Essential College Tech

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Video Transcript

Ken: All right, ladies and gentleman. Nerds On Call. Ryan is here to help you out. Now, everybody’s going to college, going to school. They got all this stuff.

Ryan: Well, this isn’t just for college stuff because I know Ken’s been, like, circling this table all morning. So, he’s gonna steal some of this stuff.

Ken: I like toys.

Ryan: So, I’m gonna talk to you about the essential stuff for college. So, here we’re gonna start with the first thing first. This in an Anker battery charger. So, if you’re in college, you’re sitting in your classroom, everybody’s huddled around that one freakin’ plug, right? So, this is 28,000 amps. This thing will charge a MacBook Pro with a USB-C, or a tablet and a phone, for up to a week without recharging.

Ken: Wow. Really?

Ryan: That’s really cool. It’s a little pricey. It’s $110 bucks and it is a brick.

Ken: Yeah, it is a brick.

Ryan: But that’s all you need, and that’ll keep you up for the whole week, from class to class to class. So that’s kinda nice.

Ken: We could power a Wilton with that for a day or two.

Ryan: Yeah. Anker also has some pretty cool cables. These are lifetime-guaranteed cables. So these are the last cables you’ll ever need to buy. They have a USB-C, as well as the Thunderbolt cable. So that’s pretty cool. Get all that at Amazon. $110 bucks for that. Now, if you’re in your college dorm, you wanna watch TV, you just hook this up to your monitor. It’s just a HDMI cable. This is called the Chromecast. It’s $35 bucks.

It uses your phone to cast stuff onto the bigger monitor. So, if you’re watching YouTube or if you’re checking out Hulu or checking out CBS Now and you wanna watch some shows, boom. This is $35 bucks. Nice and cheap. This one is Cody’s favorite, but it’s a little pricey. It’s $40 bucks, and what’s cool about it is it’s got the Thunderbolt cable there, but it’s got the dual connector here, so you can charge and listen at the same time.

Ken: Yeah, that’s awesome.

Ryan: Thank you, Apple, for ruining out lives.

Ken: $40 bucks, though.

Ryan: So, this is called the Cowin E7. This is $70 bucks. What’s cool about this is it has Bluetooth, a regular plug-in cable, and NFC. So, that way, if you’ve got, like, a Samsung, you could just pair it real quick. So, it’s super cool. So all kinds of connections, and it’s got noise cancelling. So, if you’ve got a really noisy roommate doing really noisy things, like roommates tend to do, boom. Put these puppies on and you’re rockin’.

Ken: Yeah, and then you just rock back and forth. You’re, like…

Ryan: Please make it stop.

Ken: Please make it stop.

Ryan: I need… Yeah, okay. So, anyway, last thing is this. So, if you’re at Davis and you’re riding a bike and you’ve got a black backpack on, you’re totally gonna get hit by a car. So, this has got a reflective strip on it and a little bike light lamp thing here that you can put your light on that blinks. Like, freaks everybody out and gives them a little seizures when they’re driving.

So, that’s kinda cool. And it’s got this dedicated little spot for a tablet, as well as a laptop, and it just stands there like this and… Well, it’s supposed to. And the bottom has a water resistance. So, if somebody spills water or it’s raining outside, and you set it down, you’re not gonna get all your electronics wet.

Ken: That’s awesome.

Ryan: Is that cool? This is $70 bucks. It’s by Belkin. No, $50 bucks. It’s $50 bucks. I was wrong.

Ken: Okay.

Ryan: By Belkin. You can get this at Amazon, too.

Ken: You can just give me the extra $20. Yeah. Let’s keep going.

Ryan: $25, $25. Oh, no, wait.

Ken: Why on earth is it all backpacks have a flat bottom now?

Ryan: I know. I hate it when they kind of lean over and you’re, “Oh.”

Ken: Yes. Oh, boo.

Ryan: But no, it just sits down. Boom, you’re ready to go.

Ken: That’s awesome.

Ryan: Is that cool?

Ken: Yeah.

Ryan: So, you’re all set for college.

Ken: And $40 bucks. Come on.

Ryan: I know, but…

Ken: Come on.

