Your Smart Back-to-School Tech-List

Simplify the school year with this week’s top six deals. Start here for ideas to save money and compare prices for items on your back-to-school tech list. These deals would have been welcomed in my college dorm and made life a little easier on the tech side.

1. Choose the best laptop for your needs.

The school year calls for a dependable laptop, for high school or the dorm. Here are great picks that will get the job done. Of course, if you have specific requirements, check out the Ultimate Laptop Buying Guide to help you shop for the best value.

HP Pavillion dv6 Laptop for $537.49 with 5% cash back at HP

Chosen for Expert Picks, the HP Pavillion will match value with price. To qualify for this offer, upgrade to the i5-2410M processor (+$50), add to your cart and apply coupon. Features include Blu-ray combo drive, built in webcam with mic, fingerprint reader, wireless N, one-year warranty and more.

Acer Aspire for $299.00, 4% cash back and free shipping at TigerDirect.com
With the Acer Aspire laptop, you’ll get what you need at a great price for space, speed and social media. Wi-Fi certified, plenty of space for digital albums, music library and media, plus:

  • AMD dual-core processor
  • 2GB memory
  • 320GB hard drive
  • High-def, 15.6” widescreen experience
  • Built-in webcam and microphone
  • Windows® 7 Home Premium and Microsoft® Office Starter 2010

Acer Aspire TimelineX for $622.27 at B&H Photo and Video
Spend a little more and get a little more for the Acer Aspire TimelineX 3830TG at B&H Photo and Video . Rated in the top twenty back-to-school laptops by ZDNet.com, it packs a lot of speed and quality into a thin, compact laptop. There’s no DVD drive, but there’s always Netflix, Hulu and other options to get your fix. Upgrades include:

  • 4GB RAM
  • 500GB hard drive
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
  • Webcam
  • HD gaming-ready graphics
  • Windows® 7 Home Premium

2. Find a printer that makes the grade.

HP Wireless Printer for $99.00 (was $249.99) with 1.5% cash back at Newegg
Get the thermal inkjet HP Officejet to make life easier ($80 coupon ends 8/15/2011.) This may be a bigger printer, but it’s a great price for a quality printer. You will save time on late-night papers or last-minute printing needs. From photo printing to two-sided printing, it’s smart, efficient and allows you to print color documents from:

  • The Web (PC free) using business apps
  • Email using HP ePrint
  • iPad®, iPhone® or iPod Touch using Airprint

3. Get student software for presentations, notes and organization.

I would continue to keep an eye out for this deal, but it’s a great way to get and stay organized all year long. If you’re planning on buying Office Home and Student 2010 and you’re a college student, Microsoft Office is offering Outlook, Publisher and Access for free with the purchase. Or buy Microsoft Office Professional Academic 2010 for $99.95, a special student-only price plus get 5% cash back.

4. Make waking up for class a little more enjoyable.

The iPod/iPhone dock with alarm, speakers and earphones: $49.94 and 3.5% cash back
It’s a cool dorm room combo with speakers or earphones for versatility. Wake up for class on the right side of bed, and yes, there’s a snooze button. These types of electronics have been Black Friday deals, so if you can, take your time and check out the deals. I’ve seen previous deals on the iHome Portable Stereo Alarm Clock for iPhone/iPod for $30 around Black Friday or “deals of the day.”

5. Textbook turned Nook (or at least a study aid and free books!)

You still need to buy or rent textbooks, but you can download books, magazines and blogs to help you with research and papers. Find free books and resources for fun or school. Barnes & Noble is offering $100 in free books for students. Buy the Nook from now until September 11 and receive twelve free classic books and twelve SparkNotes study aids. Get the Nook for $139 plus 4% cash back. It’s a great deal for students interested in a Nook and the free classics are helpful for literature majors. Keep in mind, some of these classics are already free downloads, but it’s still a good deal.

6. Try a bundle and save.

Walmart’s online-only bundle for $316.00 plus 2.5% cash back.
If you’re looking for the basics at a great price, consider this bundle at Walmart. It offers a Compaq or Toshiba laptop, carrying case, USB flash drive and printer for $316.00. Shipping is $0.97 plus options to upgrade specific bundle items.

Tech It Out and Save

Keep searching and comparing deals, but keep in mind offers with “until supplies last” or limited-time coupons. Most importantly, find the best deals for your school needs and study habits and buy gadgets that maximize your time and efficiency.

Have you found any back-to-school techie items too good to pass up?

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