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It’s official — we’ve surpassed the one-year mark since the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown kicked off.
A moment in time in many people’s minds that singlehandedly changed folks’ daily routines for the unforeseeable future. In fact, most folks remain in lockdown today and have fully acclimated to their new round-the-clock at-home lives.
For many, this shift in pace and practice forced them to make a ton of changes at home. From creating a designated workspace that motivates productivity to actively creating time for leisure activities like gaming, listening to music and even vacuuming, there are so many avenues people took to make staying at home year-round actually enjoyable.
I’ve personally found that tech devices played an integral part in making my lockdown experience not only much easier, but actually enjoyable.
From simple work-from-home accessories like a cubic power strip and a useful sit-stand desk to recreational devices like a wireless sound bar and a multi-functional gaming console, here are the 12 tech items that transformed my lockdown experience for the better:
- Power Strip: Anker PowerPort Cube USB Power Strip With 3 Outlets And 3 USB Ports
- Ring Light: Letscom 10.2-Inch Selfie Ring Light With Tripod Stand And Two Phone Holders
- Universal USB Cable: Nomad Universal Cable USB-C
- Wireless Mouse: Logitech MX Master 3 Advanced Wireless Mouse For Mac
- Wireless Keyboard: Logitech MX Keys Advanced Illuminated Wireless Keyboard
- UV Sanitizer: PhoneSoap Pro UV Smartphone Sanitizer And Universal Charger
- Temperature-Controlling Mug: Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug
- Sound Bar: Polk Audio Signa S3 Ultra-Slim TV Sound Bar And Wireless Subwoofer With Built-In Chromecast
- Gaming Console: Nintendo Switch With Neon Blue And Neon Red Joy-Con
- Robot Vacuum: Proscenic M7 Pro Robot Vacuum Cleaner With Laser Navigation
- Sit-stand desk: FlexiSpot Comhar All-In-One Standing Desk With Glass Top
- Air Purifier: Aeris Aair Lite Air Purifier
Check out why these are my top 12 picks below.
Working from home with limited space can be a pain, especially when taking into account that there aren’t many outlets at your disposal. One gadget that’s quickly become one of my most prized possessions is this Anker cubic power strip. The compact device takes up very little space and even attaches below your desk. Plus, it has a total of six outlets (three standard outlets and three USB ports), making it a true and literal powerhouse.
Read more about the Anker PowerPort Cube here.
2. Letscom 10.2-Inch Selfie Ring Light With Tripod Stand And Two Phone Holders, $32.99 (Orig. $49.99)
I’ve honestly never seen the allure of ring lights until I actually needed one. Though most of our workspaces have changed drastically, one thing’s remained constant: those meetings. With almost all work-related interactions now conducted over Zoom or Google Hangout, investing in a quality ring light was necessary and this affordable option from Letscom has never let me down. With tons of warmth and brightness variations, it flatters all complexions and, most of all, isn’t blinding.
Read more about the Letscom 10.2-inch selfie ring light here.
3. Nomad Universal Cable USB-C, $34.95
If you’ve owned any USB-connectable tech gadgets in the last two years, you may notice that USB-C is quickly becoming the connection of choice. If you have an older personal computer (like myself), chances are it may not have a USB-C port built-in, preventing you from connecting your device for updates, syncing, etc. This Universal cable from Nomad was the answer to my prayers as it comes with every cable variation you could ever need. Plus, you don’t have to worry about the cord fraying thanks to its premium high-quality braided weave. A must-have, in my opinion.
While we’re on the topic of working from home, it’s worth mentioning how much we take computer mice for granted. Also, if you use your mouse for hours on end, it’s likely that the standard flat-lying mice aren’t the most comfortable to use. The Logitech MX Master 3 Advanced Wireless Mouse is, by far, my work-from-home MVP product. Its ergonomic design makes it super-easy to hold and operate. Plus, it glides smoothly across literally any surface without scratching.
If you’re looking for the perfect MX Master 3 mouse companion, its sibling keyboard is a no-brainer. An external keyboard makes working from home so much easier, faster and more productive, and this option comes with wireless functionality, backlit keys, smooth pairing (of up to three devices, simultaneously) and a number keypad.
