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Best student laptop deals for March 2022

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Best student laptop deals for March 2022

Computers are essential for many of us today, and we know as well as anybody that they don’t come cheap. Furthermore, being a student often means that money is tight even at the best of times. Tuition, books, food, clothes, and nights out can all add up real quick, leaving little cash left over when it’s time for a new computer. On top of that, purchasing a new laptop requires a bit more research than buying a new pair of earbuds, and it sometimes necessitates a bit of careful budget-stretching as well. To help lessen the load, we’ve hunted down the six best student laptop deals available this month, with each pick ringing in at less than a grand — and most for much less than that:

Best student laptop deals

  • Gateway Ultra Slim 11-Inch Notebook$169 + 1 Year of Microsoft 365 Personal, was $199
  • Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i 2-in-1 Laptop$349, was $540
  • HP 17t Laptop$440, was $610
  • Microsoft Surface Laptop Go$600, was $700
  • Dell G15 RTX 3050 Ti Gaming Laptop$700 with code SAVE17, was $1,219
  • Apple MacBook Air (2020, M1 CPU)$929, was $999

Gateway Ultra Slim 11-Inch Notebook — $169 + 1 Year of Microsoft 365 Personal, was $199

The new Gateway 11-inch ultra-slim notebook.

On the slimmest of budgets but need a new laptop? It doesn’t get much more economical than the Gateway Ultra Slim Notebook. It offers an Intel Celeron processor along with 4GB RAM, so you’re good to go with writing documents or performing other basic tasks such as photo editing. A compact 11.6-inch HD display means you won’t have to worry about this thing weighing you down, unlike larger laptops that can be a pain to carry around all day.

Lightweight and unassuming, it’s ideal for the average student who simply needs a work tool rather than anything more specialist. Its 64GB of flash storage is big enough to store your work files for those times you’re not near Wi-Fi and can’t access your cloud storage, and since it runs Windows 10, you don’t have to worry about being unable to use your Windows software like you would with a Chromebook.

Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i 2-in-1 Laptop — $349, was $540

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

With a great combination of modern hardware and 2-in-1 touchscreen versatility, the Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5 is a great workhorse of a laptop. It has a 14-inch fold-flat 1080p touch display, a snappy 11th-gen Core i3 processor, 4GB RAM, and a nice quick 128GB SSD for responsive file storage and app loading. Its specs are simple but ideal for working and general use, and should last for awhile.

The CPU is speedy enough that it’ll open apps and run software quickly, and while this might not be as sleek and stylish as a MacBook (see our final pick for that), it’s much more affordable. Lenovo laptops are also pretty great when it comes to sturdiness and reliability so you won’t have to worry about it taking the odd bump or knock when you’re carrying it from class to class.

HP 17t Laptop — $440, was $610

HP 17t laptop with optional touch display.

If you need the extra screen space of a larger display, the HP 17t Notebook is an excellent choice for a budget-friendly student laptop. It has a 17-inch screen which gives you a lot more room to work with as you study than any of the compact ultrabooks that populate the laptop market today. Despite that, it still offers up plenty of battery life which is great for when you’re in the library or classroom all day.

An 11th-gen Intel Core i3 processor (a nice CPU to see at this price point) and full 8GB RAM provides enough power for juggling more than a few tabs and windows, while a 256GB SSD gives you some high-speed storage for your documents, projects, and work programs. It’s reasonably lightweight too, weighing slightly more than five pounds and measuring less than 0.8-inch thick, making it easy to carry around despite it being a full-sized laptop.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go — $600, was $700

Clearly a little inspired by the understated simplicity of MacBooks and iPads, the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go combines sleek design with no-nonsense workhorse hardware. It’s also practical thanks to its gorgeous 12.4-inch PixelSense display with a 3:2 aspect ratio. That increased vertical screen real estate will make you never want to look at a 16:9 laptop again.

The Surface Laptop Go is comfortable enough to work on for hours, but is eminently portable due to its compact size and streamlined modern design (yet doesn’t feel cramped thanks to its 3:2 screen). It’s lightweight and measures only 0.62 inches thick, so it won’t be bulky to carry around between classes. With a 10th gen Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, a 128GB SSD, and generous battery life, you won’t be left without enough juice for work and everyday use, either.

Dell G15 RTX 3050 Ti Gaming Laptop — $700 with code SAVE17, was $1,219

The Dell G15 gaming laptop in silver.

Students love to game after class, and just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t have a good gaming laptop. The Dell G15 offers all the best elements of a modern gaming laptop including a 15-inch 1080p 120Hz display, a reasonable weight so it’s not too bulky to lug around campus, and a discrete GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU for when it’s time to get your game on after your studies. And with a 512GB SSD, you’ve got some high-speed storage for your productivity software, assignments, music, and — of course — your game library.

