Homework is hard enough. This techie gear is designed to make high school or college a bit easier. You can tap into a steadier signal to get online, store your stuff in a messenger bag, and maybe even burst out of bed on time with a high-tech alarm clock.
1. Booq Cobra Squeeze bag ($195)
Every student needs a place to store their stuff. Booq released this trendy messenger backpack last spring. It’s sized for the modern age of teens and young adults carrying a laptop and a tablet, but has a compartment that’s also big enough for books. It also has water-repellent fabric and a pocket for your phone. The laptop slot is big enough for a 15-inch model.
For the college-bound, dorm rooms are notorious for their sketchy Wi-Fi. This extender pushes the signal down the hallway, to the TV room, and even out in front of the building. This model uses antenna amplifiers to boost the signal. You can also set up a specific Wi-Fi channel that’s only for the fastest speeds (not that anyone on campus plays online games, right?).
3. iHome iKN105 Alarm Clock ($100)
This alarm clock has a unique feature. For waking up, it has the typical snooze button and connects to your phone over Bluetooth to stream music in the morning. Yet, inside, there’s a K-CELL battery that charges all night. Eject the battery, and you can use it for backup power for your phone. The alarm clock even doubles as a speakerphone and plays normal FM radio.
4. XY Find It Location Tags ($60 for three)
Losing your textbook is one thing. But your laptop bag or car keys? Not good. These tiny tags connect to your phone over a Bluetooth signal. You attach them to anything you don’t want to lose. They serve three purposes. If someone grabs your bag, the tag chimes. You can find lost items by doing a search. And the app shows you a tag’s last known locale.
5. Lifeproof Fre Power Case ($130)
This iPhone 6 case can withstand bumps, bruises -- and full submersion in water. It’s packed with additional features that will help you in class. The case has a backup battery that charges your iPhone twice from zero. When you hit 100% charge, the case stops charging. One bonus: The case is light enough, at 4.3-ounces, that it won’t weigh you down all day.
6. Epson Expression Home XP-420 Printer ($60)
One of the most reasonably priced desktop printers you’ll find, this Epson models doesn’t skimp on features. It uses Wi-Fi, so you can print from a phone or tablet. You can also scan and copy documents, and there’s a 2.5-inch LCD screen for easier setup. Print speed is about 9 pages per minute in black, and the printer holds 100 sheets of paper.