Back to school shopping can be very stressful for parents and students, especially when it comes to finding the best deals in-store and online. Tech expert, Mario Armstrong knows how stressful it can be and he was kind enough to join me for an interview recently to dish on the latest tech trends for parents and students, he also shared tips on how to save money shopping online and how you can keep your home, children and expensive tech devices safe this fall and for years to come.
Candace Rose: What flat screen TVs are smart shoppers buying this fall?
Mario Armstrong: “The Sony model number X900C – I was blown away by this. I’ve seen 4K TVs, I go to CES every year but seeing it this close and in person – the clarity of this 4K television, the brilliance in color. It’s also Sony’s thinnest TV ever. Candace, this thing is as thin as a number 2 pencil – very, very thin so it’s almost frameless when you see it. It virtually has no frame, it virtually has no bezel on it. When it mounts to the wall, it looks like it’s floating in air – great, great buy right there. The Sony X900C is awesome.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any suggestions for a back to school two-in-one?
Mario Armstrong: “Yes, two-in-one devices are very popular! People want the best of both worlds – the ability to have a full blown laptop and also have a tablet. Staples is a leader in your tech services and also products and great deals for back to school. They have one right now that is an affordable deal with HP! This is the HP x360 Stream (please see video above for details). This device is a two-in-one that works in four different modes, and because the screen is flexible – you can bend it completely into tablet mode or you can hold it and put down on the table in tent mode and watch video that way – lots of flexibility with this device, plus you get a year of Microsoft Office free, all for only $269. That’s a really awesome deal.”
Candace Rose: What do you like in home surveillance systems?
Mario Armstrong: “The schedules are going to change and this is why I wanted to bring this in. When you start thinking back to school, clocks change, kids get home maybe before the parents do, maybe you want to keep an eye on your teenagers or on the family pet, so this (Arlo camera from Netgear) is great for home monitoring.
Netgear is a very well known respectable name in the industry, these are the first wire-free (cameras) indoor and outdoor HD video quality. It’s motion activated, you can get the video recordings instantly, you can also get activity alerts sent to you via email or notifications to your phone. Say your child comes home from school, you can be notified by text and be able to pull that camera up and see your child in the house, so really great technology. They’re also offering free seven day cloud video recording which is great. Like I said, you can remote monitor your home from any device anywhere, and night vision looks really good through this camera.”
Candace Rose: I love to shop, but how do I know I’m shopping smart?
Mario Armstrong: “Shopping online using Ebates. Go to Ebates website, sign up and register for a free account, because here how it works – if you’re going to be shopping online anyway, why not shop at the place that is the leader in giving you cash back for your online shopping? Ebates has over 1800 stores, stores that you know: Staples, Sephora, Macy’s and more. You shop at those sites like you normally would, buy what you would normally need to buy and then you can earn up to 25% cash back after every purchase. Basically how that works is you get your money in three months in a gift card or a check, so you get your money every three months as long as you keep shopping.”
Candace Rose: What’s the best way to protect iPads from damage?
Mario Armstrong: “For protection of your devices, you want to go with the gold standard, and the gold standard in protecting devices is OtterBox. It’s a well known and respectable name, strong technology to really protect your technology but it also looks really great too. They have the new Symmetry line that is now out, and the Symmetry line is great for your iPads, whether that’s the iPad mini or the regular iPad. The point is if you’re going to buy someone a tablet, you don’t want that screen to get cracked. It can get cracked easily, you can drop it in the lecture hall, walking across campus – just bumping into it the wrong way or throwing it in your backpack, so protect it with an OtterBox case from the Symmetry line.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any money saving ideas for devices?
Mario Armstrong: “Yes, absolutely. You could be purchasing some of your devices and saving almost up to 40% on pre-owned but certified iPhones, iPads, and Galaxy devices by going to Gazelle.com. Not only can you go to Gazelle.com and pick up pre-owned certified devices, you can also sell them yours. If you have an old device, or a device you want to upgrade from, you can sell that older one to them and they’ll give you cash for that as well. It’s a great way to not only save money to buy, but get money when you want to sell. On their website they’re also giving you an additional 20% for any tablet that you sell through them – (if you head over to their website) Gazelle.com/School.”
Candace Rose: Thank you for the great tips, Mario. Where can we go for more information?