Today, we’ll review the best of the budget gadgets you can use while working from home
While almost half of office workers globally work from home at least part-time, keeping your workplace neat becomes a challenge. While in corporate settings they used to have separate desks, or even an office, many home-based employees are constrained to limited spaces. Therefore, desktop minimalism becomes a must. There’s a number of wireless devices and accessories to help keep your home office clutter-free.
Logitech M720 Triathlon
This optical mouse is compatible with computers, laptops and tablets using all most popular OS (Windows, macOS, Chrome OS, Linux, and iPadOS). Triathlon can pair with, and quickly switch between, three different devices via Bluetooth, so you’ll be able to multitask without fuss. USB connection is also possible. With the help of Logitech software, you can customise the mouse’s six programmable buttons to suit your needs.
The Logitech M720 has an ergonomic shape and a universal thumb rest that should make it feel comfortable for most hand sizes during long periods of use. As for other advantages, the mouse boasts “ultra precise” tracking on “almost” any surface. It also has the additional instant-stop feature and an option to switch to click-to-click scrolling.
The battery life of its single AA battery should be about two years, which is impressive. However, the Logitech M720 has a few drawbacks too. Firstly, it’s specific design is suitable only for right-handed mouse users. Besides, it doesn’t work on glass or mirrored surfaces, though a mousepad can easily fix that.
Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Mouse 3600
Price: from $15 (Amazon)
This compact mouse works well for both right- and left-handed users. It’s BlueTrack technology provides great precision on practically every surface (except for glass and mirrored surfaces), while the 4-way scroll wheel will conveniently navigate up, down, left and right. Primarily designed for laptop use, the Microsoft 3600 fits well into most bags and is a great solution for travellers and those working on the go.
Lacking the advanced features of premium devices, this model is perfectly capable of performing all standard tasks. The mouse comes in black, red, and blue colours. You can freely use this Bluetooth mobile mouse for up to 12 months with a single battery, and you won’t need any USB dongles to connect it to your laptop or PC. As for the drawbacks, it doesn’t work with older OS versions like Windows 7, and some users report occasional issues with connectivity.
Logitech M330 SILENT PLUS
Price: from $18 (Amazon)
One of the best budget options for work-from-home parents, the Logitech M330 Silent Plus won’t bother your sleeping kids or other family members. Its buttons are designed to be near-silent, with an estimated 90% reduction in click noise over similar Logitech mice.
It has an ergonomic shape and a compact size, so that it would be convenient to use on the go as well. Other useful features include automatic power-off, which helps the mouse deliver up to two years of battery life, and advanced optical tracking with a wireless range of up to 33 ft.
Price: from $20 (Amazon)
This budget option has a nearly full-size layout with a Numpad, arrow keys, and media hotkeys. The keyboard easily switches between three devices, whether they are computers, tablets or smartphones. Cross-computer typing also works seamlessly if combined with a compatible Logitech FLOW mouse (sold separately). A special feature of Logitech K780 is an integrated phone and tablet stand.
It holds your devices at a convenient angle while you work, so that you can perform your daily tasks even if your laptop is not available. On the downside, it doesn’t have any backlighting, which may be a disadvantage for those who often work late at night. On the other hand, it helps the keyboard to function in an economical mode, extending the battery life up to two years.
Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard
Price: $30 (Best Buy)
Despite the budget price, this keyboard comes with multi-device connectivity. You can toggle between up to three devices with just a press of a button. The Logitech K380 is sleek and portable. It also automatically recognises each device and maps keys to give you a familiar layout, including shortcuts. This miniature keyboard doesn’t have a numpad, but is equipped with hotkeys and media keys. It has 2 x AAA Batteries pre-installed. Those are not rechargeable, but are supposed to work for about two years.
Headphones & Earbuds
Anker Soundcore Life Q20
Price: $60-68 depending on the colour (Amazon)
One of the most affordable variants on the market, the Anker Soundcore has a range of other benefits including active noise cancellation (ANC) and 40-60 hours of battery life. Quick charge mode will give you additional four hours of listening after just 5 minutes of charging. The cheap price doesn’t impact the sound quality. These headphones reproduce music with extended high frequencies that reach up to 40 kHz and provide an amplified listening experience with the exclusive BassUp technology.
Jabra Elite 3
Price: $69-80 depending on the colour (Amazon)
These affordable earbuds offer unmatched performance and features at this price range. For optimal on-the-go listening, the Elite 3 offers unique noise isolation along with on-demand external noise pickup with HearThrough technology. Besides, they have excellent call quality with 4 in-built microphones, superb audio performance, industry-standard battery life (7-28 hours), as well as an elegant and discreet design. Jabra earbuds are rainproof, have Alexa built in, and have a great comfort fit. There’s also a volume control directly on the earbuds, including a mute mode.
JBL TUNE 600BTNC
Price: $50-100 depending on the state and colour (Amazon)
This model is very popular among budget-friendly headphones. It’s lightweight and foldable, so you can use it both at the home office and while travelling. Besides, their comfortable fit will easily get you through long zoom hours unlike heavier headphone models. The JBL Tune 600BTNC has ANC technology, so that no outside noise will bother you while you’re having a conference call. If you decide to listen to music while working, you’ll also enjoy quite decent sound quality. Besides, these headphones can be used both in wireless and wired mode.
Tribit Stormbox Micro
Price: $50 (Best Buy)
If you want a basic portable Bluetooth speaker that genuinely delivers good-quality sound at a low price, the Tribit Stormbox is one of the best options on the market. If you buy two of these speakers, you can pair them in stereo mode as well. The multifunction button on the Stormbox allows both to play the audio tracks and manage phone calls (if connected to a smartphone). In terms of office work, it would perform all the necessary functions at a very low price. However, those who require more refined music listening with great bass sound should look for more sophisticated models. The battery life of this model is up to 20 hours.
Yootech Wireless Charger, Qi-Certified 10W Max Fast Wireless Charging Pad
Price: $13-15 (Amazon)
Amazon’s bestseller in the affordable wireless chargers category, the Yootech is compatible with many popular iPhone and Android phone models. It can also charge Airpods and Airpods Pro with wireless charging cases. However, some phones may require additional adapters which are not included. Multifunctional Intelligent Protect Technology provides temperature control, surge protection, short-circuit prevention.
Besides that, this wireless charger is Qi-certified, made of ABS Material which is fire-resistant. Yootech can charge smartphones without taking most silicone cases off. Another nice feature is that the light on the charger pad doesn’t glow throughout the charging process, but turns off after 15 seconds. This function both saves the charger energy and allows you to rest well when you charge your device overnight.
Anker Wireless Charger, 313 Wireless Charger (Stand)
Price: $16-20 depending on the colour (Amazon)
If you prefer a charging stand that lets you easily view your phone screen while you charge it, pay attention to wireless vertical stands. This product from Anker works for both Android and iPhone models, however, you should check the device compatibility before you buy it. It’s not universal and there’s a list of phone types the stand can charge. The flexibility of the Anker charger allows you to flip the phone in two modes: landscape and portrait.
Therefore, you’ll feel comfortable both watching videos and having video calls while your phone is charging. If your phone case is up to 5mm, the stand will easily cope with charging through it. As for the drawbacks, despite the claimed fast charging mode, many users note that their original charging cord works faster than this wireless model. Besides, no power adapter is included.