BACK TO SCHOOL AUTHORITY: Saving on a laptop – Eyewitness News 3

(WFSB) – For high school and college students, school supply shopping isn’t just about buying pencils and notebooks.

Laptops are a huge priority, but they can be pricey.

Eyewitness News looked into how to save money on getting yours.

When it comes to shopping for a laptop, going through all the different models and brands can be overwhelming.

Start off with what you like first.

“First of all, pick out which laptops you have in mind that are your must haves. From there, you can figure out, could I make due with a lower model? Do I need all the bells and whistles? Are there student discounts I can take advantage of?” said Sara Rathner, Personal Finance Expert at NerdWallet.

To save on your purchase, Rathner says student discounts are the first thing you should look for.

“You have that student ID and that student email address, get those discounts, because once you hit the real world, a lot of them go away,” Rathner said.

Then look to add on more discounts. Find a back-to-school sale. Use credit cards to your advantage.

“Let’s say you use a cash back credit card, so you’re earning, let’s say, three-to-five cash back, depending on where you shop and what card you carry,” said Rathner.

You can also use your phone or computer to find great discounts.

“From there you could also use a cash back app like Rakuten to get one-to-ten percent cash back on that purchase, you can also use a browser extension like honey to find those coupon codes,” Rathner said.

With costs as high as they are, buying a refurbished laptop is becoming a popular option.

These are used laptops that have been inspected, cleaned or repaired for re-sale.

“It really comes down to, are you getting a good value for the specs in the laptop,” said Tom Brant.

Brant is the Deputy Managing Editor at PC Mag.

He says the best way to see if refurbished is the route to go, compare a new and refurbished laptop that have the same specs.

Brant also recommends these specs for any high school or college student:

  • Minimum 256 gigabytes of storage
  • Either has a Core i-5 or Ryzen 5 processor
  • 16 gigabytes of memory
  • A screen that’s 13-to-15 inches
  • Full HD resolution that’s 1080p

“Basically, if you find one, a new one, and you find an old one, I’m sorry, refurbished one, compare the price difference and that’s really going to tell you if the refurbished model is worth it,” said Brant.

Brant says you can find great refurbished computers that’ll do what you need and save you money.

Some refurbished laptops can be 50-to-70-percent off the original price.

Before you purchase one, here are some things you should do.

Inspect the body, make sure there are no cracks or other blemishes.

Check the laptop’s functionality:

  • Make sure the keyboard and trackpad work
  • The speakers sound okay
  • The battery lasts as long as it did when the laptop was new. You can check this by charging it and seeing how it lasts

Brant recommends to act fast.

Given supply chain issues, particularly with silicon, finding the laptop of your choice and price could be a challenge.

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