78% of households in America have a laptop. Another 77% have a broadband internet connection.
Still, another 68% of households in the US are considered “high connectivity,” which means they have three computers and/or internet items, including PCs, laptops, smartphones, and the like.
If you’ve landed on this article, chances are you’re a part of this admittedly-massive group! However, just because you have the latest-and-greatest laptop doesn’t mean you’re decked out with the essential accessories. If you’re using your computer often, whether for business or pleasure, having a few key laptop items can change the game, making your experience that much more updated, comfortable, or convenient.
But what items should you consider investing in? After all, some accessories really are investments, costing you hundreds (or thousands) of dollars at a time. Other accessories are more affordable but pack just as much of a punch as their top-dollar counterparts.
In this article, we cover some of those fundamental add-ons. Keep reading to see how you can deck out your computer station!
A Laptop Bag for Maximum Portability
These days, a laptop bag doesn’t have to be ugly or frumpy. In fact, there are so many cute and cool modern laptop bags that you’ll want any excuse to use them!
Choose from a variety of materials, sizes, and features. Perhaps you’ll want something that’s a statement piece, like a brown leather laptop bag. Or, maybe you’ll keep it classic and practical with a plain black bag that’s loaded up with zipper pockets.
Consider handles, too. Depending on your laptop’s weight, you may need a shoulder strap to carry it without discomfort. But if your laptop is mini and lightweight (think: an iPad), and you don’t have far to travel, you could probably get away with a stylish bag that’s got two handles for carrying.
And remember, it’s in your best interest to place your laptop in a sleeve before you put it in the bag. It may seem like overkill, but sleeves add an extra layer of protection for preventing damage due to spills of food or drink, or even the accidental dropping!
Lap Desks, Perfect for Work or Play (Even in Bed)
Lap desks are the easiest way to get work or play done, even from the comforts of your bed.
If you’ve ever wanted a break from working at the computer desk or your kitchen counter, you may have tried to write in a folding chair outdoors or snuggled up in your PJs in bed. But, you probably quickly discovered that using your laptop in these scenarios makes for an uncomfortable situation.
Enter: a lap desk!
With this smart invention, you can set up for a workday anywhere in the house—even if you’re lying down. With the laptop off of your legs and elevated to that perfect eyesight-height, your neck and back aren’t straining for you to see well.
Depending on your needs, consider features like adjustable angles, cushioned or not, room for a mouse or just the laptop, or even one with extra storage underneath. Keep it simple or make it work for everything!
A Sleek and Modern Docking Station
Why use a docking station? Well, this article states it best.
As our laptops become sleeker, thinner, and more portable, they lose the traditional things that made using a laptop so fun when they first came out. Things like CD players and multiple USB ports fell by the wayside in favor of lighter-weight, contemporary laptops that looked great but perhaps sacrificed some of our productivity in the meantime.
Docking stations allow you to have your brand-spankin’-new laptop and the features you miss about your gigantic computer from back in the day. Docking stations make it easy to connect to all the things—Ethernet cables, mouse cables, keyboard cables, and more—with the option to disconnect and bring your laptops back to basics in a matter of seconds.
These babies are particularly useful for work-from-homers who have many gadgets to plug into, so if you’re a remote employee, look them up!
High-Quality Laptop Speakers—For Movie-Watching, Game-Playing, Zoom Meetings, and More
As with most other things on this list, laptop speakers aren’t a one-size-fits-all approach. They come in various styles, volumes, shapes, colors, and more, meaning that you can pick and choose a brand that meets all your expectations (and then some).
Choose from portable, Bluetooth speakers, or a more rugged version that’s sans Bluetooth. Perhaps you go with the 2.0 system, or maybe you splurge on the 2.1 that’s got subwoofers to boot.
Regardless of the price you pay, make sure you’re buying with sound quality, connectivity, and portability in mind. These three features ensure your speakers can move with you, can connect seamlessly and without error, and produce the sound quality you need, no matter how you choose to use them.
A Gaming Keyboard and Mouse
Are you ready to discover how you can upgrade your regular laptop into a gaming laptop without emptying your bank account?
Lenovo makes that possible with their sale of gaming keyboards and gaming mouses. When you’re in the midst of an intense computer game, a keyboard with a high-precision key response is crucial and can mean the difference between a big win or a fat loss. The same type of response is generally expected from your mouse, too, which is why gaming mice are a thing.
Now is a fantastic time to consider introducing these add-ons to your laptop setup, as several brands are doing money-saving Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.
The Best Headphones in Your Price Range
The reason we say “in your price range” is that Bluetooth headphones really run the gamut, from affordable and useful to investment pieces that cost a few hundred bucks. So, it truly depends on how much you feel like splurging—but of all the essential accessories, headphones really are a great buy.
From Logitech and Sony to SteelSeries and Bose, there are so many brands out there to choose from. Instead of letting those options overwhelm you, consider yourself lucky that you’ve got such various features to compare and contrast, narrowing down your choice to the best pair for you!
If possible, opt for (at the very least) noise-canceling headphones that are also wireless. These two perks are undeniably great and provide you with the best headphone experience your laptop could imagine.
A Laptop Cooling Mat, AKA the Thing You Didn’t Know You Needed
Do you have a laptop that’s prone to warmth or even overheating? Not only is this inconvenient, but it’s detrimental to the longevity of your device. Overheating can cause hardware failure, reduce lifespan, and significantly lower performance.
That’s one of the many reasons why a laptop cooling mat may be in your future. This point is especially true if your laptop doesn’t have any other internal problems and simply needs a way to cool off.
Some cooling mats even come decked out with extra add-ons such as USB hubs, various height options, and budget-friendly price points. Some of them even have really cool, futuristic looks, allowing them to integrate into your current computer setup seamlessly.
The Desk Chair of Your Back’s Dreams
Whether you’re a WFH employee or a professional Twitch game-player, your body deserves a supportive chair—one that’s both comfortable and naturally shaped to move with the curve of your spine.
Pick something that’s height matches your computer desk and also considers where your laptop is in your line of sight. You want to reduce any hunching of the back or neck, and your weight must be getting held up, too. You might also look for features like adjustable backs, armrests, height, and more.
Bonus points if it’s cushioned, and you can always keep a comfortable blanket draped over it to keep you cozy throughout the workday.
They’re Called Essential Accessories for a Reason
It’s because you need them!
If you use a laptop often—and we’re betting that you do—these add-ons can make your laptop usage the best it’s ever been. From a comfortable, ergonomic chair that supports your posture for hours, to wireless headphones that guarantee you hear it all, the above essential accessories are the difference between “blah” and “banging.”
So, with the holidays right around the corner, there’s no better time to treat yourself and grab one of these items off your wishlist. You might even buy two of each and gift them to all your laptop-loving friends and family.
Before you start shopping, though, keep scrolling our blog and see if there’s anything else you can learn. You might just find something new to add to your to-buy list!