Monthly Archives: August 2012

Back To School 2012: Why You Should Hold Off On Buying That New Computer

teens back to school computer

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. Read the rest of this entry

Back To School Deal Of The Day: Get A New MacBook Air For $849 From Best Buy

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

T-Mobile Bringing Back Unlimited Data On September 5th

tmobile logo

One of the biggest problems with cell phones today is the data plans. We all want them but they’re expensive and figuring out how much data you will need each month is still no easy task. It used to be that all the carriers offered “unlimited” plans, but over the last few years both Verizon and AT&T have switch to capped, tiered plans (such as $30 a month for 3 GB of data), with an extra $10 for every GB over that 3 GB. Sprint was the only carrier to really keep truly unlimited internet. Of course, up until recently Sprint didn’t have a 4G LTE network like AT&T and Verizon, so while you got the unlimited internet it was nowhere near as fast and useful as it could be.

T-Mobile meanwhile offered a mix of capped and unlimited plans, giving you 2 GB of fast “4G” data, but slowing down to much slower 2G once you went over that 2 GB (something called “throttling”). You didn’t have to pay more, but it still sucked.

Fortunately this is all about to change. Starting on September 5th T-Mobile will be bringing back full, unlimited 4G data for $30 a month. This means no more worries about going over your limit or seeing your data slowed down to something that’s practically unusable. And while T-Mobile has yet to launch their 4G LTE network (it’s said to be coming next year), T-Mobile’s current 4G HSPA+ network offers speeds very close to Verizon and AT&T’s LTE networks and already covers most of the country.

T-Mobile will continue to offer their current data plans, which slow down speed once you hit 5 or 10 GB but allow you to use your phone as a hotspot. All in all, if you’re on T-Mobile this is some great news.

More info: T-Mobile