4 Back to School Computer Peripherals and Accessories

(August 2015) If you're heading back to school -- or you have a child who is doing so -- picking up some all-star computer peripherals and accessories is a smart way to start the year. Good peripherals can enhance the computing experience and make life so much easier, which is something every student (and parent) can benefit from.

Logiteh K480. Image courtesy of Logitech

MSRP: $49.99

Whether you have an iPad or other tablet, a laptop, a 2-in-1*, or even a desktop (yes, we know you guys are still out there), getting a solid keyboard is the best thing to ensure happy use going forward. The Logitech K480 features Bluetooth — which means it should theoretically work wirelessly with any device — and it allows you to switch between three different computers/tablets/what have you. Why is this a good thing, you may be asking? No more constant pairing with your most-used devices! With the turn of a dial, you can easily switch between the three, making it a great choice for any house with roommates.

*Yes, the whole point of a 2-in-1 is that it comes with a detachable keyboard, but this model is still a good purchase for anyone who needs to replace their standard-issue keyboard.

Read can read the full review here. More »

microsoft sculpt touch
Microsoft Sculpt Touch Mouse. Image courtesy of Microsoft

MSRP: $49.99

Many computer peripherals have tried the touch strip thing, and it doesn’t always go over so well. Microsoft, however, nails it with the Sculpt Touch Mouse, building in some tactile feedback that goes a long way. The Sculpt Touch, which uses Bluetooth wireless technology, allows you to swipe vertically and horizontally on a page.  Although it us a bit pricey, its smooth, glossy build make the Sculpt Touch comfortable and a pleasure to use daily and long term, and it comes with Microsoft’s BlueTrack Technology so it can be used on almost all surfaces. While its 9-month battery life isn’t outstanding by today’s measures, it’s still respectable enough.  

You can read the full review here. More »

LaCie PetiteKey
LaCie PetiteKey. Image courtesy of LaCie

MSRP: $14.99 and up

Even with Cloud storage taking hold nearly everywhere, USB flash drives (or thumb drives, as they're still sometimes called) are still an important accessory to have. You don't want slow or busted Wi-Fi to get in the way of saving your files, and keeping one of these handy little devices on your key chain is just part of being a good Boy or Girl Scout. Drives are so affordable now that you can practically buy them in gumball machines, but laying out a few extra dollars for durability is money well spent.

Although the LaCie XtremKey is indestructible to nearly everything and Superman himself -- it's waterproof, heat resistant, cold resistant, drop resistant, pressure resistant, shock resistant and probably Kryptonite resistant -- the $69.99 starting price is a bit hard to swallow. A great step-down drive is LaCie's PetiteKey, which starts at $14.99 for 8GB of storage. This tough-tested USB drive is roughly the size of a standard house key, yet it is still waterproof to 100 meters and boasts a scratch-resistant connector. More »

Skullcandy Ink'd 2
Skullcandy Ink'd 2. Image courtesy of Skullcandy

MSRP: $15.99 to $20.99

You may prefer some giant cans when it comes to listening to your favorite music, but you will never be sorry if you keep a pair of ear buds or earphones in your backpack. As with all things headphones related, prices for earphones can range from anything at the Dollar Tree to requiring a rider on your homeowners insurance. Keeping the notions of "spare pair, " "durable" and "affordable" firmly in mind, this site likes the Skullcandy Ink'd 2 earphones. Biggest selling point for inclusion on this list? They have a flat cable, so they're less likely to turn into a rat's nest while chilling in your backpack. They also come in an insane number of different colors and patterns, and you can choose whether you would like an in-line microphone and remote. More »