Sunday November 27, 2022

The Best Laptop Accessories You Must Have

Photo by Sam Rutherford/Gizmodo Although it might seem counterintuitive to say, the demand for accessories and peripherals has increased as laptops get more advanced. Modern notebooks must be lightweight and slim with extremely thin display bezels. This is a physical requirement that has some limitations. We often encounter problems when reviewing laptops.
The right accessory can solve almost any problem. The perfect accessory can make your home a more productive place, enhance content consumption, or even create a remote office. We recommend these peripherals if you are just buying a new laptop, or if you want to make the most of your existing one. Image by Satechi There is no better accessory than one that allows you to use more accessories. Anyone who has a laptop with a limited number of ports, such as the XPS 13 MacBook Air or others, should have a USB dock and hub.

Although it may seem obvious to add a USB dock or hub to your new laptop, it is crucial that you choose the right one. Before you shop, think about how you use your laptop. Do you connect your laptop to your TV? Add HDMI to the list. How many peripherals–headsets, mice, or keyboards–need a USB-A? Make sure your hub has an SD slot if you have a mirrorless camera, or backup photos to expandable phone storage. Make a list of all I/O that you require, then choose the smallest and most cost-effective hub. The Anker USB hub is a great choice for most users. It’s small, has the most popular ports and supports pass-through charging. There are some other important points to remember. Do you have a USB A or USB C port on your laptop? You might want to connect your USB-C port to a hub or buy a dock. The difference between a hub or a docking station is that the former relies on your computer to power other devices. A dock, such as this one from Dell, connects to an outlet and sends power to the laptop while also accommodating multiple ports. While docks can be heavy and more expensive, they can make your laptop a replacement for a desktop. Hubs are great for traveling. Photo by Sam Rutherford/Gizmodo Even top-of-the-line laptop touchpads cannot replace a mouse. A good mouse will allow you to move your cursor faster and more precisely, which will make you more productive, no matter what you use it for. There are many options for computer mice. I could write a book about them all, but I will keep it simple and only mention the most popular.

First, decide whether you want wired or wireless. Wireless is preferred by most people for its convenience. Newer models with a USB receiver have low input latency and long battery life. Wireless mice are more responsive, which makes them a great choice if you’re a gamer. They also tend to be cheaper than wired mice. Bluetooth-only mice are not recommended as pairing can be difficult and latency can be significantly higher than 2.4Ghz receivers. Logitech’s G502 lightspeed wireless gaming mouse can be paired with a wireless charging pad so it doesn’t need to be plugged in. The price is $120 plus the mat. But this bestseller has a responsive sensor, an ergonomic design, adjustable weights, and 11 customizable button. The Logitech MXMaster 3 is a great gaming mouse and there is a wired version that is much less expensive. The Razer Viper is an excellent choice if you are looking for an ambidextrous mouse. Logitech’s MX Vertical is the best option for vertical grip. Image: The Lenovo Portable Monitors are standalone displays that can be connected to your laptop via USB. Once connected, they can be used as a stationary monitor that allows you to duplicate and extend your laptop’s screen.

Since the early 2000s, I have been using a Lenovo ThinkVisionM14 to recreate my office setup while on the move. I use the thin monitor to create my office setup while I’m working in a cafe or at the climbing gym loft. I then attach it to my laptop via USB C when it’s time to go. Although it may not be as big as the monitor back home, this portable solution allows me to be productive when my office walls feel closing in. You can also buy an attachable portable screen that mounts to your laptop lid, so it appears as if there is one screen. They are sturdy, but they can be heavy and may not be as stable on flat surfaces such as your lap.

Remember that portable monitors draw power so expect a shorter battery life when using one. When you connect to one of these monitors, make sure you plug it into an outlet. One display is better than none. Photo by Sam Rutherford/Gizmodo1080p cameras finally arrive on laptops. However, until then, an external camera is an essential piece of kit for anyone who spends hours a day on Zoom calls.

It was nearly impossible to find a decent webcam during the pandemic. But, supply has now caught up to demand and almost every hardware manufacturer has released its own version. Which one should you choose? The Logitech C920S is my favorite recommendation. It’s a $60 external 1080p camera with privacy shutter and has been my most reliable accessory for laptops for four years. The Razer Kiyo Pro or Logitech Brio are great 4K options if you have the money and want better quality. A video light can help you take your video chat skills to the next level. Poor lighting can ruin an image more than bad lighting. This $26-mountable laptop light will keep you from looking dark and grainy. Image from Amazon Laptops can become disgusting if they aren’t taken care of. It doesn’t matter if your laptop is soiled for too long. Grease that gets in the keyboard can make it harder to type. If dirt and dust buildup underneath, your laptop could overheat.

