Trending February 2024 # Back To School Gift Guide: The Best Tech & Accessories For Apple # Suggested March 2024 # Top 8 Popular

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As we head into back to school season, many students, teachers, and parents are looking to update to the latest technology in order to have the smoothest school year possible. New laptops are purchased, phones are upgraded, accessories are bought, and much more. This year, we’ve decided to give you a breakdown of some of the best technology you can buy for the upcoming school year.

In this day and age, laptops are almost essential to the success of a student, especially in college. The idea of dropping over $1000 on a new laptop seems daunting, but thankfully Apple has a handful of incentives in place for students. If you head over to Apple’s Education Store, you’ll see discounts on all of Apple’s laptops and desktops. The 12-inch MacBook starts at $1249, the MacBook Air starts at $849, and the MacBook Pro starts at $999. Apple’s iMac, Mac Pro, and Mac mini are also discounted, but those aren’t necessarily the best choice for students that will be constantly on the move.

Personally, my recommendation for students – and what I will be using this school year– is the 12-inch MacBook. The combination of the slim and portable design and beautiful Retina display makes it the best in my opinion for students. Of course, you’ll want to invest in at least a few adapters, but that’s the price you pay for such a portable design.

In addition to the existing education discount Apple is providing, the company is also offering a free pair of Beats Solo2 Wireless Headphones with the purchase of a MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, or Mac Pro. This offer will only run for a limited time, however, so don’t wait too long.

No matter which MacBook you end up choosing, there are a variety of accessories that will pair nicely. First off, you’ll want to invest in some USB-C accessories if you choose the 12-inch MacBook. Below are some of my favorites:

If you chose any of the other Mac choices, there are some other accessories that I would recommend, as well. (These can also be used with the 12-inch MacBook, just make sure you have the correct adapter if necessary).

Despite our ever-growing reliance on the cloud, I still like to carry a flash drive with me at all times, while the TwelveSouth HiRise is the perfect option to free up some much-needed desk space. Additionally, I love to use Bluetooth keyboards when I use a stand with my MacBook. Check out all of my recommendations below:

If you would like an external monitor to hook up to when needed, my personal favorite remains the 4K-capable Samsung U28E590D, which can be picked up on Amazon for $399 in 28-inch or $339 in 24-inch.

Now that you’ve got your computer situation all squared away, there are variety of things that make life easier when it comes to your iPhone and iPad. First and foremost, I highly suggest that anyone living in a dorm or with any roommates pick up a pair of noise-cancelling headphones. After reading Seth’s review earlier this summer, I went out and bought myself a Bose’s new QuietComfort 35 wireless headphones, and I’ve never looked back. They’re pricey at $349, but the ability to have peace and quiet while doing school work is invaluable. If you’re looking for something slightly cheaper, Bose’s QuietComfort 25 headphones are available for $299, but I’d strongly suggest to drop the extra $50 and get the 35s. A variety of other affordable options are available, with reviews, on Amazon.

You’ll also definitely want to pick up a pair of earbuds for walks from class to class, downtime, and maybe even during that really boring lecture. Personally, I’m a fan of the urBeats In-Ear offering, which come in at $69.99. Though if Apple is indeed removing the 3.5mm headphone jack with the iPhone 7, a wiser investment might be a solid pair of Bluetooth earbuds. The Jaybird X2 Sport are a great affordable option, especially if you plan on hitting the gym a lot to combat the deadly freshmen 15.

Another thing you’ll definitely want to have is a solid Bluetooth speaker. A variety of options exist, but it really just depends on your use cases. Below are some great options at every price point:

One of my favorite ways to unwind is with Netflix, and at this point the best entertainment box on the market is the fourth-gen Apple TV. With support for apps and games, the Apple TV will be a hit in college dorms for everyone. You can pick one up for $149, although we frequently see deals for far less, so keep your eyes on 9to5Toys, as well.

One of the best decisions I made during last school year was investing in an iPad Pro + Apple Pencil. The Apple Pencil Personally, I’m partial to the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. It starts at $579 with the student discount, while the 12.9-inch model starts at $779. For a limited time, you’ll also get a pair of Powerbeats 2 Wireless Headphones for free.

If you invest in an iPad Pro, the Apple Pencil is essentially a must have. It makes things like taking notes, annotating papers, peer-reviewing essays, and so much more a lot easierEarlier this year, I rounded up the best apps for taking notes on the iPad Pro with your Apple Pencil, and GoodNotes 4 remains my top choice at the moment. The Apple Pencil runs $99.

