The Best Tools and Gadgets for Students [2013 Edition]
The summer is long over, which means that the school year is starting again and students from all around the world are searching for the best arsenal of tools and requisites they need to get through their academic or school year. Sadly, this has to happen, but it doesn’t have to mean that the fun is over, because if you are equipped with the right gear, everything will be better.
If you are one of the guys who is on the homestretch of buying stuff for school, such as student laptops, useful gadgets, stylish backpacks, tablets, smartphones or other high-tech gear, this is the place for you. Here, you will find the best offers for students regarding the most fashionable accessories and useful devices, everything packed in an exciting back to school guide for 2013.
Tools and Gadgets for the new School Year
Big companies and smaller ones are trying to make a name for themselves by offering big discounts or free apps for students. Some of them are asking for different accreditations that attest that you are a student in order to let you benefit of their special offers, such as Microsoft’s Office 365 suite deal for students. Others, are just offering important discounts, free shipping or different gift cards without having to perform other steps. So, don’t hang in the balance anymore and read the following article to discover the best gear for your new academic year.
The first and the most important thing students must have when they go to school is the laptop. When it comes to selecting one, there is a various number of laptops that meet their necessities, from under the budget Chromebooks to Windows 8 touch screen laptops equipped with the latest Intel 4th generation Haswell processors. One of these high-tech gear will probably get you through the day so don’t wait anymore and decide which one suits your needs best.
The great advantage of being a student and being in this period of time before the school starts is that companies and manufacturers are offering great prices, important discounts, free shipping and even different gift cards. So, buckle up and read about the best student offers.
Apple MacBook Air 11 and 13
Apple is a big and amazing company that is a pioneer in the high-tech devices field. It offers a wide array of laptops from which we set our face to the versatile Apple MacBook Air 11 and 13. The laptops are only 1.72 cm (0.68 inch) thin and weigh as little as 1 kg (2.38 pounds) making them very suitable for a regular day at school. Furthermore, the 11 inch model has a stunning up to 9 hours battery lifetime and the 13 inch laptop lasts up to 12 hours of usage.
The price can be a little scary, because the 11 inch laptop’s price starts from $999 while the 13 inch version starts from $1099, but we can assure you that the components packed in these little portable computers are worth every penny. For more info, go to Apple’s official website and get the location of the nearest store. Also, Apple offers some great discounts and gift cards that can go up to $200 for every student in the Apple Store for Education program.
The Chromebook is an ultraportable laptop that is especially designed to be carried everywhere. Thanks to its minimal physical characteristics, just 1 kg of weight (2.5 pounds), an 11.6 inch screen and less than 1.75 cm (0.7 inch) thin, Chromebooks can easily be transported in a purse, backpack or briefcase. Also, keep in mind that this laptop is not a regular one, because it comes with the Chrome operating system, which is created to be used with a permanently Internet connection.
All of the apps are cloud based and they are available through web, which means that the booting screen will be faster than everything else that is on the market, to be more exact, the Chromebook boots in only eight seconds. Another big advantage is that you will not have to worry about viruses, malware or other harmful things, so that antivirus software is not necessary. Furthermore, the battery lifetime usually lasts 6.5 hours.
The Chromebook is available in multiple versions with prices that start from $199 and go to several hundreds of dollars. At this moment, Chromebooks are made by only three major manufacturers, Acer, HP and Samsung, and by Google, with the Chromebook Pixel laptop.
Other laptops that may interest you are:
- Acer Aspire M5 is an amazing laptop, which has an aluminum aspect, backlit keyboard and a stunning nine hours battery lifetime. The device is equipped with the power efficient Haswell processor and can be bought for $729.99.
- Lenovo Yoga 11S is an ultrabook that is defined by three words: flexibility, portability and touch ability. It can be used as a laptop or easily transformed into a tablet, having over 6 hours of battery lifetime. The price starts from $649.
Note that Lenovo offers their products at special prices that can be discounted up to 35 per cent, through the program named “Lenovo Academic Purchase Program”. For more information go to the following page.
