Long before I was forced to stay indoors, I spent most of my time … indoors. I built a PC back in college (with the help of some friends), and ever since then I’ve continued perfecting my home office setup—switching desks, keyboards, monitors, and more.
When many of my friends and colleagues were forced to quarantine because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, I realized most people don’t have a home office setup like mine. So, my fellow folks privileged to work from home during this crisis, below are some picks that might make that work more bearable. Most have been tested by WIRED’s Gear team, and we’re recommending others based on customer reviews across retailers, what other sites have to say, and our experience with the brands.
Updated April 23: I swapped in some new monitors and an accessory or two, and updated pricing and links to other sold-out products throughout the guide.
You’ll Need a Good Laptop or PC
We’re guessing you have a laptop or desktop of some kind, whether it’s your own personal device or the one you brought from work. If not, check out our Best Laptops, Best Cheap Laptops, and Best MacBooks guides. If you’re eyeing a desktop PC, we have recommendations for prebuilt gaming PCs that might be handy, or you can build your own for a lot less.
Here are a few of our favorites:
MacBook Air (2020) for $1,299: Apple’s newest MacBook is the best for most people. Get the Intel Core i5 model to make sure you have enough power for most tasks. For more details check out our review (8/10, WIRED Recommends).
Lenovo ThinkBook 13S for $730: This isn’t the best Windows laptop out there, but it’s our top pick if you’re looking for something affordable. WIRED reviewer Scott Gilbertson said it has great speakers, a good keyboard, as well as a fingerprint reader and a physical privacy shutter for the webcam.
Pixelbook Go for $850: If you can do all your work via a browser and that browser happens to be Chrome, then you should consider a Chromebook. You can find more affordable Chromebooks, but the Pixelbook Go (specifically the Core i5 model) doesn’t skimp on performance.