Upgrade your Home Office with the Latest Tech

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Working from home can be a great experience, as long as your office space is set up exactly as you want it. I know I need to have everything in just the right place to get into some serious work. If you are anything like me, you want to make sure that you have some new tech around that simply makes life better. There is always some new and current tech you can get to upgrade your home office.

The Center of any Home Office is the Computer

At the center of every desk is a computer—or at least the space for one. This can be a super-tough decision, depending on your needs. For example, an editor may want a solid iMac Pro, while your average copywriter can get by with a Microsoft Surface Pro X. Those in need of a more powerful laptop should check out the latest 16" MacBook Pro with its updated internals and keyboard.

Apple 27" iMac Pro with Retina 5K Display
Apple 27" iMac Pro with Retina 5K Display

If you are looking for more power in a portable package, there are numerous mobile workstations being released with advanced features that will feel great on your desk in a home office or when traveling. The Acer 15.6" ConceptD 7 Laptop is a great example of this. Targeting creators of all types, the ConceptD 7 truly delivers outstanding performance with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card and a UHD 4K display with 100% coverage of Adobe RGB. Also, the core of this laptop is the Intel Core i7 six-core processor that will churn through difficult tasks. Business types in need of a new machine may appreciate a different type of offering from Lenovo, who worked with AMD to produce some series workstations. One such laptop is the 13.3" ThinkPad X395. A bit smaller, meaning easier transport for those who work at home and on the road, it manages to fit in an AMD Ryzen 5 quad-core processor and integrated Radeon Vega 8 graphics.

Acer 15.6" ConceptD 7 Laptop
Acer 15.6" ConceptD 7 Laptop

It is possible that your home office revolves around a desktop computer. Everyone is going to have their own preferences here—whether that is going to be the upcoming Mac Pro, or a custom Windows build, there is a lot to be done for desktops. One way to refresh an existing computer is with more memory and storage. Memory is simple, just get more of the stuff that is compatible with your machine. Be careful: it is always recommended to have them set up in matched sets to optimize performance. Popping in one extra stick in a computer with two or three other types of memory isn’t ideal. As for storage, go for some fast SSDs. Hot storage options today are NVMe M.2 SSDs. Companies such as Intel® make some awesome drives, which are great because they use the PCIe NVMe 3.0 x4 interface to achieve speeds much faster than conventional SATA connections. You can experience a whole new machine with just a few of these relatively affordable upgrades.

OWC / Other World Computing 32GB DDR4 2666 MHz SO-DIMM Memory Upgrade (2 x 16GB)

Blast Music Like You’re Home Alone—Because You Might Be

Many people love to have a soundtrack in the background as they work. In an office, protocol is to use headphones to keep your sweet tunes to yourself. At home, especially if you get to work in a space all to yourself, you can enjoy some solid sounds from a smart speaker. We are talking the latest tech, and if you can’t talk to your speaker, it isn’t anywhere close to the latest. Sonos has always been a leader in this speaker space, and the Gen 2 Sonos One offers Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant, for voice control. For a bit more oomph from your speaker, the larger Bose® Home Speaker 500™ will do the trick, and it also has Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

Bose Home Speaker 500 Wireless Speaker System
Bose Home Speaker 500 Wireless Speaker System

If you have neighbors you don’t want to disrupt, or simply prefer the comfort of headphones, then there are plenty to check out. For getting some work done, perhaps for a video you are editing, try the Sony MDR-7506 or Audio-Technica ATH-M50x (or the new BT version for everyday use, as well). For noise-canceling cans that can let you work with laser focus, some go-to options are the Bose® QuietComfort 35™ II and the Sony WH-1000XM3.

Sony MDR-7506 Headphones
Sony MDR-7506 Headphones

Pick Up a New Printer

Maybe a printer isn’t your favorite piece of office equipment, but it is essential for many. Fortunately, there has been a solid wave of new printer tech for anyone who hasn’t upgraded in a few years, and some classics that are still just as good as always. Some newer tech is the elimination of the cartridge from modern inkjet printers. Epson has been my go-to brand for the past decade, and this maker is offering quite incredible EcoTank series printers that blow away the page counts of conventional inkjets. The ET-4760 All-in-One Supertank Printer comes with enough ink to print up to 7,500 black pages and 6,000 color pages without needing to refill. That’s spectacular.

Epson EcoTank ET-4760 All-in-One Supertank Printer
Epson EcoTank ET-4760 All-in-One Supertank Printer

However, if all you need to do is print the occasional text document, I would opt for a basic laser printer. Not only will it get the job done, laser printers are much better suited to fewer prints and don’t have a tendency to get clogged up or dry out if they sit for a bit. This makes the HP LaserJet Pro M404n much better suited to people who rarely have a reason to print something out.

HP LaserJet Pro M404n
HP LaserJet Pro M404n

Some Bigger Storage

At home you likely have some space to fit some sizeable pieces of gear. One such piece to invest in is a high-capacity storage system with redundancy. Essentially, I’m talking about a RAID array. With multiple drives and the ability to configure protection by striping the data across multiple drives, you can be sure your data will be safe from the dreaded drive failure. The next choice is whether you want to go with direct-attached storage (DAS) or network-attached storage (NAS). I put together a DAS/NAS guide for photographers, but the information should be useful to just about anyone who wants to wrangle large amounts of data.

Fresh Cables, Chargers, and Other Accessories

One thing to think about is your organization. Keeping your desk clean becomes more and more of a hassle as you add new equipment year after year. Also, many of us just keep getting by with current gear instead of upgrading to get a solid performance boost. It could be as simple as picking up a longer Thunderbolt™ 3 cable to position your RAID better on your desk, or making use of the daisy-chain feature of the latest drives and monitors to eliminate extra clutter behind your computer.

Maybe you want some new accessories for working on your computer. A Wacom tablet perhaps? Or just a new mechanical keyboard for tactile typing or gaming? There are also some neat new things that can make life a bit easier, such as the HYPER HyperCube. This tiny little device plugs into a USB charger and makes it possible to perform backups of your smartphone or other devices automatically as your charge them. It can even transfer backups to a microSD card you can easily slip into the HyperCube. There are tons of little accessories that can improve your workflow and make your life a little bit easier.

Wacom Intuos Pro Creative Pen Tablet
Wacom Intuos Pro Creative Pen Tablet

Do you have any of your own recommendations for what you do to make your home office an even better place to work? Anything on your wish list? Let us know in the Comments section, below!

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