A can of compressed air, a microfiber cotton cloth, cotton swabs and some dish soap (diluted in water) are all good options. It is always a good idea to have a can of compressed air, a microfiber cloth, cotton swabs, and some dish soap (diluted with water!) handy. A mini vacuum is one of these devices that can pick up any crumbs or other dirt that might sneak in between the small squares. A Rocket Air Blaster is also an option. OXO is known for its kitchen utensils. However, the company also makes a Sweep & Swipe cleaning tool. It has a brush on one side and a microfiber pad the other. This makes it a large lens cleaner pen. It’s a $11 tool you can pull from your drawer to prevent crumbs from building up on your keyboard. Photo by Tom McKay/Gizmodo If your laptop is experiencing storage problems or you need to store photos, videos and other files more permanently, an external hard drive can help you fall asleep at night.

Storage is now very affordable. You can get a 5TB HDD for as low as $100. I recommend at least 1TB storage, which will cost you around $50. The Adata HD710 is a great option if you need a rugged option to carry with you while on the road or for fieldwork. For faster data transfer speeds, you could also opt for SSDs. However, these are more expensive per GB. Photo by Adam Clark Estes (Gizmodo). While most laptop speakers are good for casual listening, music lovers should invest in headphones and/or speakers.

While wireless earbuds are increasingly popular, I prefer over-ear headphones for their comfort throughout the day. The Bose 700 is my favorite pair, although the $400 price tag is understandable. They will go on sale soon, I promise! They sound incredible and have built-in mics that are better than my webcam. The Sony WH1000XM4 is a direct competitor to Bose’s, but they are a bit cheaper. You could also get a pair of wired cans. In fact, I still have my Sennheiser HD6xx (Massdrop’s $220 HD650) on the regular. Apple’s AirPods Max will be a hit with MacBook users. They are not only expensive, but they also sound great and allow you to switch audio between all your Apple devices. Due to the rise of smart speakers such as the Google Nest, Sonos, and Apple HomePod, dedicated USB speakers are rare these days. There are also endless Bluetooth options available from brands such as Bose, Ultimate Ears and JBL. Any of these Bluetooth options will work with your laptop, and will protect your ears from distorted, absent sound. Blue YetiPhoto by Joanna Nelius/Gizmodo Laptop cameras get a lot of flack, but let’s not forget about laptop microphones. They are just as bad. Most likely, you work with someone who uses their laptop speakers during video chats. We can do better than this.

The Blue Snowball microphone is a simple $40 microphone that will allow you to sound clear and present during video calls with family or colleagues. It can be used for streaming or podcasting, but professional recording might require the Blue Yeti. It’s an easy-to-use, plug and play USB microphone that works on both Windows and Mac. Most importantly, it will make you sound crystal clear, while reducing background noises. Image from Amazon. You’re already spending eight hours staring at your laptop screen. Don’t strain your neck. You can easily toss your books on a laptop stand and use it for something more elegant or convenient. The best laptop stands raise your laptop screen so it is closer to your eyes. This allows you to maintain a good posture.

The adjustable hinge from obVus allows you to tilt the laptop in any direction. The aluminum tray has a cutout to prevent your laptop’s vents being covered. A laptop desk riser is another option to a standing desk. It is an elevated platform that can be adjusted for your notebook. You can either raise your laptop to eye level, or convert your regular desk into a standing desk. Image from Amazon. Let me start by saying that not all people need a cooling pad. A small percentage of laptop owners should have this accessory. A cooling fan will stop your laptop from overheating for those who use intensive programs or play video games for hours. You risk thermal throttling (when your laptop slows down to use less power) and putting your notebook’s components at danger.

I won’t sugarcoat the fact that these things are ugly. They are bulky, some have annoying RGB lighting, and take up valuable desk space. The $35 to purchase a good cooling pad is well worth it. Screenshot by Timbuk2/YouTube. I don’t think you need me to stress the importance of a laptop bag, backpack, or sleeve for protecting your device while you’re carrying it around. We can’t leave the laptop accessories page without recommending some of the best laptop sleeves and backpacks.

This is a subjective decision, much like clothes shopping. There are many options in different colors and styles. I think the best advice is to choose the one that speaks to your soul. Just make sure it has a laptop slot! The Timbuk2 Authority and the eBags Pro Slim are great options if you don’t know where else to look. I have an Osprey backpack that doubles up as a hiking bag. The lightweight and durable Osprey backpack is light enough to take on camping trips. The padded tablet and laptop sleeves protect my iPad Air and Dell XPS 15. You want your laptop to fit snugly so make sure you check reviews and buy the right size. You should make sure that they are adequately padded, but not bulky. There should also be an outer pocket for USB hubs or other small items. Image: Amazon Most new laptops, especially for commercial customers, have a built-in webcam shield or a physical kill switch. However, many popular consumer models don’t have this feature (I’m thinking of Apple). You can still use a square of ducttape to keep prying eyes away from your computer, but it’s time for a $5 upgrade. These tiny pieces of plastic stick to your display and can be opened and closed with ease. This is a simple piece of black plastic that covers your lens. These aren’t expensive, but they are so adorable!

Back to Top
%d bloggers like this: