Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Back to School Tech Product Roundup

Does it feel like the summer just started? Well, it’s already back to school time. Those are words that most kids dread to hear and most parents look forward to hearing. This has always been my favorite time of year because there are so many new tech products on the market. “Back to school” tech products don’t just mean cool school supplies and gadgets. There are many new products available that will make everyone, from teachers to executives, more productive.

Back to school time also means companies are beginning to release their new and exciting products for the holiday season. From virtual reality and drones to security cameras and 3D printers, these many new products are unbelievable. In this roundup of products, I have included everything from smokers for your Labor Day barbecue to fun drones that will make videography more fun for everyone in the family. Affordable 4K televisions for your college student and educational games that will keep everyone on their toes this school year. Why wait for the holiday season to splurge on new tech products? Check out this great list of exciting new gadgets.

Featured Laptop:

Huawei MateBook D – I’m a big fan of Huawei products (I love their phones) and this 15.6-inch notebook doesn’t disappoint. It’s the first lapper of this size to launch Dolby Atmos Sound System providing an immersive sound experience with Dolby custom-designed and tuned speakers. It’s so thin and light that all ages of students will be able to carry this powerful computer to classes each day. It has NVIDIA GeForce 940MX Graphics with 2GB GDDR5 video memory to ensure extraordinary work and entertainment experiences. Comes with Windows 10 Home and a i5 processor, with 1 year Office365 included. http://consumer.huawei.com/en/tablets/matebook-d/

Featured Phones

Moto e4 Phone – There was a time when young students weren’t allowed to take a phone to school, but no more. Now that our kids can have phones, we want to equip them with one that is powerful, but not too costly. This ridiculously inexpensive smartphone is sure to impress with its 5” HD display and compact design. Don’t let the price fool you because this phone has most of the same specs phones five times the price do. It has a fingerprint sensor to instantly unlock your phone, a quad-core processor and 4G speed. The camera lets you take sharp photos, even in low light conditions. The removeable battery, which is becoming more uncommon in phones, lets you swap a new battery after a couple years of use. It also has a selfie flash and its splash resistant. https://www.motorola.com/us/products/moto-e-gen-4

BlackBerry KEYone – A friend of mine who is a long time BlackBerry aficionado endured years of jokes at his expense for his seemingly outdated phones. He finally succumbed and switched to an iPhone, but that was a mistake. He should have waited for the KEYone to be relieased. This phone features a 4.5 inch 1650×1080 pixel resolution display with a Snapdragon 625 processor coupled with 3GB of RAM, 12 megapixel rear and 5 megapixel front cameras, as well as a long-lasting 3,505mAh battery. It has the BlackBerry standard full QWERTY keyboard, of course. At $549.99, it’s sure to give the iPhones a run for their money. https://us.blackberry.com/smartphones

Featured TVs

Hisense H8 TV – A generation ago many parents frowned on the idea of a TV in their child’s room because it was seen as an alternative to homework. Today’s generation of kids might spend time watching their favorite shows on Netflix, but they’re just as likely to be watching tutorials for school on YouTube on the 55” display hung on the wall of their bedroom. Hisense offers advanced HDR processing at an unbeatable price tag with brilliant picture quality, built-in wireless, Netflix, Vudu Movies, and YouTube for the latest in entertainment. The 65-inch model retails for $899.99 with smaller sizes offered for less. https://www.hisense-usa.com/electronics/tv

TCL S-Series HD-TV (4K) – While Samsung, Sony and Vizio might be the more popular names in the television industry, it’s brands like TCL that are offering high-end 4K models that are more affordable. TCL’s S-Series features Dolby Vision HDR and enhanced front-facing speakers to deliver premium picture quality and superior sound. With sizes ranging from 28” HD displays, perfect for a kitchen countertop, 43” Full HD models great for bedroom watching, to 65” 4K HDR resolution to help turn your living room into the ultimate entertainment experience. http://www.tclusa.com/products/home-theater/s-series

Featured Backpacks and Briefcases

booq SuperSlim 15 – I don’t leave home without my booq case that protects my Microsoft Surface Pro. It’s lightweight and comfortable to carry. The SuperSlim 15 proves to be the perfect companion for comfortable traveling and daily commuting with its polyester interior, functional pockets and padded lip inside its laptop compartment to protect laptops. It features booq’s Terralinq lost and found service and a five-year warranty. https://www.booqbags.com/

