Y Magazine

Back to school is cool

Tech-savvy students can make the most of their classes thanks to the latest gadgets. Matthew Herbst rates this year’s must-have devices



Never miss a word  

Taking notes during class – even with a fast-talking teacher – just got easier. The Livescribe Pulse Smartpen looks like a regular pen, but this magical device has a voice recorder and up to 2GB of storage. Sounds too good to be true? We haven’t even mentioned the best part yet. Not only does the Pulse record everything being said, but it also keeps track of everything you’ve written in digital form. You can sync your handwritten notes on to your PC or Mac and all you have to do is tap a word to hear what Professor Motormouth was saying at that specific moment. The trick is that the Pulse’s infrared sensor uses tiny dots on the custom – and required – Livescribe notebook paper as reference points. Passing classes just became a breeze. Visit www.amazon.com to get one, prices start at RO57.35.

Supercharged

The Anker Astro Mini 3000mAh compact charger is an essential piece of kit for students who are in constant search of electricity sockets for their various smart gadgets. Having a second source of power for when devices run out of juice is wise – it means you’ll always be powered up in case of emergency. All you have to do is charge it up then plug it into your device as if charging by socket. The Anker Astro charger is lightweight, can be thrown into a bag and fits in pockets, plus it comes at a price that suits any student budget. www.amazon.com for RO8.92.

Data Drama  

Imagine it’s late at night and the laborious essay you’ve just completed – yes, the one it took an entire weekend to write – is gone. Perhaps you spilt coffee on your keyboard, or maybe the continuously spinning gear on your Macbook is hinting at hard-drive doom and gloom. The loss of data is heartbreaking, so investing in an external hard drive such as the WD MyPassport Ultra 1TB to back-up work and free up space on computers by storing videos, music and photos is always a good idea. A portable hard drive is probably the best investment you can make while in school or college. www.wdc.com from RO35.78.

IN SHAPE   

This funky Moshi iGlaze VersaCover Origami Case is a protective cover and stand for tablets. It’s simple and stylish enough for high school and university students. This modern piece is inspired by origami and can be twisted and moved for different viewing angles. You’ll certainly stand out from your peers with one of these on your desk. www.amazon.com for RO23.07.

LOUD AND CLEAR 

The Ampridge MightyMic S is ideal for older students at university. It’s a professional grade microphone that allows you to record high-quality audio using a smartphone or tablet. The ultra-compact design makes it easliy portable and you can mount the microphone using your smartphone’s headphone jack. You can rotate the mic to avoid unwanted background noise and the built-in headphone jack comes in handy, allowing you to hear what you have recorded so you can adjust it during recording. It’s brilliant for lectures. www.mightymics.com, from RO26.94.

EASY DOES  IT 

So much to do and so little time, not to mention trying to remember every homework request. If Post-it notes litter your bedroom, we may just have found you a solution. This homework helper app has features that help you to keep track of assignments, stay focused and reduce anxiety. Using myHomework as a daily organiser makes school schedules and workloads much more manageable. Download it from the App Store for iOS and Google Play for Android, with the choice of an advert-free premium app or the ad-laden freebie.

For the younger Student  

With many children heading back to school, all eyes are on the latest educational gadgets, such as this colourful and functional Crayola keyboard, mouse, and mousepad bundle. The keyboard features large, brightly coloured keys to help little hands find their way around a QWERTY keyboard. It also eliminates many of the higher-tech functions, with a giant escape button in case it all goes wrong. The bundles are child-friendly tools that make using a computer for learning a lot more fun and enjoyable. Consider adding the Reader Rabbit Learn to Read With Phonics as the perfect companion to the bundle. Check out www.amazon.com and get it all from RO20.78.

New! LEGO® Creator Kids’ Watch with building toy 

Build your own watch with the help of the nifty LEGO® Creator Kids’ 4250341 Make-N-Create Watch. It is water resistant to 50 metres and has a bright, cheery style that all ages are sure to love. The watch has a fun, interlocking strap made from interchangeable links in yellow, green, blue and red. This fun timepiece has a dial with clear, easy-to-read numbers and minute track – perfect for those learning to tell the time. It is nickel and PVC-free and comes with a non-allergenic, polycarbonate case. For added fun, the watch also includes a “Make-N-Create” fish model. Other models feature different characters, including heroes such as Superman, with a bedside clock inside the lego figure. www.amazon.com, from RO9.61.