Must-Have Back-to-School Tech
If you're on the hunt for back-to-school tech, these gadgets will help keep students organized and productive.
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Apple MacBook Air
As students reach middle school and beyond, they’re going to need a fast, reliable computer to keep up with their work. A computer has become one of the most essential school supplies, so repairing or replacing a damaged item is at the top of any back to school prep list. The Apple MacBook Air ($899) is a top pick for students of all ages thanks to its lightweight backpack-friendly design, 256 GB of storage and all-day battery life. It even features touch ID for improved security.
“It is a great inexpensive MacBook,” writes one reviewer. “It is also very light. I’ve had a lot of computers that are heavy and cumbersome to carry around. You won’t even realize this is in your bag!”
Lenovo Smart Clock
The Lenovo Smart Clock ($50) is ideal for students who struggle to get out of bed on time. It’s equipped with voice commands via Google Assistant, allowing you to play music, check your calendar and even control other smart home devices. Plus, you can program it with a morning routine that plays music, turns on the lights and anything else necessary to rouse sleepy students.
Rocketbook Fusion Smart Reusable Notebook
For all the eco-friendly students out there, the Rocketbook Fusion Reusable Notebook ($37) is a must-have item. This unique notebook has 42 pages featuring different layouts, including lined pages, dot grids, monthly calendars and more. And here’s the really cool part — by using the Rocketbook app, you can keep your schoolwork organized and quickly upload all your notes to Google Drive, Dropbox or another app. When the notebook is full, just wipe the pages clean with the included microfiber cloth and start over again.
“Some of my teachers in my college courses don’t allow laptop use in the classroom,” writes an Amazon reviewer who gave the product five stars. “The Rocketbook is my No. 1 go-to in these courses! I can just write out my notes, scan them after class, and still have a high tech solution for note taking while following the expectations for my courses.”
Under Armour HOVR Sonic 2 Running Shoe
Student athletes will love the Under Armour HOVR Sonic 2 Running Shoes ($49 to $124), available in men’s and women’s sizes. These shoes feature a “zero gravity feel” that helps maintain energy during exercise. They also have high-tech built-in sensors that track and store running metrics. The shoes can even sync up to the free Under Armour MapMyRun app.
Amazon eero Pro Mesh WiFi System
Don’t let slow internet speeds interfere with your student’s homework. The Amazon eero Pro Mesh WiFi System ($399) is ideal for homes that have internet dead zones. It includes two “beacons” to easily extend WiFi connectivity into hard-to-reach areas. This WiFi system also comes with several features that parents will enjoy, including the ability to set schedules for internet use on certain devices, such as gaming consoles.
Fire HD 10 Kids Edition Tablet
If your children don’t need a full-fledged computer just yet, the Fire HD 10 Kids Edition Tablet ($200) is a good alternative. The 10-inch tablet includes a high-definition screen, 32 GB of storage and impressive audio. With each battery charge, your kids can spend up to 12 hours reading, browsing the web, watching videos and more. The tablet also comes with a year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, giving children access to more than 20,000 apps, games, books and videos.
Index cards are a useful way to study, but these messy school supplies can be difficult to organize. Instead of buying stacks of loose index cards, students can use the Quizlet app to study digitally and stay organized. This top-rated app is available for iOS and Android devices. Students can create their own stack of flashcards or use thousands of pre-made sets that cover subjects like foreign languages, science, math, humanities and more. The best part? The app is totally free.
Mobile Pixels Duex Pro 2.0 Portable Monitor
Sometimes the small screen of a laptop doesn’t offer enough space for an efficient workflow, and that’s where the Mobile Pixels Duex Pro 2.0 ($245) comes in. This handy gadget mounts onto your laptop and serves as a second monitor, allowing students to open multiple documents and browsers at the same time. It works with Windows, Mac and Chromebook laptops, and the slim monitor can be stored right on the back of the computer for easy access.
Students who don’t like physical planners can keep all their tasks organized with the myHomework app. Available for iOS and Android devices, this app helps students track assignments, tests, projects and more, even sending push notification reminders about upcoming due dates. The base app is free, but the Premium version ($4.99 per month) offers extra features such as file attachments, external calendar access and enhanced widgets for increased functionality.
Apple AirPods Pro
A quality pair of headphones can help students focus while they study, and some of the best noise-cancelling ear buds are the Apple AirPods Pro ($234). These top-rated true wireless ear buds offer active noise cancellation for more immersive sound while delivering up to 4-1/2 hours of listening time per charge. They come with a wireless charging case and three sizes of silicone tips for a more comfortable fit. AirPods are both trendy and useful, which will get your teen excited to go back to school.
“As a student, these come in handy a lot when I’m in a public space and need to focus to study/read,” says one reviewer. “The noise cancellation on these is pretty good to where people talking in the background is muffled.”
Prices and links were current at publication.