The Haier Chromebook 11, a $149 laptop running on Google’s Chrome operating system, is an example of an inexpensive Chromebook laptop, which runs web applications and uses online storage. Credit: Associated Press / Google

Hey, did you know school is starting soon? As it the custom, I put together a back-to-school tech guide, which ran Tuesday in the American-Statesman and which is also on  This year’s is focused on essentials and there’s even a section where I tell you what NOT to buy for the student in your life.

Here’s an excerpt:

There was a time when it seemed like tablets, such as Apple’s iPad, were going to decimate the market for laptops and desktop computers. But then tablet sales fell back down to earth as people realized they’re not always ideal for getting schoolwork or desk work done all day. Meanwhile phone screens keep getting larger and laptops slimmer and lighter, so tablets seem less essential.

Dell’s XPS 13, which starts at $800, is available with or without a touch screen and runs Windows 10.

A good laptop is still a no-brainer for any student, but except for the most demanding college students studying, say, design or engineering, a top-of-the line model with tons of horsepower isn’t necessary.Chromebooks, which run Web applications and primarily use online storage, can be great bargains at under $250, while some Windows 10 hybrid devices that can double as a touch-screen tablet can be had for under $500, though some of them are limited in storage when you deduct the space that Windows takes up.

You can read the rest of the column here.