Over 30 Back-to-School Essentials + Win the Asus PadFone X from AT&T

back to school

As it so often is, young students today have it good. Now, back-to-school shopping is pretty great—new laptops and tablets that can absolutely be justified as educational necessities. Future lawyers will develop out of children nationwide developing pointed arguments and counter-arguments as to why an iPad is a need, not a want. Students will get new toys, parents will save some money on back-to-school deals, and everyone wins. Almost makes up for the end of summer vacation! Almost.


But to further soften the blow that is the end of summer vacation, we’re also giving the Asus PadFone X for AT&T away! This 2-in-1 prodigy gadget offers both a tablet and a smartphone in the same factor, which is enough to make any student drool. So enter below to win it for yourself.

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Glasses.com Kensington Road Line

Students have to look the part, right? Well, not really, but if you have to wear glasses, might as well make sure they’re stylish! Glasses.com has new preppy-chic line of frames named after a an equally preppy area of London. A must for the gunners and the kids with Oxford or Cambridge in their future.


Microsoft Surface Pro 3

Admittedly, it’s a truism to say that Microsoft’s latest iteration of the Surface is also the greatest, but the Surface Pro 3 really is the best Surface for students. With a larger, 12″ display, it makes for a more convincing laptop when papers need writing, but it’s still small enough and light enough to serve as a tablet. With plenty of local storage and a 2160 x 1440 resolution display, it’s also serviceable for gaming and movies. It’ll be great in the classroom and out, and will probably be a student’s constant companion.


Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 Pro

Lenovo’s ever-flexible hybrid is also a good bet for students. The 13″ Yoga 2 Pro can be used as a laptop, a tablet, a presentation stand, and propped up like a tent for optimal touchscreen use. Solid battery life means that students can comfortably leave their chargers in their dorm rooms, while the 3,200 x 1,800 resolution display will make break time all the better.


Dell Inspiron 11 3000

This new laptop from Dell is a solid offering for its size. The 11.6″ screen size means we’re looking at a small, light laptop. Coming in at just under three pounds, the Inspiron 11 3000 will lighten your student’s load, which is great, because the last thing students need to add to their plate is a heaping helping of back pain. With an Intel Haswell Core processor and a battery life of over eight hours, you can tell Dell didn’t skimp on the specs, either.

S5 Active

Samsung Galaxy S5 Active

It has ‘Active’ in the name—who else would it be for, if not students? The Galaxy S5 Active adds a shock-proof frame to Samsung’s flagship phone, thanks to rubber bumpers on the corners. That will protect your student’s phone from the drops that will surely take place multiple times over the course of the school year. With a button that brings up all of the S5’s fitness features at a glance, it’ll make for a great exercise companion, too. Who knows, they might even use to call home every once in a while.


Marblue SlapBand

How do you prevent a student from losing a stylus? Turn it into a fashion accessory! That’s what Marblue did with their SlapBand. It’s a slap bracelet with stylus tips at the ends, and there’s no metal in it, so there will be no recreations of old horror stories involving the slap bracelets of the ’90s. They come in multiple colors, and can be found in Staples or online at Amazon.


Narrative Clip

Every moment is picture perfect with the Narrative Clip. It’s a tiny 5 MP camera, small and light enough to be clipped to clothing and forgotten about. Just make sure you clip it at a good angle—the Narrative Clip will be automatically snapping two pictures every minute, and it’d be great if most of those weren’t of folds on your shirt. The battery lasts two days, so you’ll be able to capture everything you do as you live college life. For perfect moments, double-tapping the Narrative Clip will manually take a photo. The $230 asking price, gets you the camera plus a 3-month subscription to Narrative’s photo storage and organization service, so you can easily search through all of your memories—the good and the bad.

Oral B

Oral-B Deep Sweep 1000 Electric Toothbrush

When an electric toothbrush is recommended for ages 18 and up, you know it means business. Students can get their dental care squared away with the Deep Sweep 1000, which has three cleaning zones and pulsates thousands of times per minute, removing up to 100 percent more plaque over the non-electric toothbrush. A key addition for students leaving for college, since mom won’t be around to harangue them about brushing habits anymore.


Toshiba Encore 2 Tablet

A quality, budget tablet is friend to both student and parent when it comes to back-to-school shopping. So, take a look at the 8″ and 10″ Toshiba Encore 2 tablets. They both run the full version of Windows 8.1 and have fairly decent 1280 x 800 displays. They’ll get the job done, and at $200 for the 8″ and $270 for the 10″, they won’t break the bank, either.


Kensington Trapper Keeper Tablet Cases

The students of today will never know the joy of having a Trapper Keeper to show off how untouchably cool they are. Pity them. Then, get them the next-best thing, with Kensington’s new line of tablet cases. The new folio cases were designed with Mead, so we’re talking about an authentic return of the Trapper Keeper and Pee-Chee names, this time tasked with protecting tablets of all sizes. They’ll still make your student look cool, though, don’t worry.


