September is almost over. With classes and deadlines in full swing, you may feel a bit scatter-brained, if not actually insane. Never fear: Biz & Tech Editor Sarah Del Giallo has found the best gadgets to help you live and study like a pro
Noise-cancelling headphones serve two important purposes. First, if you work best with music, you can crank your tunes as loud as you please without disturbing those around you. This makes them ideal for roommates, common areas and libraries. Second and more importantly, they keep sound from getting in. If your roommate has loud sex frequently, they serve as amazing ear plugs. If you have loud sex frequently, you may want to give these to your over-tired roommate for Christmas. A high quality set of Sonys can start as low as $69.99 at Future Shop.
If you’re not big on note taking, you should consider this purchase. The Livescribe Smartpen is a notetaking pen that records your lecture as you’re taking notes. Touch “record” with the tip of the pen on the Livescribe notebook, and start writing your notes. The cool part comes when you’re reviewing. If you want to jump to a specific sentence or paragraph for context, touch the start of the sentence with the tip of the pen and it will play the recording from the moment you were writing that sentence. You can find the Livescribe Smartpen at Best Buy starting at $99.99 and the notebooks for $17.99. The pens range from two GB to eight GB.
External hard drive
An external hard drive will one day be your saving grace. If you don’t already have one and you save most of your life to your computer, make this purchase now. Some day, the gods of technology will smite you for watching too much internet porn (or whatever it is you do) and your hard drive will crash. If you haven’t backed it up recently, you could lose everything. Think of that final assignment you’ve spent two months researching, the 18 albums of you and your cat and the porn you keep for special occasions. All gone. If you’d backed up your files, you’d have nothing to worry about. External hard drives come as desktop or portable and can be Mac and PC compatible. Prices range based on brand and storage space, but can start as low as $45.00.
Laser Virtual Keyboard
The Cube Laser Virtual Keyboard is an investment in your posture and your bragging rights. Students, commuters especially, suffer the pain of dragging a laptop around all day. This device is only inches long and connects using Bluetooth to iPads, iPhones and other smartphones as well as many laptops. The laser projects a full QWERTY keyboard onto any flat surface and has a battery life of about 150 minutes. It can be purchased at thinkgeek.com for $169.99.
Hot dog toaster
Ok, so a toaster isn’t crucial to your physical or intellectual survival, but this is awesome. This toaster, true to its name-sake, toasts hot dogs and hot dog buns. If you live in rez or you don’t have a barbeque, this is perfect. The toaster is quick and cheap running at only $22.99 at Walmart. Ingesting more than Mr. Noodles and beer is important, so add some hot dogs to your diet. And maybe some fruit.
Rolling alarm clock
The snooze button is simultaneously the best and worst thing to happen to mornings. It can cause unshowered students or missed classes in exchange for a few more minutes of sleep. Clocky, the rolling alarm clock, can help with a game of hide and seek. When you press snooze, this clock rolls off your night stand and hides. When the alarm goes off again, you have to get up and find the clock. It finds new hiding spots each day and will efficiently wake you up during your cranky hunt. Clocky sells for $49.95 at rolostore.com.
This one’s specifically for the gents. Carzor is a razor that converts into the size of a credit card to fit in your wallet. Say you didn’t buy a rolling alarm clock and slept in. You don’t need to shave for your prof, but you have a hot date after class. Pull your Carzor out on the subway or sidewalk and use a bottle of water for a quick shave. The back of the Carzor sports a mirror and replacement blades. Sure, it’s not Gillette Mach Three or whatever, but it gets the job done in a bind. You can get your conveniently sized Carzor at infmetry.com for $17.00 or $12.00 on sale.