Ken: On this Monday morning, kids going back to school, not just at the elementary school and junior high, but I’m talking about college, grown ups! Going back to school and you want to send them back to school ready to go with all the tech gadgets but that can be a little pricey.
Ryan: It can be, especially when they’re like, “Oh, I need a new iPad” and they need a new computer and you’re like, “Oh.” So let’s say you’re hanging out in the dorm. You’re done with your studies. What are you going to do? Watch cable television?
Ken: Go chase Pokemon?
Ryan: Nobody is going to do any of that stuff. So this is called a Chromecast. You might have seen these before. This is about $35. The cool part about this is not only does it work like a Roku or any other streaming device, like an Apple TV, so you get your HBO, you can get your Netflix, and so on and so forth, but you can stream directly from your phone. A little icon will show up on your phone, whether it’s an iPhone or an Android or a Microsoft Windows. You just click the little thing and you can stream anything from your phone. So you go, “Hey, check out this cool video I got,” and you can stream it on a large screen TV.
Ryan: $35. You can get that just about anywhere. Amazon is a great place. Now, let’s say you’re studying with all your friends in class and you guys are all taking notes furiously and somebody starts wanting to watch a movie or something like that. This is just like a regular old thumb drive, 64 GB, 32 GB, this is a 200 GB one. The cool part about this is it’s got its own WiFi network on it! You don’t even have to plug it in. You flip the little switch. Up to three devices can connect to this wirelessly. You can stream movies, music, and look, all kinds of notes and kinds of stuff like that.
If you’re hanging out in the library and you’re like, “Oh, I want you to see this great video of my dog doing this thing when I was playing Pokemon Go,” you hook this up to your phone and you can share the audio for everybody. It’s $14.99. This is called the Belkin Rockstar. If you’re in the library, you’ve got to be quiet.
Ken: I was going to say, you’re going to get kicked out of the library.
Ryan: You’ve got to like, “Oh, look at this video,” but then you got to keep it real quiet. Do that and you’re going to be everybody’s friend.
Ryan: So this is the last thing. Electricity is always important when you are traveling around and whatever, so if you are in your dorm room and you put one of these things in, and you get two USB hubs on the top, as well as six outlets.
Ryan: And this one is a little cool. When you throw this in your backpack and it’s a little rotating hub so you can rotate it. Well, you can rotate it. But this will give you three plus the two USBs at the top. And these are also by Belkin and these will run you about $20-$30.
Ken: I like it!
Ryan: Is that cool or what?
Ken: That’ll works. That all fits in the budget. All of this is, I’m at like $100.
Ryan: Yeah, and the last thing we got is Verizon Wireless has this great JBL speaker. This is really cool. It’s a little clip on speaker, Bluetooth speaker, but you can daisy-chain them together so you can put them throughout your dorm room or throughout a little party or something like that. And it is waterproof!
Ryan: For up to 30 minutes you can you can submerge that in water. Yeah, I know. But it is only $35 and you can get it at Verizon right now.
Ken: I like everything.
Ryan: Isn’t that cool?
Ken: You’ve made college extremely disruptive. That is exactly what we want. Before you go out and get these though, you might want get yourself a side job, even though they are super, super inexpensive. Take care of yourself, kids, as you’re on your way out for college. Always good to see Ryan from Nerds on Call with great, great new tech gadgets to make sure kids are ready for college coming up soon. Mel?
Mel: All right. Thanks, Ken.
As our kids get more and more “connected,” sending little Jane off to college can feel like the first step toward bankruptcy. Don’t despair! We are here with some great gadgets to make on-campus life more enjoyable, without breaking the bank. Of course, you’ll want to make sure that you help create an atmosphere that encourages study, but being able to relax and entertain is also important!
Get a Google Chromecast for your room for just $35, it plugs into the back of most TVs and lets you stream just about anything from your phone or tablet onto the TV. You can even use your device as the remote!
The JBL Clip ($35) or JBL Clip 2 ($60), provided to us by Verizon, will let you wirelessly stream from your smartphone or tablet. You can clip it to your backpack for tunes on the go or by the river or at the park. When connected to the phone you can take calls through it, to save you fumbling for your phone while you are out and about. The Clip 2 is waterproof, for up to 30 minutes submerged – so take it in the shower with you! You can also daisy chain two speakers together for extra sound if you’re having a dorm room party…
Increase your popularity not only with good tunes but also share your class notes, photos and videos by using a SanDisk Connect Wireless. Just $25 for a 32GB stick and $34 for 64GB, these wirelessly connect up to 8 devices, no internet required! It creates it’s own WiFi network and there is no need for a USB slot, making it perfect for smartphones and tablets.
Be a rockstar by using the Belkin Rockstar, just $14.99. This funky looking audio splitter will let you attach up to 5 headphones to just 1 headphone jack. Perfect for the library, you don’t want to get thrown out for watching videos… lecture videos of course!
Belkin have some amazing USB charging options to help prevent fights breaking out in your dorm! The Belkin SurgePlus USB Wall Mount is just $25 and provides not only 6 surge protected outlets, but also 2 USB ports on the top of the unit, a great way to maximize the usually limited outlet capacity.
If you have an outlet in a tight space, the Belkin SurgePlus USB Swivel Charger is just $30, and offers 3 surge protected outlets and 2 USB ports. The nice compact size of this will allow for easy carry to use in class or in the library.
Good luck to all for the new school year, remember your Nerds On Call are on hand to assist you with any technical questions!
About The Author: Andrea Eldridge is CEO and co-founder of Nerds On Call, a computer repair company that specializes in on-site and online service for homes and businesses. Andrea is the writer of a weekly column, Nerd Chick Adventures in The Record Searchlight. She prepares TV segments for and appears regularly on CBS, CW and FOX on shows such as Good Day Sacramento, More Good Day Portland, and CBS 13 News, offering viewers technology and lifestyle tips. See Andrea in action at callnerds.com/andrea/.