Back to School
There are a lot of a great options for finding cheap textbooks online. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes and Chegg are among some of the biggest online textbook sellers out there, but now there is a new place to check out– Google. Google has added the ability to buy and rent textbooks right from the books section of their Google Play Store. Just like with Amazon and Barnes and Noble, you’ll be able to read these digital textbooks right from the Google Play Books app on your iOS or Android phone/tablet as well as from any computer by going to Google’s online Play Store and signing in.
Google advertises that they will be selling digital textbooks at up to 80% off the price of the equivalent print versions, though as with Amazon and other online textbook sellers we don’t expect this to always to be true for every textbook. As usual you’ll probably be best off looking around at multiple sites to find the best deals for the particular textbooks you need. But hey, with school starting up again in just a few weeks any ways we can save some moeny on textbooks sounds worth trying to us.
You can check out Google’s new textbook section of the Play Store here.
With just under a month to go until football fully returns it’s time to start making sure you’re ready for the season. The latest version of Madden, Madden NFL 25, comes out on August 27th for the Xbox 360 and PS3 but this year it’s coming with a lot more than just the usual roster updates and improvements like better commentary and more realistic running. This year to mark the 25th anniversary of the legendary game EA, Amazon and DirecTV have done something different. If you pre-order the special edition Madden 25 Anniversary Edition for $100 on Amazon you’ll not only get the game and a subscription to the Ultimate Team add-on, but you’ll also get a code to get NFL Sunday Ticket for free for the 2013 season. Yes, even if you’re not a DirecTV subscriber you’ll still be able to access the full Sunday Ticket Package and the Red Zone channel from any computer, or phone or tablet (iOS and Android). The code won’t work with the Sunday Ticket app on the PS3, so to get the games on your big screen TV you’ll need to connect your device to your TV. Seeing as most laptops today come with an HDMI port that shouldn’t be too hard.
The regular edition of Madden NFL 25 costs $60 on its own, so for $40 more you’re getting something that usually costs another $300 (on top of subscribing to DirecTV and installing a satellite dish). If you’re going off to school and your apartment/dorm doesn’t have DirecTV or if you just want a cheap way to get Sunday Ticket, this is a pretty amazing deal. As Kotaku points out, you don’t even need to have an Xbox 360 or PS3 to use the code– its included in the box separately so you can use it for Sunday Ticket and then re-sell your copy of Madden to GameStop or some other place.
This deal is said to be limited so you better act quick if you want to take advantage. Pre-orders are available now on Amazon and Madden NFL 25 comes out August 27th.
While it’s not as nice as last year’s buy a PC and get an Xbox 360 deal or even this year’s Apple deal, Microsoft’s new back to school deal may make purchasing that new computer a bit cheaper. Well, so long as that new computer is a Surface.
Microsoft’s online store is offering 10% off on any new Surface (the Pro with full Windows 8 and the recently discounted Surface RT), as well as 10% off any Surface accessories like the cool “click on” Touch or Type covers. With this deal you’d be getting a new Surface RT with a Type cover for a little over $400 (usually $450) or a Surface Pro 64GB for around $810 (usually $900). This discount also works for accessories like headphones, speakers, cases, mice and any other things you’d buy to help accessorize your Surface. Sadly this 10% discount looks to be Surface-only and doesn’t seem to work if you’re looking to buy a regular laptop made by any other company from the Microsoft Store.
In addition to this 10% off Surface deal, the Microsoft Store is also offering the same Office 365 deal being offered by Staples and Best Buy: buy a touch-enabled PC and you’ll get Office 365 University free for 4 years. This Office deal does include touchscreen laptops made by other companies like Lenovo, Samsung and HP but for some reason doesn’t seem to apply to the Surface Pro (at Best Buy and Staples you can get Office 365 University free for 4 years even if you buy a Surface Pro over a touchscreen laptop).
Both deals need you to verify that you are a college student by using the .edu email address provided to you by your school. For the Surface deal you can do this before you buy by heading over to this site, while if you’re taking advantage of the free Office deal at the Microsoft Store you’ll be prompted to verify your student ID at check out. For all the info head on over to the Back to School section of the Microsoft Store.
Last year Microsoft did something radically different when it came to new PCs. In addition to releasing the more touch friendly Windows 8 and Windows RT, they announced their own Surface line of tablets to go with it. These Windows tablets were designed and made by Microsoft directly– not HP, Lenovo, Acer, Dell or any other Windows PC maker and they have nice designs and some cool keyboard covers that “click” in (like in these ads for the Surface that were seemingly everywhere earlier this year). Over the weekend Microsoft dropped the price of the 32GB Surface RT down to $350, and the 64GB Surface RT down to $450 (both a discount of $150). With back-to-school season approaching this would seem like a great deal, but you may want to wait before you buy a new Surface RT.
It may be a little later than usual but today Apple revealed their 2013 back-to-school deal. The deal is similar to what it has been the past few years: when you buy any new Mac or iPad using your college ID, Apple will give you an iTunes gift card worth either $50 (if you buy an iPad) or $100 (if you buy a Mac). Apple also has now expanded the program to include the iPhone, so if you use your student ID to buy one you will also get a $50 iTunes gift card. And as usual, when it comes to Macs this is all on top of the regular discount Apple gives students (between $50-$200 off new computers. Unfortunately there is no student discount for the iPad or iPhone).
