10 Must-Have Accessories For A Perfect Laptop Setup
The perfect laptop setup is the key to a productive and comfortable workday. Whether you work from an office or are a student at school, having the right accessories for your laptop setup can make all the difference in your efficiency, productivity, and comfort.
From finding the right chair to choosing between wireless and wired mice, there are plenty of factors to consider when putting together a perfect laptop setup. As a full-time UX Designer and front-end developer, I’ll sit behind my laptop for at least 8 hours a day, so I know how important it is to have the proper laptop setup. But what is the perfect laptop setup?
What is a Perfect Laptop Setup?
A perfect laptop setup is comfortable, efficient, productive, and preferably ergonomic. It should help you focus on your task but do so comfortably without giving you back or wrist pain afterward. Everything you need for working on your laptop needs to be arm’s length away so you can easily reach out and grab things if needed.
For example, if I need to think about something, my perfect laptop setup is clean, with nondistracting stuff on the desk, but with some fidget toys at hand. I like it clean and minimal, but I find those Battlestations from Reddit very pleasing to watch, but I wouldn’t want to play a game in it. But what kind of accessories do you need for your laptop setup? Let’s find out!
The accessories you need
By default, creating the perfect laptop setup depends on what you do for your job. I need a few essential tech accessories to ensure a comfortable, productive, and efficient laptop setup. To make it easy, I go over them in order of recommendation. Here are my ten must-have accessories for a perfect laptop setup:
1. Wireless vs. wired mouse
I’ve used a wired Logitech Hero G502 spectrum mouse for my laptop setup for quite some time. It has been convenient since I don’t have to worry about battery life, it just plugs in, and you are set to go. The high DPI ensured I didn’t have to move my hand too much to get things done, and the low latency meant fast reaction time from my mouse. But recently, I decided to try a wireless mouse, the Logitech Mx Master 3S, and see if it could provide more convenience since I don’t game as much as I used to.
The first thing that caught my attention is that wireless mice have much longer battery life nowadays. It used to be just a few days of battery life, and you’d always carry an extra set of batteries. Nowadays, wireless mice can last for days on a single charge. Low latency and a very high DPI aren’t needed for my day-to-day laptop setup; I could do with much less. I never thought I would love a wireless mouse as much as I do. I can control it from nowhere without a pesky wire running along the desk.
On the downside, having a suitable cable to charge the mouse can be an issue, though the MX Master 3S has a USB–C cable, which most of my laptop accessories get nowadays. All in all, if you’re looking for an upgrade to laptop peripherals, I recommend trying wireless mice for your day-to-day tasks!
I always keep a nice pair of headphones at hand. I use them to drown out any background noise, like the sound of my kids running around, or to focus on my work without getting distracted by what’s happening around me.
I prefer over-ear headphones for my laptop setup because of their noise cancellation and comfort. They come in various shapes, sizes, and styles, so you can find one that fits your style. After testing several headphones, I ended up with the BOSE QuietComfort 35 noise-canceling Bluetooth headphones that are comfortable and provide fantastic audio quality. What’s impressive is that it can be charged and still run music with a 2.5 to 3.5mm headphone jack. Though I’ve to admit it can look weird.
Because a mouse and a pair of headphones would be easy to carry beside your laptop, it is easy to recommend buying a pair as my second favorite laptop accessory.
If I had to buy a new one today, I would go for the BOSE QC45 or the Sony wh-1000xm4. Both support using a USB-C cable to charge instead of the micro USB connection mine has.
3. Decent Desk
For a great place that will always be ready for you when you need it to be, a desk is the next essential thing for your laptop workspace. Desks come in sorts, shapes, colors, and sizes. It’s depended on what you want your eventual desk to look like on which desk you pick.
One of the significant benefits of using a desk for a laptop setup is organization and convenience. Having one central area devoted to all your laptop needs makes it easier to keep things organized and ensures easy access to everything you need while working because your laptop accessories have dedicated spots.
I have one important recommendation: buy the biggest desk that would fit your space. This ensures that everything you add to your laptop setup will fit on your desk.
I have had the same desk for about ten years and am very happy. It has a large surface that allows me to move everything around, like my laptop, mouse, external monitor, and other accessories. Though it was missing some cable management stuff on the bottom of the desk, this was easily fixed and made my laptop setup much cleaner.
4. Comfortable office chair
As someone who spends long hours in front of a laptop, I know how important it is to have the right office chair. A great office chair can help you sit straight with a good posture for comfortable sitting all day. Get one that is adjustable, mainly the height, back, and armrests. As I said earlier, I am writing this blog post on a dining chair, which is becoming increasingly uncomfortable.
Finding the right office chair is a challenge. You’ll need to try a few before deciding to buy one. Ensure it fits your needs and body type. I hardly recommend spending a little more for a great quality office chair, especially when you spent most of your days parking your butt on one. A good quality office chair can last you for years.
