Saturday, September 7, 2013

Back to School With Staples {Review}

A lot of you are probably in "back to school" mode right now.  We are!  This year we have a 4th grader on our hands.  As the school year started, I was contacted by Staples.com to receive and review some school essentials.  I happily accepted their offer.  The items were shipped promptly to me and after having a chance to take these items for a test drive, I am ready to share them with you!  If you are looking for backpacks, a Notebook computer, antivirus software, or a wireless router, you've come at a great time.  Here are the great products I received:

SwissGear® GA-7343-06F00 Cobalt Backpack For 15.6" Notebook, Blue


SwissGear® GA-7343-06F00 Cobalt Backpack For 15.6in. Notebook, Blue
Image Source: Staples.com
This laptop backpack is, by far, the fanciest backpack I have ever personally owned.  SwissGear® is by Wenger - the same company that makes the Genuine Swiss Army KnifeTM.  At first glance, this is a well-crafted, rugged, and durable backpack which is sure to keep its contents safe.

A look inside that front pocket reveals several pockets and pouches for all kinds of small items:


The interior of the backpack is divided.  The back part is padded with "Swiss Guard Computer Protection" {per the tag on the backpack, continuous triple layer foam shields corners and multi density foam increases shock absorption}.  The other portion of the interior has what they call a "Casebase Stabilizing Platform" which is simply an extra padded piece which folds down to cover the "floor" of the backpack to increase capacity and protection for the rest of the contents of the backpack.


The back of the pack is even padded for comfort and protection.  There is a strip down the middle which is not padded, which increases air flow between the backpack and the wearer.  


This SwissGear® backpack retails for on Staples.com for $58.99.  This pack, in my opinion, is well worth the cost.  It has so many features that I have not personally had in other packs I've owned in the course of my life.  It is 14" L x 9" W x 19" H and is large enough to accommodate a 15.6" / 16" laptop as well as additional text books or other school or work gear.  This would be a great pack for a high school or college student.  Maybe even middle school these days!  It would also be perfect for someone in the work world.  Whether biking, walking, taking the bus or your car, I think this backpack is perfect for all your needs. It even includes a lifetime limited warranty! Staples has hundreds of backpacks to choose from, so be sure to check them out HERE so you can find the perfect one to suit your needs!

Acer NX.M81AA.010 15.6" Laptop

Acer NX.M81AA.010 15.6in. Laptop
Image Source: Staples.com
This Acer Apire E1 15.6" Notebook is Windows 8 based and is currently designated for Moira's use.  She was ecstatic to receive this.  While it is not as powerful as the laptop I own or the one Ron uses for work, it is perfect for a student.  It's far more than my 9 year old fourth grader needs, but it will suit her for the years ahead.  It's my first encounter with Windows 8, so there's a bit of a learning curve, but she knew all about it!  Her school allows for the use of PowerPoint as an option for presentations.  We wanted her to have a laptop so that she could improve her computer skills and utilize this type of software in her education.  Windows 8 is very intuitive to the younger generation, so it's perfect for her. She likes the tiled interface as it makes navigation between programs very easy for her.  Moira also says the monitor is awesome.  

Specifications
Laptop Screen Size15.6"
Laptop Display TypeLED
Laptop Memory RAM4096MB
Laptop Memory Expandable8GB
Laptop Memory TypeDDR3
Laptop Hard Drive Capacity500GB
Laptop Hard Drive TypeSATA
Laptop Hard Drive Speed5400RPM
Laptop Processor TypeAMD A4-5000
Laptop Processor Speed1.5GHz
CPU Cache2MB Cache
Laptop Optical DriveDVD-Super Multi Double-Layer Drive
Laptop Network Card802.11 b/g/n, 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth CompatibilityYes
Laptop Operating SystemWindows 8
Laptop Extra FeaturesMulti-Gesture Touchpad supporting two-finger scroll, pinch, rotate and flip
Laptop Other ports1 - HDMI Port with HDCP support,1 - Headphone/Speaker/Line-Out Jack,1 - Ethernet (RJ-45) Port,1 - DC-in Jack for AC Adapter,1 - Kensington Lock Slot
Laptop USB Slots2 - USB 2.0 Ports, 1 - USB 3.0 Port
Laptop Video GraphicsAMD Radeon HD 8330 Graphics
Video Graphics Memory512MB
Media Card ReaderDigital Media Card Reader
Laptop AudioHigh-Definition Audio Support, Two Built-in Stereo Speakers, Built-in Digital Microphone
Laptop ColorClarinet Black
Laptop WebcamYes
Laptop Battery LifeUp to 4.5-hours
Laptop Battery Type4-cell Li-Ion (2500 mAh)
Laptop Dimensions (L x W x H)15.04" x 10.08" x .53/1.0"
Laptop Weight5.29 lbs
Laptop Warranty1-Year Limited

