(NBC) - When it comes to back to school tech, one size does not fit all.
Techlicious.com editor Suzanne Kantra suggests tablets or e-readers for younger students.
They're smaller and lighter than laptops and excel at content consumption and internet browsing.
"You have video, you have games, you have everything the child wants on a device, but then you can turn it around, almost into a full computer," she notes.
Some tablets, like Acer's Iconia W3, even mimic a PC or laptop by connecting with a keyboard.
Meanwhile, Kantra recommends a full fledged laptop for older students, especially teens bound for college.
A laptop's processing power aids content creation, such as reports and presentations that might require video editing.
"If I needed something that was very low cost, I would go with a Chromebook, which has all the basics that you need, for word processing, spreadsheets, those types of things," she says.
Chromebooks cost as little as $199.
Laptops with more features range from $400 to $600.
Apple's souped-up Macbook Air starts at about $1000.
For any laptop battery life is a major consideration.
Kantra suggests models with a 9-12 hour range.
"Your child can leave the dorm room, not bring a power adapter, and be assured they can work all day, take notes, be able to take it to the library later and really get the most out of the device," she explains.
Finally, before you start shopping check with your child's school to find out whether they've aligned themselves with a particular type of tech device or operating system.