Introducing Engadget’s back-to-school buying guide

All the gear you need to start this unconventional semester off right.

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buyer's guide
Will Lipman Photography

Happy summer, friends! Yes, you read that headline right -- Engadget is already thinking about the approaching semester. To get ahead of the game, we’re thrilled to debut our 2020 back-to-school buying guide. Like the rest of 2020 so far, the start of the fall semester is shaping up to be unprecedented -- and not for the greatest reasons. Many will not be returning to campus at the end of August or right after Labor Day, but classes will begin and students will be expected to get into the academic mindset nonetheless. That’s challenging under normal circumstances, but it’ll be even more difficult this year.

We want to help college and university students everywhere by making sure they’re fully equipped to start the academic year off right -- and that includes having the information they need to make smart buying decisions. The product recommendations in this year’s guide cover tangible items like laptops and streaming devices as well as digital tools like personal budgeting software and organization apps.

While we picked out most recommendations by thinking about which are best for school work and studying, we also included gadgets that can help you unwind when you need a break from classes. We’ve also made a point to include free and affordable options, and we put together a list of the best discounts available to people with .edu email addresses (think: deals from retailers like Amazon, Apple, Samsung and Microsoft, among others). We hope our recommendations and buying advice can lift some of the metaphorical weight off your shoulders as you prepare to go back to school -- especially if an appearance on campus isn’t in the cards just yet.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
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