7 simple accessories that’ll make your laptop more useful

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Flickr/Matthew Pearce

Your laptop is already a very capable piece of hardware.

Like any piece of tech, though, there are areas where it could use a little push.

Thankfully, there are plenty of external accessories out there to help make your experience more pleasant.

If you plan on upgrading your notebook soon, here are a few extras that we like in particular.


The Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Slim is a lightweight, speedy portable hard drive that’ll keep your data backed up in case of emergency. It gives a good chunk of storage space for the money, too.

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Seagate

As of this writing, you can grab a2TB model for $85on Amazon.

Alternatively, for smaller-scale backups, a simple thumb drive like theSanDisk Extrememight work just as well.


The Logitech MX Master is big and pricey, but it’s comfortable, and gives you about as many features as you could hope for in a wireless mouse. It works over Bluetooth or a receiver, charges quickly, and tracks smoothly.

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Logitech

Itcosts $70, though, so try something like the $20 Logitech Marathon M705if you don’t need much more than the basics.

TheRazer DeathAdder Chroma, meanwhile, continues to be a worthy and affordable choice for the PC gaming crowd.


If your laptop doesn’t have enough ports for connecting and charging external devices, the Anker 10-Port USB 3.0 Hub will keep you covered. It’s overkill for most, but still fast and reliable.

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Amazon

At $40, it’snot bad valueeither.


Alternatively, if you’ve got a new laptop that only supports USB-C inputs, try the Satechi Slim Aluminum Multi-Port Adapter. It’s not an ideal solution, but it’s got two USB 3.0 ports for older accessories, an HDMI port, and a USB-C port for charging. It’s fairly compact, too.

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Satechi

Most importantly, it actually works. It’d be nice if it was a little bit cheaper than $60, yes, but the truth is that nobody has really nailed this kind of USB-C accessory just yet. Such is the price of being an early adopter.


If you’d like to do some gaming, but aren’t fully comfortable with a keyboard and mouse, the newly updated Xbox One controller is a natural fit that’s very easy to set up with Windows PCs.

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Microsoft

It goes for $50 on Amazon.

Admittedly, much of this comes down to personal preference – some people like the feel of Sony’s DualShock 4 controller better, but we think Microsoft’s joystick layout makes a little more sense. And while the DS4 did recently gain support for the popular Steam platform, it can sometimes require a little more setup than its counterpart.

If you don’t need to go wireless, though, you can always save a few bucks and grab the old reliable Xbox 360 controller, whichcosts $27.


If you need a dedicated place for propping your laptop up — and an old stack of books just won’t do — the Rain Design mStand is a sturdy, popular, and well-reviewed pick.

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Rain Design

Itgoes for $43on Amazon today.


Finally, lap desks. There isn’t much to them. If you need to keep your legs cool while getting things done, the LapGear XL Executive LapDesk is a wide and sharp-looking.

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LapDesk

This one comes recommended by theexperts over at The Wirecutter, andcosts $35on Amazon today.