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(ARA) – Whether it is in the classroom or dorm room, college students strive to be ahead of the curve.

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 19:  Blackberry Playbook t...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

With laptops, books, smartphones and portable music players weighing students down as they trek across campus, tablets lighten the load and do it all. Super portable, but incredibly powerful, tablets are not only a great way to stay connected but also keep today’s student at the top of their game in the classroom and around campus. According to Forrester, tablet purchases are on the rise, with a predicted 82 million tablets reaching U.S. consumers by 2015. Considering this trend, here are a few ways the tablet is a must-have for your student at school this fall:

  • Keep in touch. Tablets are packed with quick and fun apps to connect with family and friends back home. Instant messaging apps like BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) for the BlackBerry PlayBook keep Mom and Dad up to speed on college life in real time, from any location. Whether studying abroad, taking a quick study break in the library or filling everyone in on the homecoming festivities, keeping in touch with family is fast and easy, and won’t empty the bank account. Looking for a face-to-face conversation with a sibling? Video chat apps let students and families easily engage with each other while catching up. To make sure they’re in-the-know with the high school crew back home, Facebook is optimized for tablets, so that the college scholars will never miss a beat.

  • Take it everywhere. Students get more done and can be productive while running from class to class. Tablets are significantly smaller and lighter than laptops and heavy books making them the ultra-portable notebook, ideal for note-taking and carrying around campus. With their e-book stores, tablets simplify the backpack (and save the back), allowing students to combine all those heavy books into a sleek one pound device. Got some down time between classes? Bring the tablet from room-to-room to share the latest YouTube sensation with your floor mates, play games, watch movies and listen to music when the studying is over.

  • Fit the “mini” mold. With tiny dorm rooms, mini fridges and limited storage, everything in college is on a smaller scale. Tablets with a 7 inch display are large enough for comfortable viewing and sensibly fit into the miniaturized dorm lifestyle.

  • Amplify the fun. Tablets take the college social experience to the big screen. Easily hook up tablets like the BlackBerry PlayBook to an HDTV using an HDMI cable to make your movies, photos, games, presentations and music that much more magnified. With applications like Slacker Radio and Need for Speed, your tablet can serve as a personal DJ, video player and gaming unit whether you’re hosting a party, making a class presentation more powerful with video, or just having a few friends over for movie night.

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Author: Andy Quayle

Andy was born in the Isle of Man and currently lives in Pittsburgh.
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