Whether you bought a new laptop or are pulling the old one out of storage for a new semester there are some must have items you will need to get the most out of your laptop purchase! You may not need all of these items but I promise there is one or two items everyone will need. Read what 10 best accessories we found from polling over 1,000 college students and business professionals...
If you're using your laptop on the go it might not always be needed but once you're sitting down a wireless or bluetooth mouse will be the BEST purchase you can make for your laptop. They allow you to maximise your time behind the computer because most track pads are clumsy and slow with the exception of some newer ones and the Apple Macbook Pro or Macbook Air, these ones have amazing features I'd recommend trying before paying for the Apple Magic Mouse or its competitors.
Also follows the same idea as a wireless mouse, if you're planning to be using your laptop in one spot for a long time a good old fashion keyboard with larger keys and a 10 key on the side will help you type and enter data at much faster speeds and strain your hands less. A laptop keyboard will lead to carpal tunnel much faster due to how thing they are becoming more thin to save weight. They even offer roll out ones if you don't want to carry a full sized one in you travel carrying case.
Laptop Carrying Case
On that note you'll need a carry case or travel bag to carry your laptop in. Some of the larger and more powerful 17” laptops are meant to be a desktop replacement now but they still make laptop bags for those larger models for when they must be moved. You can buy laptop sleeves as well however they typically don't offer extra storage for accessories and won't protect your laptop nearly as well as a thicker bag can. If you're still confused on what laptop bag to get you can read about which laptop bag to get and see all the different kinds!
USB Flash Drive
Long since passed are the days of CD's or DVD's and now a must have item is the USB flash drive! They have got so cheap you can get an 8GB-16GB flash drive for under $20 now and save thousands of songs, pictures, and documents and not have to always buy disks. You can even plug them straight into newer USB car stereos and play your music from the USB flash drive! If you have a laptop with a USB port ( they all should!) then this is the number one must have laptop accessory! We'd put it at the top of our list but we assume everyone has had one for the past few years already... if not get one today.
This might sound like an unneeded item but for some people an extra battery can be the best item they've ever purchased. If you're on an air plane or just stuck at the airport an extra laptop battery can be the difference between finishing your work while waiting to get to your destination or having to stay up all night in the hotel room working on that last minute report. New batteries are cheap if you know where to buy them and swapping them out only takes seconds. Don't be tied to a charger when for $20 or less you can have hours extra on your laptop.
This is yet another item that goes for the businessman or woman who is always on the road, charging a laptop in the car may sound unneeded until you're at a clients house all day and get back to find your laptop is dead and useless. Most universal laptop chargers are cheaply made and will be a waste of your money so make sue you read the reviews first and spend a little extra to buy a quality car charger that will last you for years. That $20 laptop car charger off eBay is going to be the worst and might even ruin your laptop!
External DVD drive
Newer laptops have been focusing on extended battery life so getting rid of everything possible like DVD drives is something new laptops have started to do. They also want to make them as thin as possible following the lead of the Macbook Air so if you need a CD/ DVD for work or want to burn that new CD you bought off iTunes an external DVD drive that plugs in to a USB port can be a life saver. These can be had for very little money as well starting at about $20 and getting very expensive if you want a Blu-Ray player.
External Web Cam
This might be important to only a select few but most business model laptops and older models didn't come with a built in webcam so if you're on the road and want to talk with your wife, kids or friends having a USB webcam can be the cheapest and best way to video chat with loved ones. They also offer far better picture than a built in webcam and can have better audio if you buy an all in one unit. This is very useful if you're on a job site and need crystal clear video for the people back at headquarters or want to have a 1080p high definition video recorded. An external webcam is another cheap accessory with MANY uses.
Most newer model laptops (2010 and up) have started coming with an HDMI port as a standard feature. Luckily TV's have had HDMI ports since long before that and HDMI can do both video AND audio. This means you can now carry one easy to plug in cable and hook up your laptop for presentations or to watch Netflix when you have some down time. Streaming videos from Youtube, Amazon, and Netflix is the best way to fight boredom so don't forget your HDMI cable and extra battery so you can kill time while watching your favorite movies on a big screen TV!
Wireless 10 Key Keypad (if needed)
Most laptop today are starting to be a 15-16” screen and this means they have a larger keyboard with a 10 key option. However there are still 10, 11,12, 13 and 14” screens! None of these come with a 10 key so those people who use a lot of Excel spread sheet will be wishing they had got the larger screen. It is another simple USB device that plugs right in and works perfectly when needed and can be taken out and hidden when it's not. A must have for those number crunching data entering laptop users on the run.
Bonus Accessory – Custom LCD back cover
Since You've read this far why not give away one last hidden laptop accessory, the laptop LCD back cover! These add a ton of personalisation to your laptop while keeping it protected and looking new. If you ever plan to sell your laptop like I always do with old ones this will help keep it's value over the years of hopefully gentle use it has. You can get sports teams, TV characters and even custom pictures turned into sticky laptop screen covers that express what it is you like while still not breaking the bank. These covers can be found all over Amazon and eBay and add a very cool look to your laptop computer!