For $0.99 per month and $1.99 per tune, subscribers can download songs that others hear in lieu of a ring tone when they call your phone.

You don’t have to worry about Grandma being subjected to 50 Cent every time she calls you, though, because Verizon allows you to customize who hears your tone and even at what time of the day it plays.