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Back-to-School Gadgets Guide

Back-to-school time often reminds us of buying new clothes , new pencils , and new backpacks , but perhaps nothing really kicks off the beginning of the school year like new electronics  and gadgets .  Whether it's a new laptop , a digital camera , or a nicer LCD monitor , we have all of the best educational tools  that your child will be looking for.  

Essentials

Heading back to class means re-stocking on the essentials, and we aren't talking pen and paper here. The gadgets below are absolute must-haves that will make life for you--and the student in your life--a lot easier, even if it just means your kids aren't hogging your computer. 

USB Flash Drives 

In our data-driven society, USB drives  have a become a valuable tool. You can surely find a colour and style to match any child's, from Lego  USB drives to animal  shaped ones, they're all perfect for when you've run out of printer ink at home.

Laptops 

You can look for the latest state-of-the-art Mac Book  or go with a budget laptop . Make sure it's loaded up with software  for research, presentations and essays.  For younger kids, try a learning laptop ! And make it last with cooling devices  and security locks .

DVD/LCD Televisions 

Save space with a combo television .  These are perfect for any dorm and can play DVDs  with a quality sound and picture. This is obviously a back-to-school gift for university students rather than your average primary school child.

Mobile Phones 

Stay in touch!  Older kids will certainly need one: they're great to have in case of emergencies! Prepaid plans can help you save money even with the worst talkers. For younger children, look for toy cell phones  or the Firefly , made especially for young minds.

Wireless Tech 

Unplug the student in your life with an array of wireless technology. From wireless mice  and keyboards , to printers ,headphones  and speakers , you can open up study space by eliminating as many wires as possible.

Digital Calculator 

Every student needs one of these; they always have and they always will. Older students will want to have a graphing calculator  handy and young kids will need a digital calculator  capable of computing the basics. Just don't let them get too reliant on this device!

Digital Voice Recorder 

Record lectures and assemblies for future reference with a voice recorder. This may be one of the best study tools  that you can invest in, assuming professors allow them. More advanced models also function as pens  and sync notes with the lecture.

E-Book Reader

Textbooks are in no danger of being replaced in the digital age, but that doesn't mean you can't take advantage of light weight, portable e-book  readers for your student. You can store thousands of classic works of fiction, plus periodicals to aid research.

iPod 

With so many MP3 players  on the market today, surely your kid will want one.  iPods  are the bigger brand out there, but you can find a variety of models loaded with similar features. Great for foreign language practice or music class.

Dual Alarm Clock Radio 

Take the worry out of waking your child up in the mornings.  Look for clocks that always keep the correct time and never need setting.  Finding an alarm clock with an MP3 player dock  is even cooler and your child will wake up energised to his or her favourite songs.

Avoid Temptation

It's tempting to go crazy at the start of the school term and pick up a load of shiny new electronics for the student in your life. There are sales everywhere, and you can usually pick up a few items bundled together. But thrifty parents and students know, the real trick to buying gadgets during the back to school frenzy is avoiding the stuff you don't need. A digital calculator isn't the most essential tool for your five year old, to start. Consult the school's supply list and class syllabi for possible technological requirements--a class that requires presentations will almost certainly require an up-to-date computer, while a music class may require a new iPod. You should also keep it age appropriate--your Sixth form student probably doesn't need a learning laptop.

Quick Pick

ByteStor 8GB USB High Speed "Dataferry" Flash Drive 

USB 2.0 compliant with 10-year data retention. You probably won't use it for that long, but it's good to know it will last.

Creative Labs EP-630 Noise Isolating Earphones (Eco Packaging) 

Tune out all the white noise around you and focus on your studies with these noise cancelling head phones. 

Logitech M505 Wireless Mouse 

A wireless mouse that offers an ergonomic grip and reliable, smooth control that's energy efficient.

Epson Stylus SX515W High-Speed All-in-One Printer with Individual Inks and Wi-Fi 

A Wi-fi ready multi-function printer that copies and prints anything, even photos.

Livescribe 2GB Pulse Smartpen 

Using the specialized paper included, you or your student can take notes with this 2GB smart pen and transfer them to your computer.

 

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