Classrooms at schools of all types are filling up across the nation this week, as students once again return for another year of classes.
As students prepare for another year of learning, retailers slashing prices on the tools and toys that students will need to get through another school year.
To help guide your back to school purchases, VR World and Bright Side of News contributors have put together a back to school guide for 2014 to help you buy the top tablets, smartphones, dorm room TVs, premium notebooks, low cost notebooks, and game consoles for your 2014 back to school shopping.
Microsoft’s Xbox One console is a solid contender in the gaming industry, and delivers a host of different functions and capabilities. The console is ideal for students because of its status as a flexible nexus of entertainment: the Xbox One can play games and multi-task across a myriad of apps.
The sheer utility of the console is something that all students can appreciate and tap into in some very meaningful ways. Take the Xbox One’s Snap Mode, for example. Using Snap Mode, gamers can simultaneously run two apps at the same time.
Snap Mode has a host of practical applications for college-goers.
For example, with Snap Mode students can Skype video call classmates to discuss assignments or upcoming projects, all while surfing the internet for research at the same time. This handy function also works with leisure: you can watch a movie alongside a video game playthrough, or even broadcast your gaming session across Twitch.
With SmartGlass, the all-in-one system allows users to tether an assortment of smartphones and tablets to interact with the console in various ways. Owners can use their devices to control interfaces and start up apps as well as view social content like messages and track Achievements.
The Kinect is a nifty add-on that’s great for Skype video and voice calls, but really it adds in a whole new level of convenience to the console experience. Users can control the system with their voice or use hand gestures to interact with on-screen menus and interfaces.
Coupled with Xbox Fitness, you can also use the peripheral to exercise under the guidance of professional trainers. The Kinect 2.0 sensor doubles as a heart-rate monitor while capturing your movements on many different levels, making for a surprisingly technical workout.
The Xbox One also serves as a DVR. Using the HDMI pass-through on any TV the console can be connected to a cable box and record TV shows at any given time.
An upcoming separate digital TV tuner will further allow users to stream content from their Xbox Ones to devices connected to a network. Users can even use their SmartGlass-enabled devices as a TV remote.
If that wasn’t enough, the box will soon be compatible with a slew of media formats and support content streaming via USB sticks. Gamers will be able to watch media stored on USB flash drives on the console, which can be used to playback recorded audio lectures and even view jpeg images taken from any device.
DLNA streaming, which allows users to stream content across the network to the Xbox One, will be added as well.
Gaming-wise, the Xbox One doesn’t shine as bright as the PlayStation 4 in terms of performance, but it has a number of solid exclusives like Dead Rising 3, Titanfall and Forza 5 in its library. The graphics are adequate and latency isn’t always a big issue, but all-in-all the console is a jack-of-all-trades rather than a specialized system.
Later this year the Xbox One will receive a huge boost in titles with games like The Halo: Master Chief Collection. Other AAA multi-platform titles include Destiny, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and Dragon Age: Inquisition.
Rise of the Tomb Raider, the new Lara Croft adventure, is also a key timed exclusive for the console and serves as an excellent choice for the system.
Essentially the console marries very real practical advantages with gaming and an array of multimedia options. It provides quite a bit of potential and can be tapped for social functions and just ensuring you never miss your favorite TV shows.
Microsoft plans to keep evolving the console to meet the needs and tastes of console owners, so we may very well see many more features added over the upcoming months.