Hey folks! It’s back-to-school time, already! Don’t forget to enter in the contest at the bottom of this entry!
So, it was timely that London Drugs asked me to feature some back-to-school technology, which is right up my alley as you know! When I told Barry what I was up to after work today, he was only half-kidding when he said that this was a very dangerous blog post and review. Hey… I only spent… Oh never mind. LOL!
Paul, the extremely knowledgeable Computer Manager at London Drugs at 130th, kindly gave me an in-depth tour of the toy (ahem…) computer department. I haven’t spent much time recently in that section of London Drugs as I usually do, so it was a nice change of pace hearing about all the latest gadgets for school and work.
We started the tour in the computer bags and knapsacks section – Wow, have things changed since I went to school. The latest in bags are designed with technology and gadgets in mind, and some even have built-in rain/snow covers! Great idea!
Next up, let’s bring note-taking and drawing to a whole new level, with the aPen! If you can make it out in the photo, it takes your handwriting and drawings and automatically digitizes them (including parlaying the handwriting into text!) on the fly. It uses just regular paper and ink, too! So cool! I had to take one of those home, of course! Also in that arena was a nifty pen that records speech and time-stamps it, while you are writing. I can see that this would be great for lawyers, or even financial planners / investment advisors.
We went on to look at the Mac gear – The new Macbook Air is lightening fast, with all solid state parts, and wow, have these ever come down in price in the last few years. The retina display model is gorgeous…
But, let’s not forget some of the other PC-based Ultranotebook alternatives to the Macbook Air. Ultranotebooks are like really thin laptops and are close to tablet weight, and some of them have touchscreens in addition to keyboards and touchpads. So, if you need the portability of an iPad with the power and keyboard of a notebook, your solution is an Ultranotebook. I saw an Asus model that looked like brushed metal, and a 1080p display that would rival the retina display. Extremely cool!
And, we browsed the latest in iPads and other tablet devices – London Drugs has a wide variety of models and operating systems, with prices as low as $279 for an alternative to the iPad (the Blackberry Playbook), or even $149 for an Efun Nextbook which has a lot to offer for such a small price. Of course, all the iPads, and their accessories like cases, keyboards, and even an awesome array of stylus’ can be found in the department as well. I had to come home with a JotPro stylus, because I’ve been craving the ability to write on my iPad, and that model is very cool with a precision disc that acts like your finger, except it lets you see exactly where your mark will be made, with ball-point pen accuracy.
I was amazed at the pricing of the USB keys these days, too! London Drugs had a 16gb USB 2.0 key for only $8.99! Wowzers! Have those prices ever come down. It wasn’t even two years ago that I paid 10x that for an 8gb model. That’s progress!
And finally… software! The computer department has a vast array of software needed for the students, and plenty of options for student and teacher licenses for Microsoft software. The last item I bought, since I’m a qualifying student at the moment, was a Microsoft Office Student and Teacher suite, as Barry has lost his software license in our move. What an awesome discount buying this way!
So now, how about A CONTEST?
Paul passed along a digital creativity suite to give away… So, if you would like to win a copy of Adobe Photoshop Elements 10, and some other cool graphic design software in this package, drop me a comment and tell me why you’d like it! You’ll get a bonus entry if you click here and re-tweet this contest on Twitter (I’m @netchick, of course!) – I’ll be randomly drawing an entry on Saturday, Sept 1 at 6pm MDT. GOOD LUCK!
Thank-you, London Drugs, for the gift I received for blogging about something I so thoroughly enjoy!
UPDATE: Winner drawn! Congrats Jen – I’ve emailed you for your address at the email address you provided! Thanks everyone for participating! There’s another contest coming up soon!