In my perfect laptop setup, I rock a DX racer gaming chair that gives me the best comfort while I work. I bought it six years ago and still like it. It has some wear, but that’s not so bad.
5. External display
I used to rely on my laptop screen, but having an external display makes a huge difference in my work. This is one where a giant comfortable leap has happened for me. No more hunching over my laptop, giving me neck pain at the end of the day because I was looking down or using my elbows to support me while reading. Besides, a bigger external screen makes it much easier to multitask and manage my running programs.
Finding the right monitor is a manner of experience. Go to an electronics store and see the screens before buying. If you don’t have that luxury, I suggest a 24-inch 1920 by 1080 with an IPS panel. This makes sure you don’t get any fuzziness when reading text. Adding a height-adjustable stand would be my second recommendation. Although a pair of hardcover books could also do the trick, a perspective looks nicer.
A nice screen can come a long way. I have had an ASUS 4k 27″ screen with a TN panel for the past seven years. I never knew this was a bad panel, especially when reading all day. I got eye strain from it because the text looked very fuzzy. A few weeks ago, I bought an LG 32″ 4k IPS screen for a very affordable price. It’s crisp, bright, and beautiful.
The primary reason for buying this external screen is the built-in docking station that connects via one USB-C cable. My laptop does have a USB-C port, which makes this screen ideal for a clutter-free setup.
When using an external monitor, you might want to use both the external screen and laptop screen side by side or have your external screen above your laptop’s display like the crazy person you are. You could get a keyboard.
When using my laptop’s keyboard, I had no idea that a desktop keyboard would benefit me so much. This is why it’s my sixth must-have accessory for the perfect laptop setup.
Laptops try to squeeze everything in as tight as possible space, making laptop keyboards much smaller and, as I found out, much more challenging to type on accurately. Moreover, laptop keyboards are designed to come with shallow keys, which don’t give much feedback when pressed, making typing more tedious and less satisfying than using a desktop keyboard. A cheap one like the Logitech MK120 can positively impact your typing experience.
Besides, many desktop keyboards also come equipped with extra features such as programmable macro keys to simplify complex tasks or backlit keys to help visibility in low-light situations. However, due to their size, they are not as portable as laptop keyboards and require additional desk space to accommodate them comfortably.
I used to have an MK120 from Logitech before I switched to mechanical keyboards, which feel so satisfying to type on. I tried the Logitech G something mechanical keyboard but lost control at a certain time. Next was the Corsair K70 RGB MK.2, but I wouldn’t say I liked how it sounded, so I bought a Keychron K6 pro and immediately fell in love with the thocky sound it makes. It’s such a satisfying sound. I can’t explain it. Besides, it’s a wireless keyboard and can charge via a USB-C cable. Do you see a trend here?
7. Laptop Stand
The seventh must-have accessory for me is a laptop stand. It helps keep my laptop cooler and makes sure I can use it in the most comfortable position. I used to have a laptop stand that was just a flat piece of plastic, you know, the cheap ones that your boss probably has bought, with no adjustable angles, but that was not ergonomic.
Now I have an adjustable aluminum laptop stand with multiple angles. This makes sure that I can use my laptop however I see fit. This can also be nice for my iPad Pro when I need to review documents.
The microphone can’t go missing from this list. The laptop mic won’t cut when sitting far away from your laptop. I mean, it’s not intended to be used that way. I can still hear my colleagues ask me repeatedly to repeat myself because they couldn’t listen to me. Having a crystal clear microphone will overcome this issue.
I recently got the Blue Snowball Ice for my setup and am happy with it. Although it’s a pretty old mic, it does its job well and is popular amongst most beginning streamers. The most important thing is that Snowball ICE removes the ‘can you hear me now’ issues I’ve had.
While having good sound for meetings, you’ll probably want to look decent as well, so that’s why I recommend the must-have accessory for your perfect laptop setup, a webcam.
The ninth must-have accessory for a perfect laptop setup is a webcam. I used to think quality webcams were useless until I had to be working from home. I realized the importance of having an HD webcam with good lighting and clear audio for an engaging experience.
I bought the Logitech C920S HD Pro Webcam, and it’s been amazing ever since. It has a built-in microphone with noise cancellation, a 78-degree field of view, and even a tripod mount, making it versatile.
Having the right webcam can make all the difference in video conferences. You want to make sure everyone can see you correctly and hear what you have to say without background noise or pet hair in your background. Plus, if you’re into streaming, webcams are also essential!
10. Docking Station
A docking station is the last but certainly not least must-have accessory for a perfect laptop setup. It was one of the best investments I have ever made in my office setup. The convenience and versatility it provides are invaluable.
A docking station is a great way to maximize your laptop’s potential without all the clutter. As mentioned in this blog post, it allows you to plug in and access all your accessories with just one connection to your laptop.
My favorite feature of my docking station is that I can easily switch between my gaming laptop and my working laptop without unplugging several cables every time. If you read the full blog post, you’ll know it’s integrated into my monitor, but this can also go for any docking station.