25 Cool Back-To-School Gadgets2:00 PM EST Mon. Aug. 26, 2013
Out is the hot summer sun and coming soon is the crisp fall air. The end of summer vacation, outings at the beach and barbecues means it's time to go back to school. And that means it's time for new supplies.
Aside from fresh new notebooks and pencils, what's better than the latest tools and gadgets for school? Whether it's a brand-new convertible laptop/tablet or a smart TV for a dorm room, check out what's cool for back to school.
Jawbone UP is a wearable gadget that tracks a user's every move and step. A sturdy and light wristband, this health tracker will track steps, workouts and sleep and record all of the data, which can be easily accessed through its app. It even tracks the smallest movements made when sleeping. By tracking hours slept, the time it took to fall asleep, light vs. deep sleep and waking moments, it will uncover sleeping patterns that affect how one feels. This thin band is made of rubbery plastic, stretching out to wrap around a wrist. It is water-resistant and available in a multitude of colors. The app also is available for Android and iOS devices.
Jawbone UP is available for $129.99.
The Collins backpack features straps that can easily be tucked away to convert into a tote bag. It can fit any laptop, including MacBooks up to 15.4 inches. To protect laptops, this gray backpack with a pinstripe interior has a padded laptop and tablet pockets, internal accessory panel, a large storage compartment and side pockets with Velcro closure for water bottles. Its high-density foam protection system is a lightweight cradle that keeps a laptop protected in padded foam while being suspended from the bottom of the backpack. This backpack is perfect for students and professionals due to its simplicity, convertibility and functionality.
The Collins backpack is available for $89.95.
This messenger bag is perfect for any laptop. Made from durable goat leather and canvas lining, this bag is equipped with antique accessories. Free from chemicals and made of dye-free leather, this bag uses natural vegetable oil and the sun to give its unique color. Classy and sturdy, this elegant laptop bag is top quality for laptops, office files, schoolwork and more.
The handmade leather laptop bag is available at esty.com for $79.
Convertible is in and with this 360-degree screen, this transforming device swivels from a laptop into a tablet. The hybrid laptop has a touch screen that flips, twists and rotates into a tablet; its four positions include clamshell laptop, tablet, stand and slate, which still allows the keyboard to be utilized. The IdeaPad Yoga 13 is equipped with a 1.7GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 4 GB of memory, 500-GB hard drive, and the Windows 8 operating system. The IdeaPad Yoga 13 is available in clementine orange and silver gray.
Prices for the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 vary from $899 to $1,149.
This pillow in the shape of a flower "hugs any tablet just right." A lap desk for any tablet, the pillow is filled with millions of comfortable microbeads. The tablet is held onto the lap desk with stretchy bands that encase each corner of the tablet and a gripping silicone surface. It has a 14.5-inch diameter and comes in pink or purple.
The FOM Flower Tablet Pillow is available for $29.99.
Perfect for movie lovers and video game fans, the Roku3 is the latest streaming media player for those going back to school. By attaching to an HDTV, the Roku3 delivers Internet content such as videos, apps and games, built-in 750-plus entertainment channels, as well as Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO GO, Pandora and Amazon Instant Video. There also is access to free movies and TV series from Crackle. It plays 720p HD and 1,080p HD videos. The Roku 3 comes with a remote with a headphone jack in-ear headphones and motion control for games.
The Roku3 is available for $99.99.
The Logitech K760 is a wireless keyboard powered by any source of light including lamp and solar light, indoors and outdoors. This Bluetooth-enabled keyboard is simple in design and can be switched from a Mac to an iPad to an iPhone with just the touch of a button. With this wireless keyboard, there is no more worrying about numerous typos caused by a touch screen.
The Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K760 is available for $79.99.
What's compact, portable and loud? It's the JBL Flip, a wireless speaker that connects to smartphones, tablets, laptops and more. It even enables sound for Skype and FaceTime through its Bluetooth and built-in microphone features. This rechargeable speaker delivers loud and clear sound despite its small size, especially when smaller speakers struggle to produce bass. Five hours of playback time are provided within one charge. This speaker is perfect for playing music out on the quad or in a dorm room and keeping in touch via Skype. It is available in black, white, blue and red.
The JBL Flip is available for $99.95.
