Published on August 30th, 2016 | by Kamla Wray

The Source for Your Back-to-School Tech-buying Tips and Trends.

Technology is changing the way students learn. Teachers are shifting towards incorporating online assignments into their classroom, creating a need for students to be using laptops and notebooks. Factor in social apps and students studying away from home needing to keep in touch with family, and you can understand why buying the best-suited laptop or notebook is important.

With the new school year approaching, we caught up with Agnes Roter, Director of Retail Marketing at The Source who gave us some great insight, tips and recommendations for anyone looking to purchase tech items for students.

Do your homework
“Buying technology can be overwhelming,” explains Ms. Roter. “There are many options and specs and customers may be unsure about the value of certain features.” To help simplify the buying decision, she recommends making a list of how the device will be most frequently used – for studies, entertainment, staying in touch with family – and then chatting with a Source Store Associate about those needs. He or she will help guide the customer to options that best fit the usage.

Beats by Dr. Dre Solo2 Wireless On-Ear Headphones - Gold

Beats by Dr. Dre Solo2 Wireless On-Ear Headphones – Gold

What’s trending
Consumers are definitely looking for laptops and tablets – that is one of the absolute essentials for students. Ms. Roter says they also see customers look for accessories that allow them to make the most of their computers that go beyond a traditional printer or monitor. “Customers are buying headphones, Bluetooth speakers, and smartphones so they can be efficient at school but also stay connected and entertained during study breaks.” They also see fashion influence the decision-making process with students looking to personalize their tech. Students are opting for colour and patterns in their back-to-school gear like headphones and computer mice.

Bose Soundlink Colour Bluetooth Speaker - Blue

Bose Soundlink Colour Bluetooth Speaker – Blue

“We’re also seeing considerable innovation in the laptop category,” she explains. Convertible laptops allow users to transform their laptop into different modes (like standard, tent, stand or tablet). The HP Spectre is one example. There are also detachable models, like the Acer Aspire, which include a removable display that can be used as a tablet screen.  Then there are powerful tablet-like devices that offer portability and performance like the Microsoft Surface, Samsung Galaxy Pro, or the Acer Alpha which blend tablets and laptops and can come with unique features that take computing to another level.

Determine your needs
Customers should consider the way the computer will be used. Ms. Roter points out you should ask several questions. Does it have to be light for dorm-to-class portability? What type of work is it most often used for? Does it serve as a screen for other activities like entertainment or gaming? Does it require a lot of processing power?

She suggests once you identify a wish list of key needs and your approximate budget, it’s best to chat with a Store Associate who will be able to simplify the buying decision by making several suggestions and explaining which features would best meet your needs. For more insights on laptop buying guides, you can also see The Source’s Trending Tech stories.

Headrush Splash NFC Bluetooth Portable Speaker

Headrush Splash NFC Bluetooth Portable Speaker

Price range and budget
Price of the laptop is a very individual budget decision and The Source offers a computer for every budget. The best way to approach the decision it is to identify how and what the laptop or computer will be used for and your must-have features. From there, a discussion with a Store Associate will help narrow down the choices and guide the customer to the right product. There are multiple price options on the market today – from $300 upwards of over $1,000. Some models come with strong value and performance; others include innovative features like detachable keyboards, convertible laptop/tablet features, high definition screen quality or exceptional processing power. In short, you don’t have to break the bank to get a hard-working machine, but conversely, with some investment, you can take the specs to the next level.

In-store Member discount
CAA Members save up to 20% off the lowest-marked price at The Source. To see product savings details visit Remember, simply present your valid CAA Membership card at participating locations to start saving on your back-to-school needs.


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