It is that special time of year when the sun begins to fade
and the sun doesn’t shine as bright as it once did, when you
wake up and realize that your summer fun is over and that
school is just around the corner. Then you begin to panic,
breathing heavily because you don’t have any school supplies
and your parents fret over the amount of money they are
going to be spending on you and your school supplies that
you may or may not use during the year.
However, I am here to help ease the burden and stress and
show you some gadgets that you can convince your parents or
your wallet that you MUST have for the upcoming school year.
Sure there will be some surprises and of course you will see
some devices that will be MUST haves in other lists but for
now let’s get down to the business and make some lists. Also
as a tribute to my website I have a ratings scale and it
goes from 0 – 10 and I call it the Kyle Scientific
Scale-o-Rama and we will be using that scale in all these
device reviews. So sit back and enjoy and get your back to
school lists ready. Here we go.
Back To School Gadget Ideas
Livescribe Pen: Now this device has been around for a few
years now and is only getting better each time they update
it. Right now the pen is a complete audio recording device
as well as a transcription device. How it works is an
infrared pen writes on a special dotted paper that works
like a copier. It will copy all your written notes and
doodles and sketches even math equations and then digitally
reprint them on your computer for you to see and edit
Also it can record lectures and discussions that your
teacher will make so you really have no excuse for not
missing what the teacher says during class. You can even
send your notes via Text Message to share with your friends.
Of course with any gadget there is a fun aspect to it as
well. You can play the piano and games as well as
calculations with it. I wrote a full review about this
device on my website at
On the Kyle Scientific Scale-o-Rama I give this handy device
a solid 9.2 out of 10. It really is a very useful gadget for
all ages and will help you out tremendously. It retails in a
few versions ranging from the Echo (2GB) $99.95 and Pulse
(4GB) $149.95 (8GB) $199.95. Accessories sold extra for more
info check out
Laptops: Now this is a must have for all ages.
Whether they like it or not in a digital age laptops will
replace school books. Teachers will be posting the course
outline on a website; kids will be taking online classes,
and Facebook statuses will need updating. Now with laptops
coming in all different varieties it is best to find one
that suits your child’s needs and not go to overboard
getting the most expensive one when a mid-range laptop will
do. Sure they may want the very expensive MacBook or the
latest Alienware gaming laptop but in reality a good laptop
shouldn’t make you worry about breaking the bank.
You want a laptop with a good size hard drive, nothing less
than 500 Gigabytes (GB) will do and when they speak about
RAM you want to make sure it has at least 4GB or more to
handle multiple applications. As far as what type of
computer processor you should get, Intel Quad-core i3, i5 or
i7 will do and with each chip version the price will go up.
You can also go with a MacBook like a lot of parents do
because of just how versatile the laptop is and how safe
Macs are. However all that hipster attitude comes at a price
and in the end whether your kid has a Dell, Asus, or MacBook
Pro each laptop will play Solitaire just fine and will be
able to handle any task you put in front of it.
For my personal preference I HIGHLY recommend a Dell XPS15.
It has an Intel i7 chip inside of it running Windows 7, and
has 6G of RAM. It can handle with ease any type of program I
installed on it and never had a hiccup or hang-up. For more
information go to www.dell.com and as far as the Kyle
Scientific Scale-o-Rama goes we will be giving the Dell XPS
15 a rock steady 9.5 out of 10.
Honorable Mention: Alienware M11x, MacBook Air,
Toshiba Portege R835-P56X
Tablets: Now I am not going to talk about the iPad
because I am not a huge fan of it. Instead I will go with
its best competitor and it is the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.
It is running Android Honeycomb build operating system. On
top of that it has the NVIDIA Tegra2 graphic chip that makes
every application and game look amazing. I really didn’t
want to send my review unit back to Samsung and apparently
the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 has so many people mistaking the
Tab for the iPad that Apple is now suing Samsung over it.
