Back to school for 2014

With the end of summer approaching it is that time of year when you or someone you know is back hitting the books. Primary school, high school, TAFE and university are all ramping up for the first quarter of 2014 and the friendly, getting-to-know-you period has come to an end.

Thankfully, the classroom is now a place where technology and convenience can take the edge off that daily study grind. 

2014 is in full effect and you or someone you know is back hitting the books as primary school, high school, TAFE, university and more ramp up for the first quarter. 

Thankfully, the classroom is now a place where technology and convenience can take the edge off the daily study grind. 

Whether you’re shopping for a student or updating your own tech, we look at how you can upscale your productivity and get the most out of your learning by adding a touch of new technology to your education experience. 

Download, store and access files wirelessly

A secure wireless network makes sharing all your files between computers and devices (like a printer or iPhone) easy. Wi-Fi lets you surf the Net using a modem and router, without tripping over messy cables on your way to grab another bowl of cereal when you’re procrastinating on your next essay. 

If you’re looking for something stylish and powerful to compliment your obsession with sexy Apple products, the Apple Airport Express Base offers simultaneous dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi connectivity that is easy to setup from your Apple device and provides AirPlay and Wireless Printing, all in a secure network.

If you’re chasing something more portable that allows you to easily access your files from anywhere, the D-Link Wireless N300 Gigabit Cloud ADSL2 Modem Router is the winner.

The My D-Link Cloud Services allows you to access your network remotely using the D-Link portal from your laptop, iPhone, iPad, or Android Device. The D-Link Modem Router is a D-Link Green Enabled Router meaning that it's designed to conserve energy, protect our precious environment from harmful substances, and reduce waste by using recyclable packaging. 

Back-up and transport your files between home and school

A simple missing file, dead battery or sheer lack of power-outlets can add unneeded stress to your school day, not to mention eat up valuable problem-solving-brain-power you need to conserve for your actual work. 

Having an external drive that simply powers directly off your laptop (or any laptop or desktop computer for that matter) can be a real lifesaver when it comes to transferring large class files and providing reliable storage on the go.

If you need to have a portable drive that offers both great performance and lots of storage space, you probably need to look at the WD My Passport 2TB USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive. This hard drive from WD is your new full-time learning companion, with its 2TB of handy storage all wrapped up in your choice of sleek sleek metallic colours. 

It’s built for storing and transporting all your videos, photos, music and files to and from your classes. Never ponder (or, God forbid, experience) what happens when your computer suffers an untimely death in the middle of your final project. This mean machine automatically backs up any file you save or edit, super-fast, whenever it’s plugged in, thanks to glorious USB 3.0 support. 

If the ability to immediately stream stored media files directly to any tablet or PC in the room is a priority, get down with the superb Seagate Wireless Plus 1TB Portable Hard Drive. The Seagate Wireless Plus creates its very own Wi-Fi network so you can use this battery-powered hard drive (up to 10 hours battery life) just about anywhere without needing to rely on slow wireless in the classroom or internet hotspots when you’re hashing out ideas in the café before a presentation. 

Using the free Seagate Media app you will be able to browse your media files on any compatible smart system, including iPads, iPhones or Android devices. The GoFlex Plus will also allow you to wirelessly upload and back up photos and movies from your tablet or smartphone, a two-way experience you definitely don’t always get between smartphones/tablets and other storage devices.

Print effortlessly and wirelessly from multiple devices

Suffering in line in the print room of your education facility or your local Officeworks is another unnecessary time-eater. If your course requires you to be presenting high quality documents on the regular and with a quick turn around, a compact printer is a must for your study. If you’re likely to be in the business of constantly scanning and copying documents, a multi-function printer could make your life a boatload easier.

The Epson Expression Photo XP-710 is a lightweight printer that balances an amazingly slim design with great functionality and superb print quality. Packing an 8.8cm touch screen, duplex printing, Epson Connect, Wi-Fi connectivity, duplex printing and a CD/DVD printing function, is a space-saver that doesn’t compromise on quality and performance. It’s ready for Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud and compatible with a range of smartphones and tablets for fast printing from using a Wi-Fi connection. 

The Brother MFC-J6520DW is a multifunctional printer for all of your printing, copying, scanning and faxing needs in one compact and sleek device. The printer features a bunch of handy functions like an easy to navigate LCD touch panel, 2-sided printing to save paper and cost, as well as a 35-sheet automatic document feeder.  With a truly easy to setup wireless function, you’ll be having that last-minute assignment ready to print in seconds.

Next time round, we leave behind learning for pure leisure, looking at the new trends in hi-fi hitting the market, from tiny units to maximise your smartphone sound right through to new school stereos that will have you neighbours running into the street every time you throw on your favourite album or film

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