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These tech toys will please students

IT’S TIME for back-to-school gifts.

They help students excel.

They keep them entertained.

They help them stay in touch with family and friends.

And the right one helps make you look like a cool dad, mom, etc., even if you’re not.

Here are our picks:


At least until the iPhone 5 comes out later this year, the Samsung Galaxy S III is as good as it gets. It’ll get even better with the Android Jelly Bean operating system update it’s expected to receive around the end of this month, according to reports.

Apple has accused Samsung of stealing its designs, and the Galaxy S III does look a bit like a larger iPhone 4S.

As a matter of fact, with its not-too-small, not-too-big, just-right 4.8-inch screen, the Galaxy S III probably looks like what the next iPhone will. If so, will Samsung sue Apple?

Its 8 MP camera takes crisp photos with great color and detail and is capable of firing off a DSLR-like six shots per second by holding the shutter button down in burst mode. It also has

a cool panoramic mode.

Unlike a lot of high-end smartphones cough, cough, iPhones the Galaxy S III is a great phone. Call quality is excellent and there were no dropped calls on the Verizon Wireless network, which loaned us one to test (see full Tech Toys blog review on



The iPhone form factor is beautiful, so it’s a shame to put it in a case. But if you drop it , forget about the screen.

Grove’s bamboo iPhone cases are cool and different enough that it makes it less painful to protect your investment.

They’re crafted from a single block of bamboo, hand-sanded and oiled. Choose from an artist series of designs of add an extra 10 bucks to the $89 basic price for your own custom design at: uct/iphone-case/#patient navigator-iphone-case.


The latest version of the MacBook Air has faster graphics and double the flash storage of its predecessor.

They’re light as a feather at under 3 pounds, and the 11-inch MacBook Air comes with a 1.7 GHz processor, 4GB of memory and is available with 64GB of flash storage starting at $999. The 13-inch version comes with a 1.8 GHz processor, 4GB of memory and is available with 128GB of flash storage, starting at $1,199.

It’s a bit pricey, but worth it, and just about any student would be thrilled with this gift.


At $199, they aren’t inexpensive for computer speakers, but they’re a good value that will fill a dorm room with great sound, lift your student’s spirits and make him or her think fondly of you.

Michael Zitz: 540/846-5163