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The best tech to take back to school

Take a look at our favorites for this year's classrooms.

Luke Lancaster
Luke Lancaster is an Associate Editor with CNET, based out of Australia. He spends his time with games (both board and video) and comics (both reading and writing).
Luke Lancaster
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1 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET

Kindle Paperwhite

Amazon's Kindle Paperwhite isn't as slick as the step-up Kindle Voyage, but it sports an HD screen and the price is most definitely right.

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2 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET

Plantronics Backbeat Pro

Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 is a good alternative to more expensive wireless noise-canceling headphones from Bose, Sony and Sennheiser. The headphone features an improved, trimmed design and better sound than the original BackBeat Pro.

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3 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET

Nintendo 3DS

If you buy in to the work hard/play hard mentality, nothing currently beats Nintendo's 3DS for gaming on the go.

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4 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

It's a powerful Windows 10 machine with a supremely portable design. The detachable keyboard and stylus give it a complete PC experience.

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5 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET

JBL Charge 3

The JBL Charge 3 is larger than its predecessor, fully waterproof, and plays louder than the Charge 2. It also doubles as a 6,000mAh battery charger, if you're on the go and your phone needs a top up.

LaCie Rugged portable drive
6 of 12 Dong Ngo

LaCie Rugged portable drive

The Rugged Thunderbolt is the first bus-powered portable Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 drive from LaCie. If you want to back up your files like a pro, check out this drive.

Apple MacBook Pro
7 of 12 Josh Miller/CNET

Macbook Pro

We're seeing this amazingly slim laptop more and more frequently on college campuses. That's at least in part because the recent second-gen upgrade adds both power and battery life. It's also exceptionally portable, with a high-res screen that looks amazing.

Lenovo ThinkPad 13
8 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET

Lenovo ThinkPad 13

It's not going to be the flashiest laptop on the quad, but Lenovo's all-business ThinkPad line now has a new lower-cost version that includes the company's legendary build quality and ergonomic keyboard, plus a 13-inch HD screen -- all for about half what you'd pay for a premium 13-inch laptop.

iPad Pro
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iPad Pro

Thanks to its Pencil stylus, the Apple iPad Pro is an art student's dream come true. It comes in a large 12.9-inch model and more compact 9.7-inch variant. The Pencil, however, is sold separately.

Microsoft Xbox One S
10 of 12 CNET

Xbox One S

On that note about rec time once school starts, the Xbox One S is great for gaming at home, but it can be set up as a media centre too. It's also one of the cheapest 4K Blu-ray players you'll find.

Google Daydream VR
11 of 12 Josh Miller/CNET

Google Daydream VR

If you have access to a compatible phone, Google's Daydream View turns the Pixel and Pixel XL into VR viewers -- and it includes a small controller as well. There's some stellar educational experiences on offer, too.

Adonit Pixel
12 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET

Adonit Pixel

When it comes to iPad styluses, the Apple Pencil has understandably gotten most of the press. But that digital pen only works with iPad Pros. Adonit's new Pixel is compatible with several iPads. Nine to be exact.

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