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Back to school gear that’ll make the grade

credit Intel
credit Intel
credit Intel

With summer vacation season nearing its bittersweet end and with all things academics about to kick in to high gear, now is the time to ensure your student is equipped with the right gadgets, gear and garments to facilitate a successful school year. Here’s a list of school-worthy products for elementary through college-age kids sure to make the grade:

ASUS MemoPad 7 (www.Intel.com) - $149.99
School can be extremely fast-paced so you need computing power that can keep up and maximize productivity. The ASUS MemoPad Pad 7 is ideal for a student’s multifaceted life on-the-go with its lightning-fast Intel Atom quad-core processor that can easily handle several tasks in tandem and deliver an immersive audio and video experience with all day battery life—up to 9 full hours! It’s a boon for those all-day computing or all-night study sessions. This lightweight, portable device, which runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, has a 7-inch display with 10-finger multi-touch technology as well as Intel HD Graphics that deliver incredibly vivid images. It can also serve as a portable wireless hub allowing users to stream multimedia content to compatible external displays. There's also a Micro-SD slot with support for up to 32GB extra storage, and ASUS Web Storage to view, edit and save Microsoft Office files online. Other features of the Intel-powered ASUS MemoPad include wireless CD-quality audio streaming to optional Bluetooth headsets, front-and-rear-facing cameras, and a beautiful glossy cover and bezel design the student will love to show off. This 358g light and 11.2mm thin tablet won’t weigh a student down and fits

Art Splash Lapdesk with LED Light (www.Dormco.com) - $14.44
The Art Splash Lapdesk with LED Light is a studying savior for kids from elementary through college-age, given its sturdy desk-like top, cup and writing instrument holder, and a soft cushioned bottom. The colorful Art Splash Lapdesk is ideal for any student who prefers to study in their own space. For those who want to dash away from distractions, an easy carry handle makes it super convenient for students to tote the Art Splash Lapdesk anywhere they want to do their work—whether on the lawn, in a bed, or anywhere else they can cop-a-squat. The Art Splash Lapdesk comes equipped with an LED reading light to facilitate studying into the long evening hours. It's the perfect way for students to work without being stuck behind a stationary desk or having to be locked in the library.

Casio Colored Calculators (www.Target.com) - $8.99 - $49.99
This school year Casio spiced up its diverse portfolio of calculators with a bold pop of color allowing students to express themselves in new ways while benefitting from advanced technological features—ranging from basic math to trigonometry—in order to stay ahead in mathematics. Designed to better reflect individual personality and style, Casio’s fx-55, fx-260, fx-300ES PLUS, and fx-9750GII models are available in a variety of colors including pink, black, blue, gray and white. To help increase students’ appreciation of mathematics, Casio America, Inc. offers not only calculators but also an extensive portfolio of educational tools and technologies to help students at any level, from elementary school through college, excel at math.

olivia + joy ‘Marsala’ Design Double Handle Tote Bags (www.OliviaAndJoy.com) - $98
Looking for something a bit more sophisticated than a backpack to carry your books, papers and devices? Look no further than olivia + joy’s line of attractive and affordable Double Handle Tote Bags, which arethe ideal back-to-school accessory for the fashion-forward student. The fall collection, all priced under $100, includes the spacious Marsala tote offered in chic black and olive/dot print. This beautifully-designed bag can carry all of your school essentials this season, from your textbooks to your favorite lip gloss. Gold side zipper details and front gold clips add chic style while an easily accessible exterior back zipper pocket is the perfect place to stash your phone or cash. A zipper closure opens to a spacious olivia + joy logo lined interior with two pockets and a zip compartment. The Marsala measures 11" high, 17.5" long and 5" wide.

