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Back to school live blog: Best laptops, backpacks and tablets for college

Here is the best back-to-school tech for students!

Back to School deals
(Image: © Future)

The back to school sales are in full swing and this live blog will take you through all the best recommendations for laptops, backpacks, tablets, and more.

Because, you see, not every deal is the same. A laptop may be super cheap on paper, but retailers use this time as an excuse to shift some of their less impressive devices on unsuspecting college students.

So, whether you’re looking for a new workhorse with decent speakers for social listening, new earbuds to block out the library chatter, or you’re looking for unique student discounts and free access to essential software, keep this live blog bookmarked for all the updates.

Back to school sales: Quick links

Back to school: Today’s Top 5 Deals

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Save $216 on this Gateway Ultra Slim Notebook bundle

Gateway Slim laptop bundle with carrying case and mouse in blue

(Image credit: Walmart)

Save $216 on this exclusive Gateway Ultra Slim Notebook bundle at Walmart. We tested this notebook and found its solid performance, color design speakers impressive.  

This bundle includes: a 15.6-inch Gateway Ultra Slim Notebook, carrying case, and wireless mouse. The laptop in this deal packs a 15.6-inch 1080p display, 3.0-GHz 11th Gen Intel Core i3-1115G4 quad-core CPU, 4GB of RAM and 128GB SSD.

Beats Studio Buds are now $50 cheaper

Beats Studio buds wireless earbuds

(Image credit: Apple )

Save $50 on Beats Studio Buds Noise Cancelling wireless earbuds. By design, Beats Studio Buds are attractive, stylish and super-light. 

Easy to use on-ear controls let you manage music playback, calls, listening modes, and your voice assistant of choice. Studio Buds work with Apple and Android devices and may be used with the Beats app, available as a free download in the App Store and Google Play

Save $300 on the excellent HP Envy x360

HP Windows 11 laptop on purple background with epic deal badge

(Image credit: HP )

Save $300 on the versatile HP Envy x360 during Best Buy's Anniversary Sales Event (opens in new tab). We gave the previous-gen model our Editor's Choice Award for its color-rich display, fast performance, and sturdy 360-degree hinges. 

An excellent value for the price, it packs a 15.6-inch (1920 x 1080) touch screen, 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1255U 10-core CPU, 16GB of RAM and Iris Xe graphics. The laptop's 512GB SSD provides ample storage for your important schoolwork. 

Save $131 Asus VivoBook Flip 14 2-in-1 Laptop

Asus VivoBook Flip 14

(Image credit: Amazon)

Now $131 off, the Asus VivoBook Flip 14 is one of the best 2-in-1 laptops for college students. It features a 360-degree hinge design converts to tablet, stand or tent mode for taking notes or presenting. 

The laptop in this deal packs a 14-inch (1920 x 1080) touch screen, 3.0-GHz Intel Core i3-1115G4 dual-core CPU, 4GB of RAM, Integrated graphics, and 128GB SSD. Now just $6 shy of it's all-time low price, the Asus VivoBook Flip is a solid buy if you're on the hunt for a convertible laptop. 

Save $200 on the HP Victus 12th Gen Intel Gaming Laptop

HP Victus 16 inch gaming laptop

(Image credit: HP )

Save $200 on the HP Victus 16 Gaming Laptop during HP's back to school sale. It boasts Intel's latest powerful 12th Gen Intel processor and is optimized for graphics.  

Gaming notebooks are ideal for college students who find themselves editing photos or videos. They're also a solid buy for anyone who wants a powerful laptop PC for school that handles AAA gaming. 

The laptop on sale packs a 16.1-inch (1920 x 1080) display, 12th Gen Intel Core i5-12500H 12-core CPU, 8GB of RAM and 512GB SSD. Nvidia's GTX 1650 GPU with 4GB of dedicated memory handles graphics.

Canon All-In-One Inkjet Printer crashes to $69

Canon All-In-One Inkjet Printer

(Image credit: Best Buy)

We all need a printer to hand in important assignments, but sometimes they don't come cheap. Luckily, this Canon PIXMA MG3620 Wireless All-In-One Inkjet Printer is down to just $69, which is quite the steal considering it was $99.

