Stateline residents struggle to find affordable laptops during computer shortage

Published: Sep. 1, 2020 at 5:01 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - As students return to online learning many are missing the most important school supply a computer.

“She has to have a good computer and right now she’s been stuck using a little cellphone,” said Shawn Starry, looking for an affordable computer.

Starry plans to homeschool his daughter Brooke this school year but he’s had no luck finding an affordable computer.

“We’ve been searching online but the prices went up so it’s been a little expensive, a little too expensive for us to purchase one right now,” Starry said.

“People are really just looking for something they can afford,” said Robert Bisconti, Bisconti Computers general manager.

Bisconti says since the start of the pandemic laptops has been a hot buy.

“The first signs of the shortage started when work-from-home started. So people were coming in and purchasing laptops,” Bisconti said.

Then when schools switched to remote learning the need for laptops grew.

“We have a lot of parents contacting us looking for affordable laptops for their children, we are getting a lot of requests for that,” Bisconti said.

Bisconti says unfortunately his store is only stocked with high-end laptops.

“Nobody needs a laptop that’s $5,000 so those are readily available. It is things that are used for getting online, doing schoolwork, or accessing your email or bank account. Those are the units hard to get your hands on right now,” Bisconti said.

If the shortage isn’t resolved soon Shawn and Brooke will have to rely on the library’s resources.

“Hopefully the library would be open long enough so that she would be able to do it there. If not then I’m not sure,” Starry said.

There are several computer stores in the area selling refurbished computers and most stores will order you a specific laptop. You’ll just have to wait a little longer for the delivery.

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