One-stop laptop shop: peripherals for your notebook

Looks like you’re the proud new owner of a laptop! Whether it’s a powerful Aftershock S-15, or a slick new MacBook Air, or a paper-thin HP Spectre, you must think it’s the best thing since sliced bread. News flash: as much as you think your laptop can do, every machine has its shortcomings. Trackpads are awful at trying to do any kind of editing work, whether it’s audio, video, or digital; when running graphics- and processor-intensive programs, laptops can get uncomfortably hot.

Nonetheless, whether you use your laptop as a working professional or professional gamer, complete your setup with the right peripherals at COMEX 2016.

Cooler Master NotePal X-Slim II

Image: Cooler Master

Most ultrabooks nowadays put an Intel i5 or i7 processor and a dedicated graphics card into a tiny chassis. When you put that many powerful components together, you get great performance, but you also generate a ton of heat. Manufacturers are often reluctant to put noisy cooling fans in their notebooks, but relying instead on passive cooling often makes aluminium-shelled laptops too hot to touch, and can adversely affect performance.

The NotePal X-Slim II notebook cooler solves all of these problems at once. Not only does it elevate the laptop off the surface it’s on, but it also houses a 200mm USB-powered fan to further increase airflow to the notebook’s heatsinks. With the entire cooler just 28mm thick and silent as a whisper, you’ll barely notice the X-Slim II, allowing you to continue your work in cool comfort.

Logitech MX Anywhere 2

Image: Logitech

As mentioned before, even the best trackpad is no substitute for a good mouse. A mouse allows for unparalleled precision, whether it’s for gaming, word processing or digital editing. The Logitech MX Anywhere 2 is the mouse of choice for the laptop user on the go – there seems to be nothing it can’t do. Able to connect via Bluetooth or through the included wireless dongle, the MX Anywhere 2 is compact and easy to slip into a backpack or even a pocket, weighing in at just over 100g. A rechargeable 500mAh lithium-polymer battery promises up to two months of battery life.

But the best part about the Anywhere 2 is its sensor. Equipped with Logitech’s proprietary Darkfield dual-sensor technology, the Anywhere 2 lives up to its name by being able to track movements on any surface. Whether it’s dealing with denim, wood or even glass, the Anywhere 2 promises to be a constant, reliable rodent.

Samsung Portable SSD T3

Image: Samsung

Everybody needs a hard drive nowadays. Your computer and your cloud storage space have only so much space – how else would you save those hundreds of photos of your child taking his or her first steps, or store your extensive collection of lossless FLAC audio files? But traditional hard disk drives (HDDs) are so last decade. Faster, cooler, more reliable and more power-efficient than HDDs, solid-state drives (SSDs) are slowly replacing HDDs both inside and outside computers.

The lightning-fast Samsung Portable SSD T3 is the latest iteration of Samsung’s external solid state drives. Available in 250GB, 500GB and 1TB sizes, the T3 can reach blazing read speeds of 450MB/s, almost twice as fast as a standard HDD. But the T3 isn’t just fast, it’s tough. While it may be just 10.5mm thick, it’s rated to withstand 1,500 grams of crushing force.

Anker 7-Port Powered USB Hub

Image: Anker

Almost every laptop manufacturer is embroiled in a race to the bottom when it comes to laptop thickness. The HP Spectre is almost impossibly thin – at just 10.4mm at its widest point, the black-and-gold phantom has to be seen to be believed. But this obsession with thinness means that sacrifices have to be made in terms of functionality, and this most often means that USB ports have to be trimmed off. The 12-inch MacBook has a single USB-C port and nothing else.

Fortunately, manufacturers like Anker are here to help. Their USB hubs come in a number of different varieties, from seven ports, to nine ports, and even those with an Ethernet port. The majority of them don’t even require drivers to work, so it’s a simple, hassle-free matter of just plugging them in.

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