It’s just about time for back-to-school deals to start cropping up. That means great discounts on student-friendly gear like laptops, phones, and backpacks. We’ve already found a few this weekend, but you’ll also find goodies like deals on a TV we love and one of our favorite tents.
Special offer for Gear readers: Get a one-year subscription to WIRED for $5 ($25 off). This includes unlimited access to WIRED.com and our print magazine (if you’d like). Subscriptions help fund the work we do every day.
Laptop, Home Office, and Gaming Deals
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, stunning performance thanks to the M1 Pro chip and 16 GB of RAM, plus you get a 1-terabyte SSD. It has a good deal more ports than previous MacBooks—an SD slot and an HDMI out.
This Inspiron is a good all-around laptop with a 12th-gen 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 deal is also available at 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 features 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 features 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 features a 2,560 × 1,440-pixel screen, 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 make sure 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 sort of giddy, absurd triumph that Nintendo hasn’t pulled off in years.” Five years later, that’s still a pretty good assessment. Here’s your chance to grab a physical copy for the Switch.
This 1080p monitor is a pretty affordable way to extend 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 (though they don’t sound great).
The exterior of this portable monitor is plasticky, and the IPS display is a bit lackluster, but it’s still relatively slim, offers a big 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 a second screen experience wherever you go, including at the coffee shop.
Home and Outdoor Deals
This 2022 model is one of our favorites, especially if your living room gets very bright. You get a center pedestal 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 well-rated online. The design is similar to the Nutribullet, which we like, and the downward-facing blades help prevent food from escaping the chopping action.
We’ve long recommended the 4-person version of this tent for its unusual combo of being lightweight yet reasonably priced. The 2-person is the same story, and this deal makes it even cheaper. The mostly mesh design provides great ventilation on warm summer nights (leave off the rain fly 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 its lightweight tents at the factory, so you’ll need to get some and do it yourself. If you need more room, the 3-person tent is also on sale for $292 ($110 off).
One of our favorite cheap phones, the Nokia XR20 (7/10, WIRED Recommends) is a good, rugged smartphone with wireless charging support. There’s a two-year warranty, and this phone will get 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.