Finally, there are a handful of less exciting things that are very useful for students, especially those living in a dorm. You’ll want to keep all your electronics clean, so investing in a cleaning cloth and spray is a must. A desk lamp is also vital for late-night studying. Cable management is also vital, otherwise you’ll end up with a mess of wires and a fire hazard. View my picks for all of these problems below:

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Back To School 2023: The Best Tech And Accessories For A Successful School Year

Back to school season is moving full steam ahead, with many universities and schools just a  month away from heading back to class. This day and age, its crucial to start the year off on the right foot tech-wise. Read on as we round-up some of the best back to school tech and accessories for the 2023-2024 school year.

Mac

As always, Apple is running its annual Back to School Promotion, offering a free pair of Beats headphones with the purchase of an eligible Mac or iPad. My personal recommendation for college students is the 2023 MacBook Air. Apple just dropped the price to $1,099 and added True Tone. Its thin and light profile is great for an always on-the-go college student.

If you’d rather save a few bucks than get a free pair of Beats headphones, the 2023 MacBook Air is still an excellent choice. You miss out on True Tone display technology, but you can pick on up in refurbished condition for $949.99. Read our full review here.

The new MacBooks all ship with USB-C connectivity, which means you might need some adapters if this us your first USB-C Mac. Here are some of our recommendations:

If you’re in a field that will require heavy mouse use such as video editing and creation, I can’t recommend the Logitech MX Master mouse highly enough. It’s incredibly ergonomic and versatile mouse that you can pair with up to three devices.

iPad

If you already have a Mac, or are looking to go the iPad route this year, the 10.5-inch iPad Air is a great choice. You can read our full review for more details, but you get Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil support, the powerful A12 Bionic chip, Touch ID, and more.

Meanwhile, the 2023 iPad Pro is also an excellent choice if you’re looking for the most power available in the iPad form factor. Of course, it’s pricey and likely overkill for most students, but you can’t go wrong with nearly bezel-less design, Face ID, and more. Check out our full review.

In terms of integrating an iPad into your workflow, the upcoming releases of iOS 13 and macOS Catalina will include a new feature called Sidecar, which turns your iPad into a second display for your Mac. For students especially, this has the ability to give you an easy, two-display solution when on-the-go.

Audio

One must-have tech for every student during back to school season is a decent pair of headphones. My personal pick remains Apple’s AirPods (full review), which are incredibly small and portable, packing 24 hours of battery life in their case. If you plan to be a bit more active this year, the Powerbeats Pro are also an excellent choice. We loved them in our full review. The BeatsX also remain a popular choice, and are a bit more affordable at $99.

In terms of noise cancellation, I continue to love the Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones – they’re pricy, but you really do get what you pay for with noise cancellation, Alexa integration, and more. Another popular choice are the Cowin E7 headphones, which are far more affordable than the Bose.

In terms of speaker for your back to school tech haul, HomePod is an expensive option that lacks portability – which is often a requirement of students. My personal top pick for an ultra-portable, yet incredibly powerful speaker is the Ultimate Ears Megablast, which works with Alexa and supports up to 16 hours of on-the-go playback.

Smart Home

Adopting smart home technology while living in a dorm is challenging, but if you’re living in an off-campus apartment, there are a few things that are worth investing in.

You never know what might happen in a college town, and one way to help make sure you can always have an eye on your house or apartment is with a smart camera. If HomeKit support is a must-have, the Logitech Circle 2 is a great option. If you’re looking for a more affordable option, however, the Wyze Cam is an excellent choice at just $26. Read our full review here.

In terms of other smart home solutions, fun accent lighting options like the Nanoleaf Aurora are a great way to make your college living situation stand out. Traditional smart bulbs are also an affordable way to give your home some basic “smarts.”

Accessories

Last but not least, an external battery pack is crucial if you’re going to have long days of class and studying. There are a few different options here worth recommending. For keeping your iPhone, iPad, and MacBook Air charged on the go, the Anker PowerCore+ is an excellent solution, but it is a tad bulky.

Mophie’s new Powerstation Hub is one of my favorite portable chargers due to its versatility. It packs a Qi charging surface, two USB-A ports, and USB-C to charge virtually anything while on-the-go.

