Here's the quick guide to the gadgets that make the grade this year:
GADGETS IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE:
Props: HP ENVY 23' desktop ($950) and ENVY 4 Ultrabook ($800) (both just released - brand new tech)
Why August is a great time to buy laptops and desktops
When it's good to have desktop PC versus laptop
What you need to look for - why ultrabooks are so hot
2. Portable Hard Drive
Props: Seagate BackUp Plus ($100)
One in four people lose important work
Get something that works on Mac and Windows computers
Should have the ability to backup select files to the cloud too
Social media backup
Props: Amazon Kindle ($80)
Don't need to break the bank on a tablet - especially if student already has laptop
Compact, cheap, and with access to a library's worth of loaner books, this may be the most appropriate buy for the struggling student.
Let's you highlight text or take notes - no more worrying about returning your kids borrowed library books with scribbled notes or doodles in the margins.
Also great - for Moms of pre-K to teen students, Kindle offers all the latest titles. Amazon editors' picks for ages 8 and up include series like The Boxcar Children, Judy Moody and Dork Diaries.
4. No Contract Smartphone and MiFi
Props: HTC One V ($200) and Sierra Overdrive Pro 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot ($150)
Virgin Mobile HTC One V is a powerful, top-quality Android smartphone - without a contract.
Because it's no-contract, you have a lot of control over exactly how much money you spend each month -- you can save money vs. a two year contract Plan.
When is the right time to get a student a cellphone?
What do they really need (ie, internet access, etc)
How to safeguard it - both from them spending too much and from predators.
Virgin Mobile OVERDRIVE PRO 3G/4G MOBILE HOTSPOT [MIFI] ($150) Another good buy for busy families and college students who want to work anytime, anywhere - this Sierra Overdrive 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot is great back to school tool: It connects up to five 5 wifi-enabled devices simultaneously and without a contract you only pay when you use it.
5. For fun: hottest back to school gift request - action shot camera:
Props: Jakk's Action Shot Camera ($50)
One of the hottest gadget trends this year among students are these action shot cameras - here's one that won't break the bank.
Instant viewing and sharing.
More info at Tecca.com