While most headphones are prone to damage, this pair of headphones delivers an impressive sound while remaining durable. The S4 II comes with a three-button control and mic for controlling music and phone calls. It has comfortable oval ear tips and noise-isolating in-ear headphones to deliver bass and full-range clarity. Its cord is also flat so it remains tangle-resistant. The Image S4 II works with iPods, iPhones, iPads and Macs. It is available in black or white with four different pairs of various-size oval ear tips, clothing clip and a protective carrying case. Also included is a two-year warranty.
The Klipsch Image S4 II is available for $99.99.
What's amazing about the Satechi Touch USB Lamp is that it can turn almost any empty bottle into a table lamp. With its on and off button, it is perfect for any work space as it works though its USB cord, which can also be plugged into any USB wall adapter plug. This LED lamp emits a warm, soft light, using LEDs that have a lifetime of 50,000 hours and consume 1.2W of power, less power than any incandescent or fluorescent lamp.
Originally $29.99, the Satechi Touch USB LED lamp is available now for $24.99.
Whether in a dorm room or at home, this 3M projector can be used in the outdoors, on a wall or ceiling and even garages. Powered by Roku, it features an integrated Roku Streaming Stick. Similar to a full Roku box, the 3M projector has built-in W-iFi and streams Netflix, Amazon Instant, Hulu Plus, MLB.TV, Vudu and HBO GO. This compact and portable projector also has a built-in rechargeable battery that can last for up to two hours. There are inputs for HDMI and Micro-USB cables to connect to phones, tablets and laptops.
Originally $299, the 3M Streaming Projector is available now for $203.97.
The latest addition to the Dyson product line is the AM05, a fan that is perfect for all four seasons. The Dyson Hot + Cool is a bladeless heater fan for cooling in the summer and heating in the winter. The AM05 uses Dyson Air Multiplier technology to draw in air and project it for a constant, smooth airflow. With 10 speed settings and precise target room temperatures, the fan is also energy-efficient, setting a 30 percent decrease in costs in comparison with conventional fan heaters and has a "smart" thermostat that maintains the temperature between 33 and 99 degrees Fahrenheit. When a desired temperature is reached, the AM05 will turn off, but if a drop in temperature is detected, it will automatically turn back on.
The Dyson AMO5 is available for $399.99.
Providing Internet on the go, the MiFi Liberate from Novatel Wireless is great for teachers, students and parents. This compact and small device delivers high-speed Internet connectivity that can be shared with up to 10 devices. This touch-screen device also will keep tablets, laptops, gaming consoles, smartphones and e-readers connected for up to 11 hours without recharging. The touch screen allows users to manage data usage, access connection details including Wi-Fi network and password, and view and block connected devices and signal strength. Wi-Fi services are provided through AT&T Mobile Hotspot.
The Novatel Wireless MiFi Liberate is available through AT&T with a two-year contract for $49.99.
Lost laptops, wallets, keys and other miscellaneous items can be found quickly and easily via the Tile app. Small white squares can be attached, stuck on or dropped into any item and will be tracked and sound an alert if triggered; the Tiles feature a built-in speaker to be easily identified. Ten Tiles can be added and tracked, and users can see whether they are getting closer or farther away from the Tile within a 50- to 150-foot range. The Tile app also saves the last GPS location where the Tile was seen.
Through its Kickstarter campaign, 49,586 backers pre-ordered Tiles, totaling $2,681,297. Currently it can be pre-ordered for $18.95.
Today's students are relying on laptops and mobile devices to study, take notes and finish assignments. The Bitcasa Infinite Drive keeps those documents and files safe and easily accessible. This public cloud storage service provides an "infinite" space for students to upload an unlimited number of files. It will allow students to save and access their digital assets without carrying around a USB drive or external hard drive. Class notes and projects can be accessed and shared with classmates from any device at any time. Files are organized by type, including documents, photos, videos and music. All files are encrypted to the cloud, so only the student can have access.
Bitcasa is offering special student pricing: $4.99 per month for the first four months of school with $10 per month following, or students can get 20 percent off with the code School20 for $79.
Taking notes in a lecture hall can be tedious and stressful. The Sony Digital Flash Voice Recorder makes it easy to take notes and go back and clarify. With 4 GB of built-in flash memory, there is plenty of space for recording. The recorder also automatically adjusts its recording level, preventing recording distortion from loud sounds. Shifting a button on the back of the recorder reveals a USB drive, which can be inserted into laptops to transfer files. T
Originally $99.99, the Sony Digital Flash Voice Recorder is available now for $79.99.
