Even if you're not upgrading your entire gadget arsenal, chances are you could use a new tech toy or two this school year. While our 14 guides will no doubt simplify your shopping list, wouldn't it be even better if we did all the work for you? We did just that with this year's giveaway, rounding up a Samsung Galaxy S 4, a Lenovo Ultrabook and a Kindle Paperwhite -- among many other gadgets -- and stuffing them into a custom Engadget-branded Timbuk2 backpack. Multiply that by 15, and you have a full set of tech goodie bags ripe for the taking. Want in on the fun? Simply leave a comment on this post or any of the back to school guides we'll be posting throughout the month.
All of the giveaway prizes will be identical, so you can maximize your chances by commenting on all of our back to school posts (excluding the back to school hub, that is). Note that you'll only be allowed to win once, and leaving multiple comments on a single post does not increase your chances of winning. Please make sure that your commenting account includes an email address as well, since that's how we'll be getting in touch with the winners. Good luck!
A new semester calls for a brand-new processor, wouldn't you agree? This machine packs Intel's latest Haswell chip and 4 gigs of RAM. Plus, a 1,600 x 900-pixel resolution comes standard on that 14-inch touchscreen-- no more 1,366 x 768 for you!
Key specs: 14-inch (1,600 x 900) touchscreen, Intel fourth-gen Core i5 processor (1.6GHz), 4GB RAM, 500GB hard drive, 4.2 pounds.
Price: $699 from Lenovo
The Sony NEX-3N is cheaper than your average mirrorless camera, especially considering that the $500 price includes a power zoom lens. Its compact (but solid) design won't weigh down your book bag, and its flip-up 3-inch LCD makes selflies a cinch.
Key specs: 16.1-megapixel stills, 1080 / 24p video, 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 lens, 3-inch front-facing display.
Price: about $450 on Amazon
You'll want a super-portable tablet to round out your tech toolbox, and the MeMo Pad HD 7 is a basic -- but solid -- pick. The bright, 1,280 x 800 display will see you through plenty of procrastination, and long battery life means you won't be on the constant hunt for an outlet.
Key specs: 7-inch, 1,280 x 800 display, 1.2MP front and 5MP rear cameras, 16GB storage, 1.2GHZ quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 processor, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.
Price: about $150 on Amazon
It's pretty much the definition of "flagship Android smartphone." The GS4's gorgeous 1080p AMOLED display and capable 8-megapixel camera are pretty dang impressive, and this model adds Verizon Wireless' 4G LTE to the spec list.
Key specs: 5-inch (1080p) Super AMOLED display, 1.9GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB built-in memory, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.
Price: $150 on Amazon
You'll likely find plenty to disagree about with your roommate -- why add bright bedside lights to the list? Amazon's front-lit display technology will help keep the peace without sacrificing a great reading experience.
Key specs: 6-inch touchscreen, 8 weeks of battery with WiFi off, adjustable fonts, weighs 7.5 ounces.
Price: $119 and up on Amazon
In-ear buds may be more portable, but these over-ears are tops in the style department. The interchangeable metal plates let you personalize the cans, and a 50mm driver plus sound isolation deliver high-quality audio.
Key specs: Steelflex headband, 50mm dual-diaphragm driver, interchangeable metal shields, 3-button mic cable.
Price: $199 from V-Moda
If you're doing college right, your music collection will explode thanks to savvy friends. Protect those tunes (and term papers) with this portable external drive, which features a USB 3.0 port, along with hardware encryption and password protection to keep all your docs safe.
Key specs: 500GB of storage, USB 3.0, hardware encryption.
Price: $90 from Western Digital
Timbuk2 The Uptown
Sometimes a messenger bag just doesn't cut it, and that's especially true when you're toting a Best Buy aisle's worth of tech. Timbuk2's rucksack features a TSA-compliant laptop compartment, a tablet pocket and tons of internal storage for your other odds and ends.
Price: $119 from Timbuk2
You shouldn't have trouble finding an empty bottle or two (we're not judging), and with this LED lampshade, last night's party becomes a desk fixture for the whole semester.
Your health might not be a priority when you have a thousand other things on your plate, but this activity tracker at least lets you keep rough tabs on your physical well-being. Stats include steps taken, elevation climbed and heart rate. You can also wear the Pulse with the included wristband to track your sleeping patterns.Price: $100 on Amazon
All those trips home between semesters are opportunities for misplacing your valuables. This tracker can pinpoint your luggage's location, and an associated app pings you when you're within 30 feet of what's rightfully yours.Price: $50 from Trakdot
Worried about those prized sneakers going MIA from your dorm closet? These stickers track smaller (but equally important) items via Bluetooth. Built-in buzzers and lights will come in handy at night, too.