STM Judge Laptop Brief – Ideal for schlepping your laptop around campus, STM’s 15” laptop brief is teeming with pockets, zippers and compartments. The defining feature of the Judge is STM’s trademarked SlingTech technology, which not only guards your digital device but also suspends it above the bottom of the bag, where laminated dual density foam keeps it away from the impact zone. The briefcase also features the innovative Cable Ready cable-routing system that keeps you connected with cords conveniently stowed out of the way. https://www.stmgoods.com/

1 Voice NYC Backpack - Get your student ready for school with the 1 Voice Backpack. This innovative backpack will make busy days easier to manage. School is all about working hard, staying focused and being organized. The 1 Voice Backpack will make school semesters a little smoother. This wearable technology has a built-in 11,000mAH lithium-ion charger enough to recharge your phone 4 to 7 times! No more digging to the bottom of your backpack to find an item. This high-quality backpack has many compartments with easy access and is available in brown, navy blue, and black. http://www.1voicenyc.com

Beckmann Backpacks – I hadn’t heard of Beckmann Backpacks until this year and I’m impressed. These bags are full of pockets, straps and gear loops so that your child can stay organized while at school. The variety of colors and patterns allows kids to really express themselves. Beckmann, a Norway-based company, only makes school bags that are resilient and safe. http://beckmannofnorway.com/

The Ruck Backpack by Speck – I couldn’t believe this backpack is only $49.95. I’ll be equipping all my kids with one of these this fall because they are rugged, safe and look cool. The Ruck’s rear padded laptop sleeve holds up to a 15-inch laptop, and there’s extra space in the rear compartment for notebooks, books, and more. A second zippered compartment features a soft-lined tablet sleeve to secure and protect an iPad or e-reader. It also has pockets to store pens, charging cables, and a clip to keep your keys from getting lost. Best of all, the Ruck is backed by a three-year warranty. http://www.speckproducts.com/speck/backpacks/classic-ruck-backpack/SPKBP-RUCK.html

Tech Products You’ll Love this Fall

Varidesk Laptop 30 Standing Desk - This awesome standing desk will keep you moving all day and helps you stay loose. The compact design is perfect for any space and it is adjustable to accommodate many heights with its nine different height adjustments. The single, slim work surface is 30 inches wide, so it’s the perfect size for laptops or tablets. Best of all is that it’s fully assembled and ready to use right out of the box. https://www.varidesk.com

Mighty – I got so excited when I learned about Mighty because it really fills a gap in the music playing space. Mighty plays your Spotify music on-the-go without a phone. It works with Spotify Premium and pairs with Bluetooth headsets and speakers. It holds over a thousand songs and boasts a battery life of up to 5 hours. It’s also drop- and water-resistant. https://bemighty.com

Logitech MK850 – For years I’ve only been using Logitech keyboards. I find them to be comfortable, responsive and quiet. With the MK850 set, your keyboard won’t require new batteries for 36 months and your mouse stays powered for 24 months. You can connect wirelessly to your devices with Logitech Unifying USB receiver or pair via Bluetooth.The best part is that you can flawlessly switch from typing on your computer to your tablet with the touch of a button and the mouse pairs with up to 3 devices for seamless multi-tasking. Only $99.99 at https://logitech.com

The Monolith BBQ Guru Edition Grill - This is the most advanced ceramic charcoal grill and smoker to hit the market. The CyberQ Cloud does the work for you and eliminates the guesswork of knowing when your food is done. With built-in food ready alarms and automatic oven-like control for your smoker, you can just set it and forget it – it’s that simple. With the CyberQ Cloud, you can control your cooks using the sound of your voice, enjoy automatic temperature control, social sharing, plus so much more. http://www.monolithgrills.com

Genius Pack Aerial Carry-On – Carry-on suitcases have become techie. This one is full of “genius” features including Genius Pack’s innovative Laundry Compression Technology that expels unwanted air through an integrated air valve. Clean clothes never touch dirty clothes, and the removable laundry bag easily zips out for cleaning when the trip is over. The Aerial helps you stay organized with plenty of space-saving compartments and an integrated visual checklist for think-free packing. It’s available in matte white and jet black for only $179.99. http://www.geniuspack.com