Solid FeatherLight Wheeled Backpack (www.LandsEnd.com) - $99
Lands’ End’s FeatherLight Wheeled Backpack is a rugged carry-all designed and tested to tote everything your kid needs for class, while also lightening their school load. In-line smooth-rolling skate wheels make pulling this backpack a perfect alternative to carrying it, although straps are also provided so the option is still there. Measuring 19 1/2"Hx13"Wx8"D. 1550 cu. in., this backpack features a padded compartment perfect for protecting a laptop, while the rest of the backpack can handle up to three folders, three text books, a pencil pouch, snow pants, shoes, a water bottle, a three-subject and a five-subject spiral notebook, an iPad sleeve and yet more room for that all-important banana. Packed with features, the FeatherLight Wheeled Backpack has a bungee strap for external carrying capacity—great for a jacket—while side compression straps stabilize the load. Hide-away padded C-shaped shoulder straps and back panel, and an adjustable sternum strap, keep shoulder straps in the perfect position for comfort. A handy loop for clipping on a lunch box saves room inside the pack while a no-tip design, reflective trim, water-repellant finish, and 420D and 210D ripstop nylon body with 600D polyester base round out this school year must-have. Monogramming or embroidery is also available for that personal touch.

Razor Pocket Mod Miniature Euro Electric Scooter (www.buydig.com) - $239
If you’re needing wheels of a different sort, more in the way of transportation, here’s a super stylish and zippy way to get to and from school or from campus point A to B with all of your supplies in tow. Rathaer than a bicycle, cruise comfortably with this Euro-style electric scooter from Razor that features a high-performance, chain-driven electric motor and a vintage-inspired body. The Pocket Mod can reach speeds of up to 15 miles per hour. The scooter also teams a pair of 12-inch pneumatic tires with a rear suspension system and a padded set (with storage compartment below) to ensure a comfortable ride. Other features include a retractable kickstand, variable-speed acceleration, a padded seat, and a built-in battery that travels for up to 10 miles on a single charge.

Unbreakable Locker Mirror (www.Amazon.com) - $9.99
Who doesn’t hate locker mirrors that don’t stick for very long? Here’s one solution sure to hang around: The Shave Well Unbreakable Locker Mirror guaranteed not to shatter. The same clear undistorted reflection that has made The Shave Well Company the #1 unbreakable acrylic shower mirror is now available for use in a locker or anywhere else you want to hang a mirror. As the Shave Well Locker Mirror is removable from the hook, you can hold it in your hand when needed to view yourself from all angles as you check out make-up and hair in between classes. Don't start your school year without it so you can put your best face forward. This locker mirror is a great size at 6" tall by 4" wide. And, no need to give up the goods forever, as the adhesive hook sticks on any locker surface but removes easily at the end of the school year to you can use the mirror elsewhere.

Five Star Locker Organization Solutions (www.MeadFiveStar.com) - $5.99 - $6.99
Today’s locker swag doesn’t end with mirrors. Mead’s Five Starlinehas everything you need for locker organization, including Locker Lights, Hanging Locker Shelf (two-tier), Dry Erase Board and Pocket, Dry Erase Mirror with Pocket, Single or Tri Pockets with Dry Erase, Push Pin Boards and much more! I particularly love the Locker Lights with six LED lights that illuminate the entire locker, making it easy to find notebooks, folders and textbooks in a flash. Mead’s Five Star line makes storage both practical and stylish, with many featuring a dry erase surface for quick notes and reminders and easily holds the essentials. Combine multiple Storage Pockets in different colors for an eye-catching organizational system.A Quartet dry erase marker is included with purchase of the dry erase items. Mead’s Five Star locker organization products were designed with today’s busy students in mind. Constructed out of materials that withstand daily wear and tear, the entire Five Star locker organization line will last all year. Made with extra strong magnets, all Five Star locker organization products are also slam-resistant, so students know what to expect when they open the doors - everything right where they left it.

First Impressions Complete Art Studio Sets for Kids (www.JerrysArtarama.com) - $19.99
Your young artist should be inspired and equipped, and First Impressions Complete Art Studio Set for Kids is a fantastic all-in-one set for kids of any age wishing to explore their creativity. With it, kids can create everything from sketches and drawings to cartoons and paintings! Along with the impressive assortment of art materials, each set includes a convenient case for travel and storage, making staying neat and organized a breeze…even when traveling! Ideal for school crafts and art projects, this kit includes 24 transparent watercolor cakes, 24 assorted colored pencils, 15 assorted oil pastels, 10 water based markers, 2 plastic trays for color mixing, an artists' paint brush, a pencil sharpener and a white vinyl eraser.

