Computer accessories are designed to promote a smooth computing experience for you as a user. By having good computer accessories, we are able to work faster and more efficiently while at work or at home.
In this article, we focus on a variety of popular accessories as well as unique features that some of the accessories have to make your work easier. For example, we look at some features that the average user loves such as a keyboard with a 10-key.
Finding Computer Accessories
Apart from the familiar and most known accessories like monitors, speakers, keyboards, mouse, printers & scanners, and webcams, we also discuss other computer accessories like storage devices, projectors, cleaning kit, surge protector, stereo headsets among others. Read below to find out what you should be looking for when shopping for these gadgets.
Table of Content
It is the core device used to enter text, characters, and functions in the desktop computers by use of keys. They have the option of being connected by wires or through wireless means. Features to be considered are:
- Type of work you need to do with the keyboard. For people who write a lot like writers, there are ergonomic keyboards that make it easy and comfortable to type. Serious gamers buy specialized consoles that have extra features to assist them while playing.
- Keystrokes – a majority of people would prefer soft and comfortable to press keyboards. Be keen while selecting as there are others that require additional pressure to make an impact.
- Make sure that the keyboard you want has all the features that you require while still ranging on your target budget.
The best keyboard computer accessories include:
- Logitech MK550 Wireless Numeric Keypad Keyboard for $45
- HP Wired K1500 Wired Numberpad Keyboard for $10
- HP Wireless Elite Keyboard for $38
Related: Best Gaming Keyboard
As much as there has been a tremendous advancement in technology, we find ourselves in need of printing out documents. Printers are great accessories that help bring an idea to the computer into a tangible thing in the form of paper. To select a great printer, consider the following:
- Inkjet or laser? This choice depends on your budget though they don’t cost that much money. The increased cost comes from buying cartridges and the ink
- Single or multiple functions? Do you want a multiple function printer that can scan, fax, and print or would a regular printer do just fine? It all depends on the type of work you do and convenience.
- Image quality – designers require high-quality images to showcase to their clients; thus they need a printer that produces high-quality images. Other regular jobs would only require printing out text documents, so a basic printer is suitable.
- Print speed – massive work requires fast working printers while for people who print occasionally it isn’t much of a requirement.
- Office size – large office space is eligible to hold a big printer while a person with limited space will have a small, portable printer.
The best printer/scanner computer accessories include:
- HP OfficeJet 4650 Wireless All-in-One Photo Printer for $50
- Brother Compact Monochrome Laser Printer for $130
- Canon MX492 Wireless All-IN-One Small Printer for $45
The quality you get from a webcam largely depends on the amount of money you spend on the gadget. For casual use like keeping in touch with family and friends, a low quality, an inexpensive webcam is best suited. One of the forgotten computer accessories, webcams are still great for professionals. Your webcam functions need to be of super high quality and have multiple features.
Webcams are available in varying sizes, shapes, specifications, and prices. When in the market for one, consider the following:
- Continuous autofocus – this feature enables the webcam to focus on you solely and not the distractions that might be in the background.
- Megapixels – the higher the megapixels, the better the image quality.
- Frame rate – quality frame rate ensures the video quality is smooth as it is the feature that determines the number of images to be displayed per second.
- Lens quality – plastic lenses tend to produce low-quality pictures as compared to glass lenses.
The best desktop webcam available:
To display images, texts, or images on a large surface, you need to either acquire a large screen television or buy a projector. The latter is the cheaper alternative and to make sure you get the best consider:
- Zoom range – a feature that enables the user to alter size and position of what they are projecting in different environments.
- Resolution – presentation have minimal demands when it comes to resolution, but for a person using the projector for displaying HD movies, the high resolution gives the best results.
- Purpose – is it for entertainment or business? Business people deal with a lot of still images and texts thus no demand for top-notch projectors. Entertainment involves plays a lot of motion pictures and videos, therefore, requiring a high-level projector to display quality content.
- Reviews – these will help you gauge the gadget before purchasing to find out other users’ experience, its performance, and how long it would take before replacing things like the projector’s bulb.
- Portability – using the projector as a home theater means that it will stay in a fixed position; therefore, its size doesn’t matter. For business people that need to carry it often need to purchase a small and easy to carry gadget.
- Cost – more money, better quality. Research on the numerous types of projectors available in the market and come up with the one that suits your needs as well as fit within your budget.
The best computer projectors include:
- DR.J 10% Lumens 4-inch Mini Projector for $70
- InFocus Corporation IN119HDx 1080p DLP Projector for $540
This is a device that has one USB port expanding to create more ports to connect to other devices as a host system.
- Safety – some cheap knockoff will be poorly wired which would lead to frying the connected devices. It is better to get a pricey but original product that will serve you for an extended period while still maintaining safety to other devices.
