The Best Tech for Back-to-School 2021

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Now that the end of summer is approaching, students are getting ready for the new school year. And whether you’ll be returning in person or doing remote learning, students, especially those in high schools and universities, need to be equipped with the right tech to make sure their learning experience is everything it needs to be.

It is easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of tech available, ranging from high-tech laptops to Air Pods. The question on almost every student’s mind right now is “What do I need for school?” We put together a list of some back-to-school tech essentials to make your back-to-school decisions just a little bit easier.

 What to look for in Tech

If you’re on the prowl for back-to-school tech, we’ve got a couple of tips for you that will help narrow down your range wide options to find your perfect fit:

 1.    Quality

Tech can be expensive. And, generally, putting more money into tech means you’re getting a more reliable product with more comprehensive features. But, if putting a lot of money towards tech makes you anxious about breaks and failures, Micro Center’s Protection Plans are there to protect you from unforeseen circumstances.

 2.    Budget

Tech budgets can be odd, as your budget range may be less focused on total cost and more focused on how much certain features may cost. When setting your budget, make sure to consider everything you absolutely need before settling on a price range. And keep your eyes open for sales - Micro Center offers some of the best laptop deals around, so you might find what you're looking for cheaper than you were expecting!

 3.    Refurbished Products

As we said, tech can be expensive. But it doesn’t always have to be. Refurbished products are a great way to get to-of-the-line technology cheaper. Micro Center offers a wide range of factory-certified refurbished products, including mice, headphones, and even Apple devices!

 4.    School Requirements

If you’re shopping for back-to-school tech, be sure to check with your school to make sure your tech is compliant. There’s little worse than setting up a brand-new laptop only to find out your school required a different model! If you need some tips before shopping for computers, we put together a handy guide to help you out.


Essential Back-to-School Products

While every student is going to have different back-to-school needs, we do see certain requests come up time and time again: smartphones, laptops, desktops, headphones and backpacks. Understanding the features of each product will help you decide which one is best suited to your needs. Hopefully, we can help lower the scope of your options, but if you’re still not sure what you need, stop by your local Micro Center and one of our associates will be more than happy to help you make a perfect choice!



Like smartphones, laptops have become an absolute must-have in recent years. We’ve put together a list of some of our favorites, ranging from budget-friendly to powerhouse.


HP – 15.6” Laptop Computer:

Price: $399.99

This sleek lightweight HP 15-eF1072nr 15.6” laptop is a popular choice for students. The powerful LED black-lit LCD offers clarity and the 2.6GHz processor combined with a 256GB solid state drive offers a lightning-fast experience. And that’s not all - it has built-in stereo speakers, dual microphones, a high-definition audio system, and a battery that will keep your laptop running for hours.

Key Features

▪                 Ryzen 3 3250U Processor

▪                 256GB SSD

▪                 AMD Radeon Vega 3 Graphics

▪                 Bluetooth 4.2



Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14ITL05 14" - Laptop Computer

Price: $699.99

Lenovo has always been a reliable brand of laptops and The IdeaPad is no exception. With a 15.6” full HD anti-glare LCD, two powerful speakers, dual array microphone, USB ports, and a durable battery, you get all the features you wish to have on your laptop.

Key Features

▪                 Touch screen

▪                 Privacy shutter on the camera

▪                 Intel Core i5 11th Gen 1135G7 2.4GHz processor

▪                 512GB SSD

▪                 Bluetooth 5.0


Lenovo Yoga 2-in-1 Laptop Computer:

Price: $899.99

Lenovo Yoga 7i offers both portability and outstanding performance. It has a 14” desktop touchscreen display, sleek metal chassis, and a high-bandwidth RAM with a battery life of over 13 hours. It’s sleek, small design hides multiple USB ports, a thunderbolt port, and a powerhouse under the chassis.

Key Features

▪                 Intel Core i7 11th Gen 1165G7 2.8GHz Processor

▪                 Full HD IPS touch screen

▪                 12GB RAM

▪                 512 GB SSD

▪                 4.7GHz turbo boost speed


Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 Computer

Price: $1399.99

Although on the pricier side, the Microsoft Surface Laptop is both sleek and portable. It includes several advanced features including but not limited to hyper-threading technology, thermal monitoring, virtualization, and turbo boost technologies. Other features include a high-resolution front camera, speakers, built-in microphone, and audio system.

