The Best Things to Get for Your New Laptop


Essentials

To keep your data safe in the event of an accident or theft, every laptop should have a bag, a good pair of headphones, and both physical and online backups.

Laptop bag

3 picks, $95–$335

We have a lot more in our books. These are some of our favorite backpacks, briefcases, and messenger bags for carrying your new laptop and all of your other workday essentials.

Laptop bag

3 picks, $95–$335

These are some of our favorite backpacks, briefcases, and messenger bags for carrying your new laptop and all of your other workday essentials. We have a lot more in our books.

A sharp-looking and versatile backpack



This is a refined method of transporting all of your workday essentials.

A sharp-looking and versatile backpack

This is a refined method of transporting all of your workday essentials.

A messenger bag for urban commuters



This bag is both stylish and durable, and it easily transitions from the office to more casual settings.

A messenger bag for urban commuters

This bag is both stylish and durable, and it easily transitions from the office to more casual settings.

A fashionable briefcase that goes with almost any ensemble.



The Cary is easy to carry, has a large capacity, and looks good both dressed up and down.

A fashionable briefcase that goes with almost any ensemble.
Read the reviewThe Best Briefcases

The Cary is easy to carry, has a large capacity, and looks good both dressed up and down.

Laptop sleeve

4 picks, $34–$140

A sleeve protects your laptop while also allowing you to carry it in any bag that doesn’t have a dedicated computer compartment. From utilitarian to opulent, our favorites range from slim neoprene to stylish leather.

Laptop sleeve

4 picks, $34–$140

A sleeve protects your laptop while also allowing you to carry it in any bag that doesn’t have a dedicated computer compartment. From utilitarian to opulent, our favorites range from slim neoprene to stylish leather.

The most protective case



This hard-shell case for 13- and 15-inch laptops provides better protection against drops and bumps, as well as some water resistance, though all of that protection comes at the expense of bulk and heft.

The most protective case

This hard-shell case for 13- and 15-inch laptops provides better protection against drops and bumps, as well as some water resistance, though all of that protection comes at the expense of bulk and heft.

A slim case with pockets and a strap



This well-made laptop sleeve features a sturdy strap and two pockets with enough room for your charger and a few extras.

A slim case with pockets and a strap

This well-made laptop sleeve features a sturdy strap and two pockets with enough room for your charger and a few extras.

A great laptop sleeve



In a slim package, this sleeve protects your phone from dust, scratches, and bumps.

A great laptop sleeve

In a slim package, this sleeve protects your phone from dust, scratches, and bumps.

A stylish leather case



This case combines an excellent fit with the aesthetics of a luxurious purse, as well as protection from bumps, scratches, dust, and a little water.

A stylish leather case

This case combines an excellent fit with the aesthetics of a luxurious purse, as well as protection from bumps, scratches, dust, and a little water.

Portable hard drive

2 picks, $62–$100

If you have data on your laptop, back it up somewhere other than the cloud. A portable drive is an important component of any good backup system and can also be used to transfer data between computers.

Portable hard drive

2 picks, $62–$100

A portable drive is an important component of any good backup system and can also be used to transfer data between computers. If you have data on your laptop, back it up somewhere other than the cloud.

Reliable, fast, and thin



The Seagate Backup Plus Slim is a dependable, thin, and light hard drive that provides fast speeds at a low price.

Reliable, fast, and thin

The Seagate Backup Plus Slim is a dependable, thin, and light hard drive that provides fast speeds at a low price.

Much faster, much lighter, but more expensive



The Samsung T5 Portable SSD is more dependable, faster, and smaller than an external hard drive, but it comes at a significant price per gigabyte.

Much faster, much lighter, but more expensive

The Samsung T5 Portable SSD is more dependable, faster, and smaller than an external hard drive, but it comes at a significant price per gigabyte.

Online backup software

1 pick, $70

You’ll also need an offsite backup system, such as an online backup service. If you only have one backup, you don’t have one.

