Forget everything you know about storing notebooks and tablets when they’re not in use because Belkin’s Store and Charge has an open top allowing kids and teachers to easily slide the systems in and out. Store and Charge holds up to 10 systems that are 1.2-inches thick or less and has a surge protected power strip that comes with a $15,000 lifetime warranty against electrical damage. It will go on sale in June and cost $199, much less than a traditional storage system.
Need a high-quality screen in a hurry? Elite Screens’ Kestrel is a free-standing projection screen that breaks down into three easy to move and store boxes. Available in 8.3- or 10-foot sizes, the Kestrel has a 16:9 aspect ratio for HD programming and wide-screen notebooks. It has a built-in motor that quickly extends the screen when the show is ready to start. It sells for $2,500 and $3,600 and comes with a three-year warranty for schools.
Ever see the look on a child who just dropped a tablet? It’s the closest thing to utter fear and humiliation mixed into one sad face, but Kensington might be able to make dropping gear a guilt-free incident. There are iPad cases that include the simple SafeGrip for iPad and iPad Mini cases that has a handle and place for stowing a stylus. There’s also the SafeGrip Security Case that adds a cable and lock to keep the slate from walking away. All are made of soft foam rubber that can protect it against impact, but also allows access to its outlets, switches and cameras. They range from $50 to $90 each.
Tired of having to scramble to replace tablets or notebooks that have been broken, stolen or destroyed in a fire? Worth Ave. Group Insurance policies can provide not only a replacement but peace of mind. Policies are available for up to three years with a variety of deductibles. For instance, the fee for $300 worth of coverage on a tablet with a $25 deductible is $57 a year plus a one-time $5 processing fee.
The latest from crowd-source fundraiser Kickstarter is a stylus that you wear as a bracelet or rolled up as a backpack ring. Made of flexible silicone, the Flaxus pen will be made by Hong Kong-based Aeglo if Kickstarter gets to its $10,000 start-up funding goal; as of the last count, they were near $7,000. The pens cost two for $19 if you back the project or $24 afterward.
It can be a chore to draw and write on a tablet with your finger, but a stylus pen, like N-trig’s DuoSense Pen can make it much easier and more precise. The first of the second generation slate pens, the pens come in three sizes: 9.5mm, 8.0mm and 5.5mm. All are very sensitive, allow hovering over the glass display and feel like pen on paper. Look for them later this year.
A lot of the action at FETC this year concerned tablets and how to get them to work best in the classroom. Sometimes all you need is a small stand to hold a tablet so that kids and teachers can have a free hand while doing desk work. Felix has a pair of products to do just that. Both work with a variety of tablets and are made of durable materials that can stand up to classroom abuse, but are not as advanced as tablet docks that can charge the tablet while working.
The $25 Two Hands model looks like a large hair clip with a spring loaded lever at the center that opens a pair of long red hands. A set of flat silver fingers with small nubs on the back hold the slate in place. Just press it open and let the hands grab around the slate’s sides. It can open up to 10.5-inches, which makes it perfect for holding an iPad or 10.1-inch Android tablet. It works in horizontal or vertical orientation and can sturdily set the slate at a variety of different angles. Two Hands is made of aluminum, plastic and silicone, folds up flat when not in use and is available in a variety of colors.
Like Two Hands, the $20 MonkeyDo stand can open up to hold a variety of tablets horizontally or vertically. Made of plastic and rubber, Monkey Do doesn’t have a spring because it acts like a torsion bar to hold the slate in place. It can’t be folded up but can easily be stored in a drawer when it’s not being used. The slate rests on a small base made by the monkey’s feet that holds it securely in place, but you run the risk of tipping the whole thing over if you press too hard on the top of the screen. The big payoff is for smaller kids, because the smiling monkey face can make a tablet seem inviting and less intimidating.
Vernier can turn any science room into a chemistry lab with its new Mini GC. A full gas chromatograph, the Mini GC uses air as its carrier gas and offers two levels of sensitivity. It can detect everything from simple alcohols to nitro alkanes and costs $1,800.
The hardest part of running a classroom off of a tablet is teaching and controlling the slate at once. Satechi’s Bluetooth Smart Pointer lets you control the pad while moving around the room and using its laser pointer. Weighing just 1.6-ounces, the $45 Smart Pointer can not only play, pause and stop videos, move presentations along and work with iPad apps.
Kanex’s Double Up USB charger is actually two AC adapters in one. Capable of delivering 21-watts to a pair of USB devices, it will charge them up quickly and let you know when they’re done with a green LED light. Available in black or white, it costs $49.