Computers are fine and dandy on their own, but their usefulness is limited by their hardware. Unless you’re a hobbyist, your computer probably has the same specs today as it did the day you bought it. Thankfully, you don’t have to crack open your machine to make it more useful. Your computer has a number of ports and wireless connections that are just waiting to be hooked up to awesome peripherals. If you’re looking to do more with your computer, consider adding some of the devices below to unlock its true potential.
1. Razer Core
Are you a laptop owner interested in playing the latest games? If so, you have two choices. One is to spend a ton of money on a high-end gaming laptop with its tiny graphics card. The other is to buy an external graphics card enclosure that can hold a desktop graphics card. The Razer Core will suit you just fine. As long as your computer has a Thunderbolt 3 port, just buy the Razer Core, put a compatible graphics card of your choice in it, and you’re good to go. There are some compatibility concerns (as the Core isn’t officially supported for many computers) that hopefully time will reduce, and it’s not a cheap solution, but neither is assembling a gaming PC.
2. Qwerkywriter keyboard
No matter what computer you’re using, your keyboard probably isn’t as cool as this one. This retro-inspired keyboard looks like a gleaming typewriter from the old days, but it uses Bluetooth to connect to your modern computer. It even has a return bar you can swat instead of using the enter or return button. Not only that, but the Qwerkywriter keyboard is nicely clicky, making your typing sound as loud and important as you could possibly want. The only downside is it costs $300.
3. External hard drive
External hard drives aren’t the most exciting pieces of hardware you can add to your computer. But when your machine dies and goes to the electronic paradise in the sky, you’ll be glad you had an external hard drive to back up your data.
You are backing up your data, right? If not, run — don’t walk — to the nearest electronics store and grab an external hard drive. Set your computer to back up to it on a regular basis. If you don’t, you’re definitely going to regret it at some point. When it comes to computers failing, it’s not a question of if. It’s a question of when.
4. Second display
This one goes especially for people whose primary computer is a laptop that they tend to use in the same location every day. Adding a second display greatly increases your screen real estate, making your digital space much more breathable. Secondary displays are helpful for multitasking, moving information between apps, and keeping all of your most-used apps visible on your desktop at all times.
They particularly shine when you want to watch a movie or show on your computer. Add an extra 27-inch (or larger) monitor to your setup, and you might be able to ditch your TV entirely.
5. Xbox One controller
Some people feel comfortable controlling video games using a mouse and keyboard. Others find it clunky and impossible. If you’re in the latter category, buy yourself an Xbox One controller. It’s compatible with most modern games and can make playing more comfortable and convenient. You’re not going to find a better gaming controller on the market.