T-fal Pressure Cooker – This pressure cooker is under $100 on Amazon.com and once you use it you won’t believe the bargain. It’s quickly become my favorite appliance in the kitchen to whip up lunches and dinners for the kids quickly. It has 12 automatic functions, like Rice, Oatmeal, Reheat, Soup, Baking, Slow cook, Steam, Simmer, Brown, Pressure Cook and DIY. It’s the ideal appliance to manage a busy schedule with the kids back in school. http://www.t-falusa.com/instructions-for-use/Products/Non-electric-pressure-cooker/Pressure-cooker/csc/PressureCooker

Kodak Dock Photo Printer – When I was a kid I remember taking my film to the drug store and then waiting for a couple days while it was developed. Nowadays, we want everything immediately and that includes the photos we take on our phones. With the Kodak Dock Photo Printer you’ll be able to print beautiful 4x6 photos anywhere with the touch of a button while charging up to two devices. With this device, you can also print your favorite pictures directly from social media and add creative flourish to their photos before printing. http://www.kodak.com/Consumer/Products/printing-supplies/Photo-Printers/Photo-Printer-Docks/default.htm

Zeiss VR One Plus – Kids are beginning to use Virtual Reality in school and now they can have a fun adventure at home too with the Zeiss VR One Plus. The device offers hundreds of compatible app options - from videos, news, and gaming to exploring luxurious beaches and exotic locations - all from the comfort of the couch. headset 3D Videos, Games, and Augmented Reality. It works with any smartphone between 4.7” to 5.5”. Only $99.99 at http://vrone.us

Drone-World DJI Spark Kit – If you’ve been telling your kids for years now that soon they will get their first drone, their wait should finally be over. With Darth Vader-esque gesture controls, the Spark launches and lands from the palm of your hand. The intelligent flight control options and facial recognition allow users to direct it with their hands and wave at it to take a selfie. At 31 mph, the drone is flying off the shelves even faster than ever before. http://www.drone-world.com/

Nearpod VR Headset - Back-to-school doesn’t mean all the focus should be on kids. This is a cool gadget for teachers interested in taking their lessons up a notch. In 2017, students want to be inspired and amazed during class. Nearpod’s award-winning platform is used by thousands of schools across the country, transforming classroom engagement using VR. School and district licenses come with additional features and benefits. https://nearpod.com/try-vr

ZipBuds – Not everyone likes wearing earbuds and ZipBuds created earbuds for those people. These buds address common pain points of regular headphones. With a precision-tuned hybrid driver system, 144 diverse ways to find the perfect fit for your ears, up to 15 hours of battery life, a sweatproof/water resistant coating and equipped with Bluetooth 4.1, ‘26’ makes a great addition to any gym bag. https://zipbuds.com/

FreeFly VR - Having been one of the first mobile VR headsets to market, Freefly VR is considered one of the best gaming headsets around. The company has formed strong relationships with the best VR developers. Simply add your existing mobile phone to Freefly VR and you are ready to take sports, gaming, education and horror to a whole new immersive level. You are always just a few clicks away from hundreds of Freefly VR compatible experiences available on iTunes or Google Play. https://freeflyvr.com

Casio Prizm fx-CG50 – Calculators have come a long way since we were kids. The Prizm fx-CG50 is a great example of this. It includes improved capabilities such as 3D graphing, an enhanced new look and an improved catalog function so students can use commands more quickly. Students can easily draw 3D graphs such as planes, cylinders, and spheres, and view them from various angles. http://casioeducation.com/products/calculators/graphing/prizm-fx-cg50

BeastGrip Kenko .75x Wide Conversion Lens – Just because you’re shooting photography with your iPhone doesn’t mean you can’t feel like a pro photog. The Beastgrip x Kenko 0.75X Pro Series Wide Angle is the most advanced smartphone lens ever created. It’s crafted with the new expertise of legendary lens manufacturer Kenko Tokina Co., Ltd. to meet the demand of high resolution smartphone cameras with 4K video capabilities and to deliver an uncompromising image quality. https://beastgrip.com

