Back To School: Must-Have Gadgets For Students

It seems like the northeast is the last area to head back to school. While some kids have already been hitting the books for a week or more, the NYC area is hitting the stores for last-minute supplies. Here’s my round-up of back to school tech gadgets for high school kids for WABC-TV: 

Or you can see all the products I talked about below.

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 

  • The tablet that can replace your laptop – great for students who work with Microsoft Office programs


  • Portable and designed for productivity, multi-tasking


  • kickstand turns from tablet to laptop with keyboard cover


  • Starting at $799 for Core i3 processor

Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop

  • Split keyboard layout that keeps wrists and forearms in a relaxed position, and a cushioned palm rest to provide wrist support.


  • Works with laptop or desktop, using the USB receiver.


  • It’s all in the angles. Reverse tilt design positions the keyboard at the correct angle to give you a straight, neutral wrist position. Additionally, the shape of the mouse is designed for maximum wrist comfort.


  • $129.95



  • no need for separate charger cables if you have this backpack with its own built-in battery


  • keeps you charged wherever you are


  • $199


Tylt Syncable-Duo Charge and Sync Cable

  • 2-in-1 cable solution with both microUSB and Lightning connectors


  • avail in different lengths and colors $24.99 Tangle-free flat design


  • charges AND syncs data to mobile devices

Samsung Galaxy Tab S – Android

  • It has a brilliant Super AMOLED display, better than iPad’s Retina display, making this the perfect tablet for watching Netflix videos or browsing images.


  • SideSync 3.0 lets you seamlessly connect your Galaxy S5 phone to your tablet so you can transfer data, cut and paste text and even send and receive voice calls directly from the tablet.


  • The Wi-Fi only 8.4-inch tablet starts at $399.99 and the 10.5-inch starts at $499.99.

Toshiba Encore 2 8″ tablet – Windows

  • thin and light, 5MP camera, microSD card


  • 1288 X 800 resolution


  • comes with one year one year subscription to Office 365


  • Starting at just $199.99


  • give consumers the optimal experience

iPad KEYBOARD CASE Custom Quest iPad keyboard case w/ retractable strap

  • holds your iPad safely and stylishly


  • a suede interior to nestle your tablet


  • flip-out rechargeable Bluetooth keyboard


  • When you want to travel light, toting only your iPad, a retractable handle pulls out from the edge of the case, letting you sling it on your shoulder in style.


  • $ 70 QVC

Jawbone Mini Jambox

  • the one speaker you need, great sound quality, doubles as a speaker phone


  • connect via Bluetooth or cable


  • turns your room into a party or movie theater


  • $169

Nokia Lumia Phone Windows

  • This 1020 has an amazing 41 MP camera, image stabilization, LED flash, Qualcomm dual core

T-Mobile iPhone 5C

  • Affordable phones for kids just starting out with a smartphone


  • T-Mobile Family Plan: unlimited everything for only $100


  • Four smartphone lines with unlimited talk, text, and data until 2016


  • Simple Global plan connects you in over 100 countries with no international data roaming fees. Texts are included.



Top 5 Tips to Take Control of Your Inbox at Work

Are you drowning in email? With the ease of mobile, always-connected email comes the heavy burden of having to sift through hundreds of messages and determine which emails need an immediate response and which can wait. And of course, there’s the elusive dream of getting to inbox zero.

In fact, email takes up 28 percent of a worker’s time, according to a recent report by the McKinsey Global Institute and International Data Corp. I can’t make it stop, but I can share these best practices to help you try to reduce the overwhelming amount of clutter in your inbox:

Read the full story on Cyber Coders.


Gadgets for Taking Better Smartphone Pictures

What’s the best camera to use? The one you always have with you, of course. For most of us, that’s the one on our mobile phone. Although smartphone cameras are improving in quality, they don’t always let you do thinks like zoom in very close or get a wide angle shot. Mobile photography gadgets like the ones I showed on CNBC can help you capture great pictures you’ll want to share and preserve. See the whole segment here.


4 Naggiest Products Ever…and Why You Want Them

Somewhere around my son’s 14th birthday, I grew weary of “gently reminding” him to stop wolfing down his food and to clean up his room. Of course he called these gentle reminders nagging, and we both came to realize it wasn’t a good thing. So how do you help someone who needs some coaching or gentle reminders to get out and exercise, sit up straight or quit a bad habit? I found four gadgets and apps that may be able to help with that.

