The best back-to-school tech finds for university – Cityline

Winston Sih has us covered with the latest and greatest laptop and notebook options for all your back-to-school needs. We personally love the Livescribe pen!

As aired on Cityline, Monday, August 18, 2014, on City.

As always, you can watch previous episodes of Cityline at, or via the City Video iOS or Android apps! Cityline airs 9 a.m. on City across Canada. Check for all television air times across the country.

Easy tools to back up your computer, mobile, and social media – Cityline

As aired on Cityline, Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, on City.
Details at:

As always, you can watch previous episodes of Cityline at, or via the City Video iOS or Android apps! Cityline airs 9 a.m. on City across Canada. Check for all television air times across the country.

Show notes:

Best Buy (for computer)

– Seagate Backup Plus

– Western Digital My Passport

Google Drive (for mobile)

Backupify  (for social media)

Mother’s Day tech gift ideas – The Digital Life

mom-tabletWith Mother’s Day just around the corner, we wanted to share some of our top tech picks for gift ideas for every mom out there.

Samsung Chromebook – $269.99

For the on-the-go business mom, the Chromebook is an inexpensive way to equip her with a computer that’s easy to use and portable! The Samsung Chromebook seamlessly merges sleek design with a Google Chrome operating system and built-in Google apps. Super fast and portable, a gadget- loving mom will have everything she needs in a computer.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0″ 16 GB Android 4.1 tablet with Exynos processor – $429.99

For the gadget-loving mom, upgrade her to the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet. With an 8-inch display, S-Pen and all the functionality you can imagine packed into a truly portable device, it’s the perfect addition to her digital arsenal. For work, play, entertainment and anything in between, the flexible, intuitive and fun Galaxy Note 8.0 will be her go-to device.

Nike SportWatch with TomTom GPS – $169.99

For the fitness-enthusiastic mom, the Nike+ SportWatch is the ideal workout buddy.  It tracks time, distance, pace, heart rate and the number of calories she’s burned so she can get the workout and results she’s looking for. It features a built-in GPS, powered by TomTom, so she’ll always get accurate readings indoors and outdoors.

Kobo Aura 6.8″ eReader touch edition – $169.99

For the on-the-go mom, the new Kobo Aura HD is a premium eReader with an extra-large, 6.8″ high-resolution screen and a book-inspired design that will feel as natural to hold as mom’s favourite novel. With up to two months of battery life, copious customizable fonts, and a ton of storage, she can enjoy a truly immersive reading experience on the go.

Monster Diamond Tears Edge on-ear sound isolating headphones – $349.99

For the all-dolled-up mom, a mom that loves her music and loves looking great when she listens to it, the Diamond Tears Edge headphones combine Monster’s remarkable audio technology and pristine sound with a head-turning design. They feature a diamond-inspired finish and soft, breathable and roomy ear cups.

*Products are all available at Future Shop*

Five tips for back-to-school tech shopping

As the first day of school rapidly approaches, parents are scrambling to get the kids in gear – and that includes sending the kids off tech-ready.  Here are five helpful tips to keep in mind when shopping for back-to-school tech gadgets.

1.    Make a list, and prioritize.
A brand new computer can make a sizeable dent in your credit card. So, as with grocery shopping, when going back-to-school shopping ensure that you make a list and prioritize what you need and what you merely want.  Chances are you only need the bare necessities and the all of the other gadgets are simple wants.  Bear in mind that you can go a long way with a small budget — even when it comes to technology.

2.    Do your research.

Before hitting up the big box electronic stores, remember to do your research!  Keep in mind that stores often mark up prices come back-to-school time, and sales associates sometimes try to sell you electronics that you really don’t need.  Instead, go online – there are many great parenting resources like Today’s Parent – where parents share past experiences and shopping advice, and find out what your child really needs for their age group.  Needs shift as they move through elementary school, to high school, to post-secondary education.

3.    Hunt for the sales in flyers, and online.

Keep an eye on the weekly flyers and online on store websites. Parents often make the mistake of leaving back-to-school shopping to the last minute and they – literally – pay for the procrastination. is a great all-in-one destination for local flyers, and big box stores have sales early on in the season with limited quality items. Laptops also go on sale late-July/early-August, and that is the ideal time for families to head to the store and save some money simultaneously!

4.    Cash-strapped? Take a look at feature phones.

The reality is, we live in a smartphone-dominated world.  They aren’t cheap to start with, so if you are a little cash-strapped, be sure to take a look at feature phones. Cell phone carriers, like Rogers Wireless, offer an inexpensive alternative to having a smartphone that maintains access to social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and email; without the added cost of an actual data plan.  They can range from $7/month and up; versus the $25+/month with a traditional data plan.

5.    Find the free alternatives to expensive programs.

Companies like LibreOffice and OpenOffice offer free or inexpensive alternatives to productivity software tools like Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop.  There are no strings attached – they are simply open-source software choices (maintained by free developers) that offer significant savings to a family, giving the same amount of functionality as the traditional paid software, without the high price tag.

