PC Shopping Tips for Back-to-School Deals
Another good deal this time of year is a computer. While the holiday season is considered the best time to get a deal on a computer, back-to-school is a close second, according to Steve Baker, an analyst for NPD Group.
New portable all-in-one computers that look like giant tablets (20-inch diagonal screen) just came out from Hewlett-Packard
There are lots of new models, shapes, prices and features -- touchscreens are on some of the pricier models to help use the latest operating system from Microsoft
Beyond the deals, students need a computer for school. According to a survey of students by market researcher Lab 42, 82% plan to head to college with a new computer.
But it may be tricky to find the latest and greatest on store shelves. Rare among the recent Sunday ads were laptops with fourth-generation chips from Intel Corp.
"It's a combination of things," Baker said. "There's still plenty of generation-three stuff out there and they're certainly being reduced in price. Fourth-gen is still expensive. All the product that is going to use Haswell (the name of the fourth-gen chip) hasn't been released yet. There isn't a huge amount of product out there yet."
And that's good news if you're on a budget. As computer makers launch new models, they're clearing out the old. Retailers tend to toss in free software and accessories to entice shoppers -- from a free year of Internet security to a complete student version of Microsoft Office.
Microsoft has long offered student discounts. A few years ago, it offered students the entire Microsoft Office Suite for $60, or 90% off the retail price and half the price of its student version of Office.