You can read my full story on Techlicious here:

Monster screen shot

Catch up on all the CE WEEK TV Interviews

Wow, it’s been a busy couple of months. I haven’t posted anything new here in some time, since I’ve been so busy with all my exciting projects.

I’ll start posting some of the things I’ve been working on here so I can catch you all up on the fun. There’s been CE Week TV, the conference panels, CNBC tech segments, writing for various outlets and yes, even a little vacation in between.
Hope everyone is having a great summer. If you’re looking for some fun, techy videos to watch, check out the CE Week TV page for all our exhibitor interviews from the show.

CE Week

Next Project: Executive Producer and Host of CE Week TV

Many of you have asked what I’m doing lately, and quite frankly, I’ve been so busy doing that I rarely have time to post about it.

Aside from consulting, doing tech segments and writing, I produced MommyTech TV at CES in January, which was a huge success.

I’m excited to announce my next project: Executive Producer and Host of CE Week TV in June.

You can read more about the conference and the scheduled panels here.

If you’re a journalist and would like to moderate a panel and be a media partner, please let me know. If you’re a company interested in exhibiting at the conference, visit www.CEWeekNY.com or contact Eric Schwartz at eschwartz@napco.com.

I look forward to seeing you all there in June.

Andrea Smith Named Executive Producer and Host of CE Week TV
New York, NY – March 10, 2014 – Award-winning news and technology journalist Andrea Smith has been named Executive Producer and Host of CE Week TV, which will be broadcast from the main exhibit hall and studio at the 2014 CE Week in New York City, June 25-26.

For the first time the entire CE Week Conference program and all press conferences will be live-streamed for tech enthusiasts worldwide. Viewers will have the opportunity to use social media to ask questions and interact with the speakers.
Read more here.


What my Kitty Taught me About Love on Valentine’s Day

It’s Valentine’s Day and men and women everywhere are scurrying around trying to find just the right gift or card to show their special someone they care. Some turn to chocolates, some roses, but do you really know what your sweetie loves? Do you know deep down, in your heart, their likes, dislikes, what makes them happy and what they like to eat?

This Valentine’s Day I am one step closer to understanding how to figure that out. Today we said good-bye to our beloved kitty, Gryffen, essentially breaking our hearts in the process. But it was time, and he told us so.

The fact is, in the 14 years we had the honor of having him in our lives, he pretty much told us everything he needed. I like this food, I don’t like that one, I want to go on the porch, I want you to wake up and feed me, I love you. You get the picture. He couldn’t speak to us, but he conveyed his wishes, wants and desires in ways many humans never can.

Or maybe we do and the other person simply isn’t hearing it. When Gryffen didn’t like a particular type or flavor of food, we took it away and gave him something else. And then Matt would write it down so we never bought it again. Spoiled cat? Maybe, but the point is we wanted him to eat. He had thyroid issues and was getting too thin. If he didn’t eat, it worried us.

We came to know his likes which were basically; if I’m on one side of the door, I want to be on the other. If you’re watching TV, I want to sit right between you and cuddle. So we listened for his meow. He loved to sleep curled up in the sun on our screened-in porch. Did he want to go out? Did he want to come in? All he had to do was come into our office, meow once or twice, and one of us (literally) pussy-whipped humans would get up and follow him. If he led us to the door, then out he went. If he went to his food or his water, guess it’s time to eat.


The point is we were ready and attuned to listen to his cues. Ok, maybe we were slaves to our kitty but he really gave as much love as he got. One whistle from Matt and he would come running like a devoted dog. He slept at the foot of Matt’s bed every night, slept in the bed when he went away to college and then somehow, he knew when Matt was coming home and waited at the window for him. They simply got each other.

Sure, it’s easy to ask someone, “Are you ok”? Not so easy with a cat. Chances are the person you ask might not be able to share his or her feelings with you, or may be afraid to let you know what they’re really thinking. Our Griffy always let us know, and we like to think we were always responsive, trying to meet his needs.

The Internet is filled with cat videos and GIFs of all the ways cats rule our lives. But truthfully, I think they’re just trying to teach us to open our hearts and our ears and learn to listen to each other as well as we do to our beloved pets.

So this Valentine’s Day as we tend our broken hearts over the emptiness in our lives, I’m taking time to open my heart and start listening more to my family and friends. That way we can communicate and know what we need from each other without ever really having to speak.

May you bask in sunshine forever, Griffy!