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Seven 'I wish I'd bought that years ago!' tech accessories

Seven tech accessories that, once I'd bought them, I instantly wished that I'd got them years earlier because they revolutionized productivity and the way I worked.
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1 of 8 Herman Miller

Introduction

Tech comes and goes, but there are certain items that fall into that "I wish I'd bought that years ago" category. These are things that, once I'd bought them I instantly wished that I'd got them years earlier because they revolutionized productivity and the way that I worked. 

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2 of 8 Herman Miller

Herman Miller Aeron chair

For years I struggled with cheap office chairs, even getting to the point where I'd replace them on a yearly basis. My posture suffered, my back suffered, and as a result my productivity took a nosedive.

Then I bought an Aeron chair. While these were a symbol of the late 90s dot.com extravagances, they really are good chairs. I've had mine for years, and after almost daily usage it is still looking and working like new. 

The only thing that I've added to my Aeron is a third-party headrest — check eBay for them — which helped to make an awesome chair just a little better.

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3 of 8 Ergotron

Ergotron 3-way LCD wall-mounted arm

Why have I endured the crappy stands that come with LCD displays — and for that matter, the crappy mounts that came with CRT displays — for so long? They never seem to be at the right height, and even the adjustable ones don't really seem to offer that much in terms of adjustability.

Then I got an LCD wall-mounted arm and wondered why I didn't buy one years ago. Mine is an Ergotron LX arm, and it is truly awesome as it allows me to put the display exactly where I want it, and move it quickly and easily.

Don't want to drill holes in the wall? No worries, Ergotron also make a version that clamps to the desk.

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4 of 8 SKB

SKB iSeries notebook case

For some reason I thought that a notebook was better protected by a soft case than a hard one. I assumed that the softness of the case added to the protection offered.

Then I got my hands on an SKB case and discovered that I'd been wrong that whole time.

I have an iSeries 1813, which is not only strong, but waterproof, and resists everything thrown at it, from solvents to harsh UV. And not only is it big enough for my notebook, but it also holds my charger, external storage, cables and more.

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5 of 8 Wacom

Wacom Intuos Pro tablet

Why try to make precise movements with a mouse shaped like a bar of soap when you can use a pen?

The Wacom Intuos Pro tablet — I use the medium-sized version — has revolutionized my photoediting, and for precision tasks I can't imagine going back to a mouse or trackpad. I even take the Intuos Pro with me on the road.

The tablet also features a raft of buttons that I can designate to take over commonly used tasks in Photoshop, and the surface is also touch-capable, which adds a new dimension to using the tablet.

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6 of 8 Apple

Apple TV

It's so handy being able to beam content — work and play — from my iPhone or iPad onto a TV, that I invested in one for each TV at home and in the office. This way, rather than all crowd around a small screen, we can look at the content on a big screen.

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7 of 8 Lazer

Quality input devices

I used to think that it didn't matter what keyboard and mouse I used. I'd struggle with some cheap peripherals because I thought they were all the same … until, many moons ago, I used a quality set-up. I then decided that I needed quality peripherals, and I've never looked back.

I use Logitech or Lazer peripherals on Windows PCs, and Apple peripherals on OS X. 

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8 of 8 Dymo

Dymo LabelWriter 450 Twin Turbo

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I remember futzing about printing labels using Microsoft Word and my desktop printer. That's the sort of hell I wish on people I don't like.

If you have to print out more than a few labels per year, get yourself a label printer. You might not want one as capable as the LabelWriter 450 Twin Turbo, but I like the flexibility that being able to print on two different labels offers.

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