- ASUS X550CA-DB31 is an under $500 laptop that has everything that a student needs at school: an Intel 3rd generation i3 processor, a battery that lasts between 4 and 5 hours and a premium look.
Smartphones are a very important part of our life nowadays and for students, well, they are vital. Either way, they use them just for browsing on Internet, sending tweets or keeping them organized with the help of different apps, picking the right one for your necessities it’s not a simple job. Here begins our job and we gathered around a list with smartphones that may keep you organized and entertained in the same time.
iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c
The latest premium smartphone from Apple, the iPhone 5s, accompanied by the new iOS 7 is a great solution of keeping you connected to school classes. It has the latest technology implemented, like a fingerprint identity sensor, light design, an impressive A7 processor built on a 64 bit architecture and more. Also, the ultrafast LTE wireless connection, the two CPUs and GPUs represent big assets in Apple’s fight with competitors. The smartphone’s price starts from $649 for the 16 GB version and goes up to $849 for the 64 GB model.
If you want to opt for style, rather than performance and next-generation tech specs, then you might want to give the iPhone 5c a chance, as well. On the inside, not too much has changed from the iPhone 5, as we have found out thanks to early teardowns. The unique selling proposition of the iPhone 5c is that it comes in vibrant colors that you could choose from: white, pink, yellow, blue, or green. The downside is that its back case is built from plastic, but as early reviews have proven, there’s no compromise in the build quality.
HTC One was designed to beat the market, offering an amazing aluminum look, beautiful screen, quad core processor, a remote control and last, but not least, the Ultrapixel camera. Basically, the latter is only a 4 Megapixel camera that is accompanied by a great built-in software that can easily make wonders. Also, the smartphone is equipped with dual BoomSound speakers which give you only premium audio quality for your music and games. Depending on the carrier you choose, the prices are starting from $599.99.
Other useful and great smartphones are:
- Samsung Galaxy S4 is the latest family Galaxy S – series member. The device is equipped with only high-tech and valuable components, making it one of the best choices for every teenager that is out there.
- When it’s about of taking photos, Nokia Lumia 1020 is the king of the castle, thanks to its 41 Megapixel camera that can take awesome pictures. The phone can be bought with only $299 from AT&T.
- The Japanese are creating great technology and Sony Xperia Z can easily represent one of the best around. The 13 Megapixel camera, the tough metal frame and the water resistance are only few examples of which the device is capable of. Its price is around of $600.
It’s good to know that if you want to spice a little bit your school experience, a tablet is mandatory. There are lots of reasons why students have to buy a tablet, one of them is that a tablet it’s so lightweight and has a very good battery lifetime (the good ones resist even for a day without charging). These devices are very versatile, capable of doing almost what a laptop can do, they are equipped with lots of useful apps and even more.
iPad and iPad mini
The iPad is a tablet created by Apple which had an impressive success from the launching and now, when it reached the 4th generation it’s even better. The beautiful 9.7 inch Retina display of the iPad and 7.9 inch screen of the mini version are capable of giving the best quality when watching movies or pictures.
Also, Apple’s store is stuffed with over 350 thousands applications especially designed for iPads which are organized in various categories, like educational, productivity or games. These two tablets are sold for prices that are starting from $499 the normal version and $329 the smaller model.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is ideal for taking notes from classes thanks to its built-in S Pen. This tablet is lightweight enough to be hold in only one hand, has a bright display, remote control capabilities for TV and amazing multitasking powers. Practically, it can run simultaneously two applications side-by-side on the screen.
This tablet was thought to be your own sketching device, so that you can scribble everything that strikes out your mind. Also, it creates the perfect ambiance for your eyes when you want to read a book and permits users to annotate directly on the book with their magical S Pen. This tablet can be found at a price about $399.
You may also take a look at the following tablets:
- Acer Iconia W3 is an amazing tablet equipped with a Windows 8 operating system. The ace up its sleeve is that its battery can last nearly 9 hours and it has an accessible price of $379.
- Amazon Kindle Fire HD accompanied by an Amazon Prime membership can transform this little 7 inch tablet into a student’s library, because it lets them access free books and videos via the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library. The tablet is sold on Amazon for $199.