For study and play, this laptop has just about everything you need while keeping costs down. With a Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM, it’ll be good for everything from photo and video editing to word processing. A nice (but not garish) backlit keyboard is nice, too, for those late-night study and gaming sessions.

Apple MacBook Air (2020, M1 CPU) — $929, was $999

Macbook Air M1
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

If your heart is set on MacOS, then the late 2020 13-inch Apple MacBook Air is the student laptop for you. It looks gorgeous and has all the conveniences that come with a MacOS-based system. It has recently been updated to include Apple’s amazing new M1 processor along with 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD drive, so it packs a punch when it comes to being suitably speedy for work and multi-tasking. It’s not aimed at gaming or anything like that, but as a productivity-based device, it’s good to go. You won’t have any issues loading up files quickly and running your favorite programs smoothly.

The laptop also has Touch ID support, which is a useful and highly convenient security measure. There’s also that lovely 12-hour battery life, meaning you won’t have to worry about recharging it as often as most other laptops.

How to choose a student laptop

Before you buy a student laptop, you need to know what you’re looking for. Perhaps the most important thing to know is your budget. Ideally, everyone wants the best and the fastest but if your budget is low then it’s smart to temper your expectations to avoid disappointment.

Laptops generally don’t make good devices for playing games, so most student laptops don’t bother with a dedicated graphics card. Instead, you want a system that is reasonably speedy with a reliable processor and sufficient storage space for the operating system. A lot of the time, you’ll be uploading files to the cloud anyway for your teachers to check so you don’t have to worry about a massive hard drive to store everything, although it can be helpful for the added flexibility.

Don’t worry so much about the screen size. Less is generally more, saving you money and sometimes providing you with superior screen quality. A 13-inch screen might sound small but you soon get used to it and all laptops tend to have a way of plugging them into a separate screen if you decide you want a monitor further down the line. A smaller screen means less to carry around too when you’re back in class and need to transport your laptop around campus.

When picking out a productivity orientated laptop, consider what operating system you want. Nowadays, you have the choice of Windows, MacOS, or ChromeOS. The majority of people are used to Windows but that doesn’t mean it’s the fastest or the best, but if you’re keen to not have to relearn anything, it might still be the most tempting idea.

Alternatively, MacOS is a very efficient operating system because it’s designed for the hardware it’s tied into. However, Macs cost considerably more than a Windows or ChromeOS-based laptop, although they do tend to last longer. They’re great as stylish systems to show off with but few students can easily afford the high asking price. In terms of value for money, they’re not great.

For a great student laptop deal, most students will be fine with a Chromebook. A lot of the time, you’ll be writing documents in Google Docs and Chromebooks lend themselves perfectly to this method. You won’t be able to play games on them but as a solely work device, they’re inexpensive and easy to use. Simply log into your Google account and you can easily save files to the cloud. There’s the added convenience of not having to worry if you need to switch to a different system either — your files will always be there via your account details. You won’t have to scrimp on style either with the devices often looking super stylish and lightweight. Expect better battery life with most Chromebooks than a Windows-based system, too.

We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and we choose what we cover carefully and independently. The prices, details, and availability of the products and deals in this post may be subject to change at anytime. Be sure to check that they are still in effect before making a purchase.

Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.

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AMD CEO says 5-nm Zen 4 processors coming this fall

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Did you miss a session from GamesBeat Summit 2022? All sessions are available to stream now. Watch now.


Advanced Micro Devices revealed its 5-nanometer Zen 4 processor architecture today at the Computex 2022 event in Taiwan.

The new AMD Ryzen 7000 Series desktop processors with Zen 4 cores will be coming this fall, said Lisa Su, CEO of AMD, in a keynote speech.

Su said the new processors with Zen 4 architecture will deliver a significant increase in performance upon their launch in the fall of 2022. Additionally, Su highlighted the strong growth and momentum for AMD in the mobile market as 70 of the more than 200 expected ultrathin, gaming and commercial notebook designs powered by Ryzen 6000 Series processors have been launched or announced to-date.

In addition, other AMD executives announced the newest addition to the Ryzen Mobile lineup, “Mendocino;” the newest AMD smart technology, SmartAccess Storage; and more details of the new AM5 platform, including support from leading motherboard manufacturers.

“At Computex 2022 we highlighted growing adoption of AMD in ultrathin, gaming, and commercial notebooks from the leading PC providers based on the leadership performance and battery life of our Ryzen 6000 series mobile processors,” said Su. “With our upcoming AMD Ryzen 7000 Series desktop processors, we will bring even more leadership to the desktop market with our next-generation 5-nm Zen 4 architecture and provide an unparalleled, high-

performance computing experience for gamers and creators.”

