On Your Side: Best back-to-school tech deals

Published: Aug. 4, 2020 at 5:43 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) -Many students will be learning from home this year. Tech products like laptop computers could be in high-demand for back-to-school shoppers. Samantha Gordon, the Deals Editor at Consumer Reports, has done the research and reveal some of the deals on tech for students.

LG Gram 14 ($1,047, Amazon, B&H, Walmart) The 2020 incarnation of the LG Gram is a highly rated laptop that practically defines thin-and-light design. The 14-inch version weighs a feathery 2.2 pounds—you almost want to hold it down if the wind kicks up. The other factor in portability is battery life, and with this machine our testers logged 19.5 hours under moderate use. The $150 savings makes these appealing deals.

Lenovo Yoga Laptop ($675, Amazon) This laptop has good core specs for a midrange computer—an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of memory, and a 256-GB solid-state drive. It will purr along easily while performing most tasks. It weighs an easy-to-tote 3 pound and provides plenty of battery life, and the 2-in-1 convertible design lets you prop it up in tent mode or use it like a tablet.

A newer router could be especially helpful to handle the increased demands that come with remote learning.

Linksys Wireless Mesh Router ($299, Amazon, Office Depot, Best Buy)

The Linksys mesh router system is a deal for large houses, especially when you and the kids are all trying to work or Zoom or take a Netflix break. The three-unit system is selling for $100 less than usual right now. It offers automatic firmware updates, which helps keep you protected from cyber threats, and easy setup through smartphone app.

Or you can go with Netgear Nighthawk Wireless Router ($160, Best Buy, Office Depot, Walmart). This model is well-suited for midsized homes. In addition to solid performance, it also delivers the protection of automatic firmware updates and is easy to set up via a smartphone app.

Microsoft Surface Headphones ($193, Best Buy). Trying to do schoolwork at home can be tough, especially for a student who doesn’t have a separate room for it. But a good pair of noise-canceling headphones can make it easier to focus. These headphones usually sell for about $100 less than comparable options from Sony and Bose, and they’re an additional $57 off at Best Buy right now. Its noise-cancellation abilities are top-notch, and the sound quality is just a step behind, producing an enjoyable experience.

Google Home Mini Smart Speaker ($30, Bed Bath & Beyond, buy buy Baby, Home Depot)

The Mini is an inexpensive way to access Google Assistant, especially now that it’s selling for $20 less than usual. Though the tiny speaker is fine for spoken content—news, weather reports, etc.—our testers report that it’s not ideal for listening to music. But connect the Home Mini to a better-sounding speaker and, just like that, the better speaker has smart functionality.

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