You can print directly from your mobile device via built-in Wi-Fi, and it offers up to 4800 x 1200 dpi (dots per inch) color resolution for all those fancy photos you take. Plus, just in case you don't need that much color to your work, the printer will let you refill black and color tanks individually. If you're in need to print stuff off quickly at home, this Canon printer will do the trick. 

This HP Envy x360 2-in-1 with 12th Gen Intel i7 is under $1,000!

HP Envy x360 2-in-1

(Image credit: Best Buy)

We're big fans of HP's Envy x360 laptops, especially if they have a 2-in-1 design and come packed with a 12th Gen Intel Core i7 processor. Even more so when it's $300 off and only $799.

With an Intel Evo 12th Gen Core i7-1255U CPU, 16GB of RAM, Intel Iris Xe graphics, and a 512GB SSD, this laptop will be able to handle all kinds of workloads. Plus, its 2-in-1 capabilities allow you to fully use its 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) LED touchscreen display. It's a winning combination worth checking out, especially at a price like this. 

HP's 2-in-1 14-inch Chromebook is not just $399

HP 14 2-in-1 Chromebook

(Image credit: Best Buy)

The best 2-in-1 laptops will satisfy your inner desire to flip, transform, and bend your device into various flexible positions, and you can do just that for cheap with this 14-inch HP 2-in-1 Chromebook. With $300 off the price tag, this handy Chromebook comes with an 11th Gen Intel Core i3 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. While not a powerhouse, it's a capable laptop that will let you work the way you want using Google's suite of apps.

Plus, being able to fold it the way you want allows you to use its 14-inch, 1080p LCD touchscreen like a tablet, or put it in tent mode to watch your favorite shows. Not bad for well under $500. 

This amazing laptop backpack is now 43% off

Matein Laptop Backpack

(Image credit: Amazon)

With a built-in USB charger and cable, along with all the compartments you need to slot in a 15.6-inch laptop, tablet, phone, books, clothes, and everything else you can fit it, this Matein laptop backpack has you covered for all things travel.

Now down to $23.99, it's one of the best backpack deals around, especially for students that have a lot to carry around with them. There's even phone and pen pockets, a front side pocket to slip in a tablet, and a rear padded pocket to store what you need. Oh, and it's water resistant to keep your devices nice and safe.

Save $10 on the Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard

Logitech K380 wireless keyboard in white on white desk in front of an iMac computer

(Image credit: Logitech)

Save $10 on the Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard. This ultra thin portable keypad makes it easier to type on your personal computer, tablet or phone. 

It pairs within seconds to Bluetooth-enabled Windows, Mac, and Android devices. Quickly convert your tablet into a laptop and type away anywhere. 

Backup files with this 2TB Seagate Portable Drive for just $59

Seagate 1TB External Hard Drive

(Image credit: Seagate )

Expand your laptop's storage space for less with $30 off the Seagate Backup Plus Slim Portable Drive. This 2TB hard drive holds an estimated 1,333,000 photos, 571,000 songs or 1,050 hours of HD video.

Its slim, metal design fits in any pocket or backpack for easy portability. Plug and play compatible, it works with Windows and Mac machines so no need to reformat. 

Pick up the Galaxy Book Pro for $899

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro back to school sale

(Image credit: Samsung )

Save $100 on the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro at Best Buy. Class-leading portability and rated 20 hour battery life make it the ideal college laptop. 

The laptop on sale has a 13.3-inch AMOLED 1080p display, 2.4-GHz Intel Core i5-1135G7 4-core CPU, 8GB RAM, Iris Xe graphics and 256GB SSD. For connecting external devices, the Galaxy Book Pro is equipped with a Thunderbolt 4 port, USB Type-C port, and USB 3.2 port. There's also a built-in microSD card slot and headphone jack for more connectivity options. 

Samsung's Galaxy Book Pro is a solid buy if you're looking for a premium Ultrabook for the new semester. 

Save $180 on the HP V28 28-inch 4K Monitor

HP V28 4K monitor

(Image credit: HP)

Enjoy and immersive viewing experience for less with $180 off the HP V28 4K monitor at Amazon. 

