A laptop is a great way to make your workstation completely portable and is almost a necessity itself in today’s bustling, busy world.
In addition to your laptop, though, there are several necessities to really make your on-the-go workstation feel like home. Below, we discuss the laptop necessities everyone should consider once purchasing their new toy.
Bluetooth Capable or External Mouse
If you’re like me, it doesn’t matter how sophisticated the manufacturer makes the trackpad, a mouse will always be more comfortable.
A necessity for me is an external mouse, or if your laptop is Bluetooth enabled, a Bluetooth connectable mouse. Either option is a great way to seamlessly include a mouse to your laptop.
An external mouse normally comes with a small USB or microUSB devices to connect to your laptop. Be sure to check what sorts of ports you have on your laptop before purchase!
A Bluetooth capable mouse simply connects to your laptop via a Bluetooth connection. Also, be sure your laptop has this ability before purchasing your mouse. Most newer laptops have this function but it’s always advisable to check before you make your purchase.
..Laptop sleeves are best for those ultraportable laptops and offer a sleek, light, and protective way to carry your laptop…
Next, you’ll likely want something to carry your laptop in. Laptop sleeves are best for those ultraportable laptops and offer a sleek, light, and protective way to carry your laptop in your bag. The drawback to this accessory is the lack of space for your other necessary laptop items.
Sleeves really only have room for the laptop and that’s it. Not the power brick or your mouse or any other external accessory.
If you’re carrying your laptop in a backpack or bag that’s not made specifically for laptops, I definitely recommend getting a sleeve because it will at least protect it from minor bumps and bangs while in your bag.
A carrying case will offer you a spacious case to put all your laptop accessories including your power brick, external mouse, and any other accessories you carry with you.
I prefer a carrying case to a sleeve because of the extra room for these accessories. Some are even able to fit other smart devices like tablets and smartphones along with a small notebook and some pens.
This is great for the traveling professional because you can fit all your necessities in one place and know they will be well protected.
If you want to carry all your stuff with you in one bag, I’d recommend getting a laptop bag or backpack. This will give you plenty of room for you laptop, its accessories, and anything else you need to bring with you like books, notepads, etc.
I definitely recommend these to students as you probably have lots of textbooks and notepads to carry with you between your classes.
External Hard Drive
An external hard drive is a necessity for those with laptops that have small storage amounts. With today’s next gen OSs, your hard drive space can shrink to nothing before you even have time to use your laptop properly.
For those with laptops that have 128 GB of storage or less, I definitely recommend an external hard drive.
You can get models that have up to 16 TB of storage and are no bigger than a smartphone. They’re super helpful for photographers who have lots of image files to store, gamers who play lots of storage hogging games, or just casual users who need some extra storage space.
I recommend that everyone get an external hard drive of some kind because they are great for backing up your laptop in case of the worst. You don’t necessarily need an industrial sized 16 TB model.
If you’re using your external hard drive for backup alone, I recommend getting one that is twice the size of your laptop’s hard drive.
Laptop Stand or Cooling Stand
A laptop stand is not necessarily a necessity for all laptop users but it is worth mentioning for its benefits.
A laptop stand raises your laptop up off your desk or workstation so that it is eye level. It also offers some comfort to the hands, wrists, and arms when typing.
A cooling pad, which is similar to a normal stand, is a necessity for laptop gamers or laptop users whose laptops easily overheat. They work by generating air current with the use of fans into your laptop’s most heat susceptible places.
If your laptop is lacking fans or your game is turning your laptop into a cooking surface, a cooling pad is a must have.
An HDMI cable is an important accessory for those who utilize external monitors. They are able to connect your laptop to another monitor or a TV.
When connected to another monitor, it gives the capability to use both your laptop screen and your desktop monitor at once, virtually extending your screen size so you can have multiple windows maximized at once.
When connected to a TV, you can project your screen onto the likely larger device. This great for movie night or when I want to play video games on a much larger screen.
..For those laptop users lacking in the ports department, I recommend an external adapter …
For those laptop users lacking in the ports department, I recommend an external adapter. This adapter will, ironically, plug into one of your existing ports but offer you a whole slew of additional ports to use.
This is often in the form of the range of USB and microUSB ports, a card reader (or two), an HDMI port, and an ethernet port. It basically gives portless laptops the full range of ports available in a small adapter.
A cable lock is a small cable that locks your laptop to your desk. I found this most useful while I was at university because, when I lived in the dorms, I had no idea who was coming in and out of our dorm room with my roommates and it made me feel just a bit safer when it concerned my laptop.
You will need to check first if your laptop has cable lock functionality (most do, don’t worry). Look at your laptop ports for a symbol like a lock, key, or linked chain. This means your laptop has the ability to be locked with a cable lock.
USB Flash Drive
.. you may be asking “Why even get an external hard drive? What’s the difference?” …..
A USB flash drive is such an essential necessity that we don’t even really think about it. A flash drive, much like an external hard drive, gives that extra bit of space to store files. You can find flash drives with up to 10 TB of storage capacity!
So, you may be asking, “Why even get an external hard drive? What’s the difference?”
The difference is a USB flash drive is a solid state drive, or SSD, which means it has no moving parts. Without getting into the super technical, this just means that your laptop won’t be able to read files off a USB flash drive as fast as it would an external hard drive.
Whether or not you choose to get one or the other or both depends on the amount of storage you need and what you’re doing with that extra storage.
External hard drives are best for backing up your devices in case of failure. Like I said before, it’s advisable to purchase an external hard drive and backup your laptop in case your laptop’s hard drive fails.
USB flash drives are best for moving files from one computer to another; for example, when you’re giving a presentation at work or school and can’t share your files over a network.
These laptop accessories are great additions to your laptop and make your life just that much easier. What are your top laptop necessities? Leave a comment down below.