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The Freshman 15 Contest: I’m Giving Away a Free Laptop

An Offer I Couldn’t RefuseHP dv7

A few weeks ago I received an interesting call from HP. They wanted help spreading the word among college students about their Pavilion DV series of laptops. Here was their pitch: they would choose 15 college blogs, and give us each a free laptop to give away however we want. No strings attached.

My reaction: sure! I’m more than happy to send free expensive stuff to my readers. (Full disclosure: I get nothing out of this deal except the pleasure of giving away something shiny.)

So here’s how things are going down. Each of the fifteen blogs they chose will run their own contest and give away their own laptop. The Study Hacks contest will begin on October 2nd. On this date I will announce the official rules. You will then have one week to enter before I choose the winner.

The full prize package includes: an HP Pavilion dv7t entertainment laptop, a 500 GB media drive, a docking station, and a PhotoSmart printer. (Not bad for a stupid blog contest.)

I’m not a gadget guy, but from what I understand the dv7t is a “desktop replacement” focused on “entertainment.” You can read smarter peoples’ reviews here and here.

Notice, PC World ranked it “superior.” I don’t know their rating system, but I assume that means it’s not a bad thing to win.

The other review notes: “with its 2.53GHz Core 2 Duo T9400 processor and 3GB of RAM, HP Pavilion dv7t get the score of 98 in PC Advisor WorldBench.”

I have no idea what that means.

Below is the official schedule of all 15 laptop give-aways. For each site I’ve listed when their contest will begin. In all cases, the winner will be announced exactly seven days later:

The Freshman 15

I Want Your Advice for Designing the Contest

If you’re interested, keep your eyes open in early October for the announcement of the Study Hacks contest rules. In the meantime, let me know if you have a suggestion for our contest — I’m still brainstorming possible ideas.

17 thoughts on “The Freshman 15 Contest: I’m Giving Away a Free Laptop”

  1. Awesome — Please make it possible for your faithful readers outside the US to participate. It really sucks that all the cool contests have the tiny disclaimer at the bottom saying it’s only open to the US and Canada.

  2. Is this contest applied to outside US readers/students? i’m in asia

    I’m relatively certain that the contest will be open to non-US readers, but I’m attempting to confirm this now, and will leave a comment here with the definitive answer once I hear it.

  3. Here’s an idea –

    Readers could submit the ideal setup for using a laptop according to the strategies posted on Study Hacks. In other words, they can answer the following question:

    “In your opinion and according to the advice on this blog, what is the most efficient way for a modern college student to make the most out of a personal computer?”

    – OR –

    Suggestions for new post themes and categories

    In either case, you would pick the best idea to win.

    Just a thought before I am off to class.

  4. ““with its 2.53GHz Core 2 Duo T9400 processor and 3GB of RAM, HP Pavilion dv7t get the score of 98 in PC Advisor WorldBench.”

    I have no idea what that means.”

    Aren’t you getting your Ph.D. in computer science at MIT? Or might I just be misinformed about the computer science field?

  5. Or might I just be misinformed about the computer science field?

    You’re misinformed. Computer Science covers a lot of disciplines from building robots to mathematical cryptography. I do theoretical computer science, which is basically just proofs. I use my computer only for e-mailing and typesetting papers.

  6. You could get people to send in their study hacks and give it away to the best one. Added bonus: never run out of content for blog posts again!

  7. I think that the winner should be someone who doesn’t already own a laptop. The entry could be in any format (essay, poem, song, video, etc) describing how a laptop would really help them in school.

  8. lots of idea generating in my mind but what will be the best idea to get one free great hp laptop? even don’t know – how many times I have to submit & try to get one laptop. maybe i am going to miss this chance too. lets see. thanks to share with us.


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