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Back to School Guide 2013

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To sweeten the pot for students, Best Buy is slashing prices on more exciting things than just pencils, binders, and paper. This summer is also looking like the summer of Windows 8, with a whole smorgasbord of hybrid devices, like the Lenovo Yoga Ultrabook, hitting the market, ready to be everything your student needs at all hours. Throw in new tablets like Acer’s 8 inch Iconia and high-quality budget smartphones like the Nokia Lumia 521 Windows Phone, and the bitter pill of going back to school should be a little easier for students everywhere to swallow.

So, if the deals are getting started now, you might as well get ready for the school year now. After all, summer’s the perfect time to break in all those new gadgets.

And to celebrate back to school, we’re giving away an LG Optimus G Pro smartphone for AT&T. There are several ways to enter, but you’ll get the most points for leaving a comment telling us which is your favorite back to school item on this list!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Lenovo IdeaCentre Horizon Tabletop PC

College is all about collaboration. So, get to collaborating with all your buddies, and pitch in to get the ultimate all-in-one PC for your house. Just a smidge more useful than your standard beer pong table, the Horizon is a 27’’ table PC that can be used by multiple people at once. You can all knock out work on your million-dollar app before partaking in some board games courtesy of the included extras, like joysticks and dice. I’m sure you can come up with some creative twists.

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Acer Iconia W3 Tablet

Carrying books is bad enough. Lighten the load with a PC that (almost) fits in your pocket – the Acer Iconia W3. The 8.1’’ tablet runs the full version of Windows 8, making it the smallest device on the market that packs the capabilities of a full PC. You can take notes, play Candy Crush, and chat in lecture all with something that fits in the palm of your hand.

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Lenovo Yoga Ultrabook Convertible

Students don’t sit still. They sit on couches, lay down on couches, stand up and pace, flop onto easy chairs, and contort their bodies in countless other ways in the endless pursuit of The Most Comfortable Position. So, it’d be a bonus to have a computer than can do what you do. The 11.6’’ Yoga Ultrabook has a 360 degree hinge, allowing you to position in it in whatever way is most comfortable for you, be it laptop or tablet. And, with all the specs you would find in any other high-end ultrabook, you’re not sacrificing specs for comfort, either.

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HP Envy X2 Convertible

HP took the detachable route for their convertible, the 11.6’’ Envy. That means you can bang out your all-nighter paper, then take off the display and rush it to the nearest place with a printer. Time is of the essence when it comes to procrastination, and if things get desperate, you might want the versatile Envy in your corner. And, once you’ve turned that paper in, you can keep on toting around your tablet for play – the Envy is more than capable of being an entertainment machine, too.

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Sony Vaio Pro Ultrabook

The 13.3’’ Vaio Pro Ultrabook dispenses with the convertibility – if you just need your laptop to be a laptop, it’s one of the finest choices out there. With one of the latest 4th generation Intel core processors, along with the beefed up Intel HD Graphics 4400, this ultrabook provides every bit of power that the average student needs in a thin, sturdy, lightweight body. And, like any good Windows 8 machine, it comes with a 10-point multitouch touchscreen.

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Office 365 University

Well, having a sweet new ultrabook is nice, but now you actually need to do work on it. Work you can with Office 365 University, which comes with a full four-year subscription to Microsoft’s suite of productivity software. Everything you need for writing papers, crunching numbers, and making presentations is here, along with enough cloud storage via SkyDrive to leave your hard drive completely open for music, games, and movies – the important things.

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Nokia Lumia 521 Windows Phone

The high-end world of smartphones is an amazing playground of cutting-edge, powerful technology. It also costs a lot of money. Students are not known for having much of that. So, it’s always nice when you can find a budget phone that doesn’t feel too much like a budget phone. That’s the Lumia 521, a low-end smartphone with specs good enough to keep you connected at all times. Better yet, students everywhere can avoid commitment, too – the Lumia 521 is a special edition released just for T-Mobile as a prepaid phone.

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New HTC One

Students looking for the latest and greatest can turn to the New HTC One, HTC’s flagship Android smartphone. With a 1080p display, one of the latest quad-core processors from Qualcomm, and an advanced camera that puts many other smartphone cameras (and some point-and-shoots) to shame, the New HTC One has arguably generated more buzz than the Galaxy S4 this year. And, students won’t have to break the bank they don’t have – the New HTC one is selling from Best Buy for $100, as long as you make that two-year pact with AT&T first.

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Logitech FabricSkin Keyboard Folio for iPad

The thing about mobile devices is that other people are going to see them, too. So, you could get a janky looking cheap case, or you could get the FabricSkin Keyboard Folio, if you’re an iPad owner. The iPad case is surrounded by synthetic matte leather or cotton and comes in one of many bold, rich color schemes. The folio case closes securely with a magnetic clasp, and includes a Bluetooth keyboard for easy productivity on the go. Style and substance, all in one – hard to argue with that.