Best Back-to-School Gadgets

From headphones to alarm clocks, savvy students go high-tech.

ByBECKY WORLEY
February 11, 2009, 8:27 PM

Aug. 1, 2007 — -- Back to school shopping is about much more than college-ruled notebooks and a first-day outfit. To be truly prepared, the savviest students are finding high-tech gear to match their harried lifestyles, and companies have responded with antidotes to every kind of problem -- scholastic or otherwise.

Sansa Connect Music Player

Price: $250

This player lets its lucky owner stream music wirelessly via any available Wi-Fi network and a $15-per-month Yahoo! Music subscription, providing access to millions of songs without using a computer as middleman. The music channels are like personalized radio stations, and if you like a song, you can download it right to the Connect. About 1,000 songs fit on this 4-gigabyte player and remain accessible even when there's no network signal.

Creative Aurvana headphones

Price: Recommended $99 (but currently retailing around $60)

These headphones create such a good fit in your ear that they provide some noise-canceling effect -- great for when your rager roommate is partying like a rock star the night before midterms. The sound quality is also so good that you can listen at a lower volume, which is better for your hearing in the long run.

Powersquid

Price: $17.95

So many gadgets and computer peripherals plug in via transformer boxes -- those annoying cubes that are so big, you can't get more than one into a wall socket or two or three on a six-outlet power strip. This utterly ingenious five-plug multiplier lets you actually use all five plugs. Problem solved.

Clocky Rolling Alarm Clock

Price: $50

Clocky gives students one chance -- and one chance only -- to get up. If they hit snooze and then fall back to sleep, Clocky rolls off the table and "hides" in the room, continuing to make noise and until the sleeper gets out of bed to find him. Rude awakening? Yes. But failing an 8 a.m. class is much worse.

Swiss Army Knife/USB Flash Drive

Price: $99

With this Swiss Army knife on a key chain, a student is prepared to tackle pretty much anything that comes along. It contains a file, scissors, pen knife and a 1-gigabyte USB storage drive.

Becky Worley is an ABC News technology contributor and an adviser for Yahoo! Tech.

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