- How current it is – the more current it is, the more upgraded the features are.
- Multiple ports – most USB hubs come with four ports, but you can get more. It is reasonable to get more ports so that you don’t have to buy new USB hubs every time there is no space when you get a new device to connect.
- Buy a powered USB hub whereby it has its power adapter. This ensures available power isn’t shared among devices plugged in.
The best USB hub computer accessories include:
So many people tell the sad tale of their gadgets getting fried by a sudden power surge. Their devices damaged, sometimes beyond repair. This usually happens when a device is connected directly to an outlet. A surge protector acts as a shield that protects your desktop computer against unpredictable power surges. You can purchase one that has around 12 outlets thus protecting your computer as well as other devices. Look for a surge protector that:
- Can be able to sustain all your equipment ranging from your desktop computer to TV to your smartphone. A strong surge protector will ensure you can protect all your essential devices at once.
- Buy a surge protector that is certified by the Underwriters Laboratory. This is a sure way of knowing that the device you have bought will serve its purpose well.
- High absorption rate means that it can take up a lot of energy before it fails. When shopping for a surge protector, make sure it has a high absorption rate, a quick response time (low is better), and lower clamping voltage (helpful in activating the surge protector when the electrical current becomes high).
- Check the warranty to find out what is covered and what’s not (filing a claim should be easy if the surge protector is unable to do its work and your gadgets are fried).
The best surge protectors include:
- Belkin 12-Outlet Pivot-Plug Power Strip Surge Protector for $25
- Belkin 6-Outlet Commercial Power Strip Surge Protector for $12
Fun activities like watching movies, listening to music or gaming are always a thrill to engage in. This, however, should not be done at the expense of other people’s peace of mind. It is essential to enjoy yourself without disturbing other people and headsets are the perfect solution. An ideal headset is one with a clear sound and sound base.
The standard 3.5mm jack for all headphones allows you to use these headsets in other devices like a smartphone, laptop, and tablets. Headsets are vital for people who listen for a living like a transcriber who converts audio into written text. Headsets will help them focus solely on the words being spoken.
- With stereo headsets, it is a general rule that you get what you pay for. Price is directly proportional to the quality of sound and material used to make them. Getting a high-priced headset will ensure you get guaranteed durability and great sound experience.
- Get headsets that can be able to isolate sounds so that you won’t have to struggle to turn up the volume to keep out sounds from people or cars when walking.
- As much as we all want to get noise canceling headsets, they are costly to purchase. Unless your job description requires that you don’t get distracting noise in the background, then it would be a wise purchase.
- Do not purchase before testing them out. You need to make sure you are comfortable with the quality and feel of the headset before leaving the store.
The best stereo headsets for gamers include:
- Logitech G430 7.1 DTS Headphone for $40
- SteelSeries Arctis 5 RGB Illuminated Gaming Headset for $87
- Turtle Beach Elite Professional Surround Sound Gaming Headset for $200
Computer speakers are not that good to have as the primary means of projecting sound from the computer. External speakers have an excellent base that brings out the best sound especially for the movie and music lovers. Factors to consider before buying speakers include:
- Do I have enough desk space? This is very important before buying these computer accessories. Make sure to get speakers that can fit perfectly on your desk or under it. Most workplaces have limited space and thus small speakers required.
- The speakers should be flexible enough to be used on multiple devices by having many audio input interfaces.
- Options to control volume and bass. It is good to play videos and audio at a reasonable volume to mind neighbors.
The best computer speakers include:
- Logitech S150 USB Speakers for $12
- Cyber Acoustics 2.1 Speaker Sound System with Subwoofer for $40
- Bose Companion 2 Series III Multimedia Speakers for $100
Functions as a gadget that displays all the information processed by the computers’ video card. They perform display functions like regulating position, brightness, contrast, and switching it off and on. Without this basic accessory, you wouldn’t be able to use the desktop computer. There is a wide range to choose from depending on size, features, and type.
- Check the resolution that is best suited for your screen size. Large screens should be accompanied by a high resolution to make sure the pixel density is greater.
- Game lovers are more prone to pick monitors with a high refresh rate reason being it provides a smoother and fun gaming experience.
- Type of stand and the degree of rotation – make sure the stand is firm and durable, and it can be manipulated to your desired direction.
- Do you need an analog or digital computer? This is important especially when it comes to video input i.e. VGA or HDMI?
- Check the response time it takes for a pixel to change color. This is because older versions, the response time was a bit slow causing ghosting effects.
The best computer monitors include:
This is a basic must-have accessory for performing everyday tasks on your desktop computer. There are numerous things to look out for before buying a mouse which includes:
- Size and how it feels on your hand. Make sure you test out the mouse before purchasing to get on that you are most comfortable using. Different mice are meant to be held in three types of grips namely palms grip, claw grip and, fingertip grip. It all depends on your personal preference.