Foreo Luna Mini

Between studying, getting sleep, and doing your homework – you have to put in some time for skin maintenance. Foreo Luna Mini is perfect for students who want to always look their best in between classes or in need of a quick freshening up after a long night of dorm parties. It’s portable and always ready to clean up those pores.


Room Essentials Wood and Metal Desk

Have a student moving into their first apartment? Make sure that not everything in their new pad is from IKEA with this wood and metal desk. It might not be from the Blue and Yellow, but it certainly still fits in with college interior design—simple, with no frills. It’ll be a great workstation for your student, and definitely probably won’t be used as a mini-bar or a TV/video game console stand.

Nokia 630

Nokia Lumia 630

According to Erik Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development and observation of your local mall’s Hot Topic, adolescence is a time to establish one’s identity. Good thing that fits in perfectly with Windows Phone, which Microsoft bills as the most personal mobile OS. On top of the customization options, the Lumia 630 has a 4.5″ display, a 5 MP camera, and, most importantly, a $50 price tag if you get it through Cricket Wireless. It’s even customizable on the outside, too, with swappable shells in different colors. It’s no flagship, but hey, at least your Halo-loving student will be able to talk to Cortana.

Livescribe 3

Livescribe 3 Smartpen

Let nothing remain untouched by the hand of technology. We now have smart pens, thanks to Livescribe. Students who prefer writing to typing can jot down notes the old-fashioned way, ink to paper. The Bluetooth-enabled Livescribe 3 will transfer all of those notes to the companion iOS app, where they can be reviewed and searched in a much more convenient way. As if that wasn’t handy enough, the pen has a microphone, so students can record lectures to listen to later.

Sugar Snap Peas

Mann’s Gourmet Snow Peas

No, seriously though. Eat your vegetables. Just because mom’s out of sight doesn’t mean you can start scarfing down McDonald’s like that guy in Supersize Me. Moms, hit them with a friendly reminder before they leave.


Microsoft Office 365 University

For incoming college students, it’s hard to find a better deal than Microsoft Office 365 University edition. Students get the whole Office suite for four years, with licenses for two devices, including Macs, PCs and tablets. They can also use the smartphone app versions of the Office software, and can claim 1 TB worth of cloud storage using OneDrive. Microsoft even throws in 60 free Skype minutes per month, to make sure students stay in touch. All of that costs $80, not per year, but for the whole four-year subscription.


Belvita Cinnamon Brown Sugar Breakfast Biscuits

Hey, don’t forget to get enough fiber, too. You need to make sure you stay regular. Don’t give me that embarrassed look. I know you, you’ll go out to Taco Bell every day, and ruin that good health I spent 18 years building up. Take these with you, at least you can eat them on the plane.


Keurig K10 Mini Plus Brewing System

Unless your student is deft enough with class sign-ups to avoid early classes for four years, coffee’s going to be a necessity. Make sure that morning jolt is as close to their bed as possible with Keurig’s dorm-sized instant coffee maker, which comes in an impressive variety of colors (also dorm-friendly!). All that’s needed is a mug, some water, and a K-Cup pack of coffee, and all of a sudden mornings are bearable! In this way, kids become adults.


Cake Boss Coffee

Speaking of K-Cup packs of coffee, here’s some of the best tasting packs you can find. You can supply the first 24 cups with these single-cup 24 packs of flavored coffee based on Cake Boss. They’re made to work with Keurig’s coffee makers, so you can make sure the above purchase actually sees use. And it should see use—coffee’s good anyway, but when it goes down tasting like chocolate fudge cake, all the better.



Students, notorious for never having enough money (unless they need to buy booze or music festival tickets), need all the discounts they can get. Spotify is doing their part by offering their full premium service, featuring unlimited on-demand streaming with no ads, for half price. $5 per month gets students the keys to Spotify’s musical kingdom.




The especially eager student can supplement their college education with free online courses on edX. Courses on edX come straight from leading universities and foundations, making them great sources of knowledge. They’re a great way to do a little extra preparation for upper division classes, soaking in some knowledge before going on to the university class, where the grades matter.


Crunch Pak

Are you eating enough fruit? You’d better not be going to Arby’s every night. If you are going to Arby’s every night, at least eat a piece of fruit after, OK? Look at these. They even slice the apples for you ahead of time, so you have no excuse not to eat them. I just worry, is all.


College Duck Tape

What’s just as useful as an undergraduate degree? Duct tape! The venerable Duck Tape brand has rolls of tape bearing the logos of 46 colleges from across the nation. Is your student going to one of them? Buy them a roll. I guarantee they will find ways (or excuses) to use it.


