Believe it or not, back to school is still on. We recently went to CNN en Español to showcase some more of the cool gadgets that kids nowadays have at their disposal. Where were they when we were growing up and all we had were pencil and paper? Sigh…
Laptops are still a popular choice for back to schoolers. It’s a chance for the kids to get an upgrade for their computers and their choices are better than ever. The HP Pavilion x360 is part of a cool new trend of ninja computers that convert from laptop to tablet without a fuss. This computer has a 13.3-inch screen with an AMD processor and it comes with Beats Audio. The computer easily folds into a tent for easy media watching and the screen pivots 180 degrees to create a “tablet”. Unfortunately, it comes with Windows 8.1 which at this stage, I still have a hard time using, let’s hope Windows 9 brings better news. Overall, it’s a decent choice for back to schoolers at $479.
Calculators are still useful for school. Casio’s fx-260, fx-300ES PLUS, fx-9860GII and fx-9750GII calculators offer features for basic math to trigonometry including a built-in spreadsheet, which has a graphing function for problems that require plotting points on a graph or entering x-data and y-data in a table and more. They also feature icon driven menus, natural textbook displays, intuitive functions such as fraction simplifications and easy fraction/decimal conversions. These models from Casio feature USB connectivity, an LCD backlight and are available in a variety of colors including black, blue, gray, pink and white. To promote student appreciation of math, Casio is also offering a portfolio of tools on their site to help students with math at any level from K trough College.
The Texas Instruments – TI-Nspire CX takes calculators to a new level. It enables a deeper understanding of abstract math and science subjects. This is as close to a full-blown computer as you can get and take with you into an exam. It supports multiple graphing functions, parametric, polar, sequence and 3D graphing. Also offers matrix operations, different graph stiles, advanced statistic analysis and more. It has a screen size of 320 x 240 on a color backlit display and comes with 100 MB of storage memory, 64 MB of operating memory and the battery is rechargeable.
Another useful item for back to school is a good pair of headsets. The Pioneer SE-MX7 Dynamic Stereo Headphones are a good alternative with very nice sound quality and a night club feel in their low bass response. It has dual 40mm speaker units and has detachable cords with integrated remote control and microphone. They also have the manually adjustable bass control on the ear cup and come in a variety of colors for $199.99.
Last but not least, the NETGEAR N300 Trek Travel Router and Range Extender. It can be used as a range extender, router, access point or bridge. It can be connected to a laptop to extend its range or simply to protect yourself on a public WiFi. It has a foldable external antenna for extended range. This gadget allows you to multiply the single network connection in the dorm or on the go, so you can turn it into a private network for all your devices. This avoidsthe annoying per device charge and number of device limits. The best part is that there is no need to pay fees per device that connects to the network, as hotels love to charge. It retails for $49.99.
The Keurig Mini Brewer is a compact coffee maker that fits in a dorm room. It brews hot or cold beverages under two minutes just by touching a button. The K-Cup packs are easy to replenish and come with a variety of options from coffee, tea, hot cocoa and even iced beverages. My favorite part is that this coffee maker is quick and keeps the mess to a minimum. Priced at $99.99, doesn’t feel expensive given the convenience.
We also showcased the Livescribe 3 Pen, The Tylt Energi + backpack so there is plenty to choose from. Looking forward to Back to School 2015 already!