Evolent Vertical Mouse – I started using this vertical mouse from Evolent to avoids forearm pain and I no longer even remember what that pain felt like. The patented shape supports your hand in an upright neutral posture that generally avoids forearm twisting. Many users, including medical doctors, ergonomists and physical therapists, said the Evoluent VerticalMouse provides superior comfort and even relieved their wrist pain. https://evoluent.com

Logitech Harmony Hub – This hub from Logitech turns your smartphone or tablet into a universal remote, giving you control over your home entertainment and smart home devices. You can change channels and volume, program favorites, control lights and other smart devices, and build multi-device experiences called Activities. Plus, you can do it all even when you’re away from home. https://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/harmony-hub

EVEN H2 Wireless Headphones - Even’s quick and easy built-in hearing test maps the way you hear different frequencies in each ear and creates your EarPrint profile. With these headphones you’re really getting super premium quality at an affordable price. https://www.weareeven.com

Master Lock Bluetooth – You can’t expect your uber techie kid to use the same black Master Lock on her locker that you did as a kid. This Bluetooth lock gives students a new way to unlock their school or gym locker padlock by turning their Bluetooth-enabled smartphone into their very own key, eliminating the hassle of a forgotten combination. They can use their smartphone to open the lock with the free Master Lock Vault eLocks app, ensuring users never need to worry about a forgotten combination again. They can easily share access with others remotely – whether temporary or permanent and monitor access history and receive tamper alerts. https://masterlock.com/bluetooth

Penclic Mini Keyboard KB3 – Penclic, an impressive Swedish company, combines the latest technology with sleek, ergonomic design with a focus on eliminating RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury). Their innovative computer accessories are attuned to the ergonomic requirements that our bodies need. The mini keyboard is one more product from Penclic that you (or your children) will enjoy and feel more physically comfortable using. https://evoluent.com/products/vm4rw

Nuheara’s IQbuds – There are more tech solutions available for easily distracted students than ever before. IQbuds is one of them. These sync to both iOS and Android smartphones to seamlessly stream music and allow users to selectively tune out the world around them, serving as an ideal “study buddy.” Students can also switch the setting to the classroom and adjust the IQbuds to provide Advanced Speech Amplification, giving them the ability to amplify the voice of the teacher while minimizing surrounding classroom noises for optimal situational awareness. http://www.nuheara.com

Osmo Coding Make Music and Jam – It’s no surprise that experts all say that 21st century children should learn coding. Osmo Coding Jam teaches children coding with their favorite music. Your kids can now compose their own music by arranging Osmo’s Coding Blocks into patterns and sequences. https://www.playosmo.com/en/coding-jam

Celluon PicoBit - Recognized as a CES 2016 Innovation Award Honoree, PicoBit is the world’s brightest HD laser pico projector with embedded Android 5.1.1 OS, boasting an always-in-focus image and 80,000:1 contrast ratio with a perceived brightness of 100 DLP lumens. At the core of this ultra-portable, lightweight HD laser projector is MicroVision, Inc.’s proprietary PicoP scanning technology. Topped with advanced technologies including USB Type-C charging port and touchpad, it connects to devices wirelessly via Miracast and DLNA, and offers a micro HDMI port and micro SD card slot for easy plug-and-play connection. https://www.celluon.com/shop/picobit/

Eero WiFi System – This sleek home WiFi system allows you to add additional access points throughout the home for fast, reliable WiFi. It was designed for households and apartments of all sizes, and also includes enhanced security as well as family friendly features like parental controls. A 3-pack (recommended for the average home) is $399 and a single eero is $199. https://eero.com

Soundstream’s Street Hopper 8 – With a rechargeable battery for up to 10 hours of music playback, this is one impressive unit. It’s more than a speaker with its awesome color lighting display. You can sync your music. It’s compatible with the Street Hopper iPhone & Android smartphone app http://www.streethopper.com

