It’s approximately it’s time for back-to-school deals to start showing up. That means deep discounts on student-friendly gear like laptops, phones, and backpacks. We’ve already found a few this weekend, but you’ll also find goodies like deals on a TV we love and one of our favorite tents.
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Deals on laptops, home office and games
This is the lowest price we’ve tracked on Apple 2021 Macbook Pro (8/10, WIRED recommends). It’s got a sleek redesign that offers a slightly larger 14-inch screen, a better 1080p webcam, amazing performance thanks to the M1 Pro chip and 16GB of RAM, and a 1-terabyte SSD. It has many more ports than previous MacBooks, an SD slot and an HDMI output.
This Inspiron is a good all-around laptop with a 12th Gen Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. The 14-inch 1920 x 1200 pixel display isn’t the brightest, but it does the job. The 2-in-1 design means you can use it as a laptop or tablet by flipping the screen. This agreement is also available on eBay. (The seller is Best Buy.)
Lenovo’s IdeaPads regularly top our list of best budget laptops. We haven’t tested this exact model, but based on the specs and similar IdeaPads we’ve tried, this is a good all-around, inexpensive machine. You get an AMD Ryzen 5 (5600H) processor, 8GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and a 16-inch 2.5K (2,560 x 1,440 pixel) display for under $500. This is sold through eBay, but the seller is Microsoft.
This is a cheaper version of Corsair K100, which we love for its media wheel feature. The K55 does not have a wheel but features the same keyboard layout and RGB backlighting. It may look like a mechanical keyboard, but it’s a membrane.
This 15-inch gaming machine from Asus features an AMD Ryzen 9 (5900HX) processor, Radeon RX 6800M graphics, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. We haven’t tried this exact model, but we have liked the very similar 14 inch version (8/10 WIRED Recommend).
This HP gaming monitor features a 2560×1440 pixel display, with a frequency of 165Hz refresh rate for smooth graphics and a 1 millisecond response time for low input lag. If your PC has an AMD graphics card, AMD FreeSync Premium support ensures that your game is as smooth as possible. The monitor supports VESA, so you can mount it on a monitor arm.
WIRED contributor Julie Muncy called this episode of Super Mario “the kind of giddy, absurd triumph that Nintendo hasn’t pulled off in years.” Five years later, it’s still a pretty good record. Here’s your chance to grab a physical copy for the Switch.
This 1080p monitor is a fairly affordable way to extend the surface of your screen. You get VESA compatibility, so you can mount it on an arm and get rid of the stand. If you don’t want to do that, the stand is quite adjustable – you can even put this monitor in portrait orientation. The bezels are thin, the screen looks decent, and there are built-in speakers (although they don’t sound great).
The exterior of this portable monitor is laminated and the IPS screen is a little dull, but it’s still relatively thin, offers a large screen and has a sturdy built-in kickstand that makes it very easy to set down anywhere. Just use a single USB-C cable and you can enjoy a second-screen experience wherever you go, including the coffee shop.
Home & Away Deals
This 2022 model is one of our favorites, especially if your living room gets very bright. You get a central plinth, which is great if your media console is not very wide, a screen refresh rate of 120 Hz and a Mini-LED backlight for excellent contrast.
That’s Ninja’s take on the single-serve blender. We haven’t tested it, but it’s rated well online. The design is similar to the Nutribullet, which we like, and the downward-facing blades help keep food from escaping the chopping action.
We’ve long recommended the 4-person version of this tent for its unusual combination of lightness and reasonable price. The 2 person is the same story, and this deal makes it even cheaper. The mostly mesh design provides excellent ventilation on hot summer nights (let the rain fall and you’ll have a great view of the stars, weather permitting). One thing to note about this tent is that MSR does not seal their lightweight tents at the factory, so you will have to buy some and do it yourself. If you need more space, the The 3-person tent is also on sale for $292 ($110 off).
One of our favorite cheap phonesthe Nokia XR20 (7/10, WIRED recommends) is a good rugged smartphone with wireless charging support. There’s a two-year warranty and this phone will get three Android OS upgrades. Note that it doesn’t work on Verizon, and it won’t work with AT&T’s 5G, but it’s a solid phone for T-Mobile users, especially at this price.
It is an ideal low chair for relaxing on the beach. It’s well made, collapses for easy packing, and has stood up to six months of testing.