Are extended warranties worth it on back-to-school laptops, Chromebooks: Here's what we found out

Back to school means some big purchases, and since remote learning is still the reality for many students due to the COVID pandemic, it means heavy use of laptops or chrome books.

If you're making this purchase, typically you're asked when you check out if you want to buy an extended warranty.

While there are many choices when it comes to what device works best for your child, before you pay extra for the extended warranty, take a good look at the price and see if it's actually worth it.

"Typically, for a budget laptop, the difference between the cost of that warranty, and the cost of the laptop is actually fairly small. So we generally don't recommend people do that if it's more than, say, 15% of the total price," said Tom Brant, a hardware analyst with PCMag.

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There are electronic purchases where an extended warranty may be worth it for you, so make sure you weigh all the pros and cons.

There are avenues that offer protection outside of an extended warranty.

PCMag suggests you take a look at the manufacturer warranty already included.

Also, look at your credit card, many offer extended warranties if you use the card for the purchase.

Don't forget to always keep a copy of the receipt as you never know when you'll need it, and don't forget about the retailer's return policy as that may offer you protection if it breaks.

If you buy the device refurbished, take a good look at the warranty on it. Of course, if you buy the device as is, it means exactly that, there is typically no protection if it breaks.

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