Ryan: Don’t be fooled and buy the cheap versions, though, because they don’t work. Apple has that little certified program now, and so it’ll reject it and you won’t charge your phone anyway. Or you won’t get the mic on your phone when you’re talking on your headset. You won’t get the mic to work. So you’ve gotta buy the more expensive one, but it’s pretty sweet.

Ken: Okay. Cool. Are you gonna stick around? What are you gonna do next hour?

Ryan: What are we doing next hour? I don’t remember, but it’s gonna be sweet. Yeah. I don’t… Sorry.

Ken: Well, I don’t know. We’ll find out together. It’ll be fun. All right, back tyou.

Woman: All right. Sounds good. Thanks.

Man: Well, a new local…


As the summer draws to a close, college students are preparing to head back to campus. Before they leave, consider stocking them with some nifty gadgets and college tech to make their dorm life, commute, and study time easier.

Portable Charger

In today’s gadget-happy world, battery life is a key productivity indicator. And yet there are never enough outlets in the classroom, library or dorm room to keep all those devices charged.

Save your co-ed the headache of huddling around the one coveted outlet with 8 of their classmates with a powerful portable battery pack.

Anker’s powercore+ 26800 PD is a nifty solution.

It’s whopping 26,800 mAh is powerful enough to charge even a laptop – a rare feature with a portable battery pack of this small size.

The PowerCore supports high speed charging for phones, tablets and USB-C notebooks. And the device itself can be fully recharged in just 4.5 hours.

You can charge most phones over 7 times, tablets at least 2 times or notebooks at least once.

The battery pack comes with a 30W USB-C wall charger, Micro USB cable, and USB-C to USB-C cable.

You can grab this powerhorse for just $110.

Commuter Laptop Backpack

If you’re walking or biking to and from class, Belkin’s active pro backpack with reflective strips is a no-brainer.

Besides added safety, it has some other great features.

The knapsack style opening makes it safe to carry on public transit or crowded public spaces.

Inside, there’s added dedication protection for laptops and tablets and side pouches let you quickly stash your water bottle on the go.

It’s comfortable to carry around with adjustable mesh padded shoulder straps and a padded back panel.

The water-resistant coating on the base protects content within the bag, even if you set it down in inclement weather.

The top-loading upright design isn’t too shabby either – it stands on its own so you don’t have to precariously lean your pricey laptop when you get to your desk.

For just $50, you can’t go wrong with this backpack.

Streaming Stick

Everyone streams content these days.

However, if you’re planning to host a movie night, gathering around a laptop isn’t going to cut it.

Be the guy (or gal) prepared for movie night with Google Chromecast. This makes it easy to project content from your smartphone onto your TV screen.

The device features support for popular streaming apps such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, and even CBS.

Plug it into any TV or monitor with an HDMI port and you’re ready to “cast” from your phone to the larger screen.

A single Chromecast device costs $35 (or $69 for the ultra version for 4K streaming).

Noise Cancelling Headphones

Have you ever tried finding a quiet space around a college campus?

Whether it’s your roommate, revelers in the common room, or strangers in the library, finding peace and quiet to study or get work done is a challenge.

Cowin E-7 active noise canceling wireless bluetooth headphones let you create your own oasis of calm in the campus chaos.

Without any pesky wires to deal with, all you have to do is pair the headphones via Bluetooth with the device you want to listen to music from.

Block out the world with active noise canceling and comprehensive base coverage.

With a 30-hour battery life and quick charge, you don’t have to worry about lengthy downtime.

The earcups rotate 90 degrees, making it easy to pack them in your bag.

While you won’t get the same sound quality as the pricier Beats or Bose can headphones, these Cowins are a steall for $70.

Multitask Again

When Apple removed the 3.5 mm headphone jack from the latest generation iPhone and iPad’s, those of us that listen to standard headphones while charging were left in a quandry.

iPhone 7 owners rejoice – with Belkin’s charge rockstar you can finally charge while listening to headphones simultaneously again!

While some might balk at the $40 price tag, beware of the cheaper, no-name knock offs. This is the only splitter I’ve tried that works consistently and allows you to retain the use of your headset’s microphone while in use.

Get a leg up

College can be stressful for students learning to balance the demands of advanced course work, navigate the new social scene and – most importantly – learn!

Stock the odds in their favor with a few tech gadgets to help make college life easier.

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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