TODAY'S PAPER
Overcast 52° Good Morning
Overcast 52° Good Morning
BusinessTechnology

Back-to-school tech gear students will love

Despite living in a high-tech world, today’s students still need the basics: a backpack, a notebook and something to write with.

Except that backpack can come equipped with a solar panel and battery for charging your phone. And that special notebook and pen can copy all your notes to your tablet, where you can convert them into text files.

Consider adding those or some of these other gadgets to that back-to-school wish list, for tots to teens and all ages in between.

Livescribe 3 Smartpen

Combining old-fashioned note-taking with high-tech flair, the Livescribe
Photo Credit: Livescribe

Combining old-fashioned note-taking with high-tech flair, the Livescribe 3 Smartpen can automatically transfer copies of your handwritten notes to a smartphone or tablet, where they can be converted to text files. If recording, say, a lecture on your phone, the app will sync your notes to the audio; tap a word on the screen, and it will take you to the moment in the recording that you wrote that word. To work properly, the pen requires the use of special paper, which can be printed from the company’s website or in the form of notebooks sold separately. $179.95 MORE INFO livescribe.com FIND THE BEST PRICE bit.ly/2tQrn6C

Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition

A tablet designed strictly for kids, the Amazon
Photo Credit: Amazon

A tablet designed strictly for kids, the Amazon Fire 8 Kids Edition has an HD display in its latest iteration, a durable shell case and one year of access to Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, a service with thousands of apps, games, videos and educational content. The tablet also has parental controls for managing usage limits and content access, as well as a two-year, no-questions-asked guarantee should the device break. $129.99 MORE INFO amazon.com FIND THE BEST PRICE bit.ly/2sOQw1J

ZUtA Labs Robotic Printer

Despite the tireless march toward a paperless society,
Photo Credit: ZUtA Labs

Despite the tireless march toward a paperless society, there are times when anything other than an 8.5-by-11-inch printout just won't do. Measuring slightly larger and thicker than a hockey puck, the space-saving, highly portable ZUtA Labs Robotic Printer won't take up valuable dorm room real estate or room in your backpack. Just place it near the corner of the paper, and it glides over the page, printing one sheet in roughly a minute, from PCs, tablets or smartphones. Each ink cartridge lasts about 100 pages, and the printer can go about an hour on a full charge. $299, available in the fall MORE INFO zutalabs.com

Mountie Side-Mount Clip

Step up your multitasking game with the Mountie
Photo Credit: Ten One Design

Step up your multitasking game with the Mountie Side-Mount Clip, which attaches to the side of your laptop display and allows you to mount your phone or tablet to the side of your main screen to enhance your productivity. Rubberized grips give the clip a secure hold on your devices, and included inserts can be swapped out according to the size of the screen you're trying to mount. $24.95 MORE INFO tenonedesign.com FIND THE BEST PRICE bit.ly/2tUCD1q

OtterBox uniVERSE iPhone Module Case

For those seeking even more functionality from their
Photo Credit: Otter Products

For those seeking even more functionality from their iPhone 6 model or later, the OtterBox uniVERSE iPhone Module Case is for you. By removing a tab on the back (similar to a toy battery cover), one can add various modules to attach to the case, such as a wallet, spare battery pack, flash memory drive, Bluetooth speaker or powerful magnet for attaching to a car mount. Starts at $49.95 (case only; modules are extra) MORE INFO otterbox.com FIND THE BEST PRICE bit.ly/2tQTrqD

1byone Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard

If bringing a laptop is cumbersome and typing
Photo Credit: 1byone

If bringing a laptop is cumbersome and typing on a tiny phone screen is too tedious, try a portable keyboard. The 1byone Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard folds up to roughly the size of the largest iPhones; when unfolded, it measures 10 inches across, nearly the size of a laptop keyboard. It connects wirelessly with most Bluetooth-enabled devices, including those running Apple iOS, Android and Windows. $28.99 MORE INFO 1byone.com FIND THE BEST PRICE bit.ly/2sxPp2n

MEEM data backup charging cable

No one knows how valuable that selfie is
Photo Credit: Meem Memory

No one knows how valuable that selfie is until it's gone forever. With the MEEM data backup charging cable, though, you won't have to worry. Using data storage in the cable itself, the mere act of plugging in your iPhone or Android device will both charge and back up your phone's photos, videos, messages and contacts without the need for a PC. (The stored data is password-protected.) From $59.99 for Android, $69.99 for iPhone MORE INFO meemmemory.com FIND THE BEST PRICE bit.ly/2sOO3Vb

Osmo Genius Kit

Take the interactivity of an iPad a step
Photo Credit: Tangible Play

Take the interactivity of an iPad a step further with the Osmo Genius Kit, which uses the tablet's camera to involve kids ages 5 to 12 in games meant to enhance spelling, math, drawing and other skills. Included in the package is a base to hold the iPad upright and a reflector that projects the tablet's camera downward to detect the letter tiles used in the Words game or the colored shapes that come as part of the Tangrams app. Other games include Masterpiece, which assists kids in drawing, and the creative engineering app Newton. $99, other sets available at various prices MORE INFO playosmo.com FIND THE BEST PRICE bit.ly/2tUGPyn

Code & Go Robot Mouse Activity Set

The basics of coding are rooted in simple
Photo Credit: Learning Resources

The basics of coding are rooted in simple problem-solving, such as helping a toy robotic mouse find some plastic cheese. With the Code & Go Robot Mouse Activity Set, kindergarten-age kids and older first build a "maze" by snapping together plastic squares and using other included pieces to create walls or arches, and placing the mouse at the start of the path and the cheese at the end. Color-coded directional cards correspond to arrow buttons on the top of the mouse. Kids use the cards to program a step-by-step path for the mouse to get the cheese. $59.99 MORE INFO learningresources.com FIND THE BEST PRICE bit.ly/2sOUWWp

TickTalk wrist phone and locator

More companies are offering ways to communicate with
Photo Credit: TickTalk

More companies are offering ways to communicate with your kids at school without resorting to buying each one an iPhone. The TickTalk wrist phone and locator, which runs on the T-Mobile, Metro PCS or Ultra Mobile networks, has two-way voice communication with up to 13 programmable numbers as well as the ability to receive text messages via the touch screen. Using the app (compatible with iOS and Android devices), the watch offers GPS tracking of the wearer and has an "SOS" button if the child is in danger. $129.99, plus monthly pay-as-you-go cell service MORE INFO myticktalk.com

Wraps wristband headphones Headphones as fashion statement is
Photo Credit: Wraps

Wraps wristband headphones Headphones as fashion statement is hardly novel, but Wraps has put its own spin on the trend by creating earbuds that double as wristbands. Styles range from basic earbuds to ones that have a microphone for phone calls to others that have faux leather braided cables or wooden beads for extra flourish. From $19.99 MORE INFO mywraps.com FIND THE BEST PRICE bit.ly/2tZVfxX

BirkSun Solar Backpack

A modern dilemma: Wait around while your phone
Photo Credit: BirkSun

A modern dilemma: Wait around while your phone charges, or be late to class? No need to choose. BirkSun Solar Backpacks include a solar panel that stores power in a battery that can be used to charge a phone or other mobile devices, at the same rate as a wall outlet, the company says. Built to withstand the outdoors, the panel and zippers are waterproof, and the backpack’s battery can also be charged via an outlet. From $99 MORE INFO birksun.com FIND THE BEST PRICE bit.ly/2tQQMgC

More news