This 4K monitor's 3840 x 2160-pixel panel produces sharp image clarity. With a refresh rate of 60Hz and AMD FreeSync Technology baked in, expect no less than blur and lag free streaming and gaming. 

Apple iPad mini 6 now $50 off

iPad mini 6

(Image credit: Phillip Tracy/Laptop Mag)

Who says tablets need to have a 10-inch display? The iPad mini 6 (2021) is a little marvel, making it one of the best ultra-portable devices around. Carrying this around in your bag to quickly whip out and jot down notes or look up something online is a dream, and its compact size enables single-handed use.

Throw in the A15 Bionic's fast performance, its sharp and bright display 8.3-inch (2266 x 1488) Liquid Retina display, decent battery life, and upgraded cameras, and you have a fantastic tablet companion. Plus, it's hard to beat Apple's own iPadOS and continuous updates. Now at $50 off, this is a great deal for students. 

This Samsung Galaxy S8 deal brings it down to $570

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 review

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 is unquestionably the best Android tablet for most people with solid specs, an excellent display and the included S Pen. That means it's a fantastic choice for students, especially now that its $129 off.

With a bright and vivid 11-inch LCD (2560 x 1600) display with a 120Hz refresh rate, solid performance thanks to a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, and included S pen, and more, those who like to jot down notes, watch shows, and just have a handy device to easily take around with them will adore this slab. 

This Mancro laptop backpack is down to just $23

Mancro Laptop Backpack

(Image credit: Amazon)

What do you need to store all the laptops you're picking up for less? A laptop backpack, of course. Luckily, this Mancro laptop backpack is down to just $23, and all you need to do is click on the coupon.

Along with its combination lock and built-in USB charging port, it's 20 x 12.2 x 5.7-inch size is perfect for travelling around with and tucking away. Plus, it's also water resistant, all to keep laptop sizes up to 15.6-inches nice and safe. Oh, and expect there to be room for tablets, books, and clothes, too. Along with over 10 compartments to store things in, this is a great purchase if you're after a very affordable laptop bag. 

Act fast! Samsung Galaxy Book Pro down to $750

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro

(Image credit: Samsung)

If you're after a sleek laptop to show off, this Samsung Galaxy Book Pro will do the trick. It is one of the best laptops for both on-the-go and at-home users. This particular laptop has a 15.6-inch (1920 x 1080) AMOLED display, an 11th Gen Intel Core i5 CPU, 8GB RAM, and a 512GB SSD. In our Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 we raved about its vivid 15.6-inch AMOLED display and speedy performance.

Now well below $1,000, this is a fantastic option for students, especially with its snazzy 15.6-inch AMOLED display. 

HP Pavilion laptop is now $310 off

HP Pavilion Laptop 15t

(Image credit: HP)

Looking for a sleek, reliable notebook bundled with fantastic specs for well under $1,000? This HP Pavilion laptop (15t-eg100) is the one for you. Boasting an Intel Core i7-1195G7 CPU, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, 512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD, along with Intel Iris Xe graphics, this laptop is now down to just $669 — you're saving a nifty $310!

Along with its 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) display, you'll also get to choose from an array of colors, including Natural Silver, Ceramic White, Warm Gold, and more. A great option for students. 

Lenovo Tab P11 Plus with keyboard and stylus crashes to just $299

(Image credit: Lenovo)

Now $100 off thanks to a special discount, the Lenovo Tab P11 Plus is one of the best Android tablets on the market. It was affordable before, but now its got a 25% discount. What's more, the deal throws in a stylus and keyboard.

Packed with a MediaTek Helio G90T processor, 128GB of storage, 8GB of RAM, and an 11-inch 2K (2000 x 1200) IPS touchscreen, this handy tablet is perfect for students quickly taking notes in class or simply binge watching their favourite shows. What's more, the added Lenovo Precision Pen 2 and keyboard attachment make it even better for productivity. 

Save $100 on the excellent Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite on a wooden desk

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Save $100 on the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite — its biggest discount yet. The tablet in this deal features a 10.4-inch (2000 x 1200) display, an Exynos 9611 processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.