Apple says the deal will work for those in college, accepted to a college, or for a parent buying for a college student as long as you buy that new Mac/iPad/iPhone from an Apple Store (physical or online) or from one of their Apple campus stores. The deal runs until September 6th, so if you were waiting for Apple’s back-to-school deals before you bought that new MacBook or iPad, here you go.
More info: Apple
A few weeks ago we mentioned how there were some pretty big things about to happen in terms of new computers. Well today at Apple’s annual WWDC conference Apple gave the MacBook Air a pretty major update, one that was well worth waiting for.
In that earlier post we mentioned the importance of Intel’s new Core processors (also known as “Haswell”) when it came to buying a new computer because of the major promises it offered for performance and battery life improvements. How big is this update? Enough for Apple to say that their new MacBook Airs will get all-day battery life. That’s right, not 5 hours or 7 hours, but 9 hours on the 11 inch Air and 12 hours on the 13 inch Air. Basically, these new MacBook Airs should easily get you through the day without having to find an outlet. In addition to all that Apple gave the Air a few “future-proof” upgrades including support for the newest version of WiFi (called “ac.” It’s faster and has better range than older WiFi networks and will be great as more people upgrade their routers to support this new standard over the next few years).
The good news doesn’t end there, Apple also doubled the storage on the base MacBook Airs with 128GB of storage now the standard on both the 11 and 13 inch models (it used to be a very weak 64GB on the cheapest 11 inch Air). For $200 more you could double that storage to 256GB. And while the Air didn’t get upgraded to a “Retina display,” it still has all the things we loved about it like that awesome, thin design and FaceTime HD camera. It also keeps the same prices as before, and starts at $999 for the base 11 inch version (or $949 with a student discount).
The MacBook Air was already one of the best laptops available before this update. With more storage, faster speeds and insane battery life it pretty much seals it. If you’re looking for a new computer anytime soon you should definitely look at this.
The new MacBook Air is available now on Apple’s online store.
More info: Apple
With the end of the spring semester, graduations and the school year in general coming to a close over the next couple of weeks you may think that now would be a good time to buy a new computer. Graduation gifts and early back-to-school deals make that idea seem even better. Well put simply, it’s just the opposite and buying a new computer now is something you should really try not to do regardless if the next computer you plan to get is a Mac or Windows. Here’s why.
Thought all those changes coming to computers were big? Well, they’re nothing compared to what’s about to happen with phones. All the big players– Android, Windows Phone and of course, the iPhone– are due for major upgrades within the next month (we’re talking iPhone 5 big). And while there are some great deals available for today’s phones, we really think you should wait a little bit longer before signing that new 2 year contract. As we’ve said, these are huge changes.
So, what can we expect? Read on.
With school right around the corner and back to school shopping in full swing, it’s very tempting to go out and buy that new computer, phone or tablet. Stores such as Staples, Walmart, Amazon and Best Buy are all strongly advertising their back to school and Labor Day deals (in addition to the usual deals from Microsoft and Apple).
But while the deals may be great, we think you really might want to hold off on dropping a lot of money on those new gadgets. You see, the technology industry is right now in state of major updates. Pretty much every group of device– from Windows and Mac computers, to iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone, to the iPad and Kindle tablets– are due for major upgrades over the coming months. And when we say major upgrades we mean major upgrades. More >
Still looking for a new MacBook Air or Pro for school this year? Well then you may wanna check out Best Buy. As part of their back-to-school promotion, Best Buy is giving any current or incoming college student with a .edu email address $100 off any new MacBook. Now while that sounds a lot like what Apple is doing, it’s even better. Best Buy is doing this on top of the price you would pay for the MacBook had you bought directly from Apple with a student discount.
In other words, look at it like this. The latest, cheapest version of the 11 inch MacBook Air (with 64 GB of storage) normally costs $999, or $949 with the student discount when you buy directly from Apple. Best Buy starts the pricing for this Air at $949, and when you then add their student discount you’re down to $849. The more powerful, base model of the 13 inch MacBook Air (with 128 GB of storage) is normally priced at $1,199, or $1,149 with the student discount from Apple. Best Buy starts the pricing for this same Air at $1,139, so with this $100 student discount this Air is now only $1,039… you get the point. It’s a great deal.
To get the deal all you have to do is go to Best Buy’s Student Deals site, enter that .edu email and print the coupon. That’s it.
Now as great as this is there are a few downsides. The first is you’ll need that .edu email address, so if you’re in high school that might be hard to get (though you could ask a friend or sibling to let you use theirs). You also can’t customize the MacBooks like you could if you ordered directly from Apple’s site, and Apple also gives you an $100 iTunes Gift Card as part of their back to school deal, something Best Buy doesn’t seem to match.
Oh, and you can only use the coupon once and you have to use it in a Best Buy store and have your student ID with you. Sorry no online ordering.
But hey, $849 for the latest MacBook Air is definitely one of the best back to school deals we’ve seen this year.
More info: Best Buy Student Deals