What tips do you have when it comes to back-to-school tech shopping? Share them with us in the comments below, or email!

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Four gadgets for your back-to-school shopping list and your chance to win!

Fall is just around the corner, and with technology changing constantly, it can be difficult for parents to pinpoint the right gadgets to send their kids back to school with.  To send you off in the right direction, here are four of our buzz-worthy high-tech gadgets to consider when shopping this back-to-school season:

Samsung Series 9 – Available at most electronics stores – MSRP $1,299.99

The Samsung Series 9 is dubbed the world’s thinnest and most compact laptop, feature-packed with Intel’s third-generation Core processor.

What this means is that this computer will give you incomparable speed and performance for whatever you are doing at school – be it video editing, or writing an essay while streaming multiple movies.

If looks are important, this computer is definitely for you.  Measuring at 12.9mm for the 13” model, and 14.9mm thick for the 15” model, these computers are sleek and stylish – definitely for the consumer who sees their devices as an extension of their personality.

Additionally, the Samsung Series 9 computers feature an Intel HD Graphics 4000 screen.  Anti-reflective and featuring a best-class “SuperBright Plus” capabilities, the Series 9 series boasts HD+ resolution (nearly 40% higher resolution), and a 170 degree wide viewing angle screen, so the whole family can huddle around and revisit those summer vacation memories.

HP ENVY 110 e-All-in-One – Available at most electronics stores – MSRP $299.99

This printer is by far one of HP’s most stylish and functional web-connected printers on the market today – perfect for any trend-setting student this year.

Featuring an easy-to-use consumer HP ePrint feature, students are able to print homework and school projects from the comfort of their smartphones or tablets from virtually anywhere in the world.

The ENVY’s high-resolution touchscreen allows for instant access to your favorite Print applications, including Facebook, as HP’s “Creative Studio,” a free and unique tool that gives users the ability to design, edit and publish custom print projects.

Now, students can “wow” teachers with professional looking presentations from a variety of preset templates. That, in combination with its polished design, low noise-acoustics and no visible paper tray, makes the HP ENVY 110 the ideal printer for this back-to-school season.

Motorola DEFY Pro – Rogers Wireless – MSRP $274.99

Ideal for tweens and teens alike, the Motorola DEFY Pro is a must-have exclusive from Rogers Wireless.  Built like a tank, this IP67-certified smartphone is perfect for resistance against scratches, spills and dust – so you can have a peace of mind knowing that the DEFY Pro will deliver in every way, no matter what life throws your way.

With its flawless chrome finish and 2.7-inch Corning Gorilla Glass display that resists scuffs and scratches, Motorola has ensured that the DEFY Pro is built to withstand the daily bumps and bruises of an active lifestyle, perfect for athletic and care-free students across the board.  The DEFY Pro features a full QWERTY keyboard that’s ideal for e-mailing and sending text messages on the go.  And best of all, you won’t have to worry about your battery life. With a high capacity battery and Motorola’s Battery Manager, you can manage your phone’s power consumption and play longer.

Other notable features:

–    The phone’s “Social Graph” feature memorizes your important contacts and dynamically populates the home screen, according to the frequency which they are called
–    Similarly, the Activity Graph focuses on your app habits and cleverly changes according to your frequency of use
–    Looking for the perfect companion for your next outdoor adventure? DEFY Pro has a specialized instrument dashboard to help you track specific outdoor activities, with camping, hiking and daily workout views

It’s all about the “Smart Wi-Fi” – Linksys

If you have a post-secondary student moving away for school, take a look at an Internet router with “Smart Wi-Fi” capabilities, like the Linksys EA series of smart routers.

Linksys’ line of smart Wi-Fi routers comes with Cisco’s Connect Cloud technology – providing the top-of-the-line home networking allowing the multitasking student the ability to have multiple things going at once.

What makes Linksys smart routers even better is that Linksys has opened the platform up to other app developers – so now routers can take advantage of the cliché, “There’s an app for that!”

–    Twonky Video: A mobile browser for Android smart phones and tablets to discover online video services and “beam” them to your Smart TV or AirPlay devices. With this sort of freedom you won’t have to get your friends to crowd around a tiny computer screen just to show them your latest “study break” web-video find.

–    Gemini IP Camera Viewer: Suspect your roommate is “borrowing” stuff from you mini-fridge? This app for iOS enables remote monitoring at home and on the go via Wi-Fi and cellular networks. The app also enables easy installation of home monitoring equipment.

Control the network from anywhere using a smartphone or tablet, or set guest access and control what devices are connected to the network from class, the library or the campus pub.  If you have multiple devices on your network – which you probably do – set priorities for Wi-Fi access so you won’t have your internet slowed down when studying just because your roommate can’t stop watching streaming videos ever again.

With high-end performance, Cisco Connect Cloud, Linksys smart Wi-Fi routers really will help today’s smart students connect their phones, tablets, computers, game consoles and much more!