Key Features

▪                 Intel Core i7 10th Gen 1065G7 1.2GHz

▪                 Battery life of up to 11 hours and 30 minutes

▪                 Preloaded Microsoft 365 software

▪                 512GB SSD

▪                 Great for use at home, business, and school



Some students prefer to have a desktop along with their laptops. Having a monitor on your study table can lessen eye strain, generally offers greater storage, and usually offers a bit more customizability and power.


1.    HP 23.8” All-In-One Computer

Price: $849.99

This 23.8” desktop combines style and functionality. The wide screen offers stellar picture quality and hides a powerful Intel processor along with multiple USB and expansion ports. And if you don’t feel like using a mouse, use your finger!

Key Features

▪                 23.8” Full HD IPS Touch Display

▪                 Intel Core i5 1135G7 2.40 GHz Processor

▪                 512GB SSD

▪                 Space-saving all-in-one design


2.    Acer Aspire C27 Full HD Display

Price: $799.99

When most people think of desktop computers, they think of big, clunky towers and tons of cords. The Aspire C27 offers a full desktop experience with minimal cords and zero towers thanks to it all-in-one design, saving you space and hassle.

Key Features

▪                 27” Full HD Display

▪                 Intel Core i5 1035G1 1.0GHz Processor

▪                 512GB SSD

▪                 Space-saving all-in-one design

▪                 Wireless keyboard and mouse



Dell Inspiron 7700 27” All-In-One

Price: $1,459.99

A compact all-in-one hiding a whole lot of storage space and power. Featuring a high-end Intel i7 processor with 16GB of DDR4 RAM, as well as over 1.5TB of storage space, the Inspiron 7700 is the minimal workhorse of your dreams.

Key Features

▪                 27” Full HD Touch Display

▪                 Intel Core i7 1165G7 2.8GHz Processor

▪                 Over 1.5TB of storage

▪                 Space-saving all-in-one design


Build your own!

We can’t not mention building your own PC – it is what we’re known for! But don’t worry if you’ve never built one before. It's easy, and we have guides to help you get started and friendly staff in-store who will happily walk you through it. We can even build it for you!

Or: Go Platinum!

Looking for more laptop and desktop recommendations? Check out the Platinum Collection! Featuring computers custom-built for Micro Center, you won't find these unique configurations anywhere else. The Micro Center Platinum Collection offers top-of-the-line gaming laptops and desktops for any budget. And don't worry - you can still do your homework on them too!

Laptop Backpack

No laptop is complete without a laptop backpack, especially if you’re going to carrying it around school all day. A durable backpack not only protects your laptop but holds all your belongings, including charger, headphones, USB, and even your notebooks. Why carry multiple bags when one does the trick?




Solo Urban Hybrid Laptop Briefcase

Price: $49.99

This modern laptop case offers the benefits of both a briefcase and a backpack. It is made from durable polyester and has padded carrying handles along with removable shoulder straps making it comfortable to carry. It is ideal for any laptop with a display of up to 15.6”.

Key Features

▪                 A 5-year warranty

▪                 Hold up to 2.5lbs of weight

▪                 Several large pockets

Wenger Synergy Laptop Backpack

Price: $99.99

This polyester backpack will effortlessly carry all your belongings including your 16” widescreen laptop. The backpack is suitable for all including executives and young college students. The black color and sleek finish give a modern look.

Key Features

▪                 Ample storage

▪                 Can hold up to 3.7lbs

▪                 Highly rated


Ogio Gambit Backpack

Price: $109.99

If you have a laptop with a bigger display, this should be your top pick. It is durable and has a thick lining offering maximum protection.

 Key Features

▪                 Padded straps

▪                 Dedicated fleece-lined top-loading laptop compartment



Headphones have been a must for decades at this point, but with advancements in noise-canceling tech, it just might be time for an upgrade. Noise-canceling headphones add an extra level of distraction protection, meaning more studying and working with less slacking off. And no wires - wireless headphones mean no cord tangles or breaks!


Audio–Technica ATH M50

Price: $179.99

The Audio–Technica ATH M50 gives you exceptional sound quality and has upgraded Bluetooth technology. This pair of headphones has a modern design with high-end performance and will work well with any desktop or tablet.