- Fuhu Nabi 2 is a tablet designed for little children. It has a 7 inch screen which is covered with a rubber bumper in order to protect your child and has very customizable parental controls. Also, it has its own learning system and different useful apps. It’s available for a price of $199.
You should also pay a special attention to tablets that come with Intel’s latest low-power chip, the Bay Trail family. Quite soon, probably before the holiday season, there will be tablets on the market that will come with a very accessible price, even under $300.
Between books, notebooks, pens and other requisites, every backpack has to have a special compartment for your laptop to protect it and plenty of pockets. Besides being useful when carrying, it has to be hot, premium quality and to represent each user’s personality.
A very important feature that a backpack must have is the water resisting coating so that if rain starts you should be sure that everything is protected. So, we have got your covered with the following stylish and qualitative backpacks. You can also have a look at our collection of bags that keep your gadgets charged.
Case Logic Berkeley Plus 15.6-Inch Laptop & Tablet Backpack
Case Logic Berkeley Plus is one of the best choices you may try, because this backpack has everything you may ask for. It’s available in three color versions (Anthracite (gray), Storm (blue plaid) or Twilight (purple plaid)), has a special 15.6 inch laptop compartment and an interior sleeve where you can put tablets that go up to 10 inches.
Also, it has a secure hidden panel situated in the lumbar support where you can hold your ID and other valuable stuff. The best thing is that Case Logic offers a 25 year warranty for this product for which you will have to pay $59.99.
Crumpler House of Horror
The name of this backpack, Crumpler House of Horror, can be a little scary at first sight, but the interesting and innovative design will make you love it. Users can pack with ease a 15 inch laptop and a 10 inch tablet in the same time and they will still have lots of space for other stuff and gear.
The backpack has adjustable shoulder straps so that it will be comfortable when carrying, it’s made from a water resistant material and its manufacturers are offering a lifetime warranty. If this backpack managed to convince you, remember that it can be bought from the Crumpler website for $130.
Note that the following backpacks are also very qualitative and represent good choices for our back to school guide 2013.
- ECBC Hercules Laptop Backpack is available in the following colors: Berry, Black, Blue, Green and Linen and can carry even a 17 inch laptop. It’s available for a price of $139.
- Timbuk2 Freestyle Plus is a beautiful waterproof messenger bag that can protect a tablet and 11 inch MacBook Air in the same time. The backpack can be bought from the official website for $66.75.
- SOLO Active 15.6-Inch Backpack is an organized backpack that has extra protection for avid bikers, which can carry a 15.6 inch laptop and a 10 inch tablet. The backpack is water resistant and it’s available for only $39.99.
It’s time to stuff your tablets, smartphones, and laptops with the latest, productive, and more useful applications that are on the market:
- Notion is an awesome tool that blends your everyday work apps into one. Their templates for students are super useful for students of all classes and ages.
- Evernote is the must have organizational tool. It can help you to prepare for quizzes, take audio or written notes and so forth. Download the free cross-platform application from here.
- Dropbox is the place where you can store all of your files and sync them through cloud. Download the multiple platform application for your device from this link.
- Having problems at Math? Wolfram Alpha comes to your help creating graphics, offering solutions and formula details and step-by-step explanations. The app can be bought for $2.99 for your mobile device.
- Khan Academy is a website that offers educational videos, from simple Math to complex Science stuff. Besides the website, developers created an iOS app where users can watch and download the movies or track their progress, The app is available for free from iTunes store.
- Scribd is the most comprehensive document sharing virtual library. Using the Android and iOS app, users can easily access the files from school in order to obtain more information.
- OpenOffice is a free suite of applications that offers good alternatives for Microsoft’s Office tools, like Word, Excel and PowerPoint. A good thing is that the app is available for Windows, Linux and Mac operating systems and permits users to save their documents in the well-known Microsoft Office formats.
- AVG Free Antivirus is an antivirus software that protects users when they are connected to a public network, such as the school’s Wi-Fi network. It covers the basic necessities, but it’s a free solution that also has mobile apps.