All The Best Back-To-School Tech Buys

Photo: Courtesy Samsung.
If you’re in the market for a new notebook or desktop, there’s no better time to buy than August. With back-to-school sale discounts, you can nab a quality computer for a fraction of the price, even if you long ago ditched your college email address.

And believe it or not, back-to-school is also a great time to take advantage of deals on other products, like phones and tablets — or just about anything stores want to clear off their shelves in time for the upcoming holiday season.

Click through for a sampling of top deals from retailers such as Best Buy, Microsoft Stores, T-Mobile, and Staples. It’s like Black Friday, but a whole lot brighter.
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Photo: Courtesy Apple.
Smartphones

iPhone 6
$0 down
Through T-Mobile, you can grab a new iPhone for $0 down and $15 a month with trade-in. Lock in the price of the next iPhone at $15 a month as well, in case you want to swap out your 6 for a new phone before the end of the year.
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Photo: Courtesy Samsung.
Samsung Galaxy S6
$0 down
While it’ll cost you $300 or more with a two-year contract, if you’re willing to pay a cheap monthly installment for your phone (in the $25 range) for around 30 months, you can get Samsung’s slick flagship handset for $0 down. This deal is also available through AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and other online retailers like Amazon.
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Photo: Courtesy Asus.
Notebooks

ASUS Transformer Book T300 Chi Signature Edition
$599 ($100 off with code SAVE100)
With a 12.5-inch screen and up to eight hours of battery life, the Transformer Book is a solid pick for a mid-range hybrid Windows machine.
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Photo: Courtesy Apple.
Apple Mac, Beats Solo2 Headphones
Up to $200 off, free with purchase ($200 off)
This deal unfortunately only applies to Apple’s education pricing program, which includes “students, students accepted to college, parents buying for college students, faculty, homeschool teachers, and staff at all grade levels.” You can get up to $200 off on a Mac (iMac, MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro), and then get a free pair of Beats Solo2 headphones tossed in, too.
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Photo: Courtesy Dell.
Dell Inspiron 15 i5548-4167SLV
$699 ($100 off with code SAVE100)
For a notebook that can handle more intensive tasks, such as photo editing or occasional gaming, Dell’s Inspiron features a more powerful processor (Core i5) and tons of storage space — not to mention a larger 15-inch screen.
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Photo: Courtesy HP.
HP 14-Inch Chromebook
$285 ($15 off)
This deal is on the small side, but Chromebooks are a great option if what you do on a computer is close to 100% web-based (especially if it’s Google-based). And, these things are extremely affordable. You will need to access a WiFi connection or tether to your smartphone’s data plan at almost all times, though.
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Photo: Courtesy Toshiba.
Toshiba Satellite 15.6 Inch C55D-B5203
$300 ($200 off)
The 15.6-inch Toshiba Satellite is a great alternative to an office desktop. It weighs a little more than some of the smaller hybrid PCs — around five pounds.
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Photo: Courtesy Asus.
Asus Flip 2-In-1 15.6 Inch Core i5
$700 ($100 off)
Asus’ line of tablet-notebook hybrids is perfect for travelers. This model features 1 TB of storage (all the files!), but you can knock off another $100 if you grab the model with only a 500 GB hard drive.
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Photo: Courtesy Lenovo.
Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro 2-In-1 13.3 Inch
$950 ($150 off)
The Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro is thin and light, with a gorgeous high-definition display. While it has decent performance, its battery life generally lasts around six hours.
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Photo: Courtesy Microsoft.
Tablets

Surface Pro 3
$1149 ($150 off)
The Surface Pro 3 is Microsoft’s powerful flagship tablet. When you pair it with a keyboard, you might forget this 12-inch slate isn’t actually a laptop.
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Photo: Courtesy Apple.
Apple iPad With Retina Display 16GB WiFi + AT&T
$300 ($230 Off)
Truth be told, the iPads of the past few years are all very powerful. This model came out in 2012, but with its Retina Display, the only major differences between it and more recent iPads (like the iPad Air) are that it’s not quite as thin, has a lower-specced camera, and its processing power isn't quite as fast.
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Photo: Courtesy Beats.
Other

Beats By Dre Solo HD On-Ear Headphones
$130 ($40 off)
Beats By Dre over-ear headphones like this Solo HD model come highly rated. We recommend wearing them at the desk, rather than on your daily commute.
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Photo: Courtesy Samsung.
Samsung Gear Fit
$169 ($30 off)
Samsung’s Gear Fit straps on your wrist and tracks your steps, calories burned, and other stats, so you can make your workouts more efficient and be more cognizant of how active you are (or aren’t) during the day.
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Photo: Courtesy Insignia.
Insignia 2.6 Cu. Ft Compact Refrigerator
$80 ($40 off)
If your studio apartment is more of a closet, you can grab an equally tiny refrigerator at a discount.
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Photo: Courtesy Best Buy.
More Savings

College Student Deals
If you’ve still got a .edu address, you can sign up at Best Buy’s website to get coupons for its college student deals. These include discounts like $100 off a MacBook or iMac, half off Misfit activity trackers, and $100 off Beats headphones.
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Photo: Courtesy Target/Instagram.
State Tax Holidays
While a few state tax holidays have already passed (sorry Mississippi and Georgia) a number of states have tax-free shopping dates coming up on the calendar. There are restrictions and conditions for some purchases, but in general, there is tax-free shopping to be had — and serious savings to make — if you don’t mind braving the crowds. Most of the states that offer tax-free back-to-school shopping are in the Southeast. Here are a few to note:
August 7-8: Alabama, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri.
August 7-9: New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia.
August 7-16: Florida, Maryland.
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