In our Galaxy Tab S6 Lite review, it won us over with its bright, slim bezel 10.1-inch screen and premium design. Its battery life was also incredible, lasting 12 hours and 40 minutes in our battery test. We gave the Tab S6 Lite an overall rating of 4 out of 5 stars. 

Dell XPS 13 with mobile wireless mouse and epic deal badge against a pink background

(Image credit: Dell, Laptop Mag)
  • Dell XPS 13 Laptop w/ Mobile Wireless Mouse: $1,179 $930 @ Dell
    Use coupon code, "LAPTOPMAG5" at checkout.

Save $250 on the new Dell XPS 13 with Mobile Wireless Mouse Bundle. This laptop packs a 13.4- inch (1920 x 1200) anti-glare display with 500 nits of brightness. Powering the machine is the latest 3.3-GHz Intel Core i5-1230U 10-core CPU paired with 8GB of RAM, Iris Xe graphics and 512GB PCIe NVMe x2 SSD. We love the XPS 13 for its attractive, premium chassis and springy, comfortable keyboard. It's the Editor's Choice best all-around laptop. Use coupon, "LAPTOPMAG5" at checkout for the full $250 off. 

10.2-inch iPad tablet with Apple Pencil

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Save $30 on the Apple iPad 2021 at Amazon. This 9th generation iPad has a 10.2-inch Retina display with True Tone, A13 Bionic chip, 64GB of storage and stereo speakers. It sports an 8MP wide angle primary camera on the back and a 12MP ultra-wide front camera. Touch ID and Apple Pay offer secure login payment. It's the perfect tablet for students of any age. 

Get a massive $200 off JBL Under Armour Project Rock headphones!

JBL Under Armour Project Rock

(Image credit: JBL)

Can you smell what the Rock is cooking? It's not a can of whoop ass, but rather a pair of super cheap over ear headphones that will help you study distraction-free. With 45 hours of playtime, these can last your entire study sessions and more.

Plus with that signature JBL sound, you're getting a tonne of bass, balanced out by impressive mids and soaring high tones! So, you better suplex that buy button and snag a pair now before they sell out.

Save over $300 on the Microsoft Surface Pro 7+

Surface Pro 7 Plus

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

The blend of tablet and laptop makes the Microsoft Surface an incredibly versatile workhorse for any student. The keyboard and trackpad on the cover feel fantastic for essays of all sizes, while the touchscreen is super responsive and gorgeously vivid for tweaking images in Photoshop.

And now, you can snag a Surface Pro 7+ for its lowest ever price of just $599 — packing a 12.3-inch display, Intel Core i3 CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. That's enough to get all of the essentials done.

Pick up the Microsoft Surface Pro 7+ for just $599 — $330 off! (opens in new tab)

Work and play with this amazing gaming laptop deal...

Asus TUF Gaming F15

(Image credit: Future)

If you need a little extra horsepower for your work (maybe you're doing something creative that requires the Adobe suite), or you just want something that can double up as both your productivity and gaming system, this Asus TUF F15 deal offers mindblowing value for money!

The 15.6-inch FHD panel packs a silky smooth 144Hz refresh rate. Under the hood, you'll find a 12th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU, RTX 3060 GPU, 16GB DDR5 RAM and a 512GB SSD. Plus the full keyboard with numeric keypad makes this a great option for data entry.

Get $230 off the Asus TUF Dash F15 now — Just $1,069 (opens in new tab)

Get a good keyboard and mouse for under $20!

Logitech Keyboard and mouse

(Image credit: Logitech)

Next thing after a monitor is a decent keyboard and mouse, so you're not always relying on the touchpad and laptop keyboard deck.

That's where this lovely combo of wireless keyboard and mouse from Logitech comes in — packing a year-long battery life and decent ergonomics with a tactile key snap on the board, it performs a lot better than that shockingly low $18 price tag suggests.

