Looking to upgrade laptop? Consumer Reports offers tech shopping tips

Global chip shortage made shopping for tech more challenging this year

Technology has been put to the test over the past year, everything from laptops and monitors to routers and keyboards. If you’re looking for an upgrade, plan to be flexible because the global chip shortage has made shopping for tech more challenging this year.

So, Consumer Reports has some recommendations.

Consumer Reports’ testers say the 15-inch Lenovo IdeaPad 5 has better battery and performance speeds than a lot of other laptops. But if you or your kids don’t need to do any heavy lifting, a Chromebook can be a good option.

“It’s great for email, spreadsheets, and doing research online,” said Consumer Reports’ Chris Raymond.

Consumer Reports found the HP Chromebook has impressive processing speeds and a battery that will last you through the work or school day.

“When you’re shopping for tech, if you don’t need the latest and greatest, buying a slightly older model is a great way to save cash,” Raymond said.

Consumer Reports suggests an iPad from last year or a Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 from 2019. Consumer Reports’ tests show that both are fast and have a quality display.

If you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, another option is to consider certified pre-owned models from a reputable seller.

Finally, if your headphones have seen better days, the truly wireless ones from Anker Soundcore are small enough to take anywhere and have very good sound quality. But if you need some help blocking out distractions, Consumer Reports says Monoprice headphones offer excellent active noise reduction and won’t break the bank.

No matter what kind of tech you’re shopping for, remember to compare pricing, ask about student discounts, and check to see if stores honor competitors’ prices.

About the Author:

As a consumer reporter, Marilyn is all about helping people stay safe and save a buck. Since coming to KSAT in 1985, she’s covered everything from crime to politics, winning awards for her coverage of the Mexican Mafia, Oklahoma tornadoes, children’s transplants, an investigation into voting irregularities and even a hit-and-run Santa Claus.