Back-to-school deals on laptops, Chromebooks, displays, and more have already begun as retailers discount computers and other gear that students need for college and high school. Like on Prime Day, online retailers discount older hardware to clear their shelves. That’s not always a bad thing for consumers, as some products (displays, for example) don’t dramatically improve from year to year.
Here you’ll find the best back-to-school laptop deals, as well as back-to-school sales on Chromebooks, MacBooks, iPads and tablets, and monitors and displays. We already know what makes a good laptop or tablet, and we’ve scoured the deal pages on Amazon, Best Buy, Adorama and other retailers to share the best discounts on the best products.
We’ll update this page frequently, weeding out expired deals for the latest discounts. But please note: Deals expire quickly, so some of the discounts below may no longer be available by the time you click.
College students should be sure to check out recommended configurations for their course of study. For example, the engineering department at the University of Notre Dame recommends a Windows 11 Pro (not Home) laptop with a quad-core Intel Core i7, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of NVMe (SSD) storage, and to avoid Chromebooks. At Mississippi State, a business student needs a cheaper Core i5 laptop with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. Only Windows 10 is required.
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Back to school laptop deals
These back-to-school laptop deals focus mainly on productivity laptops, generally emphasizing 1080p displays that can be toted from classroom to classroom. Of course, students can add external storage and cloud storage to supplement what a laptop contains. These back-to-school laptop sales mix the latest hardware with more powerful alternatives from yesteryear.
HP Envy x360 2-in-1, AMD Ryzen 7 5825U, 12GB RAM, 512GB SSD, 15.6-inch 1080p, $699.99 at Best Buy (33% off)
Lenovo Yoga 7i 2-in-1, Core i7-12700H, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD, 13.6-inch 2560×1600, $1,299.99 at Best Buy (24% off)
Microsoft Surface Pro 8 (w/keyboard), Core i5-1135G7, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 13-inch 2880×1920, $1,099.99 at Best Buy (19% off)
HP Pavilion 2-in-1, Core i3-1215U, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 14-inch 1080p, $379.99 at Best Buy (37% off)
Microsoft Surface Pro 8, Core i5-1135G7, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, 13-inch 2880×1920, $899.99 at Adorama (18% off)
HP’s Envy is a powerful little content-creation machine that should hold up well to the demands of college—and with top-tier battery life, too, as our recent HP Envy review indicates. And if you can talk someone into buying that older Inspiron from Adorama (with a 9th-gen CPU but a GTX1050), you can take a budget gaming laptop to college, too. The two Surface Pro 8s are useful, but they’re tricky for taking notes in a lecture hall.
Back to school Chromebook deals
These back-to-school Chromebook deals are just as good or better than Prime Day deals, with Chromebook discounts hitting nearly 50 percent. Expect Chromebook sale prices to remain low as retailers and manufacturers attempt to move inventory.
College life generally runs on laptops, and not Chromebooks, but Chromebooks are still useful for elementary and even middle-school students, especially as secondary machines. A lovely Lenovo Flex 5i is at the top of our list. It offers a good processor, sufficient memory, and a comfortable screen size.
Back to school MacBook deals
Apple is reluctant to discount MacBooks that much, but there are still back-to-school MacBook discounts out there. The MacBook back-to-school sales just aren’t as appealing as in Windows laptops.
MacBook Pro 14-inch, M1 processor, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, $1,749.99 on Amazon (13% off)
If students need a tablet for when they go back to school, we think that these suggestions offer the best deals. Unfortunately, if you want a full-size iPad, your pickings are slim and barely a “deal.”
Lenovo Tab P11 Plus w/keyboard, 11-in., 128GB, $279.99 at Amazon (20% off)
Apple iPad Mini 4 w/Cellular (Renewed), 7.9-in., 128GB, $209.00 at Amazon (71% off)
Apple iPad (2021), 10.2-inch, 64GB, $309.00 at Amazon (6% off)
Amazon’s Renewed discounts can be massive, as this iPad Mini 4 (with cellular!) indicates. We’ve shied away from Amazon’s own Fire tablets only because students will need flexibility to add apps that they may use in school.