Apps

When it comes to apps, everyone has different needs and wants – but two of my must-have applications are GoodNotes 5 and Things. The former is an excellent note-taking app with incredible power, especially if you plan to truly integrate the iPad Pro with Apple Pencil into your workflow.

Things is a versatile task manager that can be used for everything from organizing your assignments to making grocery lists and more. One thing you’ll also need for group projects is a cross-platform messaging solution. The most popular solution is GroupMe, but other options do exist.

Wrap up

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Best Tech Gifts For Christmas: Holiday Gift Guide

Are you confused about what will be good Christmas gifts for your loved ones? Christmas gifts are always precious and bring the flavor of the upcoming new year. This year get some tech gifts for your family. Let me help you. Here I have made an extensive list of the best tech gifts to buy for Christmas 2023. Have a look!

Best tech gifts for kids this Christmas

Nowadays, kids are more tech-savvy than parents. So, why not gift them some unique toys?

1. Fisher-Price ultimate learning bot – For kindergarteners

It also boasts 3 smart stages (learning levels) with 120+ songs, sounds, and phrases about numbers and counting, the alphabet, shapes, colors, and more. So, your child can explore activities more suited to their age, whether clapping to music and lights or running after a zooming robot.

And thanks to its cute looks, the ever-evolving games, and the learning program, your child will cherish the gift till next Christmas (if not more).

2. Circuit Explorer – For budding engineers

Encourage the budding engineer in your kid. Designed by Educational Insights, Circuit Explorer is a series of STEM toys based on the fundamentals of circuitry. The idea is simple – when the right pieces are connected and the circuit is complete, things light up, produce sound, and move.

Subtle learning lies under the euphoria of attaching things successfully and exploring new stuff. The Deluxe Base Space Station boasts tons of parts from towers, a color-changing planetarium, spinning diner signs, a rotating radar dish, a freewheeling Space Rover, and more. And if your little Bob the Builder enjoys constructing things, this will be their coolest Christmas gift.

Check out on: Amazon

3. LilGadgets Wireless Headphones – For audiophiles

Also, a child-safe decibel limit, noise reduction, and audio-sharing features make them safe and fun for the kid. It can be connected via Bluetooth or a 3.5mm audio jack. The headphone contains 12 hours of battery life and 180 hours of standby mode. Moreover, pack it in the included micro-fiber travel bag.

Unique tech gifts for parents

Our parents have witnessed the tech revolution, so let’s buy them some techy gifts this Christmas.

1. Robot vacuum cleaner – No more messy rooms

How often have you received a scolding for not cleaning your room? I think a robot vacuum cleaner can help you and your parents get over that whole ‘messy’ room trauma. And the iRobot Roomba 694 Robot Vacuum cleaner is a strong, effective, and budget-friendly option. Simply use Siri or Alexa to clean your room.

It boasts a few superpowers, including low operating volume, auto-recharge, an infrared sensor to avoid obstacles, and drop-sensing tech to avoid falls. But most important is its Patented Dirt Detect Technology with Dual Multi-Surface Brushes that offers 3-stage cleaning.

Read our top picks for the best robotic vacuum cleaners and choose one for yourself.

Check out on: Amazon

2. Sleep Headphones – For music lovers

Don’t judge the book by its title. Sleep headphones work like over-ear Bluetooth headphones; instead of a stiff over-the-head band, you get an elastic around-the-head band. I love the colors, flexibility, and price point offered. The built-in 2 ultra-thin speakers work perfectly for side sleepers and comfortably block ambient noise.

It doubles as a sports headband and can be used while jogging, yoga, traveling, meditation, etc. Thanks to the 10-hour battery, it can easily transition from soothing sleep sounds to pumping workout music. And Bluetooth 5.2 ensures a smooth and seamless connection throughout any activity.

If your parents have insomnia, you may suggest the best white noise apps for iPhone and iPad.

Check out on: Amazon

3. Mini Projector – Gift a personal cinema hall

Who does not love to binge-watch their favorite movies and series with the family? And your parents might or might not say so, but the Christmas movie tradition greatly matters to them. So, why not make things more special this year with a portable projector. And Kodak’s Ultra Mini Portable Projector could be a nice pick.

If you have an Apple TV 4K, go through our list of best projectors for Apple TV 4K.

Check out on: Amazon

Best Christmas tech gifts for your better-half

When you choose the best gifts for your partner and surprise them, Christmas becomes heart-warming. I have tried to mention Christmas gifts suitable for both wife and husband.

