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

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

(Image credit: Highwaystarz-Photography)

We asked Benjamin Glaser of (opens in new tab) where to find great values in tech these days.

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.

Guide to Scoring the Best Deals in 2017

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.

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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.

Lisa Gerstner
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Lisa has spent more than15 years with Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and heads up the magazine’s annual rankings of the best banks, best rewards credit cards, and financial-services firms with the best customer service. She reports on a variety of other topics, too, from retirement to health care to money concerns for millennials. She has shared her expertise as a guest on the Today Show, CNN, Fox, NPR, Cheddar and many other media outlets around the nation. Lisa graduated from Ball State University and received the school’s “Graduate of the Last Decade” award in 2014. A military spouse, she has moved around the U.S. and currently lives in the Philadelphia area with her husband and two sons.