It’s just about time for back-to-school deals to start popping up. This means big discounts on student-friendly equipment such as laptops, phones and backpacks. We’ve already found a few over the weekend, but you’ll also find goodies like deals on a TV we love and one of our favorite tents.
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Laptop, home office and gaming deals
Check out our best laptops, best cheap laptops and best gaming laptops for more.
This is the lowest price we’ve tracked on Apple’s 2021 MacBook Pro (8/10, WIRED recommends). It has a sleek redesign that offers a slightly larger 14-inch screen, a better 1080p webcam, great performance thanks to the M1 Pro chip and 16GB of RAM, plus you get a 1-terabyte SSD. It has quite a few more ports than previous MacBooks – an SD slot and an HDMI output.
This Inspiron is a good all-around laptop with a 12th generation Intel Core i5, 8 gigabytes of RAM and a 512 gigabyte SSD. The 14-inch 1,920 x 1,200-pixel screen isn’t the brightest, but it gets the job done. The 2-in-1 design means you can use it as a laptop or tablet by flipping the screen around. This agreement is also available on eBay. (The seller is Best Buy.)
Lenovo’s IdeaPads routinely top our list of the best budget laptops. We haven’t tested this exact model, but based on the specs and similar IdeaPads we’ve tried, this is a good, cheap, all-around machine. You get an AMD Ryzen 5 (5600H) processor, 8 gigs of RAM, a 512-gigabyte SSD, and a 16-inch 2.5K (2,560 x 1,440 pixels) display for under $500. This is sold through eBay, but the seller is Microsoft.
This is a cheaper version of the Corsair K100, which we like for its media wheel feature. The K55 lacks the wheel, but has the same keyboard layout and RGB backlighting. It might look like a mechanical keyboard, but it’s a membrane.
This 15-inch gaming machine from Asus has an AMD Ryzen 9 (5900HX) processor, Radeon RX 6800M graphics, 16 gigabytes of RAM and a 512-gigabyte SSD. We haven’t tried this exact model, but we liked the very similar 14-inch version (8/10 WIRED Recommends).
This HP gaming monitor has a 2560×1440 pixel display with a 165 Hz refresh rate for smooth graphics and a 1 millisecond response time for low input lag. If your PC has an AMD graphics card, there’s AMD FreeSync Premium support to ensure your gameplay looks as smooth as possible. The monitor has VESA support, so you can mount it on a monitor arm.
WIRED contributor Julie Muncy called this Super Mario installment “the kind of dizzying, absurd triumph that Nintendo hasn’t achieved in years.” Five years later, that’s still a pretty good rating. Here’s your chance to grab a physical copy for the Switch.
This 1080p monitor is a fairly affordable way to expand your screen real estate. You get VESA compatibility, so you can mount it on an arm and get rid of the stand. If you don’t want to do that, the stand is quite adjustable – you can even put this monitor in portrait orientation. The bezels are slim, the screen looks decent, and there are built-in speakers (although they don’t sound great).
The exterior of this laptop monitor is plasticky and the IPS screen is a bit lackluster, but it’s still relatively slim, offers a large screen and has a sturdy built-in kickstand that makes it very easy to prop up anywhere. Just use a single USB-C cable and you can get an extra screen experience wherever you go, including in the coffee shop.
Home and outdoor offers
This 2022 model is one of our favorites, especially if your living room gets a lot of light. You get a center stand, which is great if your media console isn’t very wide, a 120-Hz screen refresh rate, and Mini-LED backlighting for great contrast.
This is Ninja’s take on the single-serving blender. We haven’t tested it, but it’s rated well online. The design is similar to the Nutribullet, which we like, and the downward-facing blades help prevent food from escaping from the chopping action.
We have long recommended the 4-person version of this tent for its unusual combination of lightweight yet reasonably priced. 2-person is the same story and this deal makes it even cheaper. The mostly mesh design allows for good ventilation on hot summer nights (skip the rainfly and you’ll have a great view of the stars, weather permitting). One thing to note about this tent is that MSR does not seam seal their lightweight tents at the factory, so you will have to get some and do it yourself. If you need more space The 3-person tent is also on sale for $292 ($110 off).
One of our favorite budget phones, the Nokia XR20 (7/10, WIRED Recommends) is a good, rugged smartphone with support for wireless charging. There is a two-year warranty and this phone gets three Android OS upgrades. Note that it doesn’t work on Verizon, and it won’t work with AT&T’s 5G, but it’s a solid phone for T-Mobile users, especially at this price.
This is a great low chair for relaxing on the beach. It’s well made, collapses for easy packing and has held up during six months of testing.