Seventeen Magazine Fashions (www.Sears.com) - $30 - $50
Your teen will get off to a fashionable start this school year with Seventeen Magazine's fab new fashions, now available at Sears. Hearst Brand Development has exclusively launched a collection designed to make Sears an ultimate destination where tweens and teens can get stylish looks, including apparel, accessories and footwear. The new Seventeen Magazine line is full of playful and on trend pieces that will be perfect for any and every girl. This season’s line, which features 83 pieces in total, includes printed pants like camo jeans, denim vests, military jackets, boho dresses, comfortable cardigans and feminine blouses as well as jewelry, accessories, handbags and footwear that all retail for $50 or less.

Swap.com Consignment Clothing (www.Swap.com)
For the fashionably frugal, here’s an outstanding resource to get labels for less. Swap.com utilizes an online consignment model that allows shoppers to conveniently buy or sell pre-owned kids and baby items like clothing and more. In fact, Swap.com has more than 80,000 pre-owned items in their inventory including apparel, books, decor, toys, sports and outdoor equipment, movies, video games and even maternity clothes. Get rock bottom prices on back to school gear or even get items for free. In this online consignment model, the items are owned and priced by you, the customer, but the inspection, quality grading, photography, storage and shipping of the items is handled by Swap.com. Go ahead, shop and save a bundle.

imPRESS Press-On Manicure Broadway Nails Back-to-School Collection (www.Walgreens.com) - $7.99
Get back-to-school ready from tip to tip with fingertip flare that is sure to “impress” your classmates. Let the NEW imPRESS Back-to-School nails be the perfect fashion-forward accessory to complement your fall wardrobe. Peel off and press on to achieve an instant manicure in minutes. No drying time, superior shine, an indestructible top coat and easy removal may make imPRESS the best manicure you'll ever have—and they stay looking salon-fresh up to an entire week! Gorgeous, envy-worthy nails have never been faster or easier. Available in six trendy patterns, with each kit containing 24 nails in 12 sizes plus two 3D charms.

Euro-Pro Shark Cordless Hand Vacuum (www.BuyDig.com) - $39.95
When considering what to pack and ship for dorm room life, all too often cleaning concerns are overlooked. No wonder since shopping for cool décor can be ever-so-fun. But, keeping a dorm environment clean and sanitary is also an imperative, and the right equipment can make it quicker and easier. Perfect for the job is the EuroPro SV75 Shark cordless hand vacuum available at www.BuyDig.com, which uses Twister Cyclonic Technology to maintain strong suction for effective cleanup. It has a lightweight, bagless design and uses a large, easy-to-empty dust cup for the collection of dirt and hair. Its removable and washable filter simplifies maintenance. This bagless hand vacuum has a motorized brush to effortlessly trap hair and even deeply-embedded dirt and debris. Its brush can be used on a wide variety of surfaces like upholstery, carpets, and bedding. It comes with a crevice tool attachment for cleaning hard-to-reach corners, like behind that bulky desk. It also comes with a rechargeable battery that runs for 15 minutes on a single charge.

AquaBall (www.TheAquaBall.com) - $1 (bottle) - $9 (12-pack)
Keeping kids well hydrated is important to their health, but sugary, calorie-laden beverages are a healthy diet buster. The AquaBall is a fantastic choice, as it’s the very first and only zero-calorie, sugar-free flavored water designed specifically for kids. AquaBall water has no artificial colors or flavors, is sweetened only with Stevia and comes in four kid-friendly flavors—fruit punch, orange, grape and berry. Moms love AquaBall because it's a healthier way to hydrate little ones, and is more nutritious since AquaBall water is enhanced with added B Vitamins and Vitamin C. Kids love AquaBall because it has their favorite characters from Disney and Marvel on the bottles, including Frozen, Planes and The Avengers. The fun orb shape also allows little hands to grip!

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"The Luxe List" Executive Editor Merilee Kern scours the luxury marketplace for exemplary travel experiences, extraordinary events, and notable products and services. Submissions are accepted at www.LuxeListReviews.com. Follow her on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/LuxeListEditor and Facebook here: www.Facebook.com/TheLuxeList.

***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above were provided and/or sponsored to accommodate this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***