Another portable charger? Yep -- this one's got a 3-in-1 USB cable design with mini-USB, micro-USB and Apple's 30-pin connector. At 2.6 ounces, the PocketCell is an easy fit in your, well, pocket.Price: from $48 on Amazon
Engadget's Back to School Giveaway
No Purchase Required to Enter or Win
Eligibility: Engadget's Back to School Giveaway (the "Giveaway") is open only to individuals who are legal residents of the fifty (50) United States (including the District of Columbia) and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 years of age or older. Employees of Weblogs Inc. LLC, AOL Inc., their advertising or promotion agencies, those involved in the production, development, implementation or handling of Giveaways, any agents acting for, or on behalf of the above entities, their respective parent companies, officers, directors, subsidiaries, affiliates, licensees, service providers, prize suppliers any other person or entity associated with the Giveaways (collectively "Giveaway Entities") and/or the immediate family (spouse, parents, siblings and children) and household members (whether related or not) of each such employee, are not eligible. All U.S., federal, state and local and Canadian federal, provincial, and municipal laws and regulations apply. Void in Quebec, Puerto Rico and where prohibited by law.
Sponsor: The Giveaway is sponsored by Weblogs Inc. LLC, 770 Broadway, New York, NY 10003 ("Sponsor").
Agreement to Official Rules: Participation in the Giveaway constitutes entrant's full and unconditional agreement to and acceptance of these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor, which are final and binding. Winning a prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein.
Giveaway Period: The Giveaway begins at 12:00 pm ET on August 12, 2013 and ends at 12:00 pm ET on September 12, 2013 (the "Giveaway Period"). The Giveaway Period shall be divided into fifteen (15) separate Entry Periods:
Entry Period 1 begins at 12PM ET on August 12, 2013 and ends at 12PM ET on September 12, 2013.
Entry Period 2 begins at 1PM ET on August 12, 2013 and ends at 12PM ET on September 12, 2013.
Entry Period 3 begins at 12PM ET on August 13, 2013 and ends at 12PM ET on September 12, 2013.
Entry Period 4 begins at 12PM ET on August 14, 2013 and ends at 12PM ET on September 12, 2013.
Entry Period 5 begins at 12PM ET on August 15, 2013 and ends at 12PM ET on September 12, 2013.
Entry Period 6 begins at 12PM ET on August 16, 2013 and ends at 12PM ET on September 12, 2013.
Entry Period 7 begins at 12PM ET on August 19, 2013 and ends at 12PM ET on September 12, 2013.
Entry Period 8 begins at 12PM ET on August 21, 2013 and ends at 12PM ET on September 12, 2013.
Entry Period 9 begins at 12PM ET on August 23, 2013 and ends at 12PM ET on September 12, 2013.
Entry Period 10 begins at 12PM ET on August 26, 2013 and ends at 12PM ET on September 12, 2013.
Entry Period 11 begins at 12PM ET on August 28, 2013 and ends at 12PM ET on September 12, 2013.
Entry Period 12 begins at 12PM ET on August 30, 2013 and ends at 12PM ET on September 12, 2013.
Entry Period 13 begins at 12PM ET on September 2, 2013 and ends at 12PM ET on September 12, 2013.
Entry Period 14 begins at 12PM ET on September 4, 2013and ends at 12PM ET on September 12, 2013.
Entry Period 15 begins at 12PM ET on September 6, 2013 and ends at 12PM ET on September 12, 2013.
Entry: During the Giveaway Period, go to http://www.engadget.com/2013/08/12/back-to-school-sweepstakes and follow the instructions to submit your entry. The use of any agencies or automated software to submit entries will void all entries submitted by that person.
Drawing: At the conclusion of the Giveaway Period, Sponsor will select the name of one (1) Grand Prize Winner from each of the fifteen (15) Entry Periods in a random drawing of all eligible entries received during each Entry Period. The odds of being selected as a potential winner depend on the number of eligible entries received during the applicable Entry Period. Potential Winners will be contacted via email and asked to provide their full name, age and mailing address within a specified time period. If a potential winner does not respond within the timeframe stated in the notification email, the Sponsor may select an alternate potential winner in his/her place at random from all entries received during the Entry Period. Non-winning entries from one Entry Period do not carry over into subsequent Entry Periods.
