Must-have back-to-school gadgets, backpacks and supplies

Make the transition from summer to school a bit easier with these handy back to school items.

You’re already spending most of your hard-earned summer wages on textbooks. What other school supplies are worth the cash?

After bemoaning months of dreary Vancouver summer weather, the sun finally decided to show up—just in time for students to head back indoors. Although you may be stuck in a fluorescent-lighted classroom with a single window, gazing longingly at those free from academic chains, we’ve gathered some solutions for your back-to-school woes.


Take a look at some of our must-have items for surviving the school year. You’re on your own when it comes to deciding which textbooks are actually required for class though.


Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

At least with the flat surface of a tablet, fewer people sitting behind you will notice you’re playing Angry Birds instead of taking notes. (Image: Samsung)


Tired of lugging around your archaic heavy laptop? With a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 you can snap pictures of your prof’s slides in between games of Angry Birds and some casual Facebook creeping. No need to surreptitiously pass notes detailing weekend plans since you can chat with your friend seated next to you via the Social Hub. Just don’t become so distracted by the latest episode of The Office that you don’t notice your prof asking for an answer to a question you didn’t hear.


Samsung Wireless All-In-One Laser Printer

The wireless connection means no tangle of cords collecting dust bunnies behind your desk. (Image: Samsung)


Avoid that frantic dash to find someone else who’s awake at 5 a.m. to print your 15-page paper with the Samsung Wireless All-In-One Laser Printer. It will print your mid-term in under a minute with a one-touch button and thwart your passive-aggressive attempts to wake your sleeping roommate—so you won’t suffer through your all-nighter alone—with its quiet operation. Unfortunately, it can’t make your argument based on circular reasoning into “A” worthy material.


DIAMOND Mini Rockers Mobile Speakers

The two speakers travel as one unit with a magnetic locking system. (Image: DIAMOND)


Make that “soundtrack for your life” fantasy a reality. DIAMOND Mini Rockers Mobile Speakers were made to follow your every move and enhance it with the most appropriate (or inappropriate) song possible. Move the party from the beach to the dorm to the gym, all without getting your speaker cords tangled.


Contigo AUTOSEAL Stainless Steel Mug

It’s dishwasher safe, so it will hold up to your daily usage. (Image: Contigo)


Eschew long line-ups and awkward “we both know one another, but aren’t going to acknowledge it” encounters at Starbucks by bringing your own concoction to class in a Contigo AUTOSEAL Stainless Steel Mug. Brew some strong stuff, because nothing’s worse than nodding off in class while seated front and center in hopes the prof will start to recognize your face. If 16 ounces isn’t enough to get you through the day, we’re pretty sure you’re close to having a Jessie Spano-type caffeine freak out.


Sony MDRNC60 Noise Canceling Headphones

You can also use them without the noise cancellation feature for the rare times you actually want to hear what someone is saying. (Image: Sony)


Always stuck sitting next to the girl in the library study area who’s yammering away on her phone about all the drama she’s experienced in the past 20 minutes? Plug into a pair of Sony MDRNC60 Noise Canceling Headphones for some peace and quiet.


They fold down compactly for easy transportation, so they’ll also silence your roommate’s snoring, your neighbour’s nightly “activities” and that annoying cell phone buzz that indicates your mom’s fifth check-in call of the day.


The North Face Jaunt Backpack

This sleek little backpack is way cooler than hauling around a bag with wheels. (Image: North Face)


Using a stack of exam practice problems as a coaster probably wasn’t the smartest idea, but you can still get some use out of them once the pages dry, assuming you’re fluent in streaked ink. Safely transport your study materials and all your school day necessities, plus all those things you don’t really need—see: textbooks—in The North Face Jaunt Backpack. It even has a pocket for your laptop to keep it safe from harm as you sprint for the bus. Unfortunately, we can’t say the same for your dignity.


Back to Basics Egg & Muffin 2-Slice Toaster

When you get tired of having a bowl of cereal every morning, create your own version of the McMuffin. (Image: Amazon)


Save your trips to McDonald’s for late night munchies and post-drinking binges. The Back to Basics Egg & Muffin Toaster makes your breakfast sandwich and lets you eat it too. It toasts your English muffin, while poaching your egg and heating your bacon. Take note lazy students: this is how multi-tasking is done.


Next on the list of inventions: a machine that can move your laundry from the washing machine to the dryer and fold it too. All without being told.


Thermos Threadless Hydration Bottle

Keep everything cool in your cheery lunch box and matching water bottle. (Image: Thermos)


Long nights playing beer pong can leave you dehydrated come morning. Try a Thermos Threadless Hydration Bottle made of BPA-free stainless steel. The perfect companion piece is the  Thermos Threadless Lunch Cooler, which features designs that are almost too embarrassing to buy, but you will because they’re so darn cute.