The best home office essentials

Be your most productive work-from-home self with the best office essentials

More and more people are working from home: some telecommute for their paid job, some own their own home-based businesses and some use their home offices as super-charged productivity hubs for all their jobs, clients, paid hobbies, and more. The one thing all home offices have in common is that they should all be geared up and streamlined for distraction-free, enjoyable productivity. We’ve got a quick list of some essential tech items that can help you work smarter, not just harder. Some of these items may even save you a bunch of money.

All-in-one or multifunction machine

HP LaserJet Pro M426fdw Multifunction Wireless Laser Printer laser printer deals

In the not-so-distant past, home offices typically had a veritable flotilla of devices to help keep things running — a printer, a scanner, a copier, and a fax machine. Thank the geek gods for constantly improving technology, because all those old devices fit into one slim, high-tech machine. All-in-one units have high-quality color printers, high-resolution scanners, and copy functions. Unfortunately, most don’t come with faxing capabilities anymore. (Instead, you can just scan a document and fax it for free using or similar site.) An all-in-one is essential because it does so much and takes up so little space. You’ll also save a lot on your electricity bills by dropping from four power-hungry devices to one.

Some popular all-in-one units:

  • Brother HL-L3290CDW
  • Canon Color imageCLASS MF733Cdw
  • Canon Pixma TS9120


HP Spectre x360 13 (late 2018) review
HP Spectre x360 13 Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Laptop computers are often preferred for home-office use because they allow work to be done from more than one static location in the home. They can be moved from desk to desk, out of the office and onto the porch, and even on the road, if necessary. Should you get a little stir-crazy from working from the same location all the time, a quick trip to a coffee house with wireless internet can work wonders for clearing cobwebs, sparking new ideas and reminding you that you’re still part of a social society. You just can’t get that freedom with a desktop computer. Laptops use much less power than desktops, so you could see an almost instant drop in power consumption. Even better, most new laptops are comparable to desktops in power, memory, and speed.

Some of the best-rated laptops:

External hard drive

seagate backup plus ultra slim 2tb portable external hard drive dtdeals

If you value any of the data on your computer, you need to keep it backed up in some way or another. If you have lots of data to protect (images, spreadsheets, business plans, computer code, emails, etc.), you’ll want a very reliable external hard drive. Storing duplicates of your files on an external drive saves you untold grief should your main computer ever fail or go missing. Always buy a hard drive that can hold more data than you think you’ll need. You can often get drives with 200% more storage room for only 10% to 20% higher prices than base models. Excellent value, brilliant security solution.

Some of the best external hard drives:

  • Samsung T5
  • Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Slim Portable
  • Adata SE730H

Spacious screen

If you’re one of the few people still using a bulky CRT monitor in your home office, please, please, please do yourself and the environment a favor by upgrading. The best monitors for 2019 offer stunning visual quality, low power consumption and, best of all, widescreens can enhance productivity. Even if you’re using a laptop, you can benefit immensely from the productivity boost an external monitor can provide. It essentially doubles your workspace, allowing you to multitask like mad, all without having to switch back and forth between super tiny windows. Prices are right for any budget, too.

The best-rated monitors include:

  • Dell’s Ultrathin USB-C monitor
  • Asus ROG Swift PG279Q
  • Samsung CF791

Speaker system


GoldenEar Technology Triton Five
GoldenEar Technology Triton Five Rich Shibley/Digital Trends

Unless you’re hearing impaired or suffer from terribly low attention span, one of the most enjoyable productivity boosters can be background music. Whether it’s a little Tony Bennett playing softly over the airwaves, or trip-hop cranked up loud enough to drown out air raid sirens, music is both aesthetic and therapeutic. Fortunately, high-quality speaker systems are very affordable and can play directly from your computer or phone. Desktop systems, shelf systems, and even floor-based systems can be found online and in retail stores everywhere. Speaker sets may not save you any money, but the music they play can inspire you to do more.

Some popular speaker systems:

Comfortable Keyboard

razer turret for xbox one review gaming keyboard  9

Whether you’re using a desktop or laptop computer, the wrong keyboard can wreak havoc on your workflow and can prematurely tire your hands and fingers. Bad keyboards contribute to typos, hand/wrist strain and, quite often, excessively loud key noise that can drive some people batty. Find a new keyboard that has smooth keying action that feels good under the tips of your fingers. Ergonomic keyboards can help reduce and/or prevent strain. Most high-quality keyboards have wireless versions, helping you keep your desk clutter free.

Three of the best rated wireless keyboards:

  • Omoton Bluetooth keyboard
  • Logitech K780
  • Microsoft Surface keyboard

Better mouse

best gaming mouse razer lancehead

Old style mice with the rubber ball underneath are notoriously bad when it comes to accurate mouse movements. No matter how clean you or your workspace may be, gunk inevitably builds up, causing herky-jerky, uncontrollable mouse action. They’re also prime gathering places for nasty germs. An optical or laser mouse will work beautifully on most surfaces, and you can even ditch the nasty mousepad. Some mice are made with comfortable ergonomic designs, making them very pleasant to use for long periods of time. Wireless mice (whether Bluetooth or RF) are great for keeping desks clean and tidy.