Online backup software

1 pick, $70

You’ll also need an offsite backup system, such as an online backup service. If you only have one backup, you don’t have one.

Best online backup service



Backblaze is cost-effective, quick, dependable, and simple to set up.

Best online backup service

Backblaze is cost-effective, quick, dependable, and simple to set up.

Headphones

4 picks, $90–$250

A good pair of headphones sound better than your laptop speakers, help you focus by blocking out background noise, and keep your study music, plane movie dialogue, or game sounds private.

Headphones

4 picks, $90–$250

A good pair of headphones sound better than your laptop speakers, help you focus by blocking out background noise, and keep your study music, plane movie dialogue, or game sounds private.

Great all-around Bluetooth headphones



Excellent sound, a comfortable fit, and a long battery life: The Elite 85h does the most things well for the best price when it comes to features, sound, and comfort.

Great all-around Bluetooth headphones

The Elite 85h does the most things well for the best price when it comes to features, sound, and comfort. Excellent sound, a comfortable fit, and a long battery life:

The best wireless earbuds



The Elite 75t is the first true wireless headphones we’d recommend over traditional Bluetooth earbuds because it’s comfortable, has great sound, is great for phone calls, and has all the controls you need.

The best wireless earbuds

The Elite 75t is the first true wireless headphones we’d recommend over traditional Bluetooth earbuds because it’s comfortable, has great sound, is great for phone calls, and has all the controls you need.

What the pros use



The Sony MDR-7506, a longtime favorite of audio professionals and the unanimous choice of our panel, provides more reliability, comfort, and sound than many headphones twice its price.

What the pros use

The Sony MDR-7506, a longtime favorite of audio professionals and the unanimous choice of our panel, provides more reliability, comfort, and sound than many headphones twice its price.

The best wired earbuds



Although these earbuds do not sound completely neutral, they are well balanced and enjoyable to listen to. The cable is replaceable, but it lacks a remote and a microphone.

The best wired earbuds
Read the reviewThe Best Wired Earbuds

The cable is replaceable, but it lacks a remote and a microphone. Although these earbuds do not sound completely neutral, they are well balanced and enjoyable to listen to.

Nice-to-haves

Multiport charger

1 pick, $199

Bring one adapter that can charge your USB-C laptop, phone, headphones, and another device all at once to save space in your bag.

Multiport charger

1 pick, $199

Bring one adapter that can charge your USB-C laptop, phone, headphones, and another device all at once to save space in your bag.

Charge everything in your bag



Although it isn’t as powerful as our top pick, the Mophie Powerstation AC, it offers the most charging options. Two USB-A charging ports, an AC output port that accepts standard two and three pronged power cables, a USB-C port, and a wireless charging pad are all included with this model.

Charge everything in your bag

Although it isn’t as powerful as our top pick, the Mophie Powerstation AC, it offers the most charging options. Two USB-A charging ports, an AC output port that accepts standard two and three pronged power cables, a USB-C port, and a wireless charging pad are all included with this model.

USB-C hub or dock

2 picks, $25

The majority of new laptops come with USB-C ports, and some don’t have any at all. Using a single USB-C hub or dock, you can charge a new laptop while also connecting old peripherals, displays, and external storage.

USB-C hub or dock

2 picks, $25

Using a single USB-C hub or dock, you can charge a new laptop while also connecting old peripherals, displays, and external storage. The majority of new laptops come with USB-C ports, and some don’t have any at all.

A hub to keep in your bag



Three USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, USB-C power passthrough, and SD and microSD card readers are all included in this portable hub.

A hub to keep in your bag
Read the reviewThe Best USB Hubs

Three USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, USB-C power passthrough, and SD and microSD card readers are all included in this portable hub.

A dock for your desk



This model is more expensive for a permanent setup at your desk, but it has more ports and charging capabilities without the need for an additional power adapter.