Requirements of the Potential Winners: Except where prohibited, the potential winners will be required to complete and return an affidavit of eligibility and liability/publicity release (the "Affidavit/Release") and IRS W-9 form within seven (7) days of being notified. If a potential winner fails to sign and return the Affidavit/Release and W-9 form within the required time period, an alternate entrant may be selected in his/her place in a random drawing of all entries received. Acceptance of a prize constitutes consent to use winner's name and likeness for editorial, advertising and publicity purposes without additional compensation, except where prohibited by law. In the event the potential winner of any prize is a Canadian resident, he/she will also be required to correctly answer a time-limited mathematical question to be administered by email, mail or phone to receive the prize. Limit one (1) prize per household.
Prizes: Fifteen (15) Grand Prize Winners will each receive a Back to School Prize Pack containing the following items: Lenovo U430 Touch Ultrabook, Sony NEX-3N,ASUS MeMO Pad HD 7, Samsung Galaxy S 4 (Verizon Wireless), Amazon Kindle Paperwhite e-reader, V-Moda Crossfade LP headpones, Western Digital My Passport Ultra(500GB) hard drive, Timbuk2 The Uptown backpack, AOC 16" USB monitor, Spotify Premium subscription (1 year), Bracketron Twist and Charge, NewTrent iCarrier, Satechi USB Surge Protector, Satechi USB Bottle Lamp, Withings Pulse, GlobaTrac Trakdot Luggage, StickNFind, Innergie PocketCell, EcoXGear Ecoterra, Cambridge Audio Minx Go. Approximate Retail Value of each Prize Pack is $2,925. Subscriptions are subject to issuer's terms and conditions. Activation fees and monthly service fees not included with any smartphone/digital devices. No cash or other substitution may be made, except by the Sponsor, who reserves the right to substitute a prize or portion of a prize with another prize of equal or greater value if the prize is not available for any reason as determined by the Sponsor in its sole discretion. Winners are responsible for any taxes and fees associated with receipt or use of a prize.
General Conditions: In the event that the operation, security, or administration of the Giveaway is impaired in any way for any reason, including, but not limited to fraud, virus, or other technical problem, the Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, either: (a) suspend the Giveaway to address the impairment and then resume the Giveaway in a manner that best conforms to the spirit of these Official Rules; or (b) award the prizes at random from among the eligible entries received up to the time of the impairment. The Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual it finds to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Giveaway or to be acting in violation of these Official Rules or in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner. Any attempt by any person to undermine the legitimate operation of the Giveaway may be a violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, the Sponsor reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law. The Sponsor's failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision. In case of a dispute as to the owner of an entry, entry will be deemed to have been submitted by the authorized account holder of the screen name from which the entry is made. The authorized account holder is defined as the natural person who is assigned to an e-mail address by an Internet access provider, online service provider, or other organization responsible for assigning e-mail addresses for the domain associated with the submitted e-mail address.
Release and Limitations of Liability: By participating in the Giveaway, entrants agree to release, defend indemnify and hold harmless the Giveaway Entities from and against any claim or cause of action, including without limitation, any third party claim, arising out of participation in the Giveaway or receipt, use or misuse of any prize, including, but not limited to: (a) unauthorized human intervention in the Giveaway; (b) technical errors related to computers, servers, providers, or telephone or network lines; (c) printing errors; (d) lost, late, postage-due, misdirected, or undeliverable mail; (e) errors in the administration of the Giveaway or the processing of entries; or (f) injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from entrant's participation in the Giveaway or receipt, use or misuse of any prize. Entrant further agrees that in any cause of action, the Giveaway Entities' liability will be limited to the cost of entering and participating in the Giveaway, and in no event shall the Giveaway Entities be liable for attorney's fees. Entrant waives the right to claim any damages whatsoever, including, but not limited to, punitive, consequential, direct, or indirect damages.
TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, THE PRIZES AND ALL ELEMENTS THEREOF ARE PROVIDED "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF ANY KIND. SPONSOR DISCLAIMS ALL EXPRESS AND IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, TITLE AND/OR NON-INFRINGEMENT. Some jurisdictions do not allow the disclaimer of implied warranties. In such jurisdictions, some of the foregoing disclaimers may not apply to you insofar as they relate to implied warranties.
Disputes: Except where prohibited, entrant agrees that any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of, or connected with, the Giveaway or any prize awarded shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and exclusively by the appropriate court located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, entrant's rights and obligations, or the rights and obligations of the Sponsor in connection with the Giveaway, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules (whether of the Commonwealth of Virginia or any other jurisdiction), which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Giveaway Results: To request the names of the winners, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Engadget Back to School Giveaway Winners, 770 Broadway, Attn: Jon Turi, New York, NY 10003. Requests must be received by September 30, 2013.