Welcome to working from home! Here's some gear you might need
Monitor, headset, webcam, mouse, keyboard and chair
|Anthony Agius||Mar 22|
I'm a tech writer that's been working from home for years and have been inundated with people asking for help buying gear now that they need to work at home too. Here's my recommendations for tech gear that’ll make these unusual and stressful times a bit more comfortable:
Monitor: Dell U2719DC - $629 (use code PMID20)
2560x1440 res with a 90W USB-C charger built in, so you only need a single plug for video, power & the built-in USB hub. I find the 2560x1440 resolution the most versatile (4K scaling shits me) and this monitor is great value versus the 3440x1440 ultrawide monitors that go for over $1000. I've had Dell Ultrasharp monitors on my desk for over 15 years and they've never disappointed me.
USB Headset: Razer Kraken X USB - $72 (use code PMID20)
Normally I'd suggest the Microsoft LifeChat LX-6000 or the Jabra Evolve 40 but every single place that stocks them is sold out or has jacked up the price an insane amount. Luckily gamer headsets are still in plentiful supply and if you're gonna be wearing them for hours, are probably a better fit than the business/short-term orientated headsets. These Razer ones apparently sound good, have in-line controls for mute & volume, the mic is clear and are the least gamer bling looking ones I could find at a decent price.
Bluetooth Earpiece: Plantronics Voyager 5200 - $119.20 (use code PMID20)
If you prefer to go hands free and want something less bulky to wear all day, those early 2000s yuppie Bluetooth headsets can get the job done. I personally find them uncomfortable, but lots of people don't mind. Wirecutter reckons "the Voyager 5200 is comfortable enough to wear all day, has excellent incoming and outgoing sound quality, and offers decent battery life". If $120 is too expensive for ya, the Jabra Talk 2 is $62 but doesn't look as comfortable for prolonged use.
Webcam: Razer Kiyo - $149 + delivery
Oh my god, what a clusterfuck it was trying to find a webcam to recommend that's decent and in stock. My go-to here would be the Logitech C920 or Microsoft LifeCam Studio, but nope, all cleared out. Due to that, I'm going to recommend something I wouldn’t normally - the Razer Kiyo. It's designed for game streamers and has a ring LED built in to light up your general area so it should produce quite a nice image for your fellow co-workers. It’s not the best camera, but also hasn't been price jacked like every other webcam. Most webcams also has a tripod mount so you can place the camera straight on and level. This little octopus tripod is versatile if you need something cheap.
Mouse: Logitech MX Master 3 - $138
Hands down the nicest mouse I've ever used. Heaps of configurable buttons, long battery life, USB-C charging, Bluetooth and USB dongle, can pair to multiple devices, ratcheting magnetic scroll wheel and thumb scroll wheels and buttons. Yeah it's expensive, but treat yourself in these tough times. I'd also like to suggest the MX Vertical, which looks weird but is supposed to be friendlier to your wrist. I haven't used it but really should try it out because my wrists are killing me.
Keyboard (non-mechanical): Logitech K380 - $48 + delivery
I've got one of these as a spare/backup keyboard and it's perfectly cromulent with the added bonus of being quiet (unlike my daily mechanical keyboard), can pair to multiple devices and is portable (I use it on an iPad sometimes). If you're getting the MX Master 3 mouse, go for the MX Keys to go with it. It's nicer to use than the K380 long term, but costs a fair bit more ($208). I wanted to also recommend a mechanical keyboard, but all the good value ones are out of stock. Only the bougie ones are still around and if you need a post like this to buy a keyboard you shouldn’t waste your cash on one of those keyboards.
Office chair: Buro Metro II High Back 24/7 - $569 + delivery
I've been using this chair for basically 8 hours a day, every day, for 5 years and it's still good as new. If $569 is too expensive as you just need something temporary, just go to Officeworks or IKEA and get whatever suits your price range. Good chairs aren't cheap, but it's something you can buy once and use it for years. Do not scrimp on ergonomics my friend!
If there's something you need that I haven't listed here, feel free to email me, firstname.lastname@example.org with what you're after and I can try guide you to the right stuff.
Stay inside, be safe and wash your hands!