Gadgets that are (almost) too cool for school

Too cool for school

Are you finding it hard to get up and get motivated for the new school year? We know what it’s like, early mornings can be tough and the thought of long days with boring technology can really get a guy or girl down.  Well have no fear the Gadget Guy is here to help with a selection of fun, cool and even useful gadgets.

First up we have the Tocky, a novelty alarm clock that does more than just beep to wake you up in the morning.  You see, Tocky has a mechanism built into it that allows it to roll off of your book case and continue ringing out while it skids about on the floor.

Some chronic over-sleepers will call this genius, while others will call it pure evil.  Either way you’re going to have to jump out of bed to make this thing stop, and there, it has done its job.

Tocky has its own on-board sounds but you can also set it to play mp3’s or even playback your own voice recordings.

Tocky is available from the cool local website GiftBob.co.nz for $129.95 http://www.giftbob.co.nz/products/tocky

Next we have something a bit more serious for high school or university students – Dell’s latest touch screen wonder, the XPS 12.

The XPS 12 has a novel design which allows the screen to swivel within its frame so you can easily convert it from a laptop into a touch-screen tablet.  It runs Microsoft’s latest Windows 8 operating system which means you can make the most of that software’s dual desktop and touch friendly interface.

If you go one step further and purchase Microsoft’s Office suite, I think you’ll find this machine covers all of your studenty requirements, from intensive essay writing to a bit of casual browsing.

The XPS 12 is an interesting hybrid solution but please note it comes at the price of a laptop, not a tablet. The online price starts at $1,999.00.

You can configure the machine yourself before getting it shipped from Dell but even the base model is fairly nifty with a 12.5 inch full HD screen, Intel Core i5 processor, 4 GB of memory, a 128GB solid state hard drive and at least one USB 3.0 port, which is good because my next gadget is all about the USB 3.0.

Finally for back to school I’ve had a look at the small but perfectly formed Lexar P10 USB 3.0 JumpDrive.

USB drives are on most kids school stationery lists these days and while the tendency is to pick up a cheap solution, you should be aware of the difference between USB 2.0 and the newer USB 3.0.

Most people will be familiar with USB ports on computers but what they may not know is the technology has been upgraded to allow faster transfer of data on and off of a machine onto a USB device.

USB 3.0 allows file transfers up to 24 x faster than USB 2.0 so it’s definitely worth looking out for computers with USB 3.0 ports as well as flash drives with the new technology.

The new JumpDrive P10 promises a read speed of up to 270 MB/s and a write speed of 240 MB/s.  While that may sound overly techy, what it means in real life is that you can transfer 1000 photos in less than 60 seconds and a full-length HD movie in less than 40 seconds (I’m not sure why you would be doing that on a school-work flash drive but it’s not for me to say).

Luckily, even flash drives with USB 3.0 can be used with computers that have USB 2.0 ports.

If you’re not fussy you can buy a cheap 8 GB USB drive for $10.  This one has a premium price of around $60 partly made up for with great looks as well as advanced technology (a sleek metal alloy base with a high gloss mirror-finish and retractable USB connector).  You can find out more about it here.

Happy studying!

(Note: All prices correct at time of publishing. Products subject to availability.)