1. MacBook – Boost productivity

What would be better than a MacBook for your workaholic spouse? The basic MacBook Air starts at as low as $799. You may also check out the MacBook Pro series if they already got an Air. Besides, Macs got a new variation with more powerful M2 chips. You may also trade in your old MacBook and earn credits for the new one. Moreover, you may give a personal touch by adding MacBook accessories.

Confused about which one would be best? Read our editorials:

Check out on: Apple

2. Magic Keyboard for iPad – Make a mini Mac

Don’t worry if you do not have the budget for a new MacBook. If you have an iPad Pro 11″ or iPad Air (5th gen), you can convert that into a mini Mac. The Magic Keyboard contains a trackpad and the same keyboard as the MacBook. So, it will feel no different. There’s another keyboard case for iPad from Apple called Smart Keyboard. It supports most of the iPad.

Before buying, go through Magic Keyboard vs. Smart Keyboard: Which is the best for iPad?

Check out on: Apple

3. AirPods Pro 2 – For music lovers

AirPods can be a small but special Christmas gift for couples, as you can personalize it. Apple offers engraving initials of names or favorite emojis on AirPods cases. Also, you will get a free Apple Music subscription for 6 months. The basic AirPods model starts from $129.

Besides, Apple recently launched AirPods Pro 2 with cool features like MagSafe charging with speakers and a lanyard loop. You may make it more special with the best accessories for AirPods Pro and Pro 2. Struggling to pick one? Read what our experts say: AirPods Pro 2 vs. AirPods Pro: Which one is better?

Check out on: Apple

4. Game controllers – For gaming addicts

If you are looking for Christmas gifts for your boyfriend, what could be better than a gaming controller? You can use these controllers with your iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV. Several Apple Arcade games also support playing with a game controller. So, transform your Apple device into a PlayStation!

Exciting Christmas gifts for Apple fans

Any Apple enthusiast like me will consider Apple devices as the best Christmas gifts over anything. So, hop on the Apple store and start shopping. Also, Apple is giving an extra 5% discount only for Christmas! Visit the Apple holiday gifts guide page.

1. iPhone 14 – Surprise with a new phone

Just imagine this. Finding a new iPhone box under the Christmas tree would bring such a bright smile to your loved one’s face! Obviously, a priceless moment. So, go for the new iPhone 14 series. While the iPhone 14 and 14 Pro have a 6.1″ display size, iPhone 14 Plus, and 14 Pro Max offer a 6.7″ display. Also, you will get an upgraded camera setup with a 48MP lens.

To get a better idea, go through our detailed guide on iPhone 14 series: Design, features, price, and more.

Check out on: Apple

2. Apple Watch Series 8 – Gift a healthy life

Apple Watches are becoming better and more health-focused day by day. So, the recent Apple Watch Series 8 is an ideal Christmas gift for your partners and parents, which makes a statement that you love and care for them. Thanks to an amazing array of features – fall detection, an ECG app, Crash Detection, walking steadiness, heart rate zone tracking, and more – the watch has proven itself as a lifesaver.

Moreover, with the health-sharing feature, you can keep an eye on their health even when miles apart. Depending on the wrist size, you can buy a 41mm or 45mm variation and complement them with the Best Apple Watch bands. Besides, if you are low on budget, you can also go for Apple Watch SE or Apple Watch Series 3. Nonetheless, my vote goes to the latest one.

Check out on: Apple

3. iPad – An all-round Christmas gift

Whether your parents are 9to5ers, business owners, entrepreneurs, working from home, or retired, an iPad can be of great use. Packed with immense power and versatility, it can help them with work, research, organization, staying connected, winding down, and much more.

Most importantly, this gift will earn you some bragging rights until next Christmas. Plus, by adding accessories, you can turn your iPad into a laptop for productivity. While iPad Pro is great, it is also pretty expensive. So, you can choose my favorite iPad mini, which is a little more affordable and power packs amazing features.

Read our editorial as a helping hand in deciding: iPad 10 vs iPad Air 2023: Which one is worth buying?

Check out on: Apple

4. HidrateSpark water bottle – Improve drinking habits

Winters are harsh on the body; dehydration can be a serious issue. So, you may gift HidrateSpark smart water bottle. There are two variations- plastic and steel. It has an LED smart sensor stick that glows to remind you to drink water. And it syncs with iPhone and Apple Watch via Bluetooth to track every sip.

