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Keeping up with changing technology on a budget

An electronics repair retailer has tips for parents to ensure their student's equipment is ready without breaking the bank.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Because of inflation, many families might not be able to afford the latest electronics for school. Kids depend on their electronics for the academic year, but experts say you don't have to buy something brand new.

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"Especially how expensive laptops are getting nowadays, it's not always necessary," Austin McCarter, Senior Technician at uBreakiFix by Asurion in north Charlotte, said. "That laptop you forgot about in the corner can be brought in, and we'll actually have service plans [that] can actually help and speed it up quicker."

According to the National Retail Federation, purchases of electronics have increased since the beginning of the pandemic. With families now getting ready to send their children back to school, electronics spending is expected to stay elevated.

McCarter said customers are mostly coming in for services like a tune-up or a broken screen.

"Kids accidentally sit on them or throw them across the room, totally normal," McCarter said.

He said there are things you can do at home to ensure your mobile device is ready for your student. The most common involves cleaning the device.

"That fan gets kicked up with a lot of dust which is super normal," McCarter said. "That can actually speed it up because it won't be as hot in there." 

WCNC Charlotte is always asking "where's the money?" If you need help, reach out to WCNC Charlotte by emailing money@wcnc.com.

He said you can also clean it yourself with a little isopropyl alcohol and an old toothbrush. 

McCarter also suggested you run your virus scans.

"Sometimes, even when you download a normal file, it will come along with some bugs with it and you don't want those," McCarter said. 

Finally, McCarter said you want to make sure you have the latest updates.

"It's always good to make sure you're on the latest version," he said. "There might be some bugs sometimes, but it's better to get those security patches to make sure they run as quick as they can."

He added if your device needs to be taken in for a service like replacing the hard drive, keep in mind the turnaround is normally 24 to 48 hours, sometimes longer if it involves a larger data transfer.

Contact Jane Monreal at jmonreal@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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