Here are some of the hardware accessories that our staff use and recommend, in no particular order:
Sabrent USB-DSC9 USB 3.0 SATA/IDE Hard Drive Adapter
If you have ever needed to perform data recovery or transfer files from an old hard drive, or just need the portability of a so-called "swiss army knife" hard drive adapter, then this USB 3.0 kit from Sabrent is a great choice. It has proven very reliable in mounting drives of every description, and offers very fast transfer speeds. The best part? It is less than $25 and comes with everything you need in the box.
Lexar JumpDrive P20 USB 3.0 Flash Drives
Frequent visitors will recognize the next selection, which was the subject of a mini-review recently. The Lexar P20 USB flash drives offer very fast transfer speeds (up to 400 MB/s reads on all sizes and 270 MB/s writes on the largest capacity), and are priced aggressively. What's not to like?
Logitech G900 Wireless Gaming Mouse
Mice, much like keyboards, are a very personal choice. One man's garbage is another man's preferred cursor movement device. I think that's how the saying went… In any event, I have spent a lot of time with the G900 wireless mouse from Logitech and now find it to be far and away the best to date. It works in both wired and wireless modes and remains usable while charging through a standard micro USB cable. It's fast, accurate, portable, but pretty pricing. Probably second on my list would be Logitech's G502 – so keep that in mind if you need a lower cost option.
CyberPower UPS 1500VA 900W
You don't think you need a battery backup until you do, as much like a security system, hindsight is 20/20. I bought a handful of these CybePower 1500VA units back in December and they have been running 24/7 since they arrived keep our workstations, test benches, and even our networking gear up and operation through brownouts and momentary power outages.
Netgear GS108 8-Port Gigabit Switch
Everyone knows the saying on the inside: switches get stitches. And in our case, having an extra Gigabit ready switch on hand has helped out on many occasions, allowing us to expand our network on the fly without sacrificing speed. This unmanaged switch actually includes lifetime next business day replacement so for under $40, it's hard to go wrong!
Logitech G533 7.1 Channel Wireless Gaming Headset
With 7.1-channel sound more affordable than ever thanks to technologies from Dolby and DTS using just two drivers, there are many low-cost surround gaming headsets on the market. Of these we've been impressed with the sound quality from the latest Logitech models, specifically the new wireless G533 headphones and the budget-friendly Prodigy G231 (currently $63 on Amazon). In addition to great sound the G533 also provided excellent wireless range and long battery life, making it an ideal choice for longer gaming sessions without wires.
Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920
The C920 has come down in price with the introduction of the C922, and it is still one of the best webcams on the market, long used by the PC Perspective remote team for our weekly podcast. Image quality is excellent with plenty of software adjustment options, and it supports high quality 1080p Skype streams as well.