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Top Back to School Tech Gadgets for 2011
By: wubayou
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    Now that school is back in session, students of all ages and levels could use a little boost when aiming to be as efficient, productive, and successful as possible. Whether youíre a parent or college student, itís likely that you are curious as to what types of products are out there that can help someone move to the head of the class. The basics such as pencils, paper, and textbooks are a standard necessity, but technology and innovation has allowed the market to offer much more. While the list of back to school tech gadgets is quite large, here are some of the top products youíll find for 2011.

    Kensington Laptop Locks

    If you or your loved one is heading away to college, they are probably bringing a laptop along for the ride.  College is a great experience, but it also can bring a host of problems for those who are away from home for the first time.  This is especially true for theft in dorm rooms and apartments where there is constant traffic between roommates.  The last thing you want to lose is your laptop, so Kensingtonís high quality laptop locks are a purchase worth considering.  The company offers both keyed and combination locks that are easy to use and provide a solid line of defense against laptop theft.  When you consider IDCís statistic that 97 percent of stolen laptops are never recovered, Kensingtonís average laptop lock price of $50 is a small price to pay for some extra peace of mind.

    Amazon Kindle

    It seems as if e-readers are picking up steam, and rightfully so.  After all, they offer a wide collection of downloadable books, a slim form factor, and much more.  The Amazon Kindle is one of the best e-readers around, and itís an excellent choice as a back to school gadget for any student or book lover.  Students will love the fact that the Kindle is easy to carry around and can hold thousands of books in its slim frame.  Many Kindle books cost less than their traditional paperback or hardback counterparts too.  Throw in the fact that most students have limited storage space in their dorm rooms or apartments, and the Kindle is a no-brainer.

    Thermapak HeatShift Laptop Cooler

    Going back to the laptop theme, overheating is one problem that frequently accompanies such portable computers.  Not only can an overheated laptop be uncomfortable to use, but it can also decrease the deviceís overall lifespan.  Thermapakís HeatShift Laptop Cooler takes care of this problem in a safe and affordable way.  The simple pad can decrease your laptopís temperature by 10 degrees without the need for any noisy external fans.  Itís easy to transport and can be used on your lap or tabletop with ease.  The HeatShift Laptop Cooler is available from Thermapak for under $30.

    Livescribe Echo Smartpen

    The Echo Smartpen from Livescribe is not your ordinary pen.  In fact, it seems as if it would fit in perfectly in a James Bond movie due to its various capabilities.  The term smartpen doesnít even begin to describe what the Echo can do.  First, it has a soft rubber grip for comfort and a replaceable ink tip so that you can re-use it even after itís out of ink.  Moving on to the cooler features of the pen, it has an integrated microphone and speaker that will record all of your thoughts or lectures.  Worried about storage space?  Donít be, as the Echo can hold hundreds of hours of recorded audio thanks to its 2GB, 4GB, and 8GB versions.  A micro-USB connector allows you to transfer audio files and more with your computer, and thereís an audio jack that you can plug your headphones into as well.  Lastly, an OLED display gives you the ability to interact with various smartpen apps to help you boost your productivity.

    Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Canceling Headphones

    Itís no secret that students and their age groups love music.  For this reason alone, headphones are a great gift.  What about studying?  If someone is in a dorm or apartment filled with noisy students, how can they concentrate?  Sure, a trip to the library can help, but why not eliminate the noise from right where you are?  The QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Canceling headphones from Bose tackle this issue.  Bose is one of the best at what it does, and its headphones not only offer superb sound to enjoy music and movies, but they also help to drastically reduce surrounding noise.  These headphones look great, feel great, and most importantly, sound great.  At around $300, they do cost a pretty penny, but you get what you pay for in this case.

    Seagate GoFlex Satellite Mobile Wireless Storage

    Students have a propensity to download tons of media from the internet.  Whether itís thousands of songs, or full movies, they love their entertainment.  Most laptops or desktops tend to run out of storage space in a hurry when attempting to hold so many files, so having a solid external solution can definitely come in handy.  The Seagate GoFlex Satellite is a portable hard drive that offers such a solution.  With 500GB of storage space, thereís no need to be picky as to what files to save.  Even better, the Satellite is wireless, so you wonít have to worry about connecting a bunch of pesky cables to transfer data.  Instead, it can be streamed with ease to various Wi-Fi devices, such as laptops, tablets, smartphones, and some MP3 players like the iPod Touch.  Oh, and you can also save all your important schoolwork files on the hard drive as well.

    Voltaic Converter Solar Backpack

    A backpack is an obvious necessity for any student, and Voltaic takes the entire backpack concept to another level. Simply put, if you are constantly on the run and have a host of electronics that you like to carry with you, the Voltaic Converter Solar Backpack is a must.  Why?  It can charge all of your handheld gadgets with four watts of solar power.  It doesnít matter if itís your smartphone, MP3 player, handheld gaming device, or camera, the backpack will charge it to give you extra battery power when you need it most.  Beyond its charging capabilities, the backpack also offers padded protection for your laptop and other items, as well as several pockets for easy storage.  You can choose among a silver, charcoal, or orange color scheme too.  At $199, the Converter Solar Backpack is pricy, but itís a great addition to any back to school portfolio if you have the cash to spend.

    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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