Back To School Shopping: Don’t Break The Bank On Buying Tech

Aug 12, 2020, 8:55 AM | Updated: 9:01 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Back to school shopping is looking different this year for many students as some districts and families opt for online learning for the time being.

Many of those school districts are working to get devices to students who will be learning from home. However, for those who want to use their own devices, there’s no need to break the bank.

Here are a few things to know to make things a little smoother.

New Computer?

Some students won’t necessarily need a new computer, and parents should look into upgrading the memory on an existing computer first. Eight gigabytes is about all most people need, and it will cost less than $100 for those who own a PC.

“Desktops will usually last longer than a laptop,” said Amy Iverson, Deseret News tech columnist. “You can expect three to eight years out of a desktop, maybe three to five out of a laptop. But we all know when you’re yelling at your computer, it may be time for a new computer.”

Eye Strain

Parents should also be looking out for eye strain for those students who are doing the bulk of their learning through the computer.

May people are trying blue light glasses to minimize that strain. However, the American Academy of Ophthalmology said that while glasses may help keep the blue light from keeping you awake, there isn’t evidence that they help with eye strain.

For kids who are getting headaches staring at the screen, parents can try the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

Most devices and applications now also have a blue light filter mode in the settings.


As for headphones, noise cancelling is great because it helps eliminate distractions, but experts warn to pay attention to volume levels.

“You don’t want them blasting music or whatever is happening at school into their headphones,” Iverson said. “So you want to look for 85 decibels or below. Just look on the packaging. There are a lot of brands out there; you can get them for $50.”

The expensive headphones are designed for premium music and gaming experiences, so parents shouldn’t worry about purchasing those for schoolwork.

Iverson also said to look at battery life. Some headphones can last up to 30 hours, but for the purposes of school, five to six hours should suffice.

KSL 5 TV Live

Back to School

Holly Duke teaches all-day kindergarten at West Kearns Elementary....

Deanie Wimmer

High stakes of kindergarten readiness; what Utah schools are doing to improve student performance

Ready for kindergarten used to mean a child turned five by the cutoff date. But as the stakes and expectations get higher, teachers are encountering some surprising behaviors.

13 days ago

This week KSL+ looks at what school districts describe as “chronic absenteeism” in Utah’s sch...

Braden McElreath and Michael Houck, KSL TV

8 Utah schools have been placed on lockdown since the start 2023-2024 school year

In just two and a half weeks, seven Utah schools have issued seven lockdown protocols. 

26 days ago

Follow @KSL5TVLike us on Facebook...

Dan Rascon

Bingham High seniors petition due to school parking shortage

Some Bingham High School seniors in South Jordan, say a new parking policy for students is now preventing them from finding open stalls.

1 month ago

The outside of Ella Vista Elementary School. (KSL TV)...

Shelby Lofton

Bella Vista Elementary starts school year without air conditioning

Another Utah school is starting its school year without any AC.

1 month ago

McKinley Elementary School, Box Elder County School District. (KSL TV)...

Karah Brackin and Mary Culbertson, KSL TV

Box Elder School District among the last to head back to school; largely due to the County Fair

Box Elder School District heads back to school as one of the last districts to do so in the state. While they have unique factors to consider, students and administration are pumped for the new school year.

1 month ago

The Timekettle Translator earbuds that Herriman High School uses for their international students....

Karah Brackin and Michael Houck, KSL TV

New translation device helps international students in classes and studies

As Herriman High School continues to see the number of international students increasing, the school is turning to a game-changing device that is helping break down the language barrier.

1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

rodeo contestant on a saddle bronc...


Get Ready for the Days of ‘47 Rodeo!

The Days of '47 Rodeo is a series of events everyone in the family can enjoy, with world-class rodeo contestants vying for the gold medal.

Electric LED Lightbulb Change In Light At Home...

Lighting Design

How to Know When to Upgrade Your Lighting

This guide explores indicators that suggest it’s time for a lighting upgrade with tips to make an informed decision when you’re ready to buy. 

Brunette guy in headphones playing games on his desktop computer...

PC Laptops

Looking For a New Computer? Use This Desktop Buying Guide

Choosing a new desktop computer can come with a lot of questions, so we created this desktop buying guide.

Back To School Shopping: Don’t Break The Bank On Buying Tech