Back To School Gadget Guide

Where did the summer go?! With those pop quizzes, school lunches and uncomfortable desks waiting for you, it’s good to know there is some new technology available for new/returning students, and maybe we’ll even throw in something for our hard-working teachers.

New technology that helps get through the school day is music to everyone’s ears, including the music teacher; here are some suggestions from our technology guru, Rick Limbert.

1. Epson Expression XP-430 printer

Paired with Epson’s recently enhanced Creative Print app, the Epson Expression XP-430 might just be the perfect printer for any student. The free app actually encourages mobile printing and is compatible with the XP-430 (alongScoop BTS 1 with additional Epson printers). The new features allow users to create and print collages using their Instagram photos and photos saved on their wireless device. Collages and images can be printed wirelessly directly from the smartphone or tablet. The XP-430 is a small printer that will fit on the corner of a desk or in a cabinet and holds 100 sheets of paper.

Says Nils Madden, senior marketing director, Epson America Inc., “This is a printer that caters to today’s visual lifestyles, allowing mobile customers to easily print and display their favorite memories at home, or share with family and friends to proudly display on the refrigerator or bedroom photo board.”

2. Re-Play Dishware

Sack lunches become a real meal with Re-Play dishware. Made in the USA from recycled milk jugs, Re-Play products are BPA and BPS free and also FDA approved. Re-Play makes d1b2622b321f37e57241f1943cdd7cd3plates, bowls, utensils and cups from recycled HDPE plastic.

Choose from a wide variety of colors and sets. From snack stacks and no spill sippy cups, to divided and flat plates, each product is designed with the five tenets of responsibility in mind: sustainability, affordability, functionality, durability and safety. The drinking cups are the perfect size for kids, and each item is dishwasher safe. Great for planning out those lunches, and Re-Play makes eating at school fun. Collections start at $22.00, items sold individually as well.

3. ECBC Hercules Laptop Backpack

For years, travelers have sworn by ECBC products for their durability, functionality and quality. Now, the high school or college student that demands a bag that will carry all their fragile tech Scoop BTS ECBC4gear and still looks good, has a great option. Crafted with nearly indestructible Kodra nylon, the ECBC Hercules Laptop Backpack will carry everything you need including a 17″ gaming laptop. It features self-repairing YKK zippers, high density protective foam pockets for smaller devices, a phone pocket and a moisture wicking air mesh back panel for superior comfort, all of this while only weighing 2.7 pounds.

And if they need to travel, it offers the ECBC FastPass® System allowing you to unzip the specialized electronics compartment, lay the bag flat on the security conveyer and go through TSA without having to unpack your laptop, tablet and cables. Choose from five different colors at

4. Umbra Accessories

The design team at Umbra has done it again with a great collection of affordable accessories that make the most out of the small spaces that dorm rooms provide. Umbra products like their bulletin boards, hooks, racks, organizers and shelves; not only save space and keep things organized, but they also add to the decor of a dorm room or apartment. Many of Umbra’s accessories can be had for under $20, so happy shopping!

5. Libratone One Click Speaker

libratone-100666148-largeWhile there might be nothing new about a wireless Bluetooth speaker, the “One Click” from Libratone offers a nice carry handle and 360 degree sound. Billed mainly as an outdoor speaker, the One Click sounds and looks good enough to put on your desk. The speaker’s rubber casing will protect it from the elements, and you can pick from three different colors including Caribbean Green.

6. KingsBottle Mini Fridge

Scoop BTS Refig 6Forget everything you know about dorm room-sized refrigerators and take a look at what KingsBottle has to offer. For $299, buyers get an actual refrigerator with a compressor that keeps precise temperatures and is specifically designed to be one of the quietest on the market. Different sized KingsBottle “mini” units keep from 21 to 66 cans, bottles and whatever else you need. You also get chromed metal shelves, a lock to keep your roommates out and blue LED lighting on the inside as a nice touch. Comes with a two-year warranty.

7. Wearsafe

Safety is of utmost concern in 2016; so it’s comforting to come across a device like Wearsafe. The Wearsafe Tag can help students of all ages or anyone that wants a layer of protection- just in case.

scoop BTS wearsafe8How Wearsafe works: At the first sign of trouble, pressing the Wearsafe Tag keeps you one step ahead of the situation. It uses the power of your phone to alert friends and family, sends them audio from the scene and starts a live chat room where they can coordinate a response or call 911. This while keeping your phone—your lifeline—out of sight. Right now, Wearsafe will send a Tag to you for free. Try it for 30 days, risk-free. After that, your subscription is just $5 per month—a small price to pay for peace of mind.

ScoopOTP contributor, Rick Limpert is an Atlanta-based writer that covers the intersection of sports and technology. You can follow him on Twitter at @RickRoswell, hear him on Radio 105.7 with Sully and check out his new gadget and tech website at