by Gregg Ellman
For weeks, working from a home office is going to become the norm. So what better time to talk about some essential gadgets for your new home office to help maximize productivity.
Technology makes it easy to instantly join audio conferencing but when your audio quality isn’t great, efficiency and collaboration will go down the tube.
With the Samson Satellite USB/iOS broadcast quality microphone you get a lot of features, but the main two are the quality and its plug-and-play operation. It plugs directly into a Mac, PC, iPhone or iPad for conference calls, podcasting, gaming, VoIP, voiceover work and recording music.
The Satellite microphone (8.6-by-4.3-by-1.7-inches) sits on a desktop and is portable with folding back legs. Inside are two premium 16 mm condenser capsules for capturing audio and an internal shock-mount isolates the capsules from the body of the microphone to minimize outside noise such as sounds caused by vibrations and table rumble.
Features include 24-bit/96kHz resolution and a flat frequency response of 20Hz–20kHz, zero-latency and a heavy-gauge steel mesh grille and an aluminum body. A monitor switch lets direct monitoring to be turned off, while you can still hear the audio back from your computer.
Satechi’s full extended compact backlit Bluetooth keyboard not only connects to your computer but will also connect two addition Bluetooth devices (computers, tablets, smartphones, etc.) simultaneously.
The keyboard features a full numeric keypad, MacOS shortcuts and the illuminated backlit keys have 10 levels of brightness to easily adjust to changing light environments.
With Bluetooth 5.0, the keyboard connects to your device seamlessly and allows you to connect two more. This way you can have your computer, iPad and iPhone all connected at the same time. Obviously you won’t want to type on all three devices at the same time, the keyboard lets you toggle between devices.
It charges via USB-C for about 600 hours of use, which can vary depending on the backlit level used and measures 14.5-by-4.7-by-0.4-inches with a space gray finish with black keys.
Twelve South’s Curve aluminum one-piece laptop stand elevates your laptop to a healthier, more comfortable ergonomic height for viewing the screen.
The stand is a perfect place to park your laptop while using it with a Bluetooth keyboard, Wacom tablet, connecting it to an external monitor or just place it right next to your desktop monitor for an instant dual-screen setup. Non-slip silicone grips are on the bottom and arms so everything stays in place.
When using the Curve (5.8-by-10.3-by-8-7-inches, 1.43-pounds, $49.99), it elevates your laptop an ergonomic standard 6.5-inches off your desk, allowing you to sit up straight and look directly at the screen. Now you’re positioned with less tension in your neck and shoulders.
The elevated position also allows laptops to breath better with maximum airflow instead of sitting flat on a desk and getting hot, which causes the computer processor to work harder.
Twelve South also has the HiRise Wireless 3-way wireless charger to keep your cell phone in a comfortable desktop view.
The charger ($59.99) has a gunmetal chrome finish built with a back for Qi-enable mobile phone charging, keeping your smartphone upright and having the screen facing you for viewing. Smartphones with the wireless charging feature will charge with the fast charging up to 10-watts, even through most phone cases
It’s also built with a wireless charging pad for AirPods; just pop out the Qi-certified power disc and put the case on top for charging.
When the 3.43-by-2.24-by-.47-inch disc is removed it works perfectly as a USB-C portable wireless charger for when your mobile. A USB-C to USB-A removable power cable is included.