CONSUMER REPORTS — The definitions for ‘office’ or ‘classroom’ may have changed a lot over the past year and a half. But no matter where you’re working or learning, you might want to consider a tech upgrade.

“Whether it’s getting a new laptop or a router with the latest wifi standard. Simply put, new tech helps you get things done faster,” said Antonette Asedillo. 

CR’s testers say the 15-inch Lenovo IdeaPad 5, has better battery and performance speeds than a lot of other laptops. But if you or your kids don’t need to do any heavy lifting.

“Chromebook is always a good option. They’re great for email, spreadsheets or doing research online,” said Chris Raymond of Consumer Reports. 

CR says this HP Chromebook has impressive processing speeds and a battery that will last you through the work or school day.

“When you’re shopping for tech, if you don’t need the latest and greatest, buying a slightly older model is a great way to save cash,” Raymond said. 

Like the iPad from last year, or this Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 from 2019. CR’s tests show both are fast with a quality display.

Keep in mind, some tech purchases like laptops and tablets may be more complicated this year because of the global computer chip shortage brought on by the pandemic. So you might need to be more flexible with your choices, or consider certified pre-owned models from a reputable seller.

Finally, if your headphones have seen better days, the truly wireless pair from Anker Soundcore is small enough to take anywhere and has very good sound quality.

But if you need some help blocking out distraction, CR says the Monoprice headphones offer excellent active noise reduction at a great price.