Moreover, the HidrateSpark app takes the user’s height, weight, activity level, etc., into account and draws up their daily hydration goal. Amazingly, the app also has a Find My Bottle feature that’ll help your parents to track its last synced location.

5. AirTag – A budget gift

An AirTag can make for a wonderful and thoughtful gift. It’s pretty cute, super-easy to connect and use, and amazingly effective. Plus, it has many use cases, from tracking down the dog, car keys, and purse to the medicine box.

Buy one to test waters or a pack of 4 to gift your mom, dad, and other loved ones. You can even get it custom engraved from the Apple Store. And whether you want it to be the centerpiece or a side gift, it can easily fit any shoe; just make sure they have an iPhone. Also, you may bundle it with AirTag accessories.

Check out on: Apple

Give Apple accessories as a Christmas gift

If you are tight on budget or your family already has most Apple devices, Apple accessories can be the best Christmas gifts in 2023. Also, it provides hundreds of options to choose from.

1. MagSafe accessories – Cherish the power of magnets

MagSafe accessories are a great addition to the iPhone. It lets you charge your iPhone wirelessly at 15W. Besides, there are many other MagSafe accessories, like wallets, car mounts, etc., that boost productivity. Read our hand-picked list of best MagSafe accessories for iPhone: Cases, chargers, power banks, and more.

2. Cases and covers for Apple devices – A personalized touch

Gifting personalized cases and covers for Apple devices shows your care toward your loved ones. There are several kinds of iPhone cases, such as clear cases, leather cases, waterproof cases, bumper cases, MagSafe cases, wallet cases, folio cases, etc. Read our compact list to choose the best case for your iPhone.

Besides, you may get iPad cases and MacBook cases.

Go through our hand-picked list of the best iPhone docking stations for everyday usage and choose your preferred one.

4. Power banks –  For iPhone addicts

In this digital age, you can’t ever have too much power. The power bank is one of tech lovers’ most useful Christmas gifts. They are super slim and lightweight for easy portability. At the same time, the in-built safety system includes overcharge protection, short-circuit protection, and temperature control.

For iPhones, you may choose solar power banks, USB-C power banks, wireless power banks, and portable power banks. So, choose the suitable one and give it to someone who’s always on the move or any power user who’ll appreciate the extra battery backup.

5. Speakers – Get your party mode on

We all know people who literally cannot live without music. Whether in the shower or at work, they’re always grooving along to some tunes. Well, help them turn the volume up with this handy waterproof Bluetooth speaker that’s super portable.

They can easily take it from the bedroom to the shower to a pool party or even a hiking trip and will be sure to remember you every moment. JBL’s speaker is IPX7 waterproof with 10 hours of playback on a single charge. The integrated carabiner makes it easy to hang or attach anywhere.

Moreover, it comes in 12 fun colors and is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Pretty cool! If you want speakers from other brands, read our guide on the best Bluetooth speakers for iPhone.

Budget Christmas gifts under $50

I think it’s the most awaited section. So, without wasting time, let’s find out what gifts you can get with only $50.

1. Smart notebooks – For writers or students

Writers are perhaps the easiest people to shop for. Just get them a fancy notebook, and they’ll love you for it. But they’ll love you even more when you get them this high-tech smart notebook. It has a stylus for writing and uploading notes to popular cloud services like Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, OneNote, iCloud, email, and more.

Then it can be reused countless times. It works with the free Rocketbook mobile app, and the AI allows you to easily search and name notes with smart titles, smart search, and email transcription features. A perfect Christmas present for anyone who writes a lot, whether for school, work, or personal use.

Check out on: Amazon

2. FULLLIGHT TECH Beanie with headphones – For those always freezing

Nothing matches the feeling of cozying up in warm fuzzy clothing and listening to your favorite music in the winter months. This beanie hat with headphones is perfect for the experience. It’s a unique Christmas gift for a girlfriend, boyfriend, or anyone you care about.

The double-knitted hat keeps you warm and has in-built headphones that work up to 19-23 hours for wireless music and hands-free calls. The Bluetooth 5.2 chip offers a stable connection, and the sound quality is loud and crisp. The hat is perfectly sized to fit almost anyone, and you can choose from ten cute colors. I’d recommend getting one for the whole family!

Check out on: Amazon

3. Beats Flex wireless earbuds – For almost anyone

If you prefer the music lover in your life to keep their sound to themselves, get them these Beats earbuds. They’re one of the best AirPods alternatives and make up great gifts under $50 that almost anyone would love to receive for Christmas.

