Buying Guides

School Essentials: Back-to-School Buying Guide 2021

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Written by Flexshopper

The new school year is starting soon! After some well-earned time off this summer, it’s time for students to hit the books again. While some students are returning to in-person learning, others are still continuing virtual classes from home. Regardless of which scenario they fall into, all students are going to need to be ready for the school year to come. Here’s a list of the top school essentials every student needs for a successful school year.

Top Computers for Home and School

high school student attending her virtual class from home

MacBook Air 13.3″ with Retina Display

One lesson that we’ve all gotten since 2020 has been the importance of a reliable computer. And when it comes to quality, it’s very difficult to beat Apple. The 13″ MacBook Air is a solid choice. The incredibly thin MacBook Air is more powerful than ever. It features a brilliant Retina display, Magic Keyboard, Touch ID,  and processors with up to twice the performance.

HP Pavilion 15″ Touch-screen Laptop

One great alternative to a MacBook is this HP Pavilion 15″ Touch-screen Laptop. With a 10th generation Intel CoreTM processor, it will give you all the power you need to take on the day. As an added bonus, this HP Pavilion comes with HP Dual Speakers, HP Audio Boost, and custom tuning by the experts at B&O, which allows you to experience rich, authentic audio.

HP Chromebook 14″

When it comes to getting the most bang for your buck, we recommend the HP Chromebook 14″. Because this laptop runs on Chrome OS, it automatically downloads and installs security and software updates. Spend more time focusing on homework and less time managing patches and waiting for restarts. The 4GB of RAM included is perfect for smoothly running multiple applications and browser tabs all at once.

Microsoft Surface Pro

If you’re more of a fan of tablets, the Microsoft Surface Pro is our go-to recommendation. It gives you a best-in-class laptop, plus the flexibility of a tablet as well. The beautiful PixelSense Display supports Surface Pen as an option, while the battery life lasts you around 13.5 hours per day, giving you a good amount of power to complete those projects and homework assignments when needed.

WD My Passport 4TB External Hard Drive

Modern computers have a lot of built-in memory. With the amount of work a student does on their computer, they may run low on internal storage. Because of this, it might be a good idea to consider an external hard drive like this Western Digital 4TB External Portable Hard Drive. This allows your student to save photos and videos without having to worry about running out of storage space.

If you’re looking for more computer or tablet options, visit our marketplace!

Get Your Student Ready for Band

student practicing instrument in band class

Jean Paul USA Alto Saxophone

If band is a subject matter for this semester, we suggest the Jean Paul USA alto saxophone. This gold-plated alto saxophone is the perfect sax for beginning and intermediate music students. It offers a superior tone in its class, with even key action and placement that feels just right for band members. Its fluid key work gives it a relaxed feeling for any saxophonist, making it a welcome instrument in any band.

Stentor Student II Violin

If playing the violin is more of an interest this semester, we recommend this Stentor Student II Violin. Educators recommend the Stentor Student II as the optimum teaching instrument. Made from hand-carved selected tone woods, it features the advantage of ebony pegs and fingerboard, a good student wooden bow with an ebony frog, and rope core strings. The outfit comes with a lightweight case.

Fender Malibu Player Acoustic Guitar

For the students more interested in guitar, the Fender Malibu Player Acoustic Guitar is one of our more popular options. Its small, short-scale body encourages you to reach for new chords and melodies this semester. Featuring a solid spruce top, mahogany back and sides, and 6-in-line headstock, the bold style and balanced, articulate sound make the Malibu Player a natural partner on stage and in the studio.

Ravel Student Piccolo

The Ravel Student Piccolo might be the perfect instrument for a beginning student musician. Its ABS body and metal headjoint are very durable and produce full rich tones, making this piccolo perfect practice at home or in the classroom. All Ravel woodwind instruments are carefully inspected before leaving the factory to ensure excellent durability and quality sound.

Alesis Electronic Drum Kit

For the student who’s dreamed about being a rockstar, we recommend the Alesis Eight-Piece Electronic Drum Kit with Mesh Heads. Alesis Drums offers an immersive, expressive drumming experience. The complete 8-piece electronic drum kit includes everything a student drummer needs to play like a pro. All the cabling, a power supply, drum sticks, and a drum key are included for an easy, hassle-free setup.

Take a look at our other musical instruments.

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Office Furniture for Remote Learning

young girl at home studying textbook at her desk

53″ L Shaped Computer Desk with 5-Tier

One of the most underrated tools for a student is getting a proper desk, especially one with shelves! This sleek, modern 53″ L Shaped Computer Desk with 5-Tier offers surprisingly spacious storage and a comfortable surface for writing or typing.  The attached shelves also help keep books, folders, and other school supplies organized and within reach. This desk is perfect for the home office corner.

Corner L-Shaped Gaming Desk with Monitor Hutch Shelf

For students interested in a more gaming-friendly desk, we recommend the Corner L-Shaped Gaming Desk with Monitor Hutch Shelf. It comes with a monitor stand shelf that helps raise your computer screen to a comfortable viewing position, reducing neck fatigue while attending your virtual class or gaming. The construction is made of thick particleboard and a powder-coated metal frame for easy cleaning.

