The gadget scenario has had a sea change in the last 10-15 years. College-bound kids have the latest tech gear in mind to adorn their college dorm rooms. Gone are the days of bulky gadgets – they have been replaced by multifunction and sleek devices. You no longer need cassettes or CDs – it is time for music to be stored in the cloud and exchange it over the cloud rather than taking them physically.
Here is our pick of 10 Cool Gadgets in the Back to School Category.
Back to School: 10 Cool Gadgets
The first product in our back to school category is in fact not a gadget! It is a membership, which has become an absolute must – Amazon Student Membership. Amazon Student Membership is a watered down version of Amazon Prime aimed at students and is a great way to buy whatever you want, be it gadgets, books, sweatshirts or even snacks. There isn’t even a need for you to get out of your bed as Amazon delivers right to the dorm?
Amazon Student Membership itself gives you a lot of flexibility. You can use it for 6 months and then shift to Amazon Prime to increase the payback from this membership. You get free 2 day shipping, $10 referral for referring friends, free Kindle books to borrow, books (both fresh and second hand) and unlimited streaming of over 40,000 titles.Details and comparison can be found here.
Gone are the days when your Nokia or Motorola phone would last 3-4 days on a single charge. Smart phones hardly even last a day and with tons of downloading emails, sending texts – it comes down to a few hours.
A portable charger is a great option and will let you charge your phones when not near AC outlets. Mophie Juice Pack Plus and Moonstone Power Pack are the portable charging solutions you need. Choose the one which suits your style.
Lepow MoonStone Power Pack chargers look cool because of smooth rounded surface without edges and designed to fit perfectly into the palm of your hand. Mophie Juice Pack Plus are equally great looking and personally I feel that they have an advantage over Moonstore Power Pack charger because Mophie Juice Plus is like a cover of your phone and don’t need to be carried separately.
Lepow Stone Power on the other hand has a huge advantage of having the ability to charge Android phones as well because Mophie Juice Plus is made exclusively for iPhones. This makes Lepow Stone Power more versatile and useful as compared to Mophile Plus if you use multiple devices.
Streaming devices can be extremely useful for students to get entertainment by streaming content. Roku 3 and Apple TV have been the common go-to streaming devices for quite some time now. Google Chromecast has added competition to the field.
The price of Roku 3 and Apple TV is closer to $100 range, while Google Chromecast costs all of $35. However, Roku 3 gives you access to a huge list of 750 channels to watch movies, listen to music or scan the latest news in the comfort of their dorm room and Apple TV gives you the unparallel and seamless connection you’d ever experience, especially when using with Apple products. Google Chromecast falls short on channel selection and experience, but makes it up with a highly competitive price of $35 and presence of most used streaming apps – Netflix, YouTube and Spotify.
Wristbands – Up from Jawbone and Fitbit Flex though look like wristbands or friendship bands, but they are much more than that. Up and Fitbit Flex are excellent devices to tracks how you sleep, move and eat so you can know yourself better, make smarter choices and feel your best. Stay fit and healthy when away from home is every parents concern and these wristbands will help your kids become smarter and aware of what they do to stay healthy.
It is likely that you do not need to carry your laptop for classes – tablets give you the ultimate comfort and alternative since they’re light, offer plenty of storage and easy to carry anywhere. Only downside to tablets is that they are not a mean typing machine. You need to get yourself Belkin Ultimate Typing Keyboard.
Belkin weighs only 17 ounces and connects to the iPad using Bluetooth. It not only does protect your iPad and offer three different viewing angles when open, its built-in keyboard is both comfortable and easy to type on. The keyboard also has shortcut keys for controlling media, such as forward and volume.
While tablets have become the go to computers now-a-days, it will very less likely replace the desktop or laptop computers, at-least till the office going culture thrives. You need a laptop computer, which can last for 4 years even though it might not be the most expensive one available in the market today.
If you plan to study in any department of engineering, it is likely that you will find PCs to be most suitable for you because all the software are still not made to run on a Mac – many of them being engineering specific. If you choose PC, you might well consider Sony Vaio T Series Ultrabook or Acer Aspire S7.
If not for those engineering specific software, Apple Macbook Pro is the best laptop you can buy for yourself. It is a tad high, but something you’ll love immensely and works great.
I consider it highly unproductive to be holding phone in your hand while talking. I always recommend that you should get a Bluetooth headset so that both your hands are free to do multitasking while you talk. You can do things like clean your dorm room while talking, cook food etc and save time for productive activities.
Bose Bluetooth Headset is my favorite and the one I always use. is a pretty great noise cancelling device and is small enough to fit in your shirt’s pocket along with your phone. It sounds great and is highly recommended.
Jawbone Big Jambox wireless Bluetooth speakers connect via Bluetooth to your smartphone and provides up to 15 hours of continuous play on a single charge. BIG JAMBOX turns any phone, tablet or mobile device into a portable, hi-fi sound system and you can take it with you from room to room or share your sound anywhere—like the beach, park, hotel, backyard, rooftop, hot tub, or pool.
BIG JAMBOX has a built-in microphone that lets you enjoy hands-free calls and video chats using Skype, GoogleTalk, and FaceTime.
Music is an ultimate was to relax and during school or college life, students need a little help to focus on work in an environment, which is full of distractions. There may be a party down the hall or roomate watching TV – you need the Ncredible NTune headphones from Monster to keep your focus. You might also get Bose Quitecomfort 15, which is equally good at noise cancellation.
Both theses headphones are lightweight and comfortable to wear. Monster NTune has an in-line mic lets students make and take calls, and the universal button gives them the ability to control music functions from the headphone cable. These devices come in a variety of color schemes to suit your style and make a fashion statement!
Finally, you will need a nice bagpack to fit all these things in. Swissgear SA1923 Scansmart Bagpack is one such bag, which can pack all these and also water-bottle, eye glasses and much more. It is also designed to get through airport security quickly and easily.
Other advanced features include contoured shoulder straps for enhanced comfort. The interior pocket organizer provides divider pockets for pens, pencils, cellphone, and anything else you need. There is even an elastic tab on the shoulder strap that keeps sunglasses secure and conveniently accessible.
Any great back to school items we missed? Let us know in the comments!