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Technology

Top Tech Bargains of 2017 — Laptops, Tablets, TVs, Data Plans

An expert shares his tips for buying electronics on a budget.

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We asked Benjamin Glaser of DealNews.com where to find great values in tech these days.

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Laptops. Look for a standard Windows laptop with a 15- to 17-inch screen, 4 to 8 gigabytes of RAM, a 500GB to 1 terabyte hard drive, and a recent Broadwell, Skylake or Kaby Lake processor from Intel. Unless you use your computer for gaming or filmmaking, you can probably skip the discrete graphics card, which drives up the price, says Glaser. You may find deals as low as $350 to $400.

TVs. The 55-inch HDTVs with 1080p resolution have fallen in price as 4K TVs have taken the spotlight. Dell recently sold a 55-inch LG LED Smart TV for $497, with a bonus $150 Dell gift card bundled in.

Tablets. The new iPad—starting at $329 for the 32GB, Wi-Fi enabled model—is “basically an iPad Air 2, but more powerful and cheaper,” though also bulkier, says Glaser. Watch for discounts on the discontinued iPad Air 2 as stores try to clear their inventory.

Land a discount on data. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless all offer unlimited high-speed data plans now, but Sprint Unlimited stands out from the pack when it comes to price. In a recent promotion, new customers could get a single line with unlimited calling, texting and data for $50 a month. You’ll pay $80 a month to have two lines on the plan, $100 for three lines and $120 for four lines. Customers who sign up for the promotion enjoy those prices until June 30, 2018. MetroPCS, which runs on T-Mobile’s network, charges $60 monthly (including taxes and fees) for an unlimited plan with HD video streaming and 8GB of mobile hotspot capability. Data speeds may be slowed if you use more than 30GB in a month.

Please Note: Links to products and services mentioned in this feature may be affiliate links: They played no role in the independent judgments and recommendations of the Kiplinger editorial staff.