POSTED: Friday, August 10, 2012 - 1:00pm
UPDATED: Friday, August 10, 2012 - 1:04pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Parents doing their back to school shopping this weekend will likely hear kids ask for something a bit more high tech than years past.
Many schools are requiring students to purchase tablets, e-readers or laptops.
Even though budgets are tight, hundreds of school systems nationwide are stepping up with their own supply of devices, which retail experts say is actually a great place for parents to start.
"I think it's really important before a parent really jumps on it and buys an expensive device for their child, if it's really tight on your budget to call the school, speak to the teacher and see is this really necessary, is this something I can borrow at school," advises Trae Bodge of RetailMeNot.com.
If you or your child insist on bringing their own textbook technology, keep it simple.
"Maybe get them a nice 15 inch laptop. That's something that's kind of in-between. You get pretty bang for your buck," says Consumer Report's Donna Tapellini.
"At the very least, they need a flash drive to bring their homework assignments to school. So, it's just a difference approach nowadays with technology the way it is," Bodge adds.