If you've been waiting till the end of summer to start your back-to-school shopping, your time has come.
With many students starting classes in the coming days, many retailers are now releasing their most aggressive deals.
But like any savvy shopper, you'll want to remain vigilant, because the last thing you want to do is overspend. A new survey conducted by Deloitte, a worldwide professional services firm, shows that households will spend an average of $501 on back-to-school gear, which is a small increase from $488 in 2016.
We've handpicked the best back-to-school deals to make sure you get the tech you need at the best prices possible. Need more ideas? Check out our complete back-to-school tech checklist.
Budget laptops usually suffer from poor displays, outdated processors or horrible design. The $349 Aspire E 15 is one of the best laptop deals around, because even at that price, it offers a sharp, 1080p display; a Core i3 Kaby Lake CPU; and an 8-hour battery life. Although there are a couple of flaws — it lacks a solid-state drive, and its webcam produces grainy images — the E 15 is one heck of a deal.
The Moto G5 Plus raises the bar for how a budget smartphone should perform and feel. Its mostly metallic body gives the handset a premium vibe, while the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor keeps things running smoothly. Other highlights include a very bright 5.2-inch screen, a fingerprint sensor and more than 11 hours of battery life. That's impressive at any price.
The SoundCore 2 includes everything a student could want in a budget Bluetooth speaker. It's portable and affordable, and it can party for up to 24 hours on a single charge. The speaker is also water-resistant, which means it can survive an accidental coffee spill or splash of water. As far as performance, it delivers balanced bass, treble and mid-tones all for less than $50.
These days, it's easy to find a budget smart TV for a dorm room, bedroom or living room, but few of these sets have the brains to match those of the Element 43-inch 4K Fire TV Edition. It's the first time Amazon's digital assistant, Alexa, has been built into a TV. While this first-gen TV has some flaws, it's a solid deal if you want a sub-$500 4K set that can search across multiple entertainment sources.
The ErgoFit earbuds come in a variety of colors and deliver crisp highs, warm mids and deep lows. Compared with other earbuds in their price range, the ErgoFit produce cleaner audio. They also conform to the shape of your ear canal, which creates a snug but comfortable fit for those long jam sessions. They're as close to perfect as you can get for just $10.
Fitbit sells a variety of fitness trackers. However, the $99 Fitbit One is a relatively cheap way to help your student keep tabs on his or her activity. The clip-on pedometer tracks steps walked, stars climbed and sleep cycles, without being gaudy like many wrist-worn fitness trackers. It offers 10 to 14 days of battery life, and its easy-to-use app keeps you moving with social challenges.
Nothing grips a gamer like a solid headset. But when you're in college, you probably don't have the money to splurge on an expensive model. For under $50, the HyperX Cloud Stinger features a sturdy design, soft padding and large ear cups that keep the headset around your ears rather than pressed up against them. It won't deliver the best audio, but gamers on a tight budget will be hard-pressed to find a better set of cans.