All around the country, children go back to school. After years of distance learning, you may be eager to get back to the daily grind. However, as the Delta variant grows, it may be a good idea to prepare for unforeseen events, shutdowns, or future hybrid schedules. Whether you’re entering high school or college, or you’re a teacher getting back to business, there are sales on some of our favorite school supplies.
Can’t see anything you need? Be sure to check out our summaries of the best student laptops, the best masks, or the best college dorm essentials.
Update August 11, 2021: We added the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 and changed the prices.
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If your child’s school has gotten far away, they have hopefully provided them with laptops to use around the house. College students, however, need theirs.
We were shocked to see this MacBook on sale this weekend. Of course, $ 100 isn’t a huge discount, but it’s rare to see Apple computers at a discount. This one has a battery that should last a whole day of school. You can also get it from B&H on sale. If you’re a student, you can also use your .edu email address for an additional discount (and a pair of AirPods).
If you’re more of a Google fan, get the Pixelbook Go. It’s one of our favorite Chromebooks, and it comes straight from the company that powers Chrome. The battery lasts all day and has a nice touch keyboard.
Surface Pro 7 offers the best of laptop and tablet worlds. Its lightweight tablet size is easy to carry and offers great battery life, but it also runs on Windows, giving you access to all the software you are likely to need. This deal is for the 10th generation Intel i5 model with 8 gigabytes of RAM and a 128 gigabyte SSD. Several other models are also on sale if you need more hard drive space. For college use, you definitely want the Type Cover, which costs $ 130 more for a simple black keyboard cover or $ 160 for a more sophisticated version at the Alcantara.
The price of this Chromebook has fluctuated, but we usually see it hovering around $ 500. If you don’t mind a Chromebook made by a company other than Google, this is our top pick. You can use it as a laptop, tablet, or with a stand for watching videos, and it got almost 11 hours of battery life in our testing.
Most students will benefit from a good pair of noise-canceling headphones to stifle roommates chatter during their studies or just to relax. You might also want to check out our list of cheap headphones.
These are some of the best noise canceling headphones we’ve tried – WIRED writer Parker Hall gave them a rating of 9/10. They’re stylish and have a 30-hour battery life, with better noise cancellation and better audio scaling than previous versions. The microphone is also nice for Zoom calls, if you are still taking virtual lessons.
Beats headphones are stylish, and these are plush and comfortable on your ears. And, of course, they minimize outside noise. These are also on sale at Target and Best Buy.
Cut out coupon on page to see full discount at checkout. These are our favorite inexpensive wireless heads, and often at a discount. They sound great, have a battery life of six hours, and come with an assortment of ear tips for extra comfort. As the name suggests, they are available in cool colors like pink, green, and gold in addition to the standard black.
A good backpack is essential. Whatever class you head into, you need one that will fit all your stuff, feel comfortable, and last for at least a few years. Check out our guide to laptop backpacks for all of our favorites.
This is the most versatile of the bags we reviewed. It can take you from work to school to nights away from home. There is a compartment for a 13 inch laptop, as well as a removable insert with pockets so you can keep your diary and water bottle close at hand. It’s light too.
We love a multi-use product, including this bag that can range from a tote to a traditional backpack – the straps can be hidden in the back panel so you always have them with you when you need to change it. It can hold laptops up to 16 inches. Certain colors are also on promotion on the Bellroy site.
This backpack is designed for women which is not necessary but can be useful if you have a hard time finding bags suitable for your torso and hips. It’s lightweight and has a 15-inch fleece-lined hanging laptop pocket.
A bunch of Dagne Dover products are already discounted, with an additional 25% off for new and upgraded bags. The new neoprene bags have new logos and a recycled liner, which we appreciate, considering the neoprene is not environmentally friendly. However, the Dakota backpack and Ryan laptop bag (now $ 101, $ 34 off) that we tried are great, attractive bags that are worth putting up for sale.
If you don’t need a bag, a free pencil case isn’t the reason to buy one. However, it is a good addition for a brand that I really love. The Backpack Mini ($ 95) is my favorite. It packs a 13 inch laptop and a ton of other school or work accessories you might need. Plus, it’s waterproof and it looks really good.
Office Accessories Deals
Some of these choices are also great if you are a parent who continues to work from home. Our guide to laptop stands also has other suggestions.
Laptop stands were once relegated to full-time office workers, but with Covid-19 pushing school online, homebound students could use one as well. A riser is cheaper than buying a standing desk, and this one is easy to use, so you can sit and stand as many times a day as you want. You can also get it for $ 90 from the Monoprice website.
If you have a MacBook Pro or laptop with an annoying lack of ports, a docking station lets you plug in an external keyboard, mouse, or printer. This one from Lention comes with ports for HDMI, VGA and DisplayPort; SD and Micro SD card readers; one USB-C port, two USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0; Ethernet; and a 3.5mm audio port.
The office chairs in the dorm are uncomfortable. Adding a cushion can help. Julian Chokkattu, editor-in-chief of WIRED, likes this memory foam one that’s comfortable and has a washable cover.
If you are on a hybrid schedule where you are at school on some days and remotely on others, a portable monitor will allow you to easily do your work from anywhere. We love the touchscreen model, but unfortunately it’s out of stock right now.
If you need something bigger for your job, this monitor is a good option. It is thin, with a high pixel resolution (2560 x 1440) and HDR support in some applications.
We liked this webcam, but it was not worth the full price. This discount makes it a much better buy.
Staying organized and on top of all your upcoming assignments and exams is key to reducing stress and improving grades. I myself am a fan of paper diaries.
A few of the WIRED Gear Team staff are big fans of the Happy Planner. You can get horizontal or vertical layouts, as well as mini sizes if you are limited in backpack space, as well as those meant for teachers. There are cute designs and the little sayings added between months aren’t overly out of date. If you want to do it all and add stickers, the company has them too, as well as expansion packs if you want to keep your current Happy Planner but need a few more months. You can find discounted Happy Planners at Michael’s and Amazon.
I needed a diary overhaul recently and opted for this one after spending way too much time browsing the aisles at Michael’s. It has a vertical weekly layout, which I prefer, giving you ample space to record your lessons and homework. Plus, it keeps you up to date with moon phases, astrological explanations, and planetary retrogrades. Month dividers also feature cute astrological art.
Dormitory Accessories Offers
Dorm life isn’t all about laptops and headphones. Your bedroom, no matter how small and intimate, should be comfortable. We hope these offers help you.
If your dorm allows you to bring small appliances, a mini Instant Pot is a great choice. You can make soups, yogurt, rice or steamed vegetables when the dining room is closed. This one is also for sale on Amazon.
I don’t know how I slept until I discovered the weighted blankets. All the students could use the feeling of being rocked from time to time. You can get this one in 10, 15, or 20 pounds, and it’s about the size of a blanket, so it should fit well on dorm beds or futons.
Besides a weighted blanket, I think everyone should own a dress, and this one gives you the best of both. Its fabric is soft and plush, and it has a 3 pound insert in the collar. It won’t look like a ton of bricks on your shoulders, but rather light massage pressure.
You can sift a smart bulb and turn it on and off with your phone. And some, like this one, also have color options. This is a very decent discount – we usually see the Yeelight bulb for around $ 30.
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