Tech choices abound to keep students connected

By on February 1, 2006

In today’s world of technology, cell phones are so last year.

Until a few years ago, it was unusual to see someone without a cell phone plastered to the side of their face. However, today it is strange to see someone without an iPod blaring in their ears, whether they are walking to class or running on the treadmill. In the midst of all the new technology that has been introduced in recent years, do Quinnipiac students rely on their cell phones anymore, or do most prefer a new and improved piece of equipment? With the introduction of the BlackBerry, the new video iPod, and the T-Mobile Sidekick II, does the cell phone appeal to the majority of the Quinnipiac community anymore?

The BlackBerry wireless handheld device is much more than just a cell phone, allowing users to receive and send e-mail, instant message, and organize assignments or meetings.

Even though Quinnipiac students are often as busy as those in an office setting, no one seems to need a BlackBerry to “make their life easier,” when every student on campus has a computer, and most have cell phones.

Almost every cell phone provider offers the BlackBerry, including Nextel, Cingular, Verizon, and T-Mobile, and the prices range from about $150 to $200.

“I’m not exactly wealthy,” Chelsey Roberts, a junior media production major, said, explaining why she does not own a BlackBerry.

Several students do not find the BlackBerry appealing at all, However, because it is much larger than a cell phone.

“I think BlackBerrys are ugly,” junior nursing major Tiffany Ward said. “They look like a big calculator.”

Apple’s video iPod is the most recent technological innovation to hit the market, and seems to be one of the most popular. The pocket-sized video iPod can be used on a Mac or PC, and holds up to 150 hours of video. It comes in white or black, and the 30 Gigabyte (GB) iPod holds 7,500 songs and costs $299. The 60 GB holds up to 15,000 songs for only $100 more.

Several Quinnipiac students believe the video iPod is the most appealing. Students say they prefer the iPod because they listen to a lot of music, and most students agree that the idea of being able to watch videos on the go is convenient. However, no one said they would pay more than $200 for a video iPod.

T-Mobile’s Sidekick II is students’ choice for the most appealing source of new technology.

“You can do so much on it,” A.J. Milardo, a junior broadcast journalism major said, of the popular device.

The Sidekick II is basically a smaller, sleeker-looking version of the BlackBerry. It allows users to send and receive e-mail, instant message, go online, along with having the features of a regular cell phone, including a camera and text messaging. The Sidekick II also has a long battery life, and runs about $249.99. Students like that the Sidekick II has all the convenient features of the BlackBerry, but it can fold up and be stored away in their pockets. However, as much as students like the features a Sidekick II contains, most would not be able to afford one. Many students projected their spending allowance for the device to fall between $100 to $150.

Not a single student interviewed prefers the cell phone over any of these other choices. However, according to what most students said they would pay for the newer, updated sources of technology, no one can really afford them. So, do not expect to see people walking around campus with their heads down, typing on their Sidekicks and BlackBerrys, and watching videos on their iPods until the prices on these newer items decreases.


About Michelle Collins