Back to school monitor deals
College dorm rooms and lecture halls don’t offer an enormous amount of space for additional monitors, so there aren’t as many back-to-school monitor deals as you otherwise might expect.
HP 23.8-inch 24mh, 1080p 60Hz, $149.99 on Amazon (14% off)
Acer 21.5-inch SB220Qbi, 1080p 60Hz, $99.99 on Amazon (23% off)
Samsung 32-inch LU32J590UQNXZA, 4K 60Hz, $299.99 on Amazon (12% off)
MOUNTUP Single Monitor Desk Mount (17- to 32-inch screens, 17.6lb), $39.99 at Amazon (11% off)
HUANUO Single Monitor Desk Mount (13- to 35-inch screens, 26.4lb), $48,71 at Amazon (39% off)
We’re going to assume that you’re not going to college to game, so we’ve (mostly) emphasized 60Hz displays, with a mix of 1080p and 4K. What are the two monitor mounts at the end of the list? Well, since dorm rooms don’t often have a lot of desk space, a mount allows you to add an extra display by mounting it on an adjustable arm, via a desk clamp. Pay attention to the weight of the display you’re attaching, but these two mounts should accommodate most displays.
Retailers often won’t tell you when these sales end, though it’s likely they’ll be available for some time. Prices may change as retailer stock fluctuates. Remember, the pandemic is still affecting the supply chain, especially electronics from Asia. It may make sense to figure out what you want and buy early, if possible.
When are tax free weekends scheduled?
Tax-free weekends are run by some U.S. states to encourage shopping, especially for items like back-to-school purchases. Five states—Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon—never charge sales tax. We’ve listed the states that are scheduling tax-free weekends, as well as a link to the fine print, as compiled by RetailMeNot.
For example, if you live in Arkansas and buy a laptop from Amazon on August 7, you won’t pay sales tax. There are some exceptions that vary by state: In New Mexico, retailers aren’t required to participate. Each state has different exemptions that apply to different products at different price ranges, and these discounts (generally) apply to national retailers. Check the details!
Alabama: July 15-July 17, at midnight. Details.
Arkansas: Aug. 6-Aug. 7, at midnight. Details.
Connecticut: Aug. 21- Aug. 27. Details.
Florida: July 25-Aug. 7. Details.
Iowa: Aug. 5- Aug. 6, at midnight. Details.
Maryland: Aug. 14- Aug. 20, at midnight. Details.
Massachusetts: Aug. 13- Aug. 14. Details.
Mississippi: July 29-July 30, at midnight. Details.
Missouri: Aug. 5 – Aug. 7 at midnight. Details.
New Jersey: Aug. 27-Sept. 5. Details.
New Mexico: Aug. 5-Aug. 7, at midnight. Details.
Ohio: Aug. 5- Aug. 7, at midnight. Details.
Oklahoma: Aug. 6-Aug. 8. Details.
South Carolina: Aug. 5-Aug. 7, at midnight. Details.
Tennessee: Back-to-school tax-free weekend runs July 29-31 at midnight. Details.
Texas: Aug. 5-Aug. 7. Details.
Virginia: Aug. 5- Aug. 7, at midnight. Details.
Will schools go back to virtual classrooms in 2022?
No, it certainly doesn’t seem so. At this point, schools aren’t in session, and school districts are still preparing for the fall 2022 school term. But we haven’t seen any mention about a return to virtual classrooms as a result of the pandemic or monkeypox.
PCs vs Chromebooks: Which is better for school?
We have a lengthy overview of the advantages of Chromebooks versus laptops, but the simple answer to this question is: whatever your school district tells you.
A Chromebook is better for school if your child will be working “online,” meaning in the classroom but on a Web site that’s authorized by the teacher. A PC is more useful if your child will be using apps, such as Minecraft for Education, or transitioning from elementary school to middle school, or from middle school to high school. The extra flexibility to run apps (and, yes, games) will be appreciated by your child. Colleges and universities almost always ask their students to bring PCs or Macs with them, so a laptop is most appropriate.