These magnetic earbuds with auto play/pause are powered by the Apple W1 headphone chip for seamless connectivity. They offer up to 12 hours of listening time and all-day comfort with a flex-form cable and four ear-tip options. Moreover, you can choose from four sporty color options.

Check out on: Amazon

4. Samsers foldable Bluetooth keyboard: For the workaholics

We all know that one person who just can’t disconnect from work, no matter where they are. If you’re tired of seeing them typing away on their phone, you can help out with this nifty little portable keyboard.

This little device comes with a free phone holder and is perfect for fast, accurate typing. The keys are quiet and work seamlessly with iOS, Android, and Windows devices. Besides, it’s super easy to connect, and the automatic on/off and reconnection design makes operation more convenient.

I also appreciate the elegant and wear-resistant PU leather material. The built-in lithium battery can be used for 40 hours of continuous operation or 180 days of standby. It’s definitely among the cool Christmas things under $50 on Amazon!

Check out on: Amazon

So that concludes my tech gifts guide for Christmas 2023!

Explore more to make your Christmas more special…

Author Profile

Ava

Ava is an enthusiastic consumer tech writer coming from a technical background. She loves to explore and research new Apple products & accessories and help readers easily decode the tech. Along with studying, her weekend plan includes binge-watching anime.

5 Of The Best Tech

If you travel with tech gear, you know the frustration of chucking your stuff into a standard backpack. Small things like memory cards are often lost to the abyss, and pricey electronics can get scratched and damaged. Fortunately, there is a better way to travel while keeping all of your electronics intact.

1. Lifepack Solar Powered & Anti-Theft Backpack

The Lifepack by Solgaard is a backpack that doesn’t just hold your tech – it is a piece of technology. The Lifepack features a number of high-tech upgrades that you won’t find in a standard backpack. First, it has an integrated solar panel to charge a built-in power bank. There is even a USB port on the exterior of the bag so you can charge your devices while wearing it. Secondly, the Lifepack has integrated Bluetooth speakers. This means that the party goes where you go. Finally, this pack features a patented anti-theft cabling system, ensuring your stuff is safe.

As far as storage is concerned, the Lifepack has tons of interior compartments and pockets. In addition, the Lifepack also features four secret pockets. These are hidden to the naked eye and can be used to store your valuables like credit cards, cash and passport.

2. eBags Professional Slim Backpack

The eBags Professional Slim Backpack is made for people who believe there is a place for everything and everything should be in its place. This backpack features compartments tailored for specific devices and accessories. It’s perfect for those with lots of stuff who hate having to rummage through their bag to find things. To this end, there is a padded sleeve able to accommodate a 17-inch laptop. Additionally, there is a removable crush-proof “garage.” This is a container with a hardened plastic shell that is perfect for storing sensitive, fragile gear.

The eBags Professional Slim Backpack also features a side-loading design similar to that of a suitcase. This allows easy access to commonly-used items without having to open the entire bag, a lifesaver in cramped environments like public transport. Furthermore, the bag features stowable straps and a pass-through sleeve on the back, allowing users to securely attach it to the handle of their luggage.

3. Mark Ryden Anti-Theft Laptop Backpack

This backpack by Mark Ryden is one of the affordable bags on this list, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t packed with features. In addition to all of the standard pockets and compartments, this bag also opens 90 to 180 degrees, making everything easily accessible. Furthermore, it also features built-in USB ports, so you can charge your gadgets without having to open the bag.

4. Modoker Vintage Laptop Backpack

All of the backpacks listed above are great, but they all suffer from the same pitfall: they’re not particularly exciting to look at. Granted, this all boils down to individual taste, but many tech-friendly backpacks on the market all seem to adopt a sterile look, with lots of blacks and grays. Fortunately, the Modoker Vintage Laptop Backpack combines both functionality and style.

The Modoker Laptop backpack has a vintage styling for those looking to compliment their sense of fashion. However, the Modoker backpack isn’t just about looks. It features compartments dedicated for your tech gear, like a fully padded laptop sleeve capable of accommodating computers up to 15 inches. Furthermore, it features an external USB charging port, so users can top up their devices on the go.