A dock for your desk
Read the reviewThe Best USB Hubs

This model is more expensive for a permanent setup at your desk, but it has more ports and charging capabilities without the need for an additional power adapter.

Webcam cover

1 pick, $1

Is it possible to be paranoid? Mark Zuckerberg uses tape to cover his webcam. Hackers can hijack your webcam and record you without your knowledge or consent, which is extremely rare. Most likely not for him.

Webcam cover

1 pick, $1

Mark Zuckerberg uses tape to cover his webcam. Is it possible to be paranoid? Most likely not for him. Hackers can hijack your webcam and record you without your knowledge or consent, which is extremely rare.

700 inches of privacy



Post-it labeling tape is inexpensive, opaque, and leaves no residue on your laptop’s bezel. It’s also handy around the house.

700 inches of privacy

It’s also handy around the house. Post-it labeling tape is inexpensive, opaque, and leaves no residue on your laptop’s bezel.

Portable laptop stand

1 pick, $90

Use a laptop stand to raise your screen to eye level if you use your laptop for long periods of time away from your desk.

Portable laptop stand

1 pick, $90

Use a laptop stand to raise your screen to eye level if you use your laptop for long periods of time away from your desk.

A portable laptop stand



The Roost is small and light, and it’s simple to set up and take down. It’s also sturdy enough to hold 15-inch laptops.

A portable laptop stand
Read the reviewThe Best Laptop Stands

The Roost is small and light, and it’s simple to set up and take down. It’s also sturdy enough to hold 15-inch laptops.

Bluetooth keyboard

1 pick, $30–$40

Your laptop already has a keyboard, but you’ll need a keyboard and mouse if you’re using a laptop stand to improve ergonomics.

Bluetooth keyboard

1 pick, $30–$40

Your laptop already has a keyboard, but you’ll need a keyboard and mouse if you’re using a laptop stand to improve ergonomics.

A portable, long-lasting, and comfortable Bluetooth keyboard



The Logitech K380 is the best value for money when it comes to comfort, features, and price.

A portable, long-lasting, and comfortable Bluetooth keyboard

The Logitech K380 is the best value for money when it comes to comfort, features, and price.

Wireless mouse

2 picks, $30–$40

Although most modern laptop touchpads are adequate, a mouse is more comfortable and precise (and is required if you use a laptop stand).

Wireless mouse

2 picks, $30–$40

Although most modern laptop touchpads are adequate, a mouse is more comfortable and precise (and is required if you use a laptop stand).

The best wireless mouse



The Triathlon has six programmable buttons and a long battery life, making it suitable for a wide range of hand sizes.

The best wireless mouse

The Triathlon has six programmable buttons and a long battery life, making it suitable for a wide range of hand sizes.

A silent, portable option



The Logitech M590 is the same as the M585, but it has quiet left- and right-click buttons that provide tactile feedback without being loud.

A silent, portable option

The Logitech M590 is the same as the M585, but it has quiet left- and right-click buttons that provide tactile feedback without being loud.

Virtual private network service

1 pick

When using public Wi-Fi, a VPN can help keep your phone, laptop, or tablet safe, as well as reduce some forms of ISP and website tracking.

Virtual private network service

1 pick

When using public Wi-Fi, a VPN can help keep your phone, laptop, or tablet safe, as well as reduce some forms of ISP and website tracking.

Best VPN



This is the most dependable VPN service we found, with consistent, secure connections and simple setup on laptops, phones, and tablets.

Best VPN
Read the reviewThe Best VPN Service

This is the most dependable VPN service we found, with consistent, secure connections and simple setup on laptops, phones, and tablets.

Things to skip

Traditional or free antivirus suites

Traditional or free antivirus suites

Antivirus software can cause your computer to slow down, bombard you with annoying pop-ups, and even expose your system to vulnerabilities. And good security is never free—free antivirus programs typically do all of the above, as well as collect your data.