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Looking for a deal on a computer? Now's the time
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

If you're looking to buy a laptop or computer tablet for your child this upcoming school season, now's a good time.

Back-to-school sales are already in full swing at retailers such as the Apple Store, Walmart and Office Depot as well as online retailers such as Amazon.com. Most sales continue through at least the end of August.

Apple is the most stubborn about its pricing because it only holds two sales each year, and no third-party stores sell MacBook laptops or iPads on discount most of the year. The exceptions are Black Friday and back to school.

Apple's back-to-school promotion is going on now through sometime in September (store members have not been advised when it will end).

But the sale only applies to incoming or current college students and school faculty. In the promotion, Apple offers anywhere from $49 to $200 off its MacBook Air and MacBook Pro laptops and also gives free iTunes cards in some cases. It requires a student ID or letter of acceptance for the discount. But some Apple employees might work a deal with you if you tell them you're buying for a younger student. The store also offers year-round student pricing for college students and faculty.

Another good option is buying a laptop from bookstores at the University of Utah or Brigham Young University. They offer the same back-to-school sales as the manufacturers, for example, Apple or HP or Dell. Those sales also last to September.

The bookstores also have year-round education discounts — Apple MacBooks, for example are $50 to $150 off — for university students and workers with identification.

The Microsoft Store at the City Creek Center in downtown Salt Lake City (there also is a kiosk at the Fashion Place Mall in Murray), does not have an official back-to-school sale going on right now, but it offers a year-round 10 percent discount on all hardware including Windows-based laptops for college students and university employees with an .edu email or work ID.

Also consider shopping for a laptop at Costco, which has lower prices than most brick-and-mortar stores and a good selection on Windows-based PCs and laptops. But the biggest reason to shop there is for its unparalleled 90-day, no-questions-asked return policy.

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