Sept. 1, 2009 -- Number two pencils and graphing calculators are all well and good. But students going back to school this fall might find that with some high-tech help, they could nudge even closer to the head of the class.
For the student bound for grade school, college or grad school, here are 10 backpack-worthy gadgets.
1. MacBook Pro 13"
The new 2.26 GHz, 13-inch MacBook Pro is a great value this summer for students heading back to school. Along with any new Mac, Apple will throw in a free 8 gigabyte iPod Touch.
It's sleek, thin and light, with a durable aluminum enclosure. And it will easily slide into a backpack or briefcase.
The new built-in battery provides up to seven hours of power and will last up to five years -- which means fewer batteries in landfills.
A new SD card and FireWire 800 makes transferring video and photos a snap. The MacBook Pro includes iLife '09, which comes with Every Mac, a program that makes it easy to share photos, make movies and music, and much more. It also includes BootCamp, which lets the Mac run Windows programs, and iChat, the video chat program.
2. Acer Aspire 4810 Timeline 8480
Those who prefer PCs over Macs should check out the Aspire 4810, from Acer's new Timeline Series of energy-conscious notebooks.
Like a Mac, it's slim and sleek -- but it's $500 cheaper. This 14-inch notebook is less than 1 inch thin at its slimmest point and weighs 4.2 pounds.
With at least eight hours of battery life, it's ready to take in a day of classes on campus.
It offers 4 gigabytes of RAM, a DVD burner, a 320-gigabyte hard drive and a built-in Webcam.
3. Trend Micro Internet Security Pro 2009
Trend Micro Internet Security Pro offers a feature-filled suite of defenses against present and future threats.
Smart security features safeguard your personal and financial information from hackers and identity thieves. It prevents keyloggers from spying on your passwords, account numbers, and other personal information.
It also defends your computer from the latest spyware, viruses and phishing scams. You can remotely secure confidential files and folders in case your computer is lost or stolen. For mobile users, it automatically checks the legitimacy of Wi-Fi "hot spots."
Technology for Your Dorm Room or Bed Room
4. Logitech Z520 Speaker System
This stand-alone system offers 360-degree sound, so music is projected evenly in all directions. No matter where you are in the room, you're bound to get a great listening experience.
An auxiliary input makes it easy to connect your iPod without having to unplug the speakers from your computer. Or, an integrated headphone jack lets you listen in private when the rest of the dorm room wants to chill.
5. Microsoft Wireless Mobile Mouse 4000
Using Microsoft's BlueTrack technology, this portable mouse is designed to work anywhere and on virtually any surface -- even your blue jeans.
Especially with its long-life battery, it's perfect for studying on the go. And the Nano-Transceiver means you can leave it plugged into the laptop when you're on the run or stow it in the mouse. It comes in teal blue, berry pink and lime green.
6. Belkin CushDesk
CushDesk offers comfort and convenience for your notebook, letting you study anywhere you need to, including your couch, your bed, or the floor.
Its solid molded top provides a smooth and sturdy surface, or "work space." CushDesk is angled slightly so you can view your laptop screen at a more comfortable angle. If you want to get it out of sight, its slim design makes it easy to store in your bedroom or dorm room.
7. FreeAgent Go Dock
The FreeAgent Go Dock is not only a docking station for a portable hard drive, it also doubles as a USB hub.
You can connect your FreeAgent Go external hard drive to the dock, along with three other USB devices.
Gadgets to Wake You Up and Keep You Alert
8. Griffin Technology's Cases for the iPhone and iPod Touch
Keep your iPhone or iPod Touch safe and stylish with Griffin Technology's new cases.
The Reveal minimal case is Griffin's thinnest case yet and adds about one millimeter to the thickness of your favorite portable Apple device. Elan Passport Metal and FlexGrip are also designed for the second generation iPod Touch and iPhone 3G or 3G S.
Price: $19.99 to $34.99
9. iMM153 Dual Alarm Clock With Bed Shaker for iPod
Worried about waking your roommate if you're the only one with an 8 a.m. class?
With the iMM153 Desktop Dual Alarm Clock with Bed Shaker for iPod, you can shake to wake.
The speaker system's alarm clock features seven ways to wake up to your favorite music. The unique Bed Shaker accessory promises to wake even the deepest of sleepers by shaking your bed or pillow until you wake up.
The alarm clock also charges your iPod while it plays your music and has an auxiliary line input for audio devices with a 3.5mm jack.
10. JBL/Roxy Reference 420 Over-the-Ear Headphones
Good sound and sassy style go hand in hand with these new over-the-ear headphones that make studying in a crowded room just a little easier. They're fashion-forward, coming in color combinations of blue and green and orange and pink.
Roxy makes sure you're sitting pretty by adding a matching carrying case, and JBL pumps out the great sound quality while offering noise isolation so you can listen loud -- all to yourself.