- Do you want a wireless or wired mouse? A wired one involves plugging it into a port in the computer to function whereas wirelesses mice do not include any wires. They are fitted with batteries for power to function.
- Mouse sensitivity to ensure your movement is executed precisely. A high sensitivity means that only minimal movement is made to make the cursor respond.
The best mouse computer accessories include:
Related: Best Gaming Mouse
One of the most popular computer accessories ever thanks to the rise of podcasters. This computer part is preferred explicitly by people who do record conversations or music tracks and those that have a podcast they want to broadcast. A stand-alone microphone should:
- Can pick up high low sounds with colossal clarity. When recording people holding a conversation, you will find others talking louder than others. A good microphone picks up all that.
- Is able to handle noise and distinguish it from a desirable sound.
- Before purchasing, take a controlled test to make sure you get a microphone with the sound you like.
The best microphone computer accessories include:
- FIFine Plug & Play USB Microphone for $22
- Blue Snowball iCE Condenser Microphone for $50
- Blue Yeti USB Microphone for $130
Related: Best Microphones for New Podcasters
Portable USB Drive
The significant feature of this device is that it can comfortably fit into your pocket. It plays a vital role in transferring data from one device to another. A USB drive with 8GB storage is sufficient for performing day to day data transfers.
- Buy a product that will serve its purpose for an extended period. There is no need of buying something then it breaks apart after just one fall. Get drives with sturdy material.
- Always go big when purchasing a USB drive. It is better to have one 16GB drive than having four 4GB drives. It is hectic to carry all four drives and the chances of losing one or more are higher.
- Always insist on security to protect your files from intruders. A majority of drives come with security options for either a password or a fingerprint scan. The type of measures you want to take to protect the drive largely depends on the type of files you will be storing in it.
- Warranted drives sound much better when purchasing a USB drive. This ensures that your gadget is protected against manufacturing defects that might occur within the period that you will be using the drive.
The best portable USB drive computer accessories include:
- Seagate Expansion 2TB Portable External Hard Drive for $60
- WD 4TB Black My Passport Portable External Hard Drive for $100
External Hard Drive
Age and malware can cause a computer to crash. It is painful to lose all your data from such an experience. This is why it is advisable to purchase an external hard drive (one of the most important computer accessories for all desktop users) to store copies of your documents, pictures, and videos. It can also be helpful in storing large files that keep your internal memory from filling. Before buying look at the following:
- Storage space – you need to determine how much space you need to sufficiently store your files. For a person who has some media files, a 1 terabyte portable USB drive should be enough. For a family that has a lot of media files, 5 or more terabytes may be the best option.
- Durability – get a device that will serve you for a long time. An ideal hard drive should have enhanced physical protection from falls and other accidents. There is no need to keep on buying new hard drives as it costs quite a bit of money.
- Security – protect your devices and files from intrusion by buying a device with added security features like encryption. Make sure you maintain a sense of privacy by getting devices that have the security provision as one of their features.
The best external hard drives include:
- Seagate Expansion 8TB Desktop External Hard Drive for $150
- WD 10TB My Book Desktop External Hard Drive for $300
- LaCie 5Big Thunderbolt 2 30TB External RAID Hard Drive for $2,200
Related: Best NAS Devices
It is responsible for protecting the keyboard against foreign objects like food, dust, dirt, or liquid. By covering the keyboard, you ensure that the keys work correctly and letters and numbers do not fade within a short period. The covers are easy to clean or disinfect.
- Make sure that it is a right fit for your keyboard so that it is neither too big nor too small.
- Get a functional but cheap one as they all perform the same duty which is to protect the keyboard.
- Ensure that it is transparent enough for you to be able to see the keyboard letters and numbers.
The best standard desktop PC keyboard cover available:
Over time, your desktop accumulates dirt that can be hard to clean. There are also areas of your computer that are super hard to reach for cleaning. A cleaning kit contains brushes that can reach these places and leave them spotless. There is tissue found in the kits that you can regularly use to wipe off your desktop monitor screen. Having a clean computer ensures that it lasts for longer and performs at its best always.
- A cleaning kit that does not contain products with harmful chemicals that might damage your device as well as have detrimental effects on your health.
- Get clear instructions on how to use the products as you may end up using it the wrong way like spraying liquid content on to the desktop computer instead of spraying it onto a cloth then wiping.
The best cleaning kit available:
There are so many computer accessories on the market to fit different types of budgets while still maintaining a variety of features from various brands. Many of these accessories will allow also work for your laptop. So if you or a friend have a new laptop then take time and check out our short must have laptop accessories list. When in search of good computer accessories, never base your decision on price alone.