It’s that time of the year when families are evaluating their needs for the school year and in many cases, considering the purchase of a new computer, laptop, or tablet for their child for the new school year. New technology is an investment and I’m a big fan of buying the best machine you can get for your money but if you’re limited by budget, consider buying last year’s models, look into a current machine that has been factory refurbished, or evaluate what you already have at home to see if you can make some improvements to your set up with new accessories that can add to the life of your current machine.
Instead of replacing your laptop with a new desktop, purchase a monitor and accessories
If you’re using a laptop and are wanting a larger screen, buying a new monitor gives you the screen real estate you covet for a fraction of the price of a new machine. I have my laptop connected to a 32” monitor that allows me to work from a large screen when at home but gives me the portability of a laptop for travel. Other accessories you’ll need to go with your monitor include an external keyboard and mouse such as these:
G910 Orion Spectrum Mechanical Gaming Keyboard ($139.99 from Amazon)— If you’re experiencing symptoms of carpal tunnel or worried about tiring your hands and forearms because you spend so much time on your computer, treat your hands to a mechanical gaming keyboard. Mechanical gaming keyboard features differ from traditional ones because they feature mechanical switches that are amazingly responsive so your fingers just need to touch the keyboard lightly to type. The G910 Orion Spectrum features backlit keys that can be customized from a palette of 16.8 million colors (think of it as a rainbow on your desk!) and a design that allows you to rest your wrists on the large palm rest and adjust the keyboard for maximum comfort.
Logitech Party Collection Mouse ($29.99)— With fun patterns ranging from flamingos, watermelon, lemons, zig zags, dots, and more, there’s a mouse to fit everyone’s style. The Logitech mice have been a staple in our house for a long time. We love the portable size and that they’re wireless, have a long battery life (Logitech claims batteries last for 18 months but we feel like they last longer), and work up to 33 feet away. Though ours is never far from where we are!
If you’re clamoring for better sound, get a portable speaker or better headphones
Monster Clarity HD High Performance Wireless Earbuds ($79.99)— Regardless of where you work, it’s always good to have a pair of wireless earbuds and Monster’s Clarity HD High Performance ones are ergonomically designed to rest inside your ears for ultimate comfort and also isolate noise, feature an in-line microphone, volume controls, and battery that allows over 5 hours of audio.
UE ROLL 2 ($99)— If you want sound that fills the room or whatever space you’re occupying, the UE Roll 2 is a small speaker with big sound. Available in a variety of bright solid colors as well as patterns, the UE ROLL 2 is a portable Bluetooth speaker that can sit on your desk or connect to your messenger bag or backpack with a bungee for better sound than you’ll probably ever get from your laptop or tablet’s speakers. College students will love that they can get twice the sound thanks to the Double Up feature that allows a friend to connect their UE ROLL 2 to pump up the volume.
BOSEBuild Speaker Cube ($149.99)— For teens who covet a new computer but families whose budgets just don’t allow for it, the BOSEBuild Speaker Cube could be a great compromise. BOSEBuild is a cool STEM project that requires kids to get their hands on speaker components (coil, magnet and paper) and learn how they make sound to build their own customizable Bluetooth speaker that features legendary sound that BOSE is known for. BOSEBuild is designed to work with the Bose’s free Sound app (iOS or Android) so tweens and teens can customize the appearance of the speaker cube with any color they choose. It’s perfect for using with a computer, tablet, or mobile phone.
Tips on How to Buy a New Computer for Less
If these accessories won’t quite give you the machine you need, it’s time to consider the purchase of a new machine. But new doesn’t have to be brand new. It can be new-to-you. Factory refurbished machines are a great way to get current models for less but with the same warranty as new machines.
Another option is to purchase a previous model. Previous generations of computers, laptops, and tablets can be comparable to specifications of the machine you covet but for less thanks to minimal differences. Ask yourself if you’ll really notice the fewer number of pixels per square inch when you look at the display or it really matters that the battery life in the machine might last one hour less. Chances are you won’t notice these minor differences but they’ll help you save a bundle of money if you’re willing to compromise.
Samples were received for review purposes. No compensation was received for this post but Amazon Affiliate links are included.