Canary Home Security Camera – Sending your high school grad to college this fall? Why not let them (and you) keep an eye on things outside their dorm room or apartment? Canary allows users to see what’s going on in their home through live HD video (whether it’s a burglar, making sure your dog isn’t tearing up the couch, or checking that your kids really are doing their homework after school). It sends mobile alerts with recorded video when motion is detected, emergency help one click away, a siren to scare away burglars and night vision. As kids head back to school, it gives parents peace of mind that their family and home are safe while they’re at work. https://canary.is

Gululu 3D Interactive Water Bottle – This is one of the coolest new gadgets I’ve seen. Gululu uses technology to turn drinking water into a fun game for kids – and thus keeps them hydrated. As kids drink more water, their virtual pet grows and they develop a healthy habit. In partnership with Generosity.org, for every Gululu interactive bottle purchased, a child in a developing country will be provided with clean drinking water for life. http://mygululu.com

First Alert Carbon Monoxide Alarm – Keeping our family safe and healthy is our top priority. First Alert’s 10-Year Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarm ($59.95) is the first 10-year battery powered CO alarm from First Alert, and with a digital display, the carbon monoxide alarm is the only way to detect this “silent killer.” This is a great fit for your home and also for college students. With a portable alarm and a sealed battery, parents can have peace of mind knowing their children are protected and do not need to remember to change the batteries. http://www.firstalert.com

iStorage diskAshur Range – Backing up our data is essential these days because we keep most of our important documents on our computer. diskAshur’s ultra-secure PIN authenticated hardware encrypted HDDs and SSDs are perfect for those needing to keep their photos, videos and private data secure and protected whether at work, traveling or within their home. https://istorage-uk.com/product/diskashur-dt/

Swiss Mobility Battery Card and Mini 2200 Power Packs – No parent wants their child’s phone to run out of juice just when they need to call us to pick them up. Swiss Mobility’s Battery Card is thin enough to fit in a wallet, purse or backpack and provides just enough emergency power to keep a phone going, with an integrated cable included. The Mini 2200 provides a bit more power in a pocket-sized solution with all the cables you need to charge your device or recharge the power pack. http://www.swissmobilityproducts.com/powerpacks

Kanto Yu2 - YU2 brings character and substance to your desktop. With its built-in soundcard, it can stream high-quality audio directly from your computer’s USB port, or connect directly to any 3.5mm aux jack for maximum input flexibility. 3” composite drivers ensure a distortion-free bass and midrange, while the 3/4” silk dome tweeters effortlessly produce scintillating highs. Available in 8 different colors to let you personalize your space. https://kantoaudio.com/product/yu2

Victrola Portable Bluetooth Turntable – After inheriting my grandparents’ record albums I’m always on the lookout for the best 21st century turntable. This three-speed model plays all your vinyl records and favorite albums, but also has a built-in Bluetooth to wirelessly play music from any Bluetooth enabled device wirelessly. http://ithomeproducts.com

Ecovacs Deebot R95 - When I was sitting with friends in a restaurant and saw one of my friends look at his phone and remark that his living room had just been vacuumed, I realized how much I wanted a floor cleaning robot. Ecovacs’ Deebot has home mapping capabilities and can be controlled with Alexa-enabled voice commands. This is a must have home appliance now that the summer’s over and you won’t have as much time to vacuum. http://www.ecovacsrobotics.com

Fuse Chicken Armour Charge C2 – I hate power cables that are weak, get tangled and aren’t long enough. That’s why I’ve become a big fan of Fuse Chicken. Their Armour Charge C2 is a USB-C to USB-C cable that is 2 meters (6’ 6”) long and made of tough woven stainless steel. It’s got a lifetime warranty too. https://www.fusechicken.com/collections/usb-type-c-cables/products/armourchargec2

Geko PanicSafe - Designed with a combination of GPS tracking, a built-in G-sensor and Bluetooth technology, this remarkable device can help your loved ones keep you at arm’s reach by instantly alerting you when they or their car are in need. After downloading the app, you pair it to your own unique PanicSafe. Then on the app, select up to 7 contacts to notify when assistance is needed on the road. http://www.mygekogear.com/products/panicsafe-emergency-locator-fast-charger/