With so many folks becoming more conscious of germ spreading than ever before, the trend of UV sanitizers quickly took flight. Specifically, our most touched devices — our cell phones — are breeding grounds for bacteria. In fact, did you know that cell phones are 10 times dirtier than toilet seats? With this in mind, I decided to invest in a device that uses clinically-proven UV light over harsh chemicals to sanitize my phone — and the PhoneSoap Pro gets the job done in just five minutes.
Read more about the PhoneSoap Pro here.
7. Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug, $176.23
There’s one thing no one enjoys – sipping a cold or lukewarm cup of coffee or tea. I received the highly raved-about Ember temperature control smart mug as a holiday gift and it’s become a constant part of my morning routine ever since. The ceramic-coated mug keeps your drink hot at your desired temperature, set through the intuitive Ember app. All you have to do is fill your mug, press the power button at the bottom and enjoy. Nothing complicated here!
Read more about the Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug here.
8. Polk Audio Signa S3 Ultra-Slim TV Sound Bar And Wireless Subwoofer With Built-In Chromecast, $199 (Orig. $249)
Lockdown’s become the prime time for binging your favorite shows and orchestrating movie nights, so it’s important that your TV sound system is up to par. During lockdown, I invested in the Polk Signa S3 Sound Audio sound bar system and everytime I watch something, I feel like I’m at a movie theater. The sound is crisp and the included subwoofer adds just the right amount of bass and grandeur to make it an experience. But what I may love most about this sound bar is its perfectly slim form factor. It doesn’t block the TV’s censor and perfectly fits just below the bottom border.
Read more about the Polk Audio Signa S3 Ulta-Slim TV sound bar and wireless subwoofer here.
There’s a reason why the Nintendo Switch was the top-selling gaming console of 2019: it gives you the most comprehensive gaming experience on the market. This multi-faceted device operates as a hand-held gaming device, a TV-connected device (like most gaming consoles) and so many other iterations. In total, you can use the Nintendo Switch in six different ways and that, alone, makes it one of the most exciting pieces of tech I’ve purchased during lockdown.
10. Proscenic M7 Pro Robot Vacuum Cleaner With Laser Navigation, $399 (Orig. $499)
Like many folks, I love to clean. However, being at home technically all-day slightly minimizes the joy of a thorough apartment sweeping. So, to ensure that my floors stay dust bunny-free (why are hardwood floors such dust magnets?), I use this Proscenic robot vacuum that sweeps, mops and sweeps and mops, synchronously. This sleek device also has built-in laser-navigation technology which keeps it from getting stuck in corners. Right now, this popular robot vacuum is $100 off on Amazon!
Read more about the Proscenic M7 Pro LDS Robot Vacuum Cleaner here.
11. FlexiSpot Comhar All-In-One Standing Desk With Glass Top, $429.99 (Orig. $499.99)
With so much of today’s work force working remotely, standing desks and sit-stand desk sales have skyrocketed. In fact, you’ve likely seen an ad or two (or five) for a few options on social media. The FlexiSpot sit-stand desk has, by far, lived up to the hype with its smart functionality, height presents, USB-port outlets, temperated glass desktop and so much more. Especially with studies showing that “sitting is the new smoking,” this desk is the best way I’ve found to strike the perfect sitting-standing balance.
Read more about the FlexiSpot sit-stand all-in-one desk here.
12. Aeris Aair Lite Air Purifier, $499
Lastly, I’ve learned, first-hand, that air purifiers are actually worthwhile investments, especially if you suffer from mild-to-severe allergies. In fact, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests adding devices like air purifiers to your indoor living space to “help reduce airborne contaminants.”
For months, I’ve suffered from bothersome sinus problems and sniffles that just wouldn’t stop and the day I added the Aeris Lite Air Purifier to my living space, my sinuses cleared up completely. This device also seamlessly pairs with your phone, so you can change its fan speeds, put it in sleep mode or even turn it on and off directly from your phone.
If you enjoyed this story, check out these 7 products that will keep your apartment smelling fresh no matter what.
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