Waking up for class early in the morning is rough. Square One is an alarm clock that uses a wake-up light to simulate the sunrise, preparing the body to wake up well rested. This bird call alarm clock doubles as light therapy by emitting 10,000 LUX, equivalent to light therapy boxes. Approximately 15 minutes before the scheduled wake-up, the LED light panel turns on and gradually increases in light intensity.
Originally $139.99, Square One is available now for $119.99.
Save paper and a student's back with Apple's own textbook line in the iBookstore. From publishers such as McGraw-Hill and Pearson Education, there are a variety of subjects including biology, physics and algebra for grades K-12. What especially makes these textbooks so engaging are the graphics, charts, interactive diagrams, videos and photos. Text can be highlighted and notes can be taken as well.
iBook textbooks start at $14.99.
These USB flash drives are cool enough to carry around, coming in various characters including The Simpsons, Hulk's Green Fist, Iron Man's Mask and Fortune Cat. They have a capacity of 4 GB, 8 GB, 16 GB or 32 GB. They also support Windows 8, 7, Vista, XP, 2000 and Mac OS and are made of durable silicone casing.
The Simpsons flash drive ranges from $17 to $33, the Hulk's Green Fist ranges from $16 to $37, the Iron Man's Mask ranges from $20 to $35 and Fortune Cat ranges from $17 to $34, depending on the GB capacity.
When working on important digital assets, backing up is a necessity. The Seagate Backup Plus portable drive is perfect for storing documents, photos, videos and music. This sleek external hard drive will protect everything on a computer and easily share photos and videos to Facebook, Flickr and YouTube. It works interchangeably with any PC or Mac without reformatting. With four colors to choose from, including black, silver, red and blue, the drive can hold up to 500 GB, 750 GB or 1 TB of material.
Prices for the Seagate Backup Plus are $69.99 for 500 GB, $89.99 for 750 GB and $99.99 for 1 TB.
The Samsung LED 5300 smart television set has built-in Wi-Fi and allows access to a Web browser, search, Facebook, Skype, Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube and more. With a 32-inch screen, the TV is equipped with full HD 1,080p for realistic and detailed images. There are also three HDMI connections to connect a satellite receiver, HD cable TV box or Blu-ray player. This slim TV is a great asset to any bedroom, dorm room or living area.
Originally $499.99, the Samsung LED 5300 is available now for $349.99.
Livescribe's Echo Smartpen takes note-taking to new levels. This latest transcriber allows students to record audio while taking notes. By simply taking notes on Livescribe paper and tapping a word/words on the page, audio can be replayed. Notes can easily be transferred with a USB cable. To share notes with classmates, audio and notes can be sent to emails, Google Docs, Facebook, Evernote, OneNote, MyLivescribe, a mobile device and a computer. The Echo smartpen has space for 2 GB of memory, 500 MB of personal online storage and is set with a starter dot paper notebook.
Livescribe's Echo Smartpen is available for $119.95.
If on campus and away from a power outlet, Lepow's Moonstone is perfect for giving iPhones, cameras, laptops and other devices their juice. This compact and sleek device is easy to carry around and features two USB ports and one micro USB port to charge any device. It can be recharged more than 500 times, almost a span of three years, before draining out. With its "adaptive" solution, Moonstone detects and deploys the best amount of electricity for a device. As a device is being charged, Moonstone automatically adjusts the output electricity for that device.
Lepow's Moonstone is available for $50.
The Hovercam Mini 5 camera is an all-in-one scanner and Webcam that allows for Web conferencing, document scanning, and business card and receipt recognition. Pocket-sized, the device plugs directly into a computer via USB, and a cable is included in case the wire needs to be extended. Included software allows users to organize bussiness cards, track receipts and transfer information directly to Facebook, Evernote, Dropbox or YouTube. Mini 5 is compatible with Mac OS devices, Windows 7, 8, Vista and XP.
Originally $299, the Hovercam Mini 5 camera is available now for $249.
Logitech's Cooling Pad will keep a hot laptop from overheating. Perfect for any Mac or PC 16-inch (or less) laptop, this cooling pad delivers air through its quiet fan while the USB is plugged in. With its low power consumption, it won't drain a laptop's battery while cooling. The Logitech Cooling Pad is suitable for use whether it's on a desk or in a student's lap. It is available in dusty rose, black or white.
The Logitech Cooling Pad is available for $19.99.