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Essential gadgets for remote working in 2021
11th June, 2021 |
Here at Gadget Cover we just adore gadgets! No matter what shape, size or type there’s a place in our heart for all these wonderful devices. Just like many of you, we’ve had to get used to remote working over the past year. So, when we look back on all our high and low points, it’s important to consider where we would have been without our cherished gadgets.
And as disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic continue through 2021, it’s also worth considering whether there’s a gadget we could add to make remote working even better!
Why not read our comprehensive guide to the essential gadgets for remote working in 2021? There’s sure to be something to set your pulse racing. The best thing is that many of them are covered by our Defaqto 5-star expert rated gadget insurance.
Arranging a policy through us is easy and straightforward and means all your cherished tech is covered in the event it breaks down, is accidentally damaged or even stolen. Don’t leave yourself open to disaster, speak to our friendly team today.
Lightweight laptop - remote working starts here
Undoubtedly the number one gadget for anyone thinking of remote working is a lightweight laptop. From juggling complicated spreadsheets to hardcore video editing, these incredibly versatile machines are an absolute necessity for any work task. And while you’ll be thinking about price, don’t make the mistake of skimping on the investment. When it comes to work productivity you can’t cut corners.
As a benchmark for what to look for when shopping around we suggest the following:
- Screen size: around the 13-inch mark is ideal.
- Weight: less than 1.5kg.
- Processor: The faster the better.
- RAM and storage: 8GB RAM, SSD 256GB storage.
- Battery life: Minimum eight hours.
In terms of machines, the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air are both highly regarded and personal favourites of whole armies of tech-savvy remote workers. If you’re looking for a worthy rival to Apple then the super stylish Dell XPS 13 is a stunning laptop that really delivers. As you would expect from Dell, it comes with a whole variety of options to give you greater flexibility when it comes to budgeting.
Business tablet - for any occasion
For portability and versatility, there's really nothing to quite compare to a great business tablet. From reading documents on the go, being uber-creative, or managing different business systems and social media channels at the same time, a high-performance tablet could make a great addition to your remote working armoury.
If you’re in the market for a new tablet then you really are spoilt for choice. Vying for the top spots on any best buy table would be Apple’s iPad Pro 12.9, Microsoft’s Surface Pro 6 or Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S7 Plus. We also love the versatility and great value of the Asus Transformer 3 Pro.
Unfortunately, they’re all at a slightly greater risk of being damaged, stolen or even lost. Gadget insurance is a must-buy!
Laptop bag - for protection whatever the situation
If you’re wondering how to protect your new laptop or tablet then (apart from gadget insurance) the number one suggestion we have is to buy yourself a decent bag or case that fits perfectly and keeps everything safe and secure. From sturdy backpacks suitable for site visits at out-of-the-way locations to refined briefcases for high-class presentations, there’s one for every business occasion.
Whatever you do make sure it has plenty of internal padding, for any knocks and drops. And a waterproof outer-coating to protect it from the weather and any accidental spillages at events. Pockets on the outside are also useful, as they allow you to carry other essential remote working items.
The Tech gurus over at T3 love the Eastpak Provider 15" Laptop Backpack for its combination of practicality and comfortability. But if you’re looking to make an impression at any high-powered business meeting then you can’t go far wrong with the classic styling of anything with the Montblanc imprimatur – such as Meisterstuck Urban Laptop Case.
Portable laptop stand - to maintain your posture
One of the many joys of working remotely is the ability to work in so many different environments depending on where the mood takes you. However, while beach-side coffee places and spa hotel rooms may be the ideal place to relax while working, they’re rarely ergonomically kitted out for office work.
A portable adjustable laptop stand will help stop you from craning your neck or hurting your back while hunched over a screen. By raising up your screen to eye level your posture will be better and it’ll feel far more comfortable to type. Some of the best ones also allow you to use them while sitting or standing – giving you even more versatility while working remotely.
There are lots of decent models out there – we really like the Moft Z 5-in-1 Sit-Stand Desk. It’s lightweight, as thin as a thin book, and folds away neatly for an uncluttered workspace. Plus, when you’re done for the day, it slots straight into your backpack.
A great budget option highly rated by Amazon shoppers is iVoler’s lightweight laptop stand. They’re solid, reliable, weigh just 260g, and quickly fold down into an ultra-thin size.
Wireless keyboard and mouse - take the strain out of laptop use
Okay, if you’re working really remotely then you’ll probably not want to pack an additional keyboard and mouse. However, if you’re working from home then they’re an absolute must for two reasons. First, if you’re working for any length of time then a good ergonomic keyboard and mouse will cut down on joint strain and make you far more comfortable. Second, they’ll reduce wear to your precious laptop and reduce the likelihood of damage or breakdown.