Key Features

▪                 40-hour battery life

▪                 Comes with a USB cable charger and carrying pouch


Bose Headphones 700 Active Noise Cancelling Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

Price: $379.00

Turn off the world around you with the ultra-smart noise-canceling features of these Bose headphones. They even include a built-in microphone with Alexa and Google Assistant voice control!

Key Features

▪                 Intuitive touch control

▪                 Up to 20 hours battery life

Beyer Dynamic

Price: $179.99

Perfect for long online classes, the Beyer Dynamic offers clear sound quality, is comfortable to wear, and keeps all environmental noise at bay.

Key Features

▪                 Designed for long listening sessions

▪                 Impressive frequency response



Of course, Some people prefer speakers to headphones. Or, maybe you just want to fill your dorm room with sounds! If that’s you, we’ve picked some of our favorite bang-for-your-buck speakers.


Logitech Z130 Stereo Speakers

Price: $25.99

Quick to set up and easy to use, the Logitech Z130 speakers offer rich, dynamic sound quality and are a fantastic desktop speaker set.

Key Features

▪                 Easy to set up

▪                 Work with any device with a 3.5mm jack


Creative Labs Pebble 2 Computer Stereo Speakers

Price: $19.99

These orb-shaped computer speakers are equipped with a powerful 2.0 speaker system. Their small, sleek design keeps them from overtaking your workspace and add a nice bit of flair wherever they are

Key Features

▪                 Easily connected via USB cable

▪                 45-degree elevated sound stage


 Creative Labs Pebble Plus 2.1 Channel Computer Speakers

Price: $39.99

If you like the look of the Creative Labs Pebble 2 but want a little extra oomph, the Pebble Plus 2.1 boasts all the aesthetics of its bretheren with an added subwoofer to make that bass really sing. 

Key Features

▪                 Clean, sleek, minimal design

▪                 Subwoofer adds heavier bass


Smartphones are an obvious must-have, but there are more than a few options available in the market. So, we put together a list of affordable smartphones that will do everything you need them to do without breaking the bank:

Samsung Galaxy A32 Unlocked 4G – LTE

Price: $279.99

This amazing smartphone has almost all features students could want, such as a 64mp ultra-high-resolution camera, a chic design, and a 128 GB built-in memory. It is a part of the A32 series and has a 6.4” display with a 20-megapixel front camera. It also supports Bluetooth connectivity and allows for an amazing gaming experience.

Key Features

▪                 Multi-lens camera

▪                 5000mah battery timing offering more talk time

▪                 Water and dust resistance

▪                 Supports a wide range of music and video formats

▪                 6 GB system memory and SD card slot


Samsung Galaxy A02s A025M Unlocked 4GB

Price: $169.99

This Samsung Galaxy A02s has a 6.5” infinity V-shaped display. It offers easy navigation options, and a sleek matte finish. It’s octa-core processor ensures excellent performance, a long-lasting battery, improved 64 GB internal storage, and most importantly a 15W adaptive fast charging. A fantastic option for high school and college students.

Key Features:

▪                 Dark mode for nighttime use

▪                 Dual nano sim

▪                 64 GB internal storage with 1TB Micro SD

▪                 4GB RAM

▪                 Dual Nano SIM

Blue G51 Plus Unlocked 4G LTE

Price: $119.99

If battery life is a must, the Blue G51 Plus should be at the top of your list. At 4000mah, it will easily last you a day. The 6.5 HD Infinity display combined with the powerful built-in speaker is perfect for online classes. Plus, the camera is great quality for those selfies with friends.

Key Features:

▪                 Enhanced security because of the finger sensor

▪                 A 1.65GHz octa-core processor

▪                 64 GB built-in memory

▪                 8-megapixel front camera

Hopefully, we've laid some groundwork for what you might need before your or your student heads back to school. If you have any questions or need any more help, don't hesitate to comment below or visit any of our stores for in-person help!

More from the Micro Center Community:

Looking for more information about tech buying? We’ve got Community sections dedicated to buying guides and reviews, as well as buying guides for Back-To-School Computers and Build-Your-Own Computers. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for, don’t hesitate to post a new discussion and the Community will be happy to help!

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