AMD Ryzen 7000 Series desktop processors

The new Ryzen 7000 Series desktop processors will double the amount of L2 cache per core, feature higher clock speeds, and are projected to provide greater than 15% uplift in single-thread performance versus the prior generation, for a better desktop PC experience.

During the keynote, a pre-production Ryzen 7000 Series desktop processor was demonstrated running at 5.5 GHz clock speed throughout AAA game play. The same processor was also demonstrated performing more than 30% faster than an Intel Core i9 12900K in a Blender multi-threaded rendering workload.

In addition to new “Zen 4” compute dies, the Ryzen 7000 series features an all-new 6nm I/O die. The new I/O die includes AMD RDNA 2-based graphics engine, a new low-power architecture adopted from AMD Ryzen mobile processors, support for the latest memory and connectivity technologies like DDR5 and PCI Express 5.0, and support for up to four displays.

AMD Socket AM5 Platform

The new AMD Socket AM5 platform provides advanced connectivity for our most demanding enthusiasts. This new socket features a 1718-pin LGA design with support for up to 170W TDP processors, dual-channel DDR5 memory, and new SVI3 power infrastructure for leading all-core performance with our Ryzen 7000 Series processors. AMD Socket AM5 features the most PCIe 5.0 lanes in the industry with up to 24 lanes, making it our fastest, largest, and most expansive desktop platform with support for the next-generation and beyond class of storage and graphics cards.

And AMD said the “Mendocino” processors will offer great everyday performance and are expected to be priced from $400 to $700.

Featuring “Zen 2” cores and RDNA 2 architecture-based graphics, the processors are designed to deliver the best battery life and performance in the price band so users can get the most out of their laptop at an attractive price.

The first systems featuring the new “Mendocino” processors will be available from computer partners in Q4 2022.

GamesBeat’s creed when covering the game industry is “where passion meets business.” What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you — not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. Learn more about membership.

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AMD’s Ryzen 7000 desktop chips are coming this fall with 5nm Zen 4 cores

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AMD’s Ryzen 7000 desktop chips are coming this fall with 5nm Zen 4 cores

AMD’s upcoming Ryzen 7000 chips will mark another major milestone for the company: they’ll be the first desktop processors running 5 nanometer cores. During her Computex keynote presentation today, AMD CEO Lisa Su confirmed that Ryzen 7000 chips will launch this fall. Under the hood, they’ll feature dual 5nm Zen 4 cores, as well as a redesigned 6nm I/O core (which includes RDNA2 graphics, DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 controllers and a low-power architecture). Earlier this month, the company teased its plans for high-end “Dragon Range” Ryzen 7000 laptop chips, which are expected to launch in 2023.

Since this is just a Computex glimpse, AMD isn’t giving us many other details about the Ryzen 7000 yet. The company says it will offer a 15 percent performance jump in Cinebench’s single-threaded benchmark compared to the Ryzen 5950X. Still, it’d be more interesting to hear about multi-threaded performance, especially given the progress Intel has made with its 12th-gen CPUs. You can expect 1MB of L2 cache per core, as well as maximum boost speeds beyond 5GHz and better hardware acceleration for AI tasks.

AMD is also debuting Socket AM5 motherboards alongside its new flagship processor. The company is moving towards a 1718-pin LGA socket, but it will still support AM4 coolers. That’s a big deal if you’ve already invested a ton into your cooling setup. The new motherboards will offer up to 24 channels of PCIe 5.0 split across storage and graphics, up to 14 USB SuperSpeed ports running at 20 Gbps, and up to 4 HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 2 ports. You’ll find them in three different flavors: B650 for mainstream systems, X650 for enthusiasts who want PCIe 5.0 for storage and graphics and X650 Extreme for the most demanding folks.

Given that Intel still won’t have a 7nm desktop chip until next year (barring any additional delays), AMD seems poised to once again take the performance lead for another generation. But given just how well Intel’s hybrid process for its 12th-gen chips has worked out, it’ll be interesting to see how it plans to respond. If anything, it sure is nice to see genuine competition in the CPU space again.

While Ryzen 7000 will be AMD’s main focus for the rest of the year, the company is also throwing a bone to mainstream laptops in the fourth quarter with its upcoming 6nm “Mendocino” CPUs. They’ll sport four 6nm Zen 2 cores, as well as RDNA 2 graphics, making them ideal for systems priced between $399 and $699. Sure, that’s not much to get excited about, but even basic machines like Lenovo’s Ideapad 1 deserve decent performance. And for many office drones, it could mean having work-issued machines that finally don’t stink.

