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Back to School trending paperless

- August 31st, 2012

Apen_A4_DetailPage_06(2)

Gauging by the popularity of some of the gadgets moving off the shelves, it certainly looks like back to school is trending in the paperless direction. While pens and pencils and Hilroy spiral note pads are still passing through the checkout stand, gadgets, especially digital input devices, according to one retail manager, are becoming items of choice for the new school season.

“Students are taking their devices into the classroom,” says Jonas Haurdahl   computer department manager, London Drugs, at Edmonton’s Oliver Square, as he points to the new Tiki, by Blue Microphones ($64.99).

Tiki

“It’s ideal for recording lectures as well as group collaboration and podcasts.”

Haurdahl notes that the Tiki matches up the two recordings to eliminate the background noise and with its smart muting function detects when there is no noise. This could certainly be an improvement on some computers built-in mics and if there is more than one person talking, they both don’t need to be in front of the screen.

Apen_Draw

But still, people like to take notes, and they can in a whole new way – with the EFUN aPen A4 Smartpen ($129.99) – for Mac, PC, iPad & iPhone. You simply clip the receiver to your pad of paper. As you write or draw on the paper with the pen – yes it has ink in it– the wireless receiver also captures the information. No special paper needed. It’s great for note taking, mind mapping and drawing, as well as annotating and signing documents.

ipad

“The new Apple iPad,”  starting at $519.99, “continues to be popular, especially for note taking,” he says, just as a customer was inquiring about an iPad and its various accessories during our interview.

JoyFactory

To save room in your dorm, he suggests the Joy Factory Klick Wall Mount for iPad2/iPad ($54.99).

“It mounts to the wall (it comes with 2 Mounts) and the shell itself is detachable.” This certainly looks like a clever idea. You’ll also always know where your iPad is!

BambooStylus

For other kinds of input, he points out the popularity of the WACOM Bamboo Stylus for iPad ($29.99) as well as Wacom Tablets, ($79.99+up) for both Macs & PCs. These are ideal for future creative professionals and those involved in graphic design. These tools take the capabilities of your mouse or trackpad to a whole different level. Tablets/Pens can also be used for marking up documents.

 

Notebooks

“When it comes to laptops or notebooks,” says Haurdahl, “it’s all over the map.

The choice of notebook depends on a number of factors beyond price.

Retina2

He suggests that while people are still budget-conscious; with some opting for a basic entry level $499 Certified Data computer, (their house brand) or the Toshiba Satellite, he’s a little surprised that others don’t blink an eye about dropping $2000+ on Apple’s new 15” MacBook Pro with Retina Display (from $2,229), only 0.71″ thin, 5.1 million pixels and packed with quad-core i7 processors, which has also proven to be quite a good seller (shown above).

It seems for those students who may also be gamers; he’s seeing some opt for the higher-end 17” ASUS G74 & G75 series pumped up with 12-16GB Ram, 3GB video and the 3rd generation core i7 chips.

ASUS Mocha

“Midrange notebooks are also popular,” citing only $799 for a good powered Asus Mocha. “It has a 15” a 2.5Ghz Intel Core i5 processor with 8Gb ram and a decent sized 750 GB hard drive.”

“Apple is still Apple but Asus is also competing hard with Apple machines.”

Every year Haurdahl sees people using more and more technology and having a quicker adoption of new gadgets especially those that can reduce the need for traditional pen and paper. It makes students more productive & efficient.

A kid’s backpack today looks a whole lot different than my school-bag, if that’s what we called it back then.

Nevertheless, even if you’re not taking classes this fall, the back to school period is a good time to get a great deal.

 

photos courtesy of London Drugs & respective companies

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Greg Gazin is the Real Canadian Gadget Guy.

Follow me on Twitter @gadgetgreg or Empire Avenue (e)GADGET1.

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