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

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.

Headphones

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.

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