All the gear you need to upgrade your stay-at-home setup
The perfect home office
Note: This feature was first published on 6 May 2020.
Upgrade your workstation
With the circuit breaker measures extended till 1 June, the pressure is on to find even more to occupy yourself within your home. And while some people already have a decent home office to work with, others are suddenly forced to scramble to create the semblance of a workstation that they're going to have to spend hours at.
But fret not, we're here to help. We've even broken them down to suit different preferences! It's time to get rid of that ratty-looking mousepad.
Note that we're looking at accessories to improve your home setup and gear. For quick system recommendations, do check out these articles:-
- Best Ultraportable Notebook (Tech Awards 2020)
- Best ultraportable notebooks for different usage needs
- Best Gaming Notebook (Tech Awards 2020)
- Find the ideal gaming notebook for anyone
Notebook recommendations aside, read on to find the best gear to outfit your home office with.
The perfect home office
This one's made for multi-taskers. If you're looking to get the most efficient setup going and stay productive throughout the day, you'll like the recommendations below.
1. CalDigit TS3 Plus
The CalDigit TS3 Plus is without a doubt one of the best Thunderbolt 3 docks on the market right now. It's small and compact, and it can sit either horizontally or vertically, so you can pick the orientation that best fits your setup. In addition, its selection of 15 ports is one of the most comprehensive you can get today, including a handy SD card reader right on the front, five USB-A 3.0 ports and two USB-C ports, one DisplayPort output, and a dedicated Gigabit Ethernet port. The Thunderbolt 3 ports allow for daisy-chaining of Thunderbolt 3 devices, and there is support for up to dual 4K 60Hz displays, or a single 5K monitor.
It'll also provide up to 85W of power to your laptop, more than enough for any ultrabook today, including the MacBook Pro. And while many Thunderbolt 3 docks only work with either Mac or PC, the TS3 Plus is compatible with both platforms. However, you'll need a Thunderbolt 3 equipped laptop to be able to use it.
You can get it now at S$364 from the local Apple store.
2. Logitech MX Master 3
If you're looking for a mouse that will help boost your productivity, look no further. The Logitech MX Master 3 is an excellent mouse for general use and productivity, featuring an ergonomic design that's supposed to relieve pressure on your wrist and plenty of buttons and scroll wheels to help you make quick work of Excel sheets.
The main scroll wheel and thumb wheel are machined out of steel, and you can toggle between a step-by-step ratchet mode and a smooth free-wheeling spin mode, in case you're working with particularly long documents. Its 4,000DDPI Darkfield sensor will track on any surface, including wood and glass, so you can use it on your desk without a mousepad.
Finally, the Logitech Flow feature lets you control up to three computers using a single mouse, and you can even copy and paste text and transfer files between computers. Whichever way you slice it, this mouse is pretty much a multi-taskers dream.
Get it at S$169 from Lazada.
Read More: Check out our full review here.
3. Cooler Master MP510 XL
While this is technically a gaming mousepad, the Cooler Master MP510 will perform admirably for work as well. Its stealthy design is notably lacking much of the ostentatious branding that characterises many gaming products, and the Cooler Master logo is tastefully etched into the top right-hand corner (it does glow in the dark, however). Measuring 900 x 400 x 3mm, the MP510 will provide a quality surface for both your mouse and keyboard.
In addition, it comes with stitched edges, which protects against fraying. However, my favourite feature is the durable Cordura fabric, which is splash-proof. This means that liquids aren't absorbed into the pad and are easily wiped off. You'll probably need snacks to keep you going throughout the day, but you won't have to worry about small accidents ruining your mousepad.
The Cooler Master MP510 XL is available to buy now at S$49 from Shopee.
4. Dell UltraSharp 34 Curved USB-C Monitor (U3419W)
Your monitor is probably one of the most important elements of your workstation. You're going to be staring at it all day, and it can be really frustrating working with a small screen that doesn't even let you lay out two windows comfortably side by side.
The Dell UltraSharp U3419W has no such problems, featuring an expansive 34-inch screen with a 21:9 aspect ratio. The 1900R curvature helps make working with such a large screen slightly more comfortable, and the crisp 3,440 x 1,440-pixel resolution means everything should look nice and sharp.
It can connect to your laptop via a USB-C cable, and it'll even supply up to 90W of power. In addition, helpful picture-in-picture and picture-by-picture modes let you view content from two different sources at the same time. It also has a handy built-in Keyboard, Video, and Mouse (KVM) feature, so you can switch between applications from two machines with the same keyboard and mouse.
You can get it at S$1,289 on Lazada (though take note it's not from Dell's store on Lazada).
5. Logitech C920S
The shift to working from home has meant that everyone is now scrambling to procure a decent webcam for some virtual face time with their colleagues. The Logitech C920S offers 1080p video calling at 30fps, which should be plenty sharp for your co-workers. There is built-in HD auto-focus and light correction as well, so you won't look too sickly if your room lighting isn't ideal. It also supports stereo sound with most popular video apps, so you don't have to scurry to buy a standalone microphone.
Best of all, there's an integrated privacy cover. When you're done using it, you can just fold the cover down and stay safe from prying eyes.
The C920S is available to buy at S$185 on Qoo10.
Bonus entry: D-Link Covr-2202 mesh Wi-Fi system
If you are still riddled with patchy Wi-Fi coverage at home, it's time to put an end to it and invest in a new router or mesh networking system. The latter just makes things really easy and ensures you can blanket your home with Wi-Fi connectivity by just adding more mesh networking nodes. Not sure what is mesh networking about? We have you covered in our guide here.
This is exactly what the D-Link Covr-2202 does. The chic and simple-looking Covr-2202 is a tri-band mesh networking system, which means it broadcasts a single 2.4GHz network and two 5GHz networks. Dual 5Ghz networks are useful since one can be used for backhaul communication, which frees up the other networks for client connections. D-Link claims two Covr-2202 units can cover an area of up to 550sqm or 6,000 sq ft, which should be more than sufficient for most homes.
But best of all, it won the Best Mesh Networking System award at Tech Awards 2019 last year. In our tests, we found it to be the best-performing and most consistent mesh networking system by a fair margin.
The D-Link Covr-2202 is sold as a pack of two and is priced at S$309. You can find it in the D-Link store on Lazada.
Read More: Check out our full review here.