The Must-Have Back-to-School Electronics for 2013
These days, starting the school year out on the right foot isn’t just about doing your summer reading and buying a few pens and pencils. Having the latest high-tech gadgets for school is the key to staying organized, keeping up with homework and fitting in. Forget textbooks and old-school Trapper Keepers, the 2013-2014 school year is all about tablets and electronic note-takers. Here are six of the must-have back to school electronics for students.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0
This year’s generation of tablets is made for a lot more than reading and the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is no exception. The 5.3” gadget is light and thin and can help students in nearly every daily task, including reading papers, taking notes, watching videos, keeping a schedule and more. The multi-purpose tablet has a HD Super AMOLED display and is equipped with an 8 megapixel camera. There are also endless apps that make the Galaxy Note completely customizable for every student’s needs. Though it comes in at around $400, its versatility is its main draw.
Hisense Sero Pro 7
The Hisense Sero Pro 7 is ideal for the student (and the parent) on a budget. The tablet has an impressive 7” display and an IPS panel which makes it easy to read on the go and in the sunlight. The Sero Pro comes with a microSD Card slot for extra storage and also has an HDMI port, making it easy to quickly transform the tablet into a mini-laptop. The wi-fi enabled device is powered by Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. The Hisense Sero Pro 7 is available at Walmart for $129.
Microsoft Wedge Mobile Keyboard
For those students who already own a tablet or smartphone, a Bluetooth keyboard is a practical addition to their electronic library. Although many devices are touch screen, sometimes you just need to type it out. Microsoft’s Wedge keyboard comes with a convenient cover that doubles as a stand for a tablet, making it more portable than many similar products. The Wedge retails for $79.95.
This handy gadget can help make sure that students never miss a beat when it comes to note-taking. The Livescribe Smartpen keeps track of anything you write and record and allows you to easily transfer the notes to your personal Evernote account, where you can access them from your laptop, smartphone or other devices. This tool makes it easy to remember lectures, questions and moments of brainstorming inspiration. The Livescribe Smartpen retails for $119.95.
The Pebble Smartwatch
The Pebble is a customizable watch that syncs through Bluetooth with your iPhone or Android device so that you can have all of your information wrapped around your wrist. Students simply download the pebble app to their phone and can get notifications from caller ID, email, social media accounts and more, all with the click of a button. The watch can also help students adhere to their schedule, listen to music and track exercise. The Pebble comes in many watch faces, so students don’t have to sacrifice style in the name of technology. The Pebble retails at $149.99.
Voltaic Converter Solar Backpack
It’s not exactly an electronic device, but this cool product will help keep all of your electronics charged up and ready to go. The futuristic backpack is capable of charging all of a student’s electronics, including phones, ultrabooks, handheld game devices and more. With two solar panels, the backpack generates enough power to fully charge a typical phone. It also has a padded laptop sleeve to stand up to the horseplay of the school day. Waterproof and lightweight, this knapsack is perfect for the student on the go.
Tim Alan is a Southern California freelance writer and journalist who covers consumer electronics and other topics online. He is a contributing writer and editor for Freshly Techy. Follow him on Twitter @timthetechy.