Essentials Gadget for Students
Engadget recommends a variety of laptops every year as part of our back-to-school guide. However, this is not enough if you want a productive learning environment. Whether you are staying at home as a student this year or returning to campus, you will benefit from a few more important things. A laptop stand is useful for preventing neck and arm pain, while a lumbar cushion supports the lower back. Noise-canceling headphones work wonders to hide distractions, and an LED Lamp relieves eye strain. From an external keyboard to a USB docking station, we think that all our suggestions below will lead to a greatly improved configuration for these long learning sessions.
While laptops are more convenient than desktops, using your laptop for long periods of time is bad for your posture and can lead to neck pain. That is why we strongly recommend that you purchase a laptop stand. You can position your machine so that the screen is at the appropriate height. In general, you want your eye height to be one to two inches below the top of the screen.
One of the favorites of our team is the one from Soundance, which can support laptops with screens from 10 to 15 inches. It is made of a sturdy aluminum alloy and the surface that holds the laptop is rubberized, which prevents it from slipping. And thanks to a set of removable components, it is also one of the few supports that are easy to transport. You can disassemble and assemble it in a matter of minutes, which makes it ideal not only for your home office, but also for use in the library.
The sound system lifts your laptop six inches above the desk, which should work well for most people. In addition, the raised design facilitates both better posture and ventilation of your laptop. There is even enough space underneath to store the keyboard and mouse when not in use. If you want one with an adjustable height, we recommend the Rain Design iLevel 2. it’s not as portable and more expensive than the Soundance, but it’s a good option if you need a stand with more flexibility.
Logitech K780 Wireless Keyboard for multiple Devices
If you are getting a laptop stand, you definitely want an external keyboard. (It will not be convenient to type on your laptop when it is docked in the stand.) We recommend a wireless model so that you don’t have to worry about cables cluttering up your desktop. Logitech Bluetooth keyboards are a favorite of Engadget, and the K780 is one of the most versatile models of the brand. It’s a full-size keyboard with numeric keypad, but it still feels slim and compact. The buttons are responsive and comfortable, and you can pair them with up to three devices. There is even a built-in powered station if you want to use it with a Smartphone or iPad.
Logitech M525 Wireless Mouse
In addition to the external keyboard, you should get a suitable wireless mouse. The Logitech M525 is a great option thanks to its ergonomic design and affordable price. It is small enough not to take up much space on your desk, and it has an ambidextrous design that is suitable for both right-handed and left-handed people. The precision scroll wheel has a tilt function that also allows side scrolling. However, we should note that this is not a Bluetooth mouse; you connect it to your computer via a USB receiver.
If you prefer the convenience of Bluetooth, you should consider the MX Anywhere 3. It has a 4,000 dpi tracking sensor that works on most surfaces, even glass. However, the MX Anywhere 3 is much more expensive and does not include the tilt wheel mentioned above.