The Goods: Dorm-Room Blowout

Even if you graduated from college 20 years ago, you'll want to check out our inventory of the best affordable tech-from party-making sound systems to note-taking study aids-for tiny spaces.

In each issue of Popular Science, our renowned What's New section keeps you up to date with the most innovative consumer products currently on the market. Here on PopSci.com, we bring you a special expanded edition of "The Goods," college-style. Click "View Photos" at left to launch the gallery.

Peace and Quiet

The best way to keep the peace with a roommate? Being able to shut out him and his horrific taste in music every so often. These headphones are among the most effective noise-canceling pairs on the market and provide terrific sound quality at a fraction of the price of its competitors **
Panasonic RP-HC500 Approx. $100; panasonic.com

Dock It

Got the keg but no sound system? Good luck with the party. The speakers on this iPod dock are comparable to systems twice the price, thanks to neodymium drivers and a five-inch down-firing woofer. Its input jack lets you hook up nearly any music source, while the dock has adapters to fit all iPod models. **
Amplifi $150; griffin.com

Dustbuster

It ain't cheap, but can you really put a price on cleanliness? That is, on others (be they human or robot) doing the cleaning for you? Sleep in on Parents Day, and let the tried-and-true Roomba do the dirty work for you. And unlike your roommates, it won't butt in when the ´rents start cooing over what an upstanding young person you've become. **
Roomba From $120; irobot.com

Pen for your Thoughts

What happens to your notes at the end of the day? Or, more important, to your killer doodles? Never again lose a notebook's worth of work to a bad rainstorm or messy room. This pen wirelessly records your every stroke to a flash drive. Save hundreds of pages of text and images for studying, or simply posterity. **
Digital Pen and USB Flash Drive From $80; epos-ps.com

Ready for your Close-Up

Wake up one too many times without a clue what happened the night before? This ultra-slim camera slips into a pocket and shoots video at 30 frames per second at 640x480 H.264 resolution. A direct-to-YouTube feature lets you easily upload your antics to the world. **
Exilim EX-Z77 From $230; casio.com

Small Packages

Is the cafeteria food, shall we say, tastefully challenged? Barely larger than most microwaves, the Mini Kitchen still manages to squeeze in an oven spacious enough for a whole chicken or pan of "special" brownies along with two hot plates powerful enough to go well beyond simply boiling your ramen waterfor all your toasting needs. Best of all, it´s self-cleaning, eliminating the need for passive-aggressive "reminders" to your roommate. **
Mini Kitchen $200; russellhobbs.com

Wii Wii Revolution

The gym might have a rock-climbing wall and a kayak course, but let´s be honest, you're still not gonna set foot in the place. Mixing workouts with videogames, however, is a different story entirely. Wii Fit's balance board has dual sensors that detect motion and weight. The games run the gamut, from aerobics to yoga to conditioning. Makes DDR look downright dull. **
Wii Fit $70 (available 2008); nintendo.com

Mix 'n' Match

Dell's Inspiron is highly customizable, but even the most basic (read: cheap) systems come with everything you'd need and most of what you'd want. The standard version has an 80-gigabyte hard drive, an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, high-definition audio, a widescreen display and a CD writer/DVD combo drive. Add-on extras include a Blu-ray drive and an even higher-res screen, or just drop the cash on pretty lid covers (flamingo pink!). **
Inspiron 1420 From $780; dell.com

Siren Song

Your phone opens and closes? How 20th century. The Ocean has two hidden, slide-out keyboards-one with a numeric keypad for dialing and texting, and one with a full â€qwerty†keyboard presumably for blogging about how friggin' cool your phone is. The top is a 2.4-inch QVGA display for displaying photos, videos (the included camera can shoot two continuous hours of video) or full Web sites. It syncs with nearly every imaginable e-mail and messenger service, has built-in GPS integrated with Google Maps, and can even wirelessly pull information from enterprise e-mail servers while you´re on your summer internship at daddy´s firm. Work/play on. **
Ocean $300; helio.com

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