That hot new laptop you bought your dad will look great when he takes it out of the box, but how will he take it anywhere, without a bag? Your daughter will be excited to use the new tablet you got her, but when she drops it down the stairs the next day, you'll wish you also put a rugged case under the tree.
No major gadget comes with everything you need right in the box. Whether you're purchasing a laptop or tablet for yourself or as a gift, it's going to need some extra gear. From wires to memory cards, cases and bags, these are the must-have accessories to buy.
Sandisk Ultra 64GB Micro SDXC UHS-I Card with Adapter
For under $15, you can easily expand the storage in your Android tablet to an extra 64GB with this microSD card, thus multiplying the amount of space you have for apps and photos. It's also perfect for anyone who needs to transfer data to their laptop from their new camera or slate. Credit: Sandisk
Kopack Slim Backpack
The $30 Kopack Slim is great for taking your laptop back and forth to school or work. It's big enough to fit a 17-inch laptop and features a front pocket with multiple organizers. It comes with a USB cable for portable charging. The bag also has a puncture- and water-resistant fabric and a unique anti-theft design. It made our best student backpacks page. Credit: Kopack
AmazonBasics 10-Foot HDMI Cable
If your laptop has an HDMI-out port and you want to connect to a monitor or TV, you'll need a cable to send the signal. AmazonBasics' 10-foot cable is affordable and reliable, receiving a 4.5 average rating from over 14,000 shoppers. Plus, it's only $1 extra to jump from 6 feet to 10 feet. Credit: AmazonBasics
Logitech G300s Optical Ambidextrous Gaming Mouse
While using a touchpad is fine for basic tasks, nothing beats the pure satisfaction of a precise mouse. Not only is the Logitech G300s perfect for gamers due to its nine programmable buttons, but it's also perfect for any non-gamer as well due to its sleek ambidextrous design. Unlike typical gaming mice, it's relatively lightweight and petite. We rated it a 9 out of 10 on our best cheap gaming mice page. Credit: Logitech
Supcase Unicorn Beetle Pro Rugged iPad (9.7-inch) Case
Even the least expensive iPad costs around $329 so you'll want to protect that investment with a rugged case, especially if you're giving that tablet to a child. Rated 4.5 stars on Amazon and available for less than $30, the Unicorn Beetle Pro is designed to protect a 9.7-inch iPad from drops and dings of all kinds. It even includes a built-in screen protector and a kickstand for propping the tablet up to watch videos. Credit: Supcase
Kingston Nucleum USB-C Hub
Whether you have a MacBook Pro or another laptop that skimps on ports for USB Type-C, then you'll need all of the extra connections you can get. We gave the Nucleum USB-C hub a 4 out of 5 on our best USB-C hubs page for its petite design, pass-through charging and plentiful ports. For $49, you can get two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, an SD and microSD card slot, one USB-C charging port and one regular USB-C port. Credit: Kingston
Most laptops have webcams which fall on the spectrum between blah and horrifyingly blurry. Even if you like your built-in camera, you may have a hard time using it when your laptop is docked and its screen is closed. Our favorite webcam for the money, the sub-$50 Logitech C920 takes sharp, color images and even does well in low-light. Place it on top of your external monitor.
Western Digital 2TB Elements
Laptops nowadays pack superfast SSDs, but the storage amount is often too small for heavy-video or photo editors. With the Western Digital 2TB Elements portable hard drive, you'll have plenty of space to work with on any project for just $65. This can also work with Windows and Mac right out of the box. Not to mention that this drive can also be used to expand storage on a PS4 or Xbox One Credit: Western Digital
Whether you’re gaming or typing up a storm like I am right now, nothing beats a sleek mecha-membrane keyboard. The Razer Ornata Chroma provides gorgeous RGB lighting, a convenient wrist rest and an even more convenient Razer software that's compatible with Mac as well as Windows. Credit: Razer
Anker PowerCore+ 20,100 mAh Portable Charger
There are a lot of portable power banks that you can use to charge a tablet or phone, but the PowerCore+ can also juice a laptop. If you have a MacBook or any of the dozens of PC laptops that can charge over standard Type-C, the Anker PowerCore+ can provide you with enough extra battery life to get hours of work done. The 20,100 mAh battery comes with two USB 3.0 ports and a single USB-C connection. Credit: Anker
It's almost a necessity to have an external monitor for gaming or getting serious work done. That way you can easily juggle emails or video-game guides on your laptop screen while your new 24-inch ViewSonic XG2401 ($199) blows you away with its fast, 144Hz refresh rate at 1080p. Credit: ViewSonic
Your new laptop works well enough when you take it on the road, but when you're home, you might need to connect to multiple monitors, a keyboard and a mouse. A docking station such as this affordable choice from Plugable can connect you to all your peripherals over a single wire.
Many people have dual monitors on their desks, but lose the extra productivity when they take their laptops on the road. A portable USB monitor lets you add a second screen to your travel gear. We've seen a number of USB monitors on the market, but the Asus ZenScreen MB16AC stands out for attractive design, 1080p display. The 15-inch displays uses a USB Type-C connection, but older notebooks that have only USB 3.0 can connect with an adapter. Take it with you when travelling to get the most out of it.
Nulaxy KM12 Bluetooth Keyboard For Tablets
While tablets are highly portable, they can also be incredibly frustrating to use when you have to type out a long paper or report. With the Nulaxy KM12 Bluetooth keyboard, you can bounce your fingers freely across compact keys that will serve you for up to 40 hours of work time before it needs to charge. You can also use it as a stand for your tablet or phone to be placed on. Credit:Nulaxy
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Rami Tabari is an Editor for Laptop Mag. He reviews every shape and form of a laptop as well as all sorts of cool tech. You can find him sitting at his desk surrounded by a hoarder's dream of laptops, and when he navigates his way out to civilization, you can catch him watching really bad anime or playing some kind of painfully difficult game. He’s the best at every game and he just doesn’t lose. That’s why you’ll occasionally catch his byline attached to the latest Souls-like challenge.