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Essential gear that makes working from home much easier

Laptops work great on the road or in the classroom, but now that so many of us have been suddenly thrust into working from home, you may be realizing that your tiny notebook isn’t optimal for being pounded on for eight hours straight. Yes, it can get the job done. But with a little help, your laptop can get the job done so much better.

We’ve rounded up a list of gear and services that can make working from home just a little bit easier, because the less added stress in your life right now, the better. You won’t find big, pricey, obvious stuff here; you already know that if you can devote extra space and cash toward a proper desk and an office chair, you’ll be more comfortable. Instead, we’re focusing on more affordable accessories that can help smooth off some of the rough edges of full-time laptop life.

Actual laptop recommendations are beyond the scope of this article as well, but if you need some assistance there, be sure to check out our guides on what to look for in a home laptop, and our expert evaluations of the best-selling laptops under $500. We also maintain buying guides for our favorite laptops overall and the best gaming notebooks.

Finally, Amazon’s pushing back the ship dates on a lot of its items as it focuses on moving essential products, even if you subscribe to Amazon Prime. Other retailers aren’t affected nearly as much. We’ve inspected rival options to find the best alternatives to Amazon for buying tech right now. Head elsewhere if the gear you want isn’t available in a reasonable time frame.

With all that out of the way, let’s dig into the gear that can make working from home easier. We’ll start with the most helpful (and perhaps more obvious) ones, then move into more specialized scenarios. Skip ahead if you’ve got the basics covered, though we’ve also included information on how to repurpose tech you already own in some sections.

A mouse

logitech mx master 3 lifestyle 3 Logitech

Logitech’s MX Master 3

Yes, your laptop has a trackpad. But even the best trackpads feel cramped and suboptimal during extended sessions. And frankly, the trackpads on most laptops suck. Enter the humble mouse.

Any mouse will be better than using your trackpad all day, and all you need to do is plug it into your notebook’s USB port. Amazon’s own basic mouse costs under $8 and ships in under a week, or $13 if you want a wireless model. The popular M525 sculpted ergonomic mouse from Logitech was made to fit comfortably in your hand, and it can work wirelessly for up to three years before you need to swap out the batteries. Features like that are well worth its $25 asking price.

But there’s no reason to stop at basic mice. If you don’t mind getting a bit more adventurous, spending more on a premium specialty mouse can pay dividends. I’ve been using Razer’s $35 DeathAdder Elite gaming mouse for years; its long cord, customizable profiles, and fast, sensitive optical sensor provide tangible benefits even outside of games. The $99 Logitech MX Master 3 earned 4.5 stars and our Editors’ Choice award for its superb design and sublime features. “The MX Master 3, in particular, raises the bar, transforming the mouse from a simple input device to a multi-function tool that can dramatically enhance productivity,” we said in our review.

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