No doubt your college-bound or college-returnee kid is on the cutting edge of technology, so why not send him or her to school in style, with the latest gizmos that'll make his or her dorm room the best on the floor?
On "The Early Show on Saturday Morning," tech expert Katie Linendoll spotlighted some great gadgets that are perfect for the occasion - the newest and wackiest you never thought they'd need but that they'll absolutely want -- everything from pens that can record lectures to backpacks that can charge phones with solar power!
The following description were prepared in part with information provided by the manufacturers
Sonic Bomb Alarm Clock $43
The Sonic Bomb, AKA The Bomb, is for guys of all ages who think they might not wake up in the morning - WRONG. At 113db, this alarm is sure to rattle your windows and force your eyes open. And if that doesn't put your feet on the floor, the pulsating alert lights and Super Shaker bed vibrating unit will.
• 113 db extra-loud alarm (with adjustable tone & volume control)
• SS12V Super Shaker™ bed vibrating unit
• Built-in red flashing alert lights
• Hi / low dimmer switch
• 9V battery backup, maintains time and alarm setting in the event of power failure (battery not included)
• Dual power capability - 110 / 220 volts (requires optional transformer)
• Dual time (12 / 24 hour)
• One-year Sonic Alert blast-proof warranty
Grassy Lawn Charging Station, $25
If you're a true geek, every type of portable device on the planet is probably vying for the valuable electricity at your home. Unfortunately all those gadgets make a big mess with their power adapters and cables while they suck up life-giving electrical juice. Now you can hide that charging cable disaster with scenic grass. The Grassy Lawn Charging Station provides you with realistic artificial grass to cushion your gadgets while they charge. A compartment underneath hides all of the power adapters and cables. Simply run a standard extension cable into the bottom of the base, plug in all your power adapters, then snake the charging cables up through the grass. Voila! Your gadgets will think they're on a charging vacation.
* Charge your gadgets and hide the unsightly cables with grass
* Artificial Grass on the top, compartment for holding your cables and power adapters underneath
* You provide the cables and adapters
* Works with any small device with a charging cable
* 11" x 7" x 4.35"
Eclipse Solar Backpack and Solar Road Bag, $160 each
The new Eclipse Solar Backpack is the first in a line of solar bags now made in the USA. This backpack combines the traits of a top quality bag with a new, powerful, thin-film solar module. The backpack features multiple organizer pockets for your smart phones, iPods, and accessories. The rear of the backpack features a separate padded laptop cavity. External side mesh pockets can be used for a water bottle holder or other items for quick access. The pack features a large main cavity for books or extra clothing when traveling. The front-zippered accessory pouch includes pen holders, CD holders, and a removable clip for USB memory sticks or keys.
The integrated thin-film solar charging module provides up to 4 Watts of power to charge your handheld electronics quickly and efficiently. Using a cell phone as an example, you can trickle charge the cell phone battery during casual commutes or long hikes with the backpack using your existing cigarette lighter cord (not included). The result is an extension of battery life, and a source for charging when traveling in remote areas where traditional charging sources are not available, or in emergency situations.
The result is the ultimate backpack for your mobile power needs (not designed to charge laptop).
Elite Cuisine 3-in-1 Breakfast Maker $40
Kick off your mornings with elite by Maxi-Matic's 3-in-1 breakfast station. Enjoy coffee, toast and eggs all prepared by one space saving appliance. The oven has a 15 minute timer, temperature control setting and indicator light. The coffeemaker has a 4-cup capacity, swing-out filter compartment and pause 'n serve anti-drip feature. The griddle has a 6-inch diameter frying griddle and uses energy and heat from toaster oven and is perfect for frying eggs and other breakfast foods.
Livescribe Echo Pen (4GB), $170
The Echo smartpen captures everything students hear, write and speak and provides quick and accurate access to the information with just a tap of the smartpen. With Echo, students can actually engage in lectures instead of focusing on taking notes because the smartpen is doing the heavy lifting by recording all of the audio and syncing it to any notes or doodles the student makes.
Students can upload their notes to their computer (Mac or PC) and easily search by keyword, like "test" and the software will go through all of their notes whether written yesterday or two months ago and pull out the pages with the word "test" on them to make it very easy for the student to quickly get to the information he/she needs. It's also easy for the student to share the notes and audio with their friends - they can simply attach a pencast file to an email. The person that receives the email doesn't need a smartpen to be able to playback the notes and audio (what we call a pencast) or benefit from the information.
Echo is available in 4GB and 8GB models, recording up to 400 or 800 hours of audio respectively. The 4GB model is $169.95 and the 8GB model is $199.95. They are available at Best Buy.