5. Fjällräven Räven 28

This minimalist backpack from the Swedish Fjällräven, is simple and practical. It has a 28-liter capacity, divvied up between numerous compartments and pockets. There is a spot for all your tech gear, including a dedicated zippered laptop compartment. Additionally, it has a fleece-lined pocket, perfect for minimizing potential scratches on mobile phone and tablet screens.

While the Räven 28 may not be as “high tech” as some of the packs on this list, it is one of the smallest bags available. This makes it very attractive for those who travel a lot, especially those who fly. The Fjällräven Räven 28 is a great carry-on bag, as it is the perfect size to slip underneath the seat in front of you.

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Jordan’s Holiday Gift Guide – The Perfect Companions To Your Mac & Ios Setup

We’ve already heard from Michael, Zac, and Ben on their last minute gift picks for the holiday season. For my gift guide, I’ve decided to only include products that I’ve personally been using on a daily basis. I review a lot of products in all of these categories, and below you’ll find only the best of the best that have earned a permanent place in my setup for both at home and on the go:

There are a lot of touchscreen gloves available on Amazon and elsewhere, but we’ve yet to come across a pair that lives up the quality of one of the original companies making the product, Dutch designer Mujjo. Unlike others, Mujjo’s gloves allow you to use your knuckle, palm, fingertips or just about any part of your hand to interact with the display, opposed to others that have a small touch area on the fingertips only. Available in various colors in fabric and leather options for men and women, the gloves range from €20 to €74. 

Until Apple decides to make professional quality camera that runs iOS, I’ll be sticking to the first pro mirrorless camera running Android with the new Samsung Galaxy NX ($1,600). The camera essentially builds in a high-end smartphone with a gorgeous 4.8-inch touch display right into the back of the camera, and that means WiFi, LTE, and access to all the apps on Google Play. The Galaxy NX is truly a first of its kind camera for professionals that follows in the footsteps of the more consumer oriented Galaxy Camera. There’s really nothing else like it and if, like me, you’ve grown tired of the stale camera user interfaces that feel outdated compared to our smartphones, the Galaxy NX will definitely be a breath of fresh air. You can check out my full review here.

DJ midi controllers used to be relatively intimidating to the average person, but thanks to iPad just about anyone these days can be up and running with the basics in a matter of minutes. No need to fumble around mapping your controller to your favorite programs on the Mac, now you can simply drop in your iPad and begin mixing immediately with built in support for apps like Djay and Traktor DJ. My go to recommendation would be anything from Native Instruments: The $199 Z1 or Kontrol  S4 will work great with its Traktor DJ software.

Other options include the Pioneer Pro DJ DDJ-WeGO2: $284 (Reg. $430) and the Numark iDJ Pro for iPad: $269 (Reg. $700).

I’ve looked for a long time for the perfect backpack to carry my MacBook alongside my camera gear when traveling and covering shows for 9to5. I had the same problem with the majority of bags I’ve tried: most were big, bulky, and uncomfortable while catering only to professionals that wanted to carry just camera gear. I needed a lightweight, compact backpack that would protect my Galaxy NX and DSLR, but also have room for my MacBook, iPad, and other gadgets I need on me when traveling. I finally found the perfect bags from a company called KATA.

I personally use the $85 (reg. $150) KATA Bumblebee Backpack in black (pictured in dark grey on the right), but the company has a ton of great configurations no matter what your needs for carrying gear are. Another great option for those that need more room for camera gear is the $199 Mini Bee (pictured right). If you’re looking for a backpack with compartments for your camera, you won’t be disappointed with anything from KATA’s collection.

Whether you are an experienced professional or just making demoes on your Mac or iPad, Apogee is widely considered to offer some of the best quality audio recording devices available. They are also the only interfaces around that actually look like Apple could have designed them.

The Apogee Duet is an expensive option compared to others at $649, but you get what you pay for here, and in this case it’s quality. The Duet comes with 2 analog combo Line/Mic/Instrument inputs along with Apogee’s world class A/D conversion at up to 24 bit/192kHz. Add that to the 4 analog outputs (2x balanced line outs for monitoring and 1 1/4″ stereo headphone out), and you’ve easily got one of/ if not the best singer/songwriter home demo recording devices on the market. The Duet, and most of Apogee’s other sub $2000 interfaces work with all iOS and Mac Core Audio compatible applications and ship with everything you need including a Lightning and 30 pin iOS cable.