So if that doesn’t answer the question of “What else is
there besides and iPad?” the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 answers
that question resoundly. On the Kyle
Scientific Scale-o-Rama I gave the Tab an 8.7 out of 10 and
that is basically because of the lack of sufficient apps for
the Android Tablets at the moment but developers are working
hard to change that. Plus you can snag a Verizon branded
Galaxy Tab that has some blazing 4G speeds and the pricing
is comparable to iPad’s with the 16GB Wifi version starting
at $499, and the higher the GB the higher the price.
Honorable Mention: Blackberry Playbook
Amazon Kindle or Nook: Now during the school year
kids will be required to read certain books. Instead of
packing them into the car and driving down to the library,
like you have done in years past, now you can just download
the book to an eReader like the Kindle or Nook. The
advantages are no late fee plus, the convenience of never
having to leave the couch.
have played with both the Nook and Kindle and I can say both
are fantastic devices for school kids and college kids
alike. Whether you read for the school curriculum or just
like to read these devices come in real handy.
Flash Drives: Now these little guys are very handy
and also very inexpensive. They come in all shapes and
sizes. You can find them in your impulse aisle at Wal-Mart
sporting 4GB of data. Plus you can put them in your pocket
and keep them on your belt loop if need be. These things you
can purchase in multiples and should have at least 3 or 4 of
these little guys around. The best part about this gadget is
that it is very inexpensive but can hold an enormous amount
of data. Not only that, it also makes it very easy to
transfer data from one computer to another than back to your
Cellphone: Now of course when it comes down to
absolute MUST HAVE devices for back to school the cellphone
jumps straight to mind. Regardless of personal preference I
will list the best phones available on each cellphone
carrier’s network. So let us begin shall we?
AT&T: iPhone (of course), Motorola Atrix
Verizon: iPhone, HTC Thunderbolt
T-Mobile: HTC Sensation, myTouch 4G Slide
Sprint: HTC Arrive, HTC Evo3D
Honorable Mentions: Samsung Galaxy S II (unlocked),
T-Mobile G2x, Samsung Infuse 4G
Now any back to school list wouldn’t be complete without
something to help you while you are hanging out with your
friends doing homework and want to listen to some tunes
using some very odd speakers. This is where I introduce you
to the Rock-It 2.0. Back in my day growing up listening to
music was a huge deal. Whether it was you bringing out a
HUGE Boom box (remember those?) or you had a walkman with
those very sketchy headphones that dig into the side of your
head pulling out your hair from time to time. Well those
days are now long gone with one very unique device. It is
called the Rock-It 2.0. This device fits in your pocket and
can be paired up with any device that has a 3.5mm headphone
jack insert. Once you plug the Rock-It into your iPod or
Laptop you will then see just how awesome this device is.
Mainly because you can turn almost ANYTHING into a SPEAKER!
You read that right you can turn almost anything into a
speaker using vibration resonance, where the sound vibrates
off the object and amplifies the sound turning it into a
myself turned a milk carton, refrigerator, glass table and
anything else I could find and turned it into a speaker. One
of my favorite items to turn into a speaker was a Styrofoam
cup, as that produced some of the best audio quality.
Basically the more hollow the object the better the sound.
When I reviewed this for my website
www.TheTechnoFiles.com I gave it a solid 8.2 out of 10.
This isn’t designed to replace your home audio however it is
a great little device to have when you are hanging out with
your friends and want to listen to some tunes between
am quite certain that with this handy guide for back to
school gadgets that you will go into the upcoming school
year with confidence that you can handle anything your
teachers throw at you. Remember you can get all your Tech
and Gadget news from my website at www.TheTechnoFiles. I
have reviews, news and I even post videos of a lot of my
In the meantime you can check me out on Twitter @KyleLeishear
or @TheTechnoFiles. Feel free to shoot me an email if you
have any questions or if you are a company that would like
to see your products get the Kyle Scientific Scale-o-Rama
treatment drop me an email at