What gadgets are on your shopping list this back-to-school season?  Share them with us in the comments below!


As the first day of school approaches,, HP, and Motorola want to give you a chance to win a prize pack (worth approximately $574.98 CAD) containing one of each product below:

–    ONE HP ENVY 110 e-All-in-One Printer
–    ONE Motorola DEFY Pro

Here’s how you can enter:
1)    Follow @CitylineCa and @WinstonSih, and tweet us a short and funny back-to-school memory.
2)    Be sure to include in your tweet the hash tag #CitylineBacktoSchool to ensure you’re considered for the prize pack!

Deadline: Friday, August 31st, 2012, 5pm EST.

The winner will be selected via the dedicated “#CitylineBacktoSchool” hash tag, so be sure to include it in your tweet!

Giveaway Fine Print:

1.    No purchase necessary. Only one (1) entry per person. Any attempt or suspected attempt to enter more than once per person, any use of robotic, automatic, programmed or entry methods not authorized by these rules, shall be deemed as tampering and will void all of your entries. This Contest is brought to you by Citytv, a division of Rogers Broadcasting Limited (“Citytv”) and collectively the “Contest Sponsors” (HP Canada and Motorola Canada)
2.    The winner of the contest will be chosen on Friday, August 31, 2012, and the selected entrant will be contacted by Twitter. The selected entrant must email back to claim prize within three (3) business days following the draw,
3.    Phone will not come with a working monthly plan. Citytv assumes no responsibility of incurred charges or additional price liabilities. Entrant is responsible for providing cell and data plan for the smartphone.
4.    Approximate retail value of the Grand Prize is $574.98 CAD
5.    The Grand Prizes must be accepted as awarded and may not be transferred or exchanged.
6.    The Contest Sponsors reserve the right to substitute a prize of at least equal or greater value in the event of the unavailability, for whatever the reason, of the advertised prize in whole or in part.
7.    By entering this Contest, entrants consent to the use of their entry, name, city of residence and/or any photograph of or that may be taken in publicity carried out by Citytv and/or its advertising agencies, without further notice or compensation.
8.    This Contest is open to legal residents of Canada (excluding Quebec) who are over the age of majority in their province, excluding employees of the Contest Sponsors, their parent and affiliated companies, representatives, dealers and agents, Contest suppliers and judges, and those with whom they are domiciled. This Contest is subject to all applicable federal, provincial and municipal laws and regulations.
9.    No communications will be entered into except with selected entrants.
10.    Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. All entries that are incomplete, illegible, damaged, irregular, have been submitted through illicit means, or do not conform to or satisfy any condition of the rules may be disqualified by Citytv. Citytv takes no responsibility for lost, stolen, delayed, damaged, misdirected, late or destroyed entries, or for typographical or other production errors. The Contest Sponsors are not responsible for any errors or omissions in printing or advertising this Contest. All entries become the property of Citytv and will not be returned.
11.    The Contest Sponsors are collecting personal data about entrants for the purpose of administering this Contest. No further informational or marketing communications will be received by entrants unless entrants provide the Contest Sponsors with explicit permission to do so as indicated on the entry forms. Please see Citytv’s Privacy Policy at for information on their policies towards maintaining the privacy and security of user information.
12.    By entering this Contest, entrants release and hold harmless the Contest Sponsors, their advertising and promotional agencies and the Contest judge(s), their affiliates and respective directors, officers, owners, partners, employees, agents, dealers, representatives, successors and assigns (collectively the “Releasees”) from any liability in connection with this Contest or, if declared a winner, the prize(s). Before being declared a winner, entrants may be required to sign and return, within a stipulated period of time, a Declaration of Compliance with the Contest Rules and a full Liability and Publicity Release. By accepting a prize, winners consent to the use of their name, place of residence, voice, statements, photographs or other likenesses for publicity, advertising or informational purposes in any medium or format without further compensation or notice.
13.    This Contest will be run in accordance with these rules, subject to amendment by Citytv. Contestants must comply with these rules, and will be deemed to have received and understood the rules by participating in this Contest. The terms of this Contest, as set out in these rules, are not subject to amendment or counter-offer, except as set out herein.
14.    Contest Sponsors assumes no responsibility for failure of the internet or the website during the promotional period, for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer on-line systems, servers, access providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any email or traffic congestion on the internet or at any website, or any combination thereof including any injury or damage to an entrant’s or any other person’s computer related to or resulting from playing or downloading any material in the promotion. Contest Sponsors reserve the right, in their sole discretion to cancel or suspend this Contest should a virus, bug or other cause beyond their reasonable control corrupt the security or proper administration of the Contest. Any attempt to deliberately damage any web site or to undermine the legitimate operation of this Contest is a violation of criminal and civil laws. Should such an attempt be made, Contest Sponsors reserve the right to seek remedies and damages to the fullest extent permitted by law, including criminal prosecution.

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