Back to school 2015: all the best tech supplies for the year ahead

Back to school

There's the required tech you'll need for school, then there are the gadgets you don't really think about that will actually help more than you realize.

Whether it's keeping your iPhone or Android device charged up and ready to go, or using a tablet with keyboard in place of a laptop to avoid carrying too much weight, we've included the most value-packed and well-made products for your next year at school.

Fitness trackers are all the rage, but are more than a fad, especially when staying healthy is so difficult post-high school. And the smartpen is a handy backup and for those who prefer to take notes old school but want that extra edge.

The backpack is, of course, a vital piece of the school puzzle. After all, what else are you going to carry your stuff around in? Certainly not a flimsy bag – you'll need something much sturdier to last you four long years.

Back to school

Jackery portable charger

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Never lose power again

The Jackery portable charger still stands as one of top picks to keep your mobile device juiced up. The Jackery Giant (seen here) will charge up to two devices, while the Jackery Mini is a small, lipstick-sized charger for ultra portability.

No matter which you choose, Jackery affordably and reliably keeps your Android and iOS devices charged. Trust us, we've nearly tested them all.

Back to school

Otterbox Agility Keyboard Portfolio

Protect your iPad with a functional case

You'll definitely be toting around a laptop on campus as you head to class, but that can be pretty tiresome. A tablet is way more efficient in size and weight. But then you'll need a dependable keyboard. Already known for heavy duty mobile device cases, it's safe to say that Otterbox knows how to make a solid accessory.

The Otterbox Agility is a little on the bulky side, but the keyboard works like a dream and should make note-taking a breeze. For $89 (about £63, AU$120) for the keyboard and $129 (about £82, AU$174) for the keyboard and the shell, which is required, the Otterbox Agility keyboard could be the answer to your sore back.

Back to school

Livescribe 3 Smartpen

Smartphone, smartwatch – why not a smartpen?

If you're old fashioned and prefer to use a pen and paper, we recommend trying out the Livescribe 3 Smartpen. It's the latest electronic pen from the California-based company that's designed to take the pain out of digitizing, archiving and sharing handwritten notes and sound recordings.

Unfortunately, you'll need the company's special dotted paper, because the pen's infrared camera reads the dots to track and digitize your handwriting. For $149 (£129, AU$199), you get the pen and a LiveScribe Starter Notebook containing 50 sheets and a single Tungsten-Carbide Ballpoint ink cartridge. A "Pro" version comes with a 100-sheet notebook, two ink cartridges and a one-year Evernote Premium subscription for $200 (£169, AU$264).

Read the full review: Livescribe 3 Smartpen

Back to School

Jawbone UP2

Sleep better, eat better, exercise more

The $99 (£89, AU$149) Jawbone UP2 is one of the most affordable fitness trackers you can find. Popular for its predecessor, the Jawbone UP24, the newer wearable from Jawbone incorporates the same style and accuracy in a sleeker form factor.

The rechargeable battery lasts for seven days in which you'll be able to track various activities, sleep, calories burned and compare with people you know through the intuitive app. The app will also motivate you to do better rather than simply log and report your data.

Read the full review: Jawbone UP2

Back to school

Timbuk2 Leader

Here's a durable, snazzy bag for all your tech

After reading about all the gadgets you'll need for school, you're going to need something to lug them around in. The $99 (about £64, AU$134) Leader backpack from Timbuk2 should do the job quite better than well.

Internal organizers hold pens, smartphones and a laptop the size of a chunky 15-inch MacBook Pro securely, where a ventilated back panel lets you walk around without a sweaty back. The bag also looks pretty dang cool – you'll stand out no doubt with such a stylish accessory.

Today's best Timbuk2 Leader deals

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