[DEAL TIME] Back to School Laptops

Category: Laptops

August is when back-to-school sales begin on everything from pencils to computers. Even if you're not a student, this can be a great time to upgrade your tech. Here are some of the hottest deals going on for laptops right now...

The Best Deals on Back-to-School Laptops

Dell has student-level laptops starting under $200, and with approved credit parents can get another $20 off plus 6 to 12 months of financing. Here are two models to consider, one at the low end, and one with beefier specs.

$184 buys a Dell Inspiron 14 3000 with a 14 inch screen, Intel Celeron processor, Windows 10 Home, 4 GB of RAM, and 32 GB of eMMC Storage. The last is solid-state storage much like a USB drive, but on a faster data bus. It’s not as fast as a traditional SSD but with no moving parts it can take a student’s beating better than a hard drive.

The $700 Inspiron 15 5000 features 12 GB of RAM, Windows 10 Home, an 8th Generation Core i5 processor, a 256 GB SSD, and a 15.6 inch FHD touch display. The 360-degree hinge enables conversion from a laptop to a tablet.

Back to School - Laptop or Chromebook?

Chromebooks are ideal for elementary school students and older ones who are not hung up on Windows games. Amazon has quite a selection at discounted prices. In a recent article, I posed the question "Is Chromebook a Serious Laptop Contender?" Depending on your needs, the latest generation of Chromebooks may be an excellent choice, especially now that the option to dual-boot either the Chrome OS or Windows 10 is on the horizon.

The Samsung Electronics XE500C13-S03US Chromebook 3 (2GB RAM, 16GB SSD) Laptop, 11.6", in black, is just $156.

The ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 11.6-inch Ruggedized and Water Resistant Design with 180 Degree Hinge (Intel Celeron, 4 GB RAM, 16GB eMMC drive) is only $224.

The Pixelbook is a line of high-end Chromebooks made by Google. Its 4-in-1 design lets it function in Laptop, Tablet, Presentation and Audience modes. The Pixelbook i5 (8GB RAM, 128 GB SSD) retails for $999, but Amazon's back-to-school price is $749.

Windows 10 Home Goes Back to School, Too.

The Acer Aspire 1, with 14" Full HD screen, Intel Celeron N3450 CPU, 4GB RAM, 32GB Storage, costs just $200.

An ASUS ZenBook Ultra-Slim Laptop is a hotrod with 14” FHD IPS WideView Display, Intel Core i7-8550U CPU, 8GB DDR4, 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD, Windows 10, Backlit keyboard. It weighs 3.1lbs, and goes for $821.

The ASUS VivoBook F510UA is thin and lightweight with a WideView screen, 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8250U, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 128GB SSD+1TB HDD, USB Type-C, ASUS NanoEdge Display, Fingerprint Reader, and Windows 10, with a price tag of $620.

And finally, here’s an Acer Aspire E 15, with 15.6" Full HD screen, 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8250U, GeForce MX150 graphics, 8GB RAM Memory, and 256GB SSD for just $600.

When buying for middle and high school students, ruggedness is a key criterion. After that comes price. And unlike smartphones, a decent laptop will not be obsolete after one or two years. A well-made laptop should survive at least 3 or 4 years. By then, the hardware will be outdated, and the student will be ready (and likely begging) for a newer, faster machine.

Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "[DEAL TIME] Back to School Laptops"

Posted by:

16 Aug 2018

On the ChromeBooks it has been my experience you need 4GB of RAM... also make sure it can use the Google Playstore... a touch screen would be nice but not necessary :)

Posted by:

16 Aug 2018

Why are there I5's even in HP mobile workstations? There are 8th Gen. I7's, so why the I5's? Is it simply affordability? Is there a major difference between them?

Posted by:

16 Aug 2018

Computers employing i5 processors are usually for affordability reasons and that i7 processors are overkill for most consumers. Unless you do heavy gaming, video editing or such professional processor intensive work, you will probably never need an i7.

In fact, for most average consumers, primarily browsing, video watching, working on documents spreadsheets etc. a first generation i3 provides enough processing power. When it comes to speed, other things, like RAM (at least 4GB), an SSD, removing bloatware applications happen to matter much more.

-- "A well-made laptop should survive at least 3 or 4 years."
I know of one Dell laptop running for ~eight years now. A first generation i-series laptop is more than enough to run general use software from today.

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