Tech Hardware: The Latest and Greatest Education-Friendly Tools
The best and brightest new slates, projectors, tablets, and cameras. Plus: software picks.
Vaddio ClearVIEW HD-20.
Keep an eye on a busy hallway or catch nighttime intruders with Vaddio's ClearVIEW HD-20 security camera. On top of capturing high-definition video, the camera has a 20X optical zoom lens and can be remotely panned, tilted, and zoomed in to catch the action. vaddio.com
Stem iZON Remote Room Monitor.
The iZON monitor can put classrooms online with a VGA camera that streams audio and video to an iPad or iPhone. At $130, it's an inexpensive way to monitor a hallway, watch a novice teacher in action, or record kids at work. steminnovation.com
HP Slate 2.
HP's second-generation Windows tablet sets a new standard with an 8.9-inch screen and the ability to use all your school's Windows software. Powered by an Atom Z670 processor, the $700 Slate 2 weighs 1.5 pounds and comes with Swype's advanced on-screen keyboard. It can be ordered with an optional dock and keyboard case. hp.com
Lenovo Enhanced Multimedia Remote.
Teachers and students will find Lenovo's Enhanced Multimedia Remote to be, well, handy. At a few ounces, it can fit into the smallest child's hands, and it boasts a range of 30 feet, a backlit mini-keyboard and a trackball. lenovo.com
Epson MegaPlex MG-50.
Frustrated trying to project something from your iPad? Epson's MG-50 connects directly to your i-device and projects whatever is on the screen-and it charges it while it's docked. The $700 MG-50 uses Epson's 3LCD technology to put 2,200 lumens on screen. epson.com
JVC Picsio GC-FM2.
At $90, JVC's Picsio GC-FM2 does a lot for a little. On top of taking sharp 5-megapixel photos and high-definition videos, it can capture detailed time-lapse sequences, showing the progress of a science experiment or the artistry of a soccer game. At less than 4 ounces, it fits comfortably into little hands and comes in blue, black, or green. picsio.jvc.com
Apple MacBook Pro.
If you blinked you might have missed Apple's low-key revamping of the MacBook Pro notebook family. The new 15.4-inch Pro looks exactly like the old one but now has a high-performance 2.2-GHz, quad-core Intel Core i7 processor and a 500GB hard drive. Pricing starts at $1,800. apple.com
Is your tech budget suffering because students are breaking digital cameras as fast as you can replace them? The DC9W is rugged enough to stand up to daily school use and abuse-it has a tough metal case and is waterproof, so when it gets dirty, teachers can just rinse it off. A bargain at $179, this digicam can shoot 9-megapixel photos and be used as a webcam. hamiltonbuhl.com
Epson LabelWorks LW-400.
Nothing screams office or classroom organization louder than neatly made labels for boxed items or cabinet contents. Epson's LabelWorks LW-400 can put your choice of 14 fonts, 10 styles, and a library of more than 300 symbols on a tape that's .7 inches wide. The $50 label maker supports seven languages and accommodates a variety of specialty tapes. epson.com
With ZeroChroma's Vario-SC, tablets can finally take a stand. The case fits over any iPad 2, props it up vertically or horizontally, and can be set to 16 different angles to reduce screen glare. The $50 stand adds less than 5 ounces to the iPad's weight. zerochroma.com
Acer TravelMate 8481T.
Hopping around to conferences and meetings and looking for a notebook with a 14-inch screen that's no bigger or heavier than a 13-inch model? Acer's $900 TravelMate 8481T is not quite an inch thick and weighs less than 4 pounds, yet combines a high-performance Core i5 processor with a 7-hour battery pack. acer.com
Nitro Pro 7.
Tired of the cost and complexity of Adobe's Acrobat family of software? The $120 Nitro Pro 7 has a new take on Acrobat files with ways to keep private information secure and to work better in document management systems. Plus, at the click of the mouse, you can certify any Acrobat file as a binding digital document. nitropdf.com
Norton Tablet Security.
Just because you have a classroom of Androids doesn't mean they're safe from theft or virus attack. With Norton's $15 Tablet Security, every system can be protected from spyware, phishing, and search engine attacks. Also, if a tablet is lost or stolen, it can be remotely locked and located on a map. norton.com
Shmoop Spanish SAT and ACT Prep.
ESL students preparing for the SAT or ACT can get help from Shmoop's online prep classes. Aimed at native Spanish speakers, each course costs $23 and includes practice exams. Most of the instruction is in Spanish but the exam questions and explanations are in English to give practice for the actual test. shmoop.com
NEC Interactive Software.
NEC puts the iPad at the center of the interactive classroom by letting teachers or students mark up, magnify, and highlight what's on a PC or Mac and project it for the class. The $299 software package can save a video of the entire sequence and comes with a double-tipped stylus for writing and erasing on the iPad's screen. nec.com
Adobe Touch Apps.
Adobe makes up for the lack of drawing tools on Android tablets with Photoshop Touch and Collage. These Touch Apps cost $10 each and provide powerful tools to edit images and then arrange them in a creative collage. adobe.com