If you want to swap between devices when working remotely then the Logitech K780 multi-device wireless keyboard is a great idea. It not only has the ability to pair with three devices but its base can also hold a smartphone or tablet at a comfortable reading angle – making remote working easier than ever before.
Ultrawide monitor - make space for multi-tasking
Laptops are great but some jobs require a lot of screen space. Investing in an extra monitor or better yet an ultrawide monitor could be the best purchase you ever make when it comes to working from home. The BenQ GW2280 has plenty of fans if you’re just looking for an extra monitor for work.
If ultrawide is your thing, then LG seems to be the market leader. However, any monitor that’s at least 34-inches with 1440px or better resolution would be suitable.
Webcam - for video conferencing
Why go to the effort and expense of buying extra equipment when you’ve got the perfect answer to your webcam needs close at hand? That’s right, your ultra-useful smartphone is the answer! Knowing how to use your phone as a webcam is a vital piece of knowledge for anyone taking remote working seriously. Whether your phone uses iOS or Android, setting it up as a webcam is easy. Simply download an app like DroidCamX or Camo and you’re away.
If you’ve got a GoPro camera then it can also be hooked up as a webcam for video conferencing using this GoPro guide. And if you really must have a dedicated webcam then the TechRadar team rate the Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 as a cheap and cheerful option aimed at pro users with large displays.
Headphones - to keep distractions to a minimum
If you need to conduct virtual meetings when working remotely then you’ll really need a set of headphones to keep things private and avoid disturbing other people around you. Working remotely can also mean there’s more ambient noise for you to deal with. From home life to busy cafes sometimes you’ll need something to block out the sounds of everyday life so you can focus on your work. But choosing the right pair for you is not going to be easy! Do you want them in-ear, on-ear or over-ear? Wired or wireless? Is noise cancellation something you need?
As you would expect, if you love Apple products then you won’t go far wrong with the stunningly good AirPods Max. Remote workers might also want to give a listen to the high-priced Bose Noise-Canceling Wireless Headphones 700 or the more affordable Poly Voyager Focus UC Stereo. According to Headphonesproreview, they’re comfortable and the sound quality is pretty good.
Portable power bank - for when energy takes a dip
There’s nothing more likely to derail your attempts at remote working than for your devices to run out of charge at the worst possible moment. Whether you’re on a long journey and need to write up an important report or there are no plugs available at your favourite café, a drained battery can be a massive headache. And that’s where a portable power bank comes in handy.
The best power bank to keep you topped up during those crucial times will depend on the number and type of devices you need to charge and for how long. Topping up your smartphone when you’ve just stepped away from the home office is far different from keeping several devices charged over a number of days. How remote are we talking here?
When weighing up options, always pay attention to the mAh rating. The higher the number, the more charge it will hold. You should also check how fast it can charge and how it handles large devices like iPads or laptops. The RAVPower 20,000mAh power bank is affordable, very portable and has two ports for multi-gadget charging.
Wi-fi range extender - to boost your signal
A common complaint of home workers is that the further you get from your router the weaker your Wi-Fi signal can become. This is a real problem if your home office is at the other end of the house. Investing in a handy Wi-Fi range extender can solve the problem in a simple stroke. Just plug it into an available socket, follow the installation instructions and look forward to super powerful Wi-Fi wherever you set yourself up. NETGEAR have a fine range of range extenders that are highly regarded, often appearing on home working essentials lists.
Coffee maker - we all need a spot of luxury
Obviously, remote workers who frequent cafes are in no need of a swanky coffee maker. However, when you’re working at home there really is an absolute requirement for one of these essential items. Who needs a trained barista when you’ve invested in one of these marvellous contraptions? For an in-depth look at which machine to buy then you can’t go wrong with reading through Which? consumer magazine’s top picks. Upgrading that working-from-home experience has never been so easy or delicious!
Health & Fitness tracker - to stay on track
When you move from being office based to working remotely you can lose track of your fitness goals. Perhaps you no longer walk or cycle to work or maybe you’re no longer next to the oh-so-conveniently located gym near the train station. That’s why it’s probably a good time to invest in a health and fitness tracker. If you don’t have a smartwatch already then consider popular all-rounders like the Fitbit Charge 4 or the Garmin Vivosmart 4.
Get your treasured tech insured with Gadget Cover
Depending on the circumstances, successful remote working can sometimes involve a big investment in time and money. So, taking out insurance has to be one of your top priorities.
From laptops to health and fitness trackers, whatever the device you need protecting, Gadget Cover can quickly pair you up with a policy to suit both your needs and budget.
A specialist gadget insurance policy gives you comprehensive cover for a great price. Plus, you’ll receive additional benefits like worldwide cover to include use of your gadget anywhere in the world, up to 180 days in any one year. We’ll even replace any accessories (up to £150) if they’re lost, stolen or damaged at the same time as your gadget.
Call Gadget Cover and get a quick quote for gadget insurance today!
Policy benefits, features and discounts offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.