I sometimes wonder if young people would think it was worse to start the school year with last year's fashion or last year's gadgets.
You can get away with old fashion if you say it's retro, but the same can't be said of electronics. Unless you're going for real throw-back and buying an Atari.
Assuming, the college kids in your life would like to outfit themselves with new technology to help them succeed this academic year, here are a few fun suggestions.
MacBook Air - 11 inch
This is the best laptop I've ever used. The new MacBook Air is paper thin and light so it won't break your back if you throw it in a backpack or shoulder bag. It also boots up in just a few seconds so you can't start taking notes as soon as you open it once you sit down in class.
It also has a long battery life so should last an entire day of classes without a charge. You may need to pull out that power cord if you're pulling all-nighters though.
iHome Glowing Alarm Clock
You won't get much out of your classes if you don't wake up for them. The iHome iA17 alarm clock is a great bedside gift for any college kid. It lets you dock an iPhone or iPod and use it as an alarm.
You can change the colors of the alarm clock to fit the mood of your dorm room and set the music from your iPod or iPhone that you would like to wake up to. Hopefully your musical choice doesn't make your roommate want to bludgeon you.
Sony Speaker Dock for iPod
If you are the kind of person who studies best to a playlist, consider a great set of speakers. The Sony RDP-X60iP Speaker Dock for iPod provides premium sound for playing tunes from your iPod or iPhone.
It also has Bluetooth compatibility for streaming music from other devices and it works great as an iPod or iPhone charger if that pesky white cord gets lost in your room like it can in mine.
Toshiba TV DVD Combo
If you're lucky enough to get a TV in your room, why not opt for one that has a built-in DVD player? That will save precious room when space is at a premium.
The Toshiba 19SLV411U TV has a 19-inch, full 1080p high definition LED screen and allows you to plug in your PC or laptop if you'd like to stream your movies or music straight from your computer or play presentations or videos as study tools.
Missing your parent's cable TV? Take it with you! The Slingbox Pro-HD lets you stream video from a DVR somewhere else -- say your parents' house!
You can set one of these up at your parents house and then watch anything that is playing or saved on their home cable box either online or on a mobile device like iPhone or iPad.