By Yuriria Mota
Pulse Staff Reporter
Stores like Wal-Mart and Best Buy have student discounts that can make a laptop or tablet affordable. Palo Alto College also has laptops at the library for you to rent, or you may use the school’s computer labs free of charge.
Different discounts will be available, depending upon when and where you decide to buy.
“It all comes down to how you want to use your device,” said Alex Nuñez, a Best Buy sales representative.
Microsoft tablets are more of a laptop, meant to do more but with a tablet appearance. iPads are for quick, on-the-go fixes, but for advanced work, a laptop will work faster, more efficiently and provide more options.
“Can you hammer in a nail with a shovel? Not as easily as you can with a hammer,” Nuñez said. “Because the hammer [was made] for that.”
Best Buy has student discounts on MacBooks or iMacs up to $100 off your purchase. For a Microsoft-operated system, only general discounts may be available, like the Yoga laptop, with $100 off. Nuñez said that it is considered a very good laptop, comparable to a MacBook.
“I prefer my laptop,” said Maria Munchuia, a sophomore Education major. “It’s portable. It’s faster.”
Munchuia likes not having to stay after school or use somebody else’s computer.
Go to bestbuy.com to view all the student discounts. Enter your .edu student email on the Best Buy College Student Deals page to get all the coupons that you can use online or at the store. Best Buy’s Protection Plan can be added to your purchase. Geek Squad support is located inside the store to fix your electronic devices, often on the same day.
Wal-Mart generally has lower prices and Rollback prices on select items. Student discounts will mostly be available during the Back-to-School season.
“Most of our inventory is cheaper online,” said Colten Comer, a Photo Center specialist. “The main thing with…Wal-Mart [is] their extra protection plans [that] are…$36-$43 for the extra two-year warranty.”
Online shopping offers free shipping on any item over $50. However, no repairs are done at the store. Any damages to your computer would have to be fixed by a third party insurance company. You send them your laptop/computer, and it may take about a month to get it back.
For Microsoft laptops/tablets, you’ll have to purchases the Microsoft Office programs separately. Macs have their own installed set of equivalent programs. You can “Save As” a Word, PowerPoint or Excel document. Also, Apple’s software updates help prevent your device from viruses.
The PAC library on the second floor of Ozuna has Dell Notebooks for rent, free of charge. Bring your student ID and fill out the laptop agreement form. The agreement lasts 30 days. After that, “The students are able to recheck them out for another month,” said Melissa Moya, library assistant.
The Academic Learning Studio on the first floor of the Ozuna Building is another option.
“Students can come and do their work,” said David Amaya, manager for the Academic Learning Studio. “…we house, here, all the software of the whole campus.”
The Learning Studio has 185 computers available with two ADA computers and dock ports for personal laptops. It’s open Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Friday, 7:30 a.m. through 5 p.m.; and Saturday, noon to 5 p.m.