All Articles Tagged "laptop"
In technology, it’s out with the old, in with the new.
A new report this week shows that people aren’t investing in new personal computers the way they once were. Instead, shoppers are paying much more attention to tablets and smartphones, with a new Microsoft operating system driving little enthusiasm in the tech marketplace. According to The Wall Street Journal, third quarter PC shipments fell eight percent, the steepest drop since at least 2001. And sales around the back-to-school period weren’t as robust as usual.
This trend is accompanied by the decline of the mouse. And once again, the tablet is partly to blame. With more people purchasing tablets, which have touchscreens, the mouse is becoming obsolete. “Instead of focusing on a single device to access technology, innovators are expanding their horizons to gizmos that respond to body motions, the voice, fingers, eyes and even thoughts,” writes The Washington Post. “Some devices can be accessed by multiple people at the same time.”
With young children increasingly using tablets in their daily lives — for learning and for play — it’s unlikely that these trends will turn around. Aww… kind of sad. Soon you’ll be adding your PC and your mouse to the pile of old gadgets collecting dust in the back of the attic. Anyone out there planning on buying a desktop anytime soon? Anyone?
Classes are slowly coming back in session, so it’s no time to slack on school supplies for your kids (though some people are noticeably waiting a little longer to buy those supplies). With various technologies out there geared toward students, sending your children to school with just a ruler, a pen and some paper probably won’t be enough.
If you are thinking about buying a laptop, smartphone or tablet for your 14 or 15-year old you are thinking right.
“Parents today see the value in helping their kids get an early start on becoming more comfortable with technology, which is why you’re seeing more tech in smaller and younger hands every day,” advises a Best Buy spokesperson, who spoke with us via email. He notices the change in technology affecting even how normal school supplies are marketed. “You’ll also notice that the growth in technology has also altered other back to school supplies. For example, many backpacks now include a pocket for a laptop.”
Access to the Internet is also becoming an increasing way students are getting access to their homework, e-textbooks and other class material.
Making Your Purchase Affordable
Nowadays, it’s important that parents budget for these technological needs. Although a laptop or other technologies might seem rather costly, there are ways to make these classroom necessities a little more affordable. “It’s always a good idea to start with your school and ask about any software site license programs they may have, as well as group technology buying programs,” recommends a Best Buy spokesperson.
If you are not tech savvy enough to handle another piece of equipment, many stores have salespeople willing to help you understand and work the device. (Your kids might know how to work it already!)
Online versus In-Store Shopping
If you are more of an in-store shopper, use the back-to-school sales to your advantage and go into a store for your child’s latest gadget.
“Parents looking at new technology should stop into local stores with their children to check out new gadgets to better get a feel for how well the keyboard fits them, how heavy the device might be if it needs to be portable” and other features and benefits, adds Best Buy.
Online technology shopping is also another great (and increasingly popular) option, with plenty of back-to-school and online shipping and delivery deals that will increase your savings. Check your daily email newsletters and the gadget’s official website and you might find discounts for students beginning high school and college.
What Gadget Works For Your Child
If you have a younger child who is in grade or middle school, many parents should be looking for a desktop PC, if you don’t already have one. Besides being able to monitor your child’s computer access in an open place in the home, desktop PCs are less likely to be destroyed.
For students in high school and beginning college this year, laptops are more of a benefit to their academic success. Laptops are great for older students who have more classwork requiring note-taking, going online for research, typing up essays and for students who are “leaving the nest” for college. Once your child hits college, a laptop is almost essential for every major.
From the grade-school level to high schoolers, here are a few gadgets you should consider purchasing for your child to maximize their success this school year.
Used to be that school supplies mostly consisted of pencils, paper and a new backpack. Nowadays, college students also have to make an investment in new tech supplies if they’re going to make the grade.
Schools still provide students with access to a computer lab, but for many, a laptop has long been a college necessity. College computer labs are accessible, but most useful for printing documents or a quick email check. The latest MacBook Pro will put you out about $2,000 (whew!), but there are perfectly good alternatives in the $500 to $700 range all over the Internet.
Also on the must-have list are mobile phones. Not the “free with your contract” deal, but the latest smartphones, which can cost a couple hundred bucks even with a commitment. Add the monthly cost of service, and there’s a real expense.
This infographic produced by OnlineColleges shows that students aren’t just using their phones to call home and text their friends. They’re accessing social networks, and using them for school- and work-related tasks. At this point, a student who doesn’t have access to social networks — whether via a broadband connection or mobile device — is at a severe disadvantage. The ability to access information on the go has upped that ante.
The latest digital option for many students are e-books. There can be some savings on books purchased electronically. For instance, I once bought a book of classic short stories for 99 cents on Kindle. But USA Today points out that, in some cases, the savings is small. In other cases, the need to ultimately print out the book, in part or in its entirety, can drive up the cost. And at some schools, e-books are required.
Then there’s the cost of purchasing the device on which to read these books. Amazon’s Kindle starts at $79 and goes up to $199 for the Fire tablet. Barnes & Noble just knocked $20 off the price of the Nook, but it too approaches $200. And then there’s the iPad, which promises a brand new learning experience, but starts at $399. Apple offers education pricing, which includes a $50 gift card for apps if you’re purchasing the device for school.
Speaking of apps, USA Today also has a list of apps especially for students, many of which are free.
Add to these tech expenditures the increased cost of tuition. In many states, the cost for in-resident tuition at state schools is going up. In some cases dramatically. Here are some ways we recently suggested to help pay for college.
Google ChromeBooks are the latest tech toy to hit the scene. The cloud-based OS meets the laptop is the concept behind this much-discussed product. While built and optimized for web use, these computing devices may be new entrants but most players in the game are in agreement that ChromeBooks are not really all that revolutionary. Consumers will want to make decisions after careful analysis but at least here are what could be considered the best 5 elements that ChromeBooks currently have to offer:
#1 - Google apps such as Gmail are available off-line. This means not having to actually connect so it saves time. Ideal for Gmail, Google News and otherwise Google app addicts
#2 – The new Angry Birds app comes loaded and ready to go. And who can’t live without that?! That’s right, the mobile gaming hit is available to Chrome users, even offline. And users of this software get a special set of Angry Birds levels. Let the games begin.
#3 – The price starts at only $399 (though it is debatable as to whether this is a steal or not based on what the product actually offers). There are also plans to ship a smaller model, with an 11.6-inch screen and a full-size keyboard. Both models will be available in WiFi-only or 3G connected
#4 – It’s produced by Samsung which is really making some of the best made devices out today. Samsung is going to charge $429 for the WiFi version, and $499 for the 3G model
#5 – Educational institutions can lease a ChromeBook for only $20 per month (via Google, 3 years) and only $28 a month for businesses. Google says that users can avoid system crashes, long boot times, application conflicts, software updates, viruses and security issues. Thus, they see the benefit of higher productivity and ease of use for schools and businesses
All in all, an interesting development, but the verdict is not out just yet on if you, the consumer, will actually gravitate to Chromebooks.
(BusinessWeek.com) – Apple’s (AAPL) iPad is helping cool the computer industry’s netbook fever. Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs has made no secret of his disdain for the popular, inexpensive mini-notebooks. “Netbooks aren’t better than anything. They’re just cheap laptops,” Jobs said at the Jan. 27 launch of the iPad tablet computer in San Francisco.