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Back-to-school tech items are now on sale

Experts say you should check your school's website for guidelines about choosing a laptop.
Back-to-school tech items are now on sale
Posted at 1:09 PM, Aug 04, 2023

The back-to-school deals are in full force, and that includes deals on high-ticket items such as laptops, tablets and Macbooks.

"This is absolutely the best time to buy a PC," she Liz Lough of Best Buy. "Supplies are better than they have been in years."

Lough says they have deals on everything from inexpensive Chromebooks to Microsoft Surface tablets that double as laptops.

"The advantage," she said, "is that you can use this whether in laptop mode or tablet mode."

Lough says even the Apple products, like the MacBook Air, are on rare markdown this time of year.

"What's amazing about the MacBooks is they actually start as low as $749," she said.

What you should look for?

Nicholas De Leon, a tech writer with Consumer Reports, says students should aim for something light in weight, so it can be carried from class to class.

Also, he says, look for something with a long battery life.

"We have several models in our ratings that go longer than 20 hours," he said.

If you haven't already, check your school's website for guidelines about choosing a laptop, such as minimum memory and speed requirements.

Additionally, De Leon says to leave room in the budget for accessories, such as a better webcam, headphones, lights or a dongle.

"One of the trade-offs of laptops getting smaller and thinner is that they don't have 100 USB ports anymore," he said. "They don't have ethernet jacks anymore."

De Leon shoppers you should be able to find a laptop in the $1,000 to $1,200 range that will last an entire college career.

But to save more, he says, consider a refurbished device if you can buy directly from the manufacturer.

"They do come with a warranty, they do come with a shiny new box so you don't really lose anything," he said.

Finally, for those on a budget, Lough says there are plenty of options.

"I have laptops as low as $189," she said.

But she cautions that a laptop under $400 may not have the memory or battery power older students need.

Those are best for younger students, such as 6th and 7th graders, getting their first PC.

The good news is that almost all of them are on sale through September for back-to-school, so you don't waste your money.

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