KRK’s monitors have long been a standard in the recording industry, offering up some of the best sounding speakers available with its V-series. They’ll cost you around $600 a side with the V-series, but KRK’s more affordable line of monitors — the Rokit series — are also a great sounding option as well for a home studio setup. You can pick up a pair of 5-inch Rokits for as low as $300, compared to a bangin’ $1200 set of VXT 8s.

Whether you are just watching movies, listening to music, or doing more intensive video editing and audio work, there simply isn’t a better monitoring solution out there in my opinion.

Handcrafted, high-quality leather and wood cases from Pad & Quill have become my go-to recommendation for some of the best iPhone, Mac and iPad cases around. The $85 Luxury Pocket Book is my number one pick for iPhone as is the $99 Aria for iPad (pictured above). I’ve been known to not use cases– I prefer using my Apple devices naked, to experience the design the way the creators intended. These cases, however, are the first I’ve owned that I can truly say don’t take away from Apple’s design, but instead add to it.

Since most of the products in my guide are a little on the high-end for gifts (you’ll probably be keeping those for yourself), I’ve decided to throw in a less expensive option that will please any Mac user. If you haven’t yet noticed, I like when the other products I use look like they could have been designed by Apple. My 7-port Satechi USB 3.0 hub certainly fits that criteria and looks perfect next to an Apple keyboard and mouse setup. It’s available to ship immediately from Amazon for $55.

Check out our complete gift guide to home music production on your iPad or Mac. 

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WorldView

Are you bored of eating at Michelin-star restaurants and flying in a helicopter to work everyday? Do you have so many piles of cash sitting around that they’re cluttering up your second vacation home? Sounds like you need a real vacation.

Hop into your private jet and check out these extreme, geeky, and sometimes absurdly pricy experiences.

Fly An Underwater Plane

Sure, you own your own aircraft and you fly it to work everyday. Whatever. But flying underwater is really cool. With the DeepFlight Super Falcon two-seater underwater plane, you can explore coral reefs, swim with dolphins, or just let loose and do a couple of barrel rolls. Superyacht Owner magazine says that, “with air-conditioning and music playing, the DeepFlight submarine was an extremely comfortable way to explore the deep.” Cost: $1.5 million

Dive Deeper In A Personal Submarine

Whereas the Super Falcon can only dive down to 400 feet, the Triton 36000/3 personal submarine can take you and two passengers into the deepest parts of the ocean. Enjoy your stay in the abyss. Cost: $15-25 million

Visit The International Space Station

Schmooze with professional astronauts and celebs like Sarah Brightman, all while traveling at 17,500 miles per hour. From a height of 200 miles, the Earth will look like the insignificant mud ball you always knew it was. Space Adventures has already started shuttling passengers back and forth. Cost: $20 million, plus an additional $15 million for a spacewalk

Advertisement: Glenfiddich

Stay In An Inflatable Space Hotel

The inflatable space habitat from Bigelow Aerospace is trying to launch early as 2023. The company will begin sending its 110-cubic-meter BA-330 modules into orbit to become space stations and hotels.

Go To Space School

World View offers a gentler ride into the stratosphere via a helium-filled balloon.

Tour The Polar Circle

Hang out with penguins and whales, dodge icebergs, hike a glacier, and go diving in polar waters on a 12-day cruise around Antarctica. Cost: $11,300 for a “superior” room

Pilot A Jet Pack

Jet packs haven’t always been the safest of toys, but things are looking up (literally). The Martin jet pack has flown for up to seven minutes straight with no casualties. The company claims it can hoist up a 250-pound person for up to half-an-hour, moving at a max speed of 60 miles per hour. Pre-order now. Cost: Under $150,000

Crush A Car With A Battle Tank

How many of your friends can say they’ve driven a Russian T-55 Main Battle Tank? A Minnesota company named Drive-A-Tank will let you do just that—car crush INCLUDED! They’ll also let you shoot off machine guns that fire at 600 to 1,200 rounds per minute. Cost: $3,000

Stay In An Underwater Hotel

A five-star resort is allegedly on its way to Fijian coast—on the seafloor, that is. Once it’s finished, visitors will be able to ride around in a 1,000-foot “luxury submersible,” go scuba diving in local lagoons and coral reefs, and indulge in “marine-focused” spa treatments. The best part? The resort will be built in an unspecified location dubbed “Poseidon Mystery Island.” Another underwater resort, named the Water Discus Hotel is planned for Dubai. Either one sounds like the perfect place to dock your superyacht. Cost: TBD

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