Asus Transformer Book

Asus always goes all-out with their hybrids, and the Transformer Book is no exception. A hybrid by virtue of a detachable keyboard dock, the 13.3″ Transformer Book has a 1080p display, HD cameras on the front and back, and an Intel Haswell Core processor. It’s high powered and loaded with storage—there’s a 128 GB SSD in the tablet and 500 GB in the keyboard dock. Because the keyboard is detachable, the Transformer Book stays light as a tablet, but sacrifices nothing when it comes to productivity in laptop mode.


Lenovo C260

Does your student need more in the way of screen size? The Lenovo C260 is a 19″ all-in-one PC with decent specs at an affordable price. The all-in-one moniker is all the more important when it comes to students—it’ll serve for homework, keeping in touch, watching movies, gaming sessions, and heavy-duty design assignments. All that comes with just a $460 price tag.


Lipault 19″ Weekend Shoulder Bag

Lipault’s Weekend Shoulder Bag is perfect for weekends spent visiting mom and dad. Available in 7 fun and very bold colors, the bag also offers something for every personality. And there are plenty of pockets to stow your stuff in – there are a total of 3 zipped pockets on the front and an ample sized main compartment too. You can pick it up for $119.



Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III

Students need portability, and demand quality. The RX100 III is a camera that delivers on both, packing a DSLR-level sensor into a handheld body with a fixed lens. Students can lose the bulk of a traditional DSLR without losing out on image quality, while enjoying features like NFC and Wi-Fi connectivity for quick sharing and a multi-angle LCD display for ideal selfies. It’s pricey at $800, but at least you know you’ll be seeing the pictures your student takes during their academic journey—well, some of the pictures, anyway.

Knomo-Knomad Interior

Knomo Knomad Mini for iPad Mini

The Knomad Mini goes far beyond being just a case, while retaining the style we’ve come to expect from the brand. The Knomad Mini is more like a wallet for the 21st century, holding all your essentials in a sleek, easy-to-carry folio. You can pick it up for $60.

Sont Xperia Tablet 2

Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet

The Xperia Z2 is Sony’s flagship 10.1″ tablet, and, because it’s a Sony device, you know it’s going to be waterproof. You can also expect Sony’s top-notch video technology—a 1920 x 1200 resolution Triluminos display with their mobile X-Reality picture engine. That means sharper colors, improved image contrast, and a way better viewing experience for whatever your student happens to Netflix binge on in the next year. You can grab a 4G LTE model from Verizon on a two-year contract for $500.


GreenSmart Gaur Backpack

This sleek backpack isn’t just lightweight and practical – it’s also environmentally friendly. To that effect, its exterior and interior fabrics are all made from 100 percent recycled plastic bottles. You can pick it up for just $56 at Amazon.


Samsung Gear Fit

If you really want to be one of the cool kids at school, then you have to score yourself a Gear Fit. I mean come on, look at it! It screams chic geek. The Gear Fit  seamlessly connects to your Samsung Galaxy S5 but it will also work with other devices too. It looks great on your wrist and even if you never use it as a true fitness tracker. No one will really care, because you still have it.


Brooks PureFlow3

Lastly, you can’t go back to school without a great pair of sneakers! Brooks PureFlow3 are an award winning pair of running shoes that will keep you on your game, on and off the track. Nominal in price to many of the other sneakers out there. The PureFlow 3 are super comfortable and will last a very long time.





  1. So many amazing items on this list it’s hard to pick a favorite. I like them all! If I have to pick a favorite, I will have to say the S5 Active

  2. Lots of great products so it’s hard to choose, but I THINK most desired by myself would be the Dell Inspiron laptop

  3. My favorite back to school item, was the Dell Inspiron 11 3000, because is a great computer, that also works as a tablet if you remove the laptop from the keyboard, so it is a great solution for special occasions or needs, but this is only my opinion.

  4. I’d like to get everything on this list, but I think the S5 Active is what my son needs most.

  5. The Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet is my favorite on this back to school list of items. I could use a new tablet. I love the features on this too.

  6. OMG this is the best giveaway ever !! I am goi,g crazy !! I love the

    Samsung Galaxy S5 Active !
    I’m studing to be an architect and I neeeeed all this !!
    thank youu

  7. My favorite item on the list is the GreenSmart Gaur Backpack! It’s stylish and green-friendly, all while holding all of my electronic and analog belongings. I love it!

  8. My favorite back to school item, was the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 Pro, because is a great computer, that also works as a tablet if you remove the laptop from the keyboard, so it is a great solution for special occasions or needs, but this is only my opinion. (these is an update of my last post, since that I made a mistake on my favorite back to school item).

  9. Sorry, this wasn’t my favorite back to school item, my apologies, but I already post a correct update of this post, and again sorry for this inconvenient. ????

  10. All these items are Awesome and picking one is hard! I would love the Lenovo C260 with that 19inch screen! Woot Woot

  11. The
    Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III is my favorite back to school item although all of the above are so awesome.