Get this Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse combo for just $18.48! (opens in new tab)

Get $90 off this amazing low cost LG monitor

LG Monitor

(Image credit: LG)

If you want to transform the desk in your dorm into the ultimate low cost workstation, a monitor is a must. This 24-inch LG IPS panel offers a crisp 1080p picture and smooth 75Hz refresh rate to remain easy on the eyes (even in low light).

You can get $90 off at Best Buy, which reduces this to the crazy low price of just $109. With all the I/O you need to wire up your laptop and any gaming consoles, it's a great addition to any student shopping list.

Buy this LG 24-inch monitor for just $109 right now!  (opens in new tab)

Get $50 off the iPad Air (4th Gen)

iPad Air 5 vs. iPad Pro (11-inch)

(Image credit: Apple/Laptop Mag)

Need an ultraportable note taker? The iPad Air is more than proving itself as a worthwhile workhorse for all your education needs!

Get $50 off the 4th Generation model, which is the one that packs an A14 Bionic chipset. Being honest, the M1 iPad Air is kind of pointless, and this does everything you need at breakneck speeds.

Get the iPad Air for just $549

Work without distractions — Get $70 off AirPods Pro

The AirPods Pro being held in hand

(Image credit: Future)

There are a tonne of amazing true wireless earbuds, but if you use an iPhone, none unlock the full potential of a hands-free life like AirPods. And out of all of Apple's earbuds, the AirPods Pro still stand up as some of the best buds you can buy today. 

Packed with power noise cancellation and a stellar sound quality, if you need to wire in and focus on some work without the distraction of chatter or that guy in your dorms who always plays music a little too loud, these are the optimal choice.

Get $70 off AirPods Pro at Amazon right now (opens in new tab)

Let’s talk Chromebooks

Lenovo Chromebook 3

(Image credit: Lenovo )

In some ways, Chromebooks are the ultimate combo breaker for students. The Cloud-centric OS means the requirements for top-of-the-range internals are far lessened, and the free Google Drive suite ensures you have a full work suite at no cost.

With that in mind, let’s pull out two that are well worth your money. Starting small, the 11.6-inch Lenovo Chromebook 3 is just $89 (opens in new tab), which is crazy value for money if you just need something to get stuff done.

Acer Chromebook 315

(Image credit: Future)

If you want something that could also pair as a screen for falling down YouTube wormholes, that’s where the Acer Chromebook 315 (opens in new tab) comes in — packing a large 15.6-inch display, which also means you get a full numeric keypad too (great for data entry). The best bit? It’s $120 off!

How to get Microsoft office for free (and save $10 on the Xbox Series S)

Microsoft Office Logo

(Image credit: Microsoft)

This is a Back to School live blog, so this update will only focus on the fact that you can get the entire Microsoft Office suite for free by entering your school email address here. (opens in new tab)

It would be very unprofessional of us to mention that you can also get $10 off the Xbox Series S (opens in new tab) — a banger of an affordable games console that will help you blow off some steam after those more intense days of study.

Get the Xbox Series S for just $289 from Microsoft (opens in new tab)

Xbox Series S review

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

One of the best backpacks for your money just got a whole lot cheaper

Heavens Gate Backpack

(Image credit: Travellers Choice)

The Heaven’s Gate backpack from Traveller’s Choice is a fantastic bag for its portability, comfort to carry, and effective use of space — splitting into plenty of pockets and even packing a useful portable battery compartment with a hole to feed a cable through and charge your phone on the go.

And now, you can get 42% off the price at Nordstrom Rack, which brings the price down to below $40!

Get the Traveller’s Choice Heaven’s Gate backpack for just $39.97 (opens in new tab)

Get an M1 MacBook Air for its lowest ever price

MacBook Air (m1, 2020)

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

The world loves MacBooks, and this deal offers the best price-to-performance ratio on an Apple laptop! Sure, you can snag an M2 MacBook Air, but the M1 processor offers more than enough horsepower for all your working needs.

Get on over to Best Buy to snag $150 off this ultrabook — packing Apple’s top notch silicon, 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD, alongside some surprisingly powerful speakers for your binge watching needs.

Plus, this is actually a better deal than Apple offers through its student program!

Get the M1 MacBook Air for just $849 from Best Buy