Here are the tech items you should consider packing in your kids’ backpacks when they head back to school.
iSafe Urban Crew Campus Backpack
This laptop backpack will fit a 15.6-inch laptop and have plenty of room left over for books. Multiple external pockets provide easy access to cell phones and other gadgets and there are mesh pockets for water bottles. But what makes this backpack stand out is a built-in alarm, as loud as most car alarms. Pulling out a pin activates the alarm, scaring off potential attackers. The alarm can be disarmed by reinserting the pin.
Price: $67.49 on walgreens.com
Samsung Rugby Smart
Kids aren’t always careful with their electronics devices, especially smartphones. So it makes sense to invest in a rugged model, like the Samsung Rugby Smart. This Android phone can be submerged in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes, dropped onto concrete from 2 meters and everything else that goes with meeting the MIL-STD 810F military spec. Plus, you get a 3.7-inch WVGA Super AMOLED display, a 5MP camera with HD video recording and a 1.4Ghz processor—all in a 4.4oz, package.
Price: $49.99 on AT&T with a new, two-year customer agreement. Or, you can purchase it from amazonwireless for $0.01.
Etymotic ETY Kids Earphones
Protect your child’s hearing with earphones volume-limited to 85Db with the great-sounding ETY Kids Earphones. These quality headphones come in two models, the ETY Kids 3, which has in-line controls for iOS devices and a mic for calls, and the ETY Kids 5, which doesn’t.
Price: $39 for ETY Kids 5 and $49.95 for ETY Kids 3 on amazon.com
Kensington Signature Stylus and Pen
This attractive pen doubles as a stylus, making annotating web pages, taking handwritten notes and copying diagrams easy on smartphones and tablets. Comes in silver and black.
Price: $29.99 on amazon.com
MacBook Air 11”
Thin, light and powerful are key to a laptop your child will carry to school every day. The Apple MacBook Air 11-inch fits the bill with its 1.7GHz Core i5 processor, carrying-weight of a mere 2.38 pounds and pre-installed word processor, spreadsheet and presentation software. Go for the $1,199 model with 128GB of onboard storage and 8GB RAM. A less-expensive Windows alternative is the Dell Inspiron 13z ($699.99 on dell.com), which weighs 3.97 pounds and features an Intel Core i5-3317U processor, 6GB RAM and 500GB hard drive.
MyCharge Summit 3000 backup battery charger
A portable backup battery charger will ensure your child’s phone won’t run out of juice at the end of the day. The Summit 3000 provides an additional 13 hours of talk time, which means it has enough charge for a week of top offs or if she shares her charger with friends. The device has built-in iPhone and micro-USB tips, plus a built-in wall charger.
Price: $79.99 on pcrichard.com
EMTEC Animal Series USB memory stick
Kids can choose from a pands, dolphin, mouse, panther or penguin, among other creatures, to house their 4B USB drive. A handy keychain holds the USB drive cap when in use so it doesn’t get lost.
Price: $12.95 on amazon.com