Portal WiFi – If your home is anything like mine, your WiFi network is overwhelmed with all the devices. From everyone’s phones and tablets to laptops, alarm systems, sprinkler systems, the garage, the music speakers, Google Home, Amazon Alexa, the thermostat and all the security cameras… you probably need a Portal! On the outside, Portal looks like a simple device with a friendly app, but deep down it’s a boldly engineered smart WiFi router that is different by design. It was created to unlock new speed and reliability when lots of people and devices are nearby. Portal is offering 15% off with discount code BK2SCHOOL. https://portalwifi.com/

HiMirror – This is the world’s first smart mirror. Its intuitive, touch-free design delivers a personal skin care regimen by assessing your skin’s conditions, including wrinkles, fine lines, complexion, dark circles, dark spots, red spots and pores. It has built-in LED lights, easy mounting and increased internal memory for multiple users. Best of all, it’s now on Sale for $149. https://www.himirror.com/us_en/home

Brother P-Touch Cube Label Maker – If you’re a parent who likes everything in the home to be super organized, you’ll need a great label maker like the Brother P-Touch Cube. Using the Design&Print app, you can create personalized labels from a wide selection of templates, or you can easily design your own labels using any of the 450 symbols and variety of fonts. Available for $59.99 at http://ptouch.com/cube-label-maker

Kevo Convert Smart Lock – I’ve been using the Kevo Smart Lock for a few years and love the ability to use Bluetooth to lock and unlock the back door – for a workman or for my wife when she’s got her hands full. Kwikset’s smart lock conversion kit actually converts an existing deadbolt into a smart lock using Bluetooth to communicate with your smart phone. This allows you to check if the door is locked or unlocked and lock or unlock the deadbolt within Bluetooth range. https://www.kwikset.com/kevo/default

mophie powerstation USB-C XXL - This high capacity universal battery is designed to charge a MacBook, MacBook Pro, iPad, iPhone and any other mobile devices. It’s equipped with one USB-C and one USB-A output charge port. It is one of mophie’s most robust power stations as it includes a 19,500mAh battery for more than one full charge to a MacBook. https://mophie.com

uDoq 400 - This is the first docking station of its kind because it adapts to any old or new mobile device of any brand or generation and allows the full use of each gadget while side-by-side charging. uDoq works with iPhone or Android. https://www.udoq.com

Lutron Caseta Wireless Lamp Dimmer Kit with Smart Bridge – Everyone wants a smart home these days and with Lutron’s Caséta Wireless, it’s never been easier. The wireless Smart Bridge and software application connects Lutron’s Caséta Wireless dimmers, wireless remote controls, remote-controlled shades and other third-party devices, while providing convenient home control from any iOS or Android-based smart phone or tablet. http://www.casetawireless.com/Pages/Caseta.aspx

Audio Technica SR6BT – It’s no secret that there’s an overabundance of headphones on the market. That means it’s difficult to single out the headphones that really offer that premium high-fidelity sound. That is the case with Audio-Technica’s SR6BT headphones. The mic and volume switches are built into the earcup for convenient control and its NFC functionality enables touch pairing to connect with your favorite Bluetooth wireless devices. The memory foam earpads offer sound isolation and a comfortable fit. http://www.audio-technica.com

VTech Kidizoom DX2 Smartwatch DX2 - The perfect tech for kids, this smartwatch lets them take pictures, videos, play games and tell time. This durable smartwatch is stylish and includes 55 digital and analog customizable watch faces to help kids learn to tell time. It has two cameras that allow children to capture everything from action video to selfies that can be customized in the Silly Me app and made into new watch faces. Comes in either blue and purple. https://www.vtechkids.com/brands/brand_view/smartwatch

FIIL Headphones - FIIL brilliantly merges art and sound in their over-ear, on-ear, and in-ear headphones. Key product features include smart noise adjustment technology, tangle-free design, noise-cancelling capabilities, built-in song storage, and always superior sound quality. http://www.fiil.com

goTele Off Grid Tracker - goTele is a compact device that keeps you connected anywhere using peer-to-peer GPS and long-range radio technology. That means that no cell service or WiFi is necessary. This device is perfect for outdoor adventures, traveling in foreign countries or anywhere cell towers are overloaded (like in a crisis). Using the companion app, goTele lets you track and message up to 30 users in real-time within a 3.1 mile radius. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/gotele-off-grid-tracking-device-for-any-adventure

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