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Gear up for Back-to-School

With September just around the corner, it’s time for the annual tradition of loading up on school supplies and nabbing the latest fall fashions. In the rush to check off lengthy must-have lists, don’t forget to ensure that indispensable electronic gear is ready to meet the rigors of a new academic year. From Apple to ZAGG, here are some essentials to keep students on track all year long.

 

When it comes to a tablet for school, the Apple iPad 2 with built-in Wi-Fi is powerful and lightweight. Thinner and lighter than its predecessor, the iPad 2 has a dual-core A5 chip, and with up to 10 hours of battery life, it’s equipped to see students through the seemingly never-ending school day. Front and back cameras, Bluetooth technology and 16 GB of flash storage are topped by access to more than 65,000 apps available from the Apple Store. While not the latest in the iPad line, where a new model can cost upwards of $599, the iPad 2 is available from Best Buy for just $399, leaving some cash for important apps and accessories.

 

Be prepared for old-school teachers who require hard copies of assignments with a compact, affordable and reliable printer. The Epson Expression Home XP-410 Printer will set students back only $79 and offers options to print, copy, scan and fax. Connect wirelessly via Wi-Fi, and print from a range of devices. Easy to set up and navigate, this printer delivers crisp, clean and smudge-free print quality. Quiet operation means no one else needs to suffer through a student’s all-nighter.

 

Of course, staying connected is vital, so keep an iPhone 5 in tip-top shape. The iFrogz PocketBook, retailing for $39, combines fashion and function in one. Available in red, dark brown, light brown and black faux leather, the PocketBook is a folio-style case that magnetically closes and guards against impact. Slip a credit card into the storage space in the back, and be prepared for any event.

 

Taking notes just got interesting with the Note Taker HD, a favorite app for its affordability and features. For just $5, iPad and iPad 2 users gain a powerful tool for taking and manipulating handwritten notes. Shrink writing to accommodate more text, and organize information by tags. Multiple line thicknesses, colors, fonts, font sizes and finger-drawing input all add greater control to store information in a meaningful and useful way. Plus, the app can import PDFs and images, enriching the often maligned note-taking process.

 

And to keep iPads looking new from the first day of school all the way to finals, consider ZAGGkeys PROfolio Keyboard Case Cover, available for the iPad 2, 3 or 4. For only $99, this sleek and ultra-thin cover is a case, stand and Bluetooth keyboard all in one. The front and back of the iPad is protected by a durable polyurethane exterior, while a magnetic closure secures the device to the PROfolio. Island-style keys provide maximum spacing to reduce fatigue while typing long papers, while the built-in stand holds the iPad at an ideal viewing angle. Cases with a silver keyboard come in red, pebble purple, alligator and black, and a classic black keyboard is paired with a black case.

 

Valuable electronic tools are an investment, so it’s important to protect them to ensure a long life in the classroom and beyond. A few smart decisions today can help keep students learning and focused throughout the year.

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