It’s that time again of the year, folks! We’re crossing the end of august, and for many students, that means its time to head back to school. But the usual fare of pencils, rulers and books, doesn’t cut it anymore in today’s technological world. High-tech gadgets are now standard members of back-to-school shopping lists. When it comes to electronic devices, everything must look sleek and allow students to be totally connected.
With so many devices out there, the options can be overwhelming. So, if you are looking for a new system suitable for dorm living or high school homework, Appletell has prepared a nice back-to-school guide which will offer shopping advice on what to get to your kids to prepare them for this academic year. These devices can make school time more productive, and certainly more fun. Here are our best picks at various price levels for back-to-school equipment that should help your students excel (and relax) this coming year.
Apple MacBook Air
Developer: Apple Inc.
If you’re lugging around a bag full of papers, books, and other necessary items all day between classes, the last thing you want to do is add a bulky laptop by putting more weight in to the mix. This is the most revolutionary notebook on the market. The ultra-thin computer has a newer processor, brighter display, backlit keyboard and a Thunderbolt port.
It’s lighter than a small textbook and able to do everything you’ll need in the classroom, and since it runs on the newest and latest Intel’s Core i5 and i7 chips, tit can run with any task that the processor can handle. It also benefits from long battery life, and thanks to its flash memory, there is no boot up time; it wakes up instantly with by opening the it up. The best part? It’s so compact and light, it’s easy to throw in a backpack and carry with you.
Apple iPad 2
Developer: Apple Inc.
The iPad has offers advantages for students heading back to school this year. It supports iWork, which gives the users everything they need from typing documents, creating spreadsheets and presentations, and even databases. You also have Apple’s massive App Store, with millions of applications that can help manage your class schedule, graph equations, take notes and doodle in something other than a textbook.
The iPad makes everything seem easy, from checking your email to taking care of a little research on the bus, and don’t forget to mention the little research tool called Safari browser. And with the two-equipped cameras, it becomes a very powerful communication tool when used with apps like AIM, Skype and FaceTime so staying in touch with your family and friends couldn’t be much easier.
Of course, let’s not forget the iPad is also a great entertainment device, with support for music and full-screen video for killing time between classes. Naturally, the iPad might be a bit pricey for many students, but for those who have the extra cash to burn, it is worthy of consideration.
Check out our full iPad 2 review.
Level8 Atlas laptop backpack
This backpack has a roomy compartments and a reinforced pocket to protect your precious laptop. It’s crafted specifically for gadgets and gaming gear, and the backpack is perfect for techies on the go.
The other three areas of the Atlas feature numerous pockets for cables, pens, iPods/phones, power cords and whatever other sundries you might want to throw at it, with a combination of mesh pockets, zippers, and Velcro to keep everything organized.
And when you need to use your backpack as, you know, a backpack, the Atlas has foam-padded shoulder straps along with foam pads to protect your back and shoulders. Also, the backpack has shoulder padded strap that should help keep aches and pains at bay.
Check out our full Level8 Atlas laptop backpack review.
Logitech Keyboard Case for iPad
The iPad has its weaknesses, and one of its biggest is the difficulty of touchscreen typing. This case solves that problem by functioning as a case for transport, a Bluetooth keyboard with iOS specific keys, and as an iPad stand.
It recharges with the included micro USB cable and has a very respectable battery life.
Check out our full Logitech Keyboard Case for iPad review.
App-enhanced alarm clock docking station
Developer: Stem Innovation
One of the most important gadgets to any student’s life is the alarm clock, and this is no ordinary clock by any means. You can control your music, home alarms, travel alarms…even the lights in your room with the simple use of an app. And what’s more, it’s also easy to set up and control, and the interface works equally well on the iPhone and your iPad.
I can pretty much guarantee that no clock packs more features than this amazing clock, and when you actually need to use it to wake up, it makes more than enough noise to awaken the sound sleeper in anyone.
Check out our full App-enhanced alarm clock docking station review.
Portable Hard Drive for Macs with FireWire 800/USB 3.0
What seems to be the most important key to computing happiness? That key, of course, is to have a handy portable hard drive to back up your data. Nobody wants one of those days when your computer has a hard drive malfunction, causing you to loose all your important school project papers (especially if you haven’t turned in that 20-page essay yet). Now there is a solution.
The Store ‘n’ Go portable hard drive has a 500GB capacity, so anyone should have room to store a mammoth collection of videos and iTunes music. It also supports Firewire 800, which means if you’re on any kind of modern Mac, you’re good to go. It supports USB 3.0, which means it also supports USB 2 through backwards compatibility. This hard drive can be a lifesaver for students, and it’s small and portable while making full-system backups a breeze.
Check out our full Store ‘n’ Go FireWire 800/USB 3.0 portable hard drive for Mac review review.
Mobile Stand for iPad
Developer: Just Mobile
This useful stand helps to keep your iPad firmly in place while you do your work on your iOS device without any problems. Don’t let simple looks fool you;it packs functionality at just the right places.
One of the big advantages it has over other stands is that adjusting the viewing angle is a simple matter of just rolling the cylinder back and forth while the iPad rests against it at your desired position.
Check out our full Mobile Stand for iPad review.
Microvision SHOWWX+ Pico Projector
This micro-projector is one of the few devices available on the market that brings protection capabilities to Apple’s iDevices. When teaching a class, being able to display from your device is crucial for teachers or students themselves.
Microvision SHOWWX+ projector really is an amazing product. It’s about the same size at an iPhone 4, but is capable of projecting an image bigger than your widescreen TV under desirable conditions. It just great for videos and pictures in the home or on your travels, but when the device really shines is on presentations. The multi-tasking projector’s small size and portability allow it to go with you easily school or work.
Though its price is a bit steep, it will definitely make a solid school companion.
Check out our full Microvision SHOWWX+ Pico Projector review.
Belkin Bluetooth Music Receiver
When it comes to connecting your iPhone or iPod touch to your stereo, the Belkin Bluetooth Music Receiver keeps things as simple as possible (no wiring required).
Using your iOS device’s built-in Bluetooth support, the Belkin Bluetooth Music Receiver streams music to your stereo without any physical connection, allowing you to change the current song or adjust the volume from anywhere within 30 feet.
This slick, tiny device has a built-in microphone to help you record class lectures, review discussions and share notes. Simply plug it on the 3.5mm headphone jack, and its ready for any recording task.
This versatile device works with all the voice recording App Store apps you throw at it, and since its omnidirectional, it provides superior recording quality for its size. If you’re worried about lack of support for current iOS device, don’t worry; during my testing it even worked on the iPad, and I was very pleased with the quality of the audio.
Vortex headphones with in-line mic
Headphones are a necessity for the school season. You probably already have some sort of MP3 device around, and with this headphone, you’ll be able to block out those annoying noise around you for peaceful studying.
The Vortex headphones also include a microphone and controls on the cable, making it easier change songs without actually taking the iPod out of your pocket. The headphones strike just the right balance between quality and price, delivering quality sound that beats out other headphones in this price range.
Check out our full Vortex headphones with in-line mic review.