Simple Living Quincy Desk and Chair Set

For the younger kids returning to school, we have the perfect recommendation. This Simple Living Quincy Desk and Chair Set offers not only a sturdy desk but a cute pink chair too! Ideal for both younger children and teens, the desk is a well-sized workspace for all their projects. Both the legs and frame are crafted of sturdy metal and a small book rack on top has two levels for displaying books, or study materials.

RESPAWN-205 Racing Style Gaming Chair

For students who prefer a chair that can also be used for gaming, consider the RESPAWN-205 Racing Style Gaming Chair. This contemporary mesh back racing-style gaming chair is ergonomically designed to recline back 90 to 130 degrees, allowing maximum comfort and support while hitting the books. Its contoured segmented padding, high back, and adjustable headrest provide incredible comfort.

HomCom Executive Ergonomic Office Chair

Upgrading to a proper functional chair can help push through late-night studying. Our top pick is the HomCom Executive Ergonomic Office Chair, which offers massage and heating features for students needing a break between study sessions. The increased padding makes this chair a breeze to sit in for all-day virtual classes. Plus, the upper back and lumbar support help avoid common office injuries.

Look for more furniture options on our marketplace.

Equipment for Your Photographer

young boy taking a photo outside with DSLR camera

Nikon D5600 DSLR Camera

If photography is a part of your education, we recommend taking a look at the Nikon D5600 DSLR camera. Its 24.2 megapixels lets you capture incredible photos with vivid detail, perfect for any art project or portfolio. The Nikon D5600 also has a versatile zoom range and VR image stabilization, which is ideal for wide-angle shots, portraits, fast action, HD video, and enhanced low-light capabilities.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 11

If you’re the parent to a student, we have just the recommendation for you. The Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Instant Film Camera has Automatic Exposure technology to adjust ambient light for crystal clear shots. It also has a built-in selfie mirror to help with the perfect selfies! You can even customize your camera with glow-in-the-dark and jewel-like button covers.

GoPro HERO9 Black

If vlogging or more extensive filmmaking is expected this school year or semester, our top pick is the GoPro HERO9 Black 5K Waterproof Action Camera. The high-quality CMOS sensor captures 5K video and up to 20.0MP images for stunning clarity, and support for a microSD card offers customizable storage space. This water-resistant GoPro HERO9 camera allows for use at the beach or pool.

Epson Expression All-In-One Printer

Students in photography may also benefit from having a printer at home. The classic Epson all-in-one printer is a solid choice for all your printing needs. While most assignments are turned in electronically these days, getting a printer is still a must for some students. The 2.4″ color LCD screen lets you quickly copy/scan documents, and wireless connectivity supports mobile printing with iOS/Android devices.

Canon IVY Mini Photo Printer

For other students, a more portable printer might be the best choice. Our top pick is the Canon IVY Mini Photo Printer. This compact little device lets you print all your favorite pictures captured from your smartphone. Wirelessly connect to a smartphone app and add frames, emojis, and text to your pictures before you print them.

Looking for a different brand camera? Visit our marketplace for more options.

Work Hard and Play Hard

2 happy teenagers playing video games at home

Nintendo Switch Lite

When homework is finally finished, relaxing with your favorite video game might be the first thing you’d like to do. The Nintendo Switch Lite is a great pastime after class since it’s one of the most popular video game consoles of all time. Its portability and incredible library of fun games mean people often enjoy it at home or on the go.

Oculus Quest 2 Virtual Reality Headset

Not interested in your typical video games? Enjoy your free time after class with the Oculus Quest 2 Virtual Reality Headset. Experience the stunning performance, incredible graphics, and 3D cinematic sound that comes with gaming in VR. You can also step away from gaming and enjoy live concerts, exclusive events, and more.

Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gaming Headset

If you have all the video games you need but want to enhance your gaming experience, consider the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gaming Headset. It’s the latest iteration of the most popular premium gaming headset designed for Xbox One and Xbox Series X. The Stealth 700 features a host of updates offering upgraded performance comfort and styling.

Beats Solo Pro Wireless Headphones

For students still regularly attending virtual classes, we recommend the Beats Solo Pro Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones. They allow you to drown out the outside noise and distractions so you can focus on that important lecture. The ergonomic design gives listeners incredible comfort for the entire school day.

AirPods 2nd Gen

For a more affordable headphone option, consider getting yourself the AirPods 2nd Gen. Although not as new as the AirPods Pro, they still combine elegant design with crystal clear sound. As an added bonus, the case can be charged wirelessly using a Qi-compatible charging mat or using a Lightning connector.

Check out our latest in video games and headphones.

Get Ready for School with FlexShopper

Check us out! FlexShopper has easy weekly payments to fit any budget and with thousands of products to choose from, we’re sure to have the Back to School products you need. Contact us today!

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