Some of the best mice include:

  • Logitech MX Vertical
  • Logitech MX Master 2S
  • Evoluent VerticalMouse


Amazon tech deals Jabra Halo Smart Wireless Bluetooth Headset
Jabra Halo Smart Wireless Bluetooth Headset

In a work environment, phone headsets can be invaluable. Whether corded or wireless, headsets allow extra mobility, eliminate kinked-neck syndrome and add freedom for both hands to work on other things. Bluetooth headsets allow you to freely walk around the office environment, up to 30 feet from the phone itself. Most Bluetooth headsets (and many corded headsets) also work well with VoIP applications like Skype, iChat, etc.

The best headsets include:

VoIP Phone Service

best home office essentials voip

Standard landlines, though old-school, are commonly used for home office phone service. Many home-based entrepreneurs and remote employees use cell phones, especially if they need to be mobile on a regular basis. Another fantastic option — often free or incredibly inexpensive — is to use an already-existing high-speed internet connection for VoIP – also known as Voice over Internet Protocol, or internet telephony. Think Skype and Vonage. These services can save tens, hundreds and even thousands of dollars on long-distance and long-duration calls.

The best VoIP phone services include:

  • Jive Voice
  • RingCentral
  • 8×8

Charging station

best wireless chargers ces 2018 nomad charging hub
Nomad Charging Hub

Along with all the gadgets sprawled all over the average home office desk, there is inevitably an equal number of charging blocks and cords connected to said gadgetry. Virtually eliminate the mess by getting a supercharging hub like the Callpod Chargepod. The Chargepod can simultaneously charge up to six gadgets and only uses one wall outlet. It’s a fantastic space-saver in the home office and works wonders for simplifying business and personal travel and lightening the bags you may carry.

Here are some more charging hub options:

  • Xcentz
  • AmazonBasics 10-Port
  • Nomad USB charger
Smart Home

Sale at Microsoft Store knocks 20% off Samsung SmartThings devices

Looking to make your home even smarter? Samsung SmartThings is the electronics manufacturer's smart home hub, sensor, and most recently a decent mesh Wi-Fi router system, and everything's on sale for 20% off at the Microsoft Store at the…

Take a gander at the best 4K smart TV deals for May 2019

There's no doubt that a good 4K smart TV is the best way to take your home entertainment setup to the next level to enjoy all your favorite shows, movies, and games in glorious Ultra HD. We've got the best 4K TV deals right here.

The Dell XPS 13 headlines the best laptop deals for May 2019

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work or you're just doing some post-holiday shopping, we have you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.

The best iRobot Roomba deals to make cleaning your home a breeze

Keep your home clean without lifting a finger using a robot vacuum cleaner. These nine iRobot Roomba deals not only help you keep your home tidy, but many also come with advanced features such as automatic scheduling and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Smart Home

Let a robot do your chores! Here are the best robot vacuums for 2019

Robot vacuums are a convenient way to tidy up your home and minimize your weekly to-do list. From a top-of-the-line model to a handy budget option, here are the best robot vacuums you can buy right now.
Smart Home

Alexa Guard: Everything you need to know about the home security feature

What exactly is Alexa Guard and what can it do? What are its limitations? How do you set it up? We have the answers to all of these questions about the feature in this handy guide.

5G your old phone: HTC’s 5G Hub is now available for pre-order from Sprint

HTC almost made a phone. The HTC 5G Hub runs Android 9 Pie, has a Qualcomm 855 processor with the X50 modem, 4GB of RAM, and an HD touchscreen -- but it's a hot spot designed to connect to 5G networks.
Smart Home

Amazon drops price of Panasonic’s Beard and Body Trimmer by a whopping 40%

Amazon is offering a 40% off deal on Panasonic's ER-GB80-S beard and body trimmer, which boasts stainless steel blades -- perfect for those with allergies -- set at a 45-degree angle to ensure the best cut.

The best Amazon Prime Day 2019 deals: Everything you need to know

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is still a few months off, but it's never too early to start preparing. We've been taking a look at the best discounts from previous Prime Days to give you our predictions of what to expect this year.
Smart Home

Nest Hello vs. Ring Video Doorbell Pro: Which is better for you?

Video doorbells provide added peace of mind. You can catch porch pirates in the act, your kids throwing a party, or a prowler roaming around your driveway. We compare two video doorbells: The Nest Hello vs. The Ring Video Doorbell Pro.

Kwikset’s second-generation deadbolts get smarter and safer

Kwikset introduced the second generation of its Signature Series Deadbolt with Home Connect locks, which feature a more compact design and an improved chipset that offers over-the-air security updates.
Smart Home

Cleanyst imagines a new mix-at-home paradigm for cleaning products

Cleanyst is a home-mixing system that combines pre-manufactured pouches with your at-home water to create all kinds of cleaning products via an eco-friendly home device that eventually pays for itself.

B&H bundles Bose SoundTouch 10 and Amazon Echo Dot in smart speaker deal

The Amazon Echo Dot and the Bose SoundTouch 10 Wireless Music System are some of the best smart speakers in the game. Save $50 at B&H when you bundle both together, and upgrade your audio experience today.

Looking for a smart speaker? Grab the first-generation Echo Show for only $90

Looking for a video-enabled Alexa device, but those high price tags scare you? If you don't mind the less sleek look of the first generation Echo Show, then Woot's latest electronics deal is one you don't want to miss: they're brand new…