Source for Specs: Staples.com.

This Acer Aspire E1 Notebook retails for $399.99.  It is the perfect laptop for students from the younger grades through college.  Staples.com has a wide variety of laptops to choose from.  Use the filters on the left sidebar of their website to navigate through the options, whether by price, size, platform, capacity, or even by use {whether home or business}!  While this particularly Notebook may not be what you are looking for, I am sure that you will find one that will suit the needs of you, your family or your business!

WD My Net™ N900 HD Dual-Band Router

WD My Net™ N900 HD Dual-Band Router
Image Source: Staples.com
Specifications
BrandWD
ModelWDBWVK0000NSL
Router Performance StandardWireless N Dual Band Gigabit
Router Compatibility802.11 a/b/g/n
Router StandardN900
Router Data Transfer RateUp to 900 Mbps (450 + 450)
Router Frequency2.4Ghz + 5Ghz
Router AntennaInternal
Security (Routers)WPA/WPA2/WEP
Integrated VPNNo
Integrated FirewallYes
Integrated Data StorageNo
WAN Ports1 x 10/100/1000
USB Ports2 x USB 2.0
Wireless Data AccessYes
Wireless Printer AccessYes
Parental ControlsYes
Guest Network AccessYes
DLNA Media StreamingYes
Integrated ModemNo
Modem TypeCable/DSL
Weight (lbs.)1.05 lbs
Dimensions (HxWxD)9.3"L x 6.1"W x 1.2"H
Warranty1 Year Limited

Source for Specs: Staples.com.

I am not a "techie" person, so hopefully the specs listed above will help you to determine if this particular wireless router is right for your use.  It does have an internal antenna, which is nice {compared to the one we were using prior to receiving this one}.  It also has 7 ports, which my husband says is great - more than we need!  It is light weight and is roughly the size of a netbook computer.  This router comes with a guide on all the specs as well as a set up disc.  
This particular wireless router retails for $149.99, but currently has a discount making it $59.99.  If you are in the market for a wireless router, you can click HERE to see all of the options available from Staples.com.

Norton Anti-Virus 2013 for Windows (1-User) [Boxed]


Norton Anti-Virus 2013 for Windows (1-User) [Boxed]

Image Source: Staples.com
This Norton Antivirus software offers "basic protection for your PC" as stated on the packaging.  I have been using a different laptop for over a year now with no protection {gasp!!}, so was quite anxious to install this.  Unfortunately, the optical drive on that laptop needs to be replaced, so I was not able to utilize the disc which came from Staples.com.  The good news is that you don't actually need the disc to install this software!  I simply went to the Norton site and downloaded this same version onto my laptop.  I was then able to use the Product Key included in the software package to register the one that Staples.com sent to me.  Once installed {very easily}, my laptop began one year of Norton Antivirus protection, which will protect my computer against viruses, online identity theft, bad files and websites, phishing, and spyware.  A must have for your computer!  This basic software retails for $49.99.

Staples® Easy Button™


Staples® Easy Button™
Image Source: Staples.com
Staples.com threw in the "Easy Button" along with the other items for this promotion.  Press the button and you'll hear a voice saying, "That was easy.", which has been an occasional source of entertainment for our 9 year old.  If you'd like an Easy Button for yourself, they retail for $5.99.

Thank you very much to Staples.com for providing these amazing products for me to review for you.  I hope that you will check out these products as well as the extensive assortment of office supplies and gear on their website.  There are some great specials on right now.  You are sure to find the right products to suit your home, office, and back to school needs.

Full disclosure: Staples.com provided me with these products for review. The thoughts and opinions expressed are strictly my own.

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