Don’t Leave Home Without These 8 Useful Back to School Gadgets

For some of you, back to school is just around the corner, while for many, it’s already begun. We’ve dug up some nifty gadgets that’ll help keep you organized and make your school year more enjoyable. Check it out:

Tablet

If you’re a student (or you’ve got kids who are) and you’re tired of lugging a heavy laptop around like some kind of chump, you should definitely look into buying a tablet as a more portable alternative. Check out the iPad 4 for a familiar Apple experience with very little learning curve. With an impressive amount of battery life, it’ll make the perfect companion on those long school days with limited access to power outlets.

Or, if you’re interested in a tablet that handles handwritten notes like a pro, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is a great choice. The Note’s S Pen allows you to jot down handwritten notes, draw pictures, highlight and annotate e-books (great for drawing mustaches on pictures of historical figures!), and control various functions, and the tablet comes with a decent convert to text function as well.

Feel free to check out TabletRocket to compare specs, reviews, and benchmarks for a ton of popular tablets. (Full disclosure: TabletRocket is owned by Sortable. So are we. Deal with it.)

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(via Samsung)

Four device portable backup battery

There’s nothing worse than settling in for a long bout of essay writing at your campus coffee shop, only to realize your laptop or phone is about to die and some hipster’s hogging the only outlet.  Enter this four device portable battery that you can buy (where else?) from Hammacher Schlemmer. It’s got three USB ports and a 90-watt AC outlet for charging your phone, tablet and laptop.

If you wanted to make some cash and be really evil, you could charge desperate students several dollars a pop to use it. Just sayin’.

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(via Hammacher Schlemmer)

Powerbag gadget charging bag

Another option would be to get yourself one of Powerbag’s device charging bags. They come in plenty of different styles and contain a portable, rechargeable battery you can use to power up your smartphone or other device. It’s not quite as powerful as the previously-mentioned portable backup battery, but it looks a lot more elegant. Plus, Powerbag is pretty fun to say. Powerbag. Powerbag. POWERBAG.

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(via Powerbag)

Puzzle alarm clock

If you, like most college students, have trouble getting out of bed in the morning, you’re going to need an alarm clock that does more than just beep and then turn off unquestioningly when your half-asleep self hits the off button.

It may look like a kids’ toy, but this puzzle alarm clock may be just the ticket to getting up on time. In order to turn it off, you’ve got to put the pieces in the correspondingly-shaped holes, which will hopefully give your brain enough time and stimulation to keep you from immediately falling back to sleep.

For a cheaper option, you can download an app like Puzzle Alarm Clock for Android, which offers tons of puzzle options, including memory cards, math equations and more.

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(via Barbuzzo Gifts)

Pebble Smartwatch

Wristwatches are back in style and better than ever. Smartwatches like the Pebble Smartwatch are generating a lot of buzz over their ability to provide a wearable computing experience and a great alternative to missing calls and checking your phone all the time.

The water resistant Pebble Smartwatch uses Bluetooth to communicate with your Android or iOS device. Your important notifications are pushed to the watch, and it also lets you control your phone without having to pick it up. This can be useful for those who want to listen to music while walking across campus, or read texts and emails during class without having to constantly glance at their phone.

You can also download custom watchfaces, games and tons of other apps, making it highly customizable.

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(via Pebble Smartwatch)

Stuff-tracker

If you’re looking to avoid leaving your phone at a party and forgetting where it is or losing your car keys under a pile of dirty laundry, you’re going to want a Bluetooth-based find-it solution like Tile or StickNFind.

Both of these solutions work the same way: just attach it (in Tile’s case, a small plastic tile; in StickNFind’s, a small sticker) to the item you want to keep track of, download the companion smartphone app and it’ll tell you whether your valuable is nearby. Use it to keep track of your textbooks, your sunglasses, your roommate who tends to wander off when he’s been drinking, or whatever else you want.

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(via Mashable)

Attachable tablet keyboard

With a Touchfire iPad keyboard or a similar attachable tablet keyboard, you can use your iPad to take notes in class even if typing on a touchscreen isn’t your forte. This genius little keyboard uses the magnets in your iPad to attach to the device’s screen, and forms a flexible, lightweight physical keyboard that rests atop your iPad’s existing touchscreen keyboard. Say goodbye to awkward touchscreen tapping and lugging your laptop around to every class.

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(via Touchfire)

Noise canceling headphones

If you’ve ever lived in a dorm or with roommates, you know that a solid pair of noise canceling headphones can be a godsend during those hours-long study sessions and the times your housemate entertains his “special friend.” With that image seared into your mind, you’re definitely going to want to pick up a pair or five as soon as possible. The Bose QuietComfort 15s, while a little expensive, are a good choice.

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(via Amazon)