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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Disney’s Disney+ ad pitch reflects how streaming ad prices set to rise in this year’s upfront

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Disney’s Disney+ ad pitch reflects how streaming ad prices set to rise in this year’s upfront

With Disney+, Disney is looking to set a new high-water mark for ad prices among the major ad-supported streamers. The pricey pitch is representative of a broader rising tide in streaming ad pricing in this year’s TV advertising upfront market, as Disney-owned Hulu, Amazon and even Fox’s Tubi are looking to press upfront advertisers to pay up.

In its initial pitch to advertisers and their agencies, Disney is seeking CPMs for Disney+ around $50, according to agency executives. That price point applies to broad-based targeting dubbed “P2+,” which refers to an audience of any viewer who is two years old or older (though Disney has told agency executives that programming aimed at viewers seven years old and younger will be excluded from carrying ads). In other words, more narrowly targeted ads are expected to cost more based on the level of targeting. A Disney spokesperson declined to comment.

At a $50 CPM, Disney+ is surpassing the prices that NBCUniversal’s Peacock  and Warner Bros. Discovery’s HBO Max sought in last year’s upfront market and that gave ad buyers sticker shock. The former sought CPMs in the $30 to $40 range, while the latter sought $40+ CPMs. By comparison, other major ad-supported streamers like Hulu, Discovery+ and Paramount+ were charging low-to-mid $20 CPMs that major ad-supported streamers charge. As a result, Peacock’s and HBO Max’s asks ended up being price prohibitive, with some advertisers limiting the amount of money they spent with the streamers because of their higher rates.

Unsurprisingly, agency executives are balking at Disney+’s price point. “They’re citing pricing that no longer exists, meaning Peacock and HBO Max recognized they came out too high and they’re reducing it. Disney+ is using earmuffs to pretend that second part didn’t happen,” said one agency executive.

However, Disney+ isn’t the only streamer seeking to raise the rates that ad buyers are accustomed to paying. Hulu is also seeking to increase its prices in this year’s upfront, with P2+ pricing going from a $20-$25 CPM average to averaging in the $25-$30 CPM range, according to agency executives. And during a call with reporters on May 16, Fox advertising sales president Marianne Gambelli said that the company will seek higher prices for its free, ad-supported streaming TV service Tubi in this year’s upfront market. It’s unclear what Tubi’s current rates are, but FAST services’ CPMS are typically in the low to mid teens, said the agency executives.

“We have to get the value for Tubi. Tubi has grown to a point — it’s doubled, tripled in size over the past couple of years. So we are going to obviously make that a priority and look for not only more volume but price,” Gambelli said.

Meanwhile, in pitching its Thursday Night Football package that will be streamed on Amazon Prime Video and Twitch, Amazon has been pressing for a premium on what Fox charged advertisers last year, according to agency executives. The e-commerce giant will be handling the games’ ad placements like traditional TV, meaning that it will run the same ad in each ad slot for every viewer as opposed to dynamically inserting targeted ads. “It’s streaming broadcast,” said a second agency executive.

An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment on pricing but did provide a general statement. “Thursday Night Football on Prime Video and Twitch is a purely digital broadcast, and we’re excited to bring fans a new viewing experience. There are 80MM active Prime Video households in the U.S. and, in a survey of our 2021 TNF audience, 38% reported they don’t have a pay-TV service – meaning TNF on Prime Video and Twitch enables brands to connect with cord-cutters and cord-nevers. Brands can also reach these viewers beyond TNF. Our first-party insights enable them to reengage TNF audiences across Amazon, such as in Freevee content.”

One of the agency executives that Digiday spoke to said the latest ask is for a plus-10% increase on Fox’s rates, though what Fox’s rates were are unclear and other agency executives said the premium that Amazon is asking for varies. Ad Age reported in February that Amazon was seeking up to 20% higher prices than Fox’s rates. “I don’t know if it is consistently plus-10, but it is definitely more. Which is crazy because Fox couldn’t make money on it, which is why they gave it up for this fall,” said a second agency executive.

“Someone was eating way too many gummies before they put the pricing together,” said a second agency executive of Amazon’s Thursday Night Football pitch.

Ad-supported streaming service owners also see an opportunity to push for higher prices as advertisers to adopt more advanced targeting with their streaming campaigns, such as by using the media companies’ and/or advertisers’ first-party data to aim their ads on the streamers. 

Said one TV network executive, “You’ll see premiums, especially as it relates to advertisers that really want to hook into [their company’s streaming service] and buy those targeted audiences across the platform and either use [the TV network’s] first-party data or bring their own data to the table. That’s the biggest business we’re in, and that’s where we see great growth from a pricing standpoint.”

https://digiday.com/?p=448869

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