Our favorite gear for working from home (that’s in stock now)


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After working from home went mainstream in the spring, many of our favorite remote-work staples became impossible to buy online. This fall, many of those items have come back into stock — and for the first time in a long time, our favorite Webcams, USB mics and monitors are once again available. These peripherals, accessories and services can make a big difference when you’re working remotely. 

The must-haves are obvious: A full-size keyboard, a wireless mouse and an external monitor. But there’s a handful of other gear — from a proper desk to blue-light-blocking glasses to a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones — that can make your workday easier to bear. Our recommendations are below.

Read more: 13 stay-at-home essentials for under $20

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After being sold out for months, Logitech’s excellent StreamCam is now back in stock at Best Buy. (If it’s sold out, you can use a tripod and your phone’s HD camera for video chatting. Here’s how to do it.) And if you’re looking for other gear to help enhance your meetings online, we’ve got a roundup of gear for video chats.

Blue Microphones

Yes, this looks like something you’d see in a 1940s radio station, but the audio technology is 100% modern. It has three capsule microphones, four pickup patterns (for different kinds of recording) and just enough controls to help optimize the way you sound without overloading you with super technical features. It was hard to find this spring and summer, but the Blue Yeti is now back in stock at Amazon.

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There’s a lot to like about the Edge Desk System. It provides a highly ergonomic sitting position, with knee supports that can relieve the tension of sitting in a traditional chair. It’s highly adjustable and we’ve been able to change the height and angle to accommodate everyone in my family, including an 8-year-old child. It can also easily and quickly fold up into a surprisingly compact and mobile package.

Acer

BenQ is currently offering $50 off this 32-inch 4K LED display. That’s a good price for a large, ultra high-def HDR display.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple’s Magic Keyboard is awesome. It has the old-school Mac keyboard design and space, with the pleasing scissor key mechanism, and it’s wireless, connecting via Bluetooth. Best of all, the battery, which is rechargeable via USB, lasts for months on a charge. (I also love Apple’s Magic Mouse 2 for the same reasons.) The larger version with the numeric keypad — yep, that’s great, too.

You can use Apple’s peripherals with Windows machines, but if you’re looking for an alternative Bluetooth keyboard that will work with anything from Windows PCs to Macs to iPads to phones, the Logitech K380 (about $30) is a great choice. Pair it with up to three devices, and toggle between each of them with the click of a button. 


Sarah Tew/CNET

If your kids invade your office and you really need to tune out distractions, noise-canceling headphones are a good way to maintain focus. Plantronics isn’t as cool a brand as Beats or Bose, but the BackBeat Pro 2 provide excellent wireless noise canceling and they cost considerably less than comparable models from those other companies. They’re also comfortable to wear, sound great on phone calls and are smart enough to pause whatever you’re listening to when you take them off. But if you need more options — including AirPods-style true wireless models — check out our list of best noise-canceling headphones.

Read our Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 review.

Gunnar Optiks

My wife swears by these. After clocking 5 to 8 hours of Zoom meetings a day over the past several weeks, she had been suffering from fatigue, headaches and eye pain every night. Since she started wearing Gunnar Optiks’ blue-light-blocking glasses — the Cruz model, specifically — she’s been feeling none of that. The company offers a variety of models designed for computer work, gaming and reading — with a prescription or not — that start at $40. 

Chris Monroe/CNET

When you work from home, making coffee becomes a sacramental practice. Think of this kitchen appliance as the Swiss army knife of the drip coffee maker world. The Ninja programmable brewer (with frother, thermal carafe and reusable filter) offers an uncanny degree of flexibility, making it the best coffee maker for those who don’t always want the same cup. It can create everything from solid drip, to perfect cold brew, to iced coffee, to latte-style drinks with its milk frother, and it will adjust the temperature according to your choice. Its thermal carafe will keep tea or coffee hot up to two hours. This programmable coffee maker even lets you brew iced coffee and hot coffee in multiple sizes, from small cups, mugs and travel mugs, all the way up to half and full carafes.

Read our Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System review.

Dinnerly

When you’re not commuting, there may be some more time for dinner prep. Dinnerly rolls out exciting-sounding and delicious meals such as summery chicken panzanella and risotto with asparagus and cannellini beans. But with no more than six ingredients per recipe, the damage done to your time and kitchen is minimized. The price tag for Dinnerly puts it squarely in the budget-friendly category, clocking in with a cost per serving of around $5. The subscription options include a Two-Person Box for $30, or a Family Box for $60, each with three recipes for the week. Looking for more options? Check out our list of best mealkit services

More stuff to make WFH go smoothly 


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