Computers are used for a variety of things, from work reports to class presentations, manuscript submissions to online gaming. People love to be connected. After choosing between laptop and desktop computers, users find themselves with significantly more options in terms of accessories. Some people personalise their computer experience with custom computer cases or stereo speakers; others upgrade their webcams or switch to optical mice. Included in both laptop and desktop accessories are those that are designed for comfort.
Although ergonomics debuted in the office environment in the 1970s, the importance of workspace customisation and comfort came to the forefront in the 1990s. These days, computer users can choose from a range of accessories to make their computer usage more enjoyable, including not only mouse and wrist pads but also adjustable keyboard drawers and backrests. After reviewing their options and selecting the computer accessories to improve user comfort, buyers can visit eBay and find everything they need in a single stop.
Computer Usage Statistics
Over the past couple of decades, computers have become an integral part of daily life. Email is rapidly replacing the Royal Mail, and digital books, newsletters, and other publications are supplanting printed material.
In 2012, 67 per cent of adults in the United Kingdom reported daily computer use. That same year saw 21 million Great Britain households with internet access, or fully 80 per cent of all citizens. Even the way teaching and education are delivered has changed. In the United Kingdom, 89 per cent of school-aged children have Internet access, whether through a desktop computer at home, or on a portable laptop, which they often bring to class.
Choosing Between a Laptop and a Desktop
While some people own both laptop and desktop computers, quite often buyers need to decide between one and the other. As a computer is not a small investment, it is important for the user to be happy with his or her purchase. Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of each type of computer can help with the decision.
Comparatively, a desktop computer delivers higher-quality graphics, a faster processor, and a better, often larger, monitor. Also, desktops still cost less than their portable counterparts, which makes all the bells and whistles that much more impressive, as well as cost-effective.
In general, a desktop computer is more comfortable to use. The workspace can be personalised to the user, including the addition of a comfortable desk, keyboard, mouse and mouse pad, wrist rest, and more. Adding components to the desktop, including increased memory or video cards, is also easier on a desktop than a laptop. Similarly, the desktop provides a larger hard drive and, by extension, more memory.
One last advantage bears mention: Files kept on a desktop are considerably safer than those on a laptop. Whereas a desktop remains in one place behind locked doors, the portability of a laptop means its data is far less secure as is the computer itself.
Obviously, the main reason people choose laptops over desktops is for their mobility. This is helpful not only for those who travel but also for business professionals, teachers who need to give on-site presentations, or for students wishing to take notes in class.
Thanks to the proliferation of wireless networks, a laptop computer enables its user to access the Internet from a number of locations both in and outside the home. Also, the laptop's backup battery means the computer can still be used in the event of a power outage or if an electrical outlet is not convenient.
In addition to being more expensive to purchase, laptops also cost more to repair. Due to their being transported extensively, they are also subject to additional harm and mishap. Still, if buyers need a computer they can use in more than one location, all of these negatives become moot.
Basic Computer Accessories
Although some computer accessories vary from desktop to laptop, the more common ones are cases and covers, cleaning and repair kits, headsets, keyboards, mice, speakers, uninterrupted power supplies, and webcams.
Cases and Covers
If they are not using their computer often, some people like to cover the monitor or CPU with a cover, to keep them free from dust and particulates. With laptops, a case is nearly essential, as owners need to protect their investment when they transport it from one location to another. A padded bag made specifically for computer use is best.
Cleaning and Repair Kits
Amongst the more common products for keeping a computer clean are screen wipes and cans of forced air, the latter used for blowing out dust from the keyboard or other areas. Depending on the owner's comfort level, they can also purchase a cleaning and repair kit to make minor fixes.
Headsets and Microphones
While those ubiquitous white earbuds can deliver sound just as well on computers as they do portable music devices, computer-specific headsets offer not only a better listening experience but also advanced communication capabilities. With a built-in microphone, mute button, and variable volume earphones, a headset allows a person to talk while on the computer. Headsets are used not only for Skyping but also for conference calls, gaming, and voice-overs. Although newer computer models may include built-in microphones, separate units are available, as well.
Keyboards and Mice
No longer are computer operators tied to the mouse that came with their desktop computer or the keypad that is built into their laptop. A number of mice can be found on the market, including optical, ergonomic, trackpad, and compact models. Similarly, swapping keyboards can personalise the user experience by delivering the right fit and comfort for each user. Adding an external keyboard to a laptop is another way to expand its functionality.
Unless a computer is connected directly to a modem, Internet connectivity requires a wireless router or hotspot. Therefore, despite the portability of a laptop, it may not always provide access to the Internet. The use of a network adapter solves this problem, delivering online functionality anytime, anywhere.
Another advantage of a personal network adapter is the security it provides. Wi-Fi hotspots are anything but secure, both in the transmission of data over the internet as well as the vulnerability to unauthorised access from a nefarious Net denizen nearby; a network adapter erases that worry.
Both desktop and laptop computers come with built-in speakers; however, true audiophiles may find these to deliver an inferior sound. To ensure better listening and clearer tunes, an add-on pair of speakers is recommended.
The proliferation of Skype and other online communications or streaming comes with the need for webcams. With these built-in or add-on cameras, computer users can stream their own image or live event, and even take still photographs for digital or internet use. While basic models are available, webcams with more megapixels deliver sharper images.
Laptop and Desktop Accessories: Making Computer Use More Comfortable
In the 1990s, "ergonomic" became a workplace buzzword. No longer were workers stuck with uncomfortable, uniform chairs, desks, keyboards, mice, and other work accessories; rather, products began to emerge with better lumbar support, more comfortable wrist rests, and stress-reduction positioning.
These days, countless computer accessories can be labelled ergonomic, all of them designed to make computer use more comfortable. Ergonomic computer accessories generally fall into one of six categories: keyboards; mice; keyboard drawers; chairs and back rests; and wrist rests and mouse pads.
Through the use of ergonomic keyboards, computer users place their hands at a more natural angle when typing, their wrists comfortably supported by gentle padding. Cushioned palm and wrists rests lend additional comfort when typing.
Another product that falls into this category is the adjustable keyboard, in which the left and right halves can be angled outward to a position more comfortable to an individual user. The use of ergonomic keyboards has proven to reduce the incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Beyond the keyboard, the most common source of comfort or discomfort with a computer is its mouse. While some are content with a standard, two-button mouse, or one of the newer, popular optical mice, others desire some added comfort with this important tool. Those who use their computer for drawing or other artistic pursuits may appreciate the pen and tablet.
Perhaps the greatest comfort comes from an ergonomic mouse. With its vertical grip design, this easy-to-use tool maintains a neutral angle for the hand and wrist, thus reducing muscle strain and median nerve pressure.
Putting their hands up on the desk to type is uncomfortable for some. Depending on the height of both desk and person, a pull-out keyboard drawer may be more to their liking. Keyboard drawers can be quite affordable and are easily attached to the underside of the desk. They are available in both straight pull-out and angle-adjustable models. Whereas some keyboard drawers include sufficient room for a mouse, others feature space-saving pull-out mouse pads. For added convenience, computer users can purchase a keyboard drawer with foam wrist or hand supports.
Chairs and Back Rests
Beginning in the 1970s, office chairs were crafted with ergonomics in mind. Amongst the adjustable features in such chairs are the armrests, backs, back support, seats, and height, alterations that provide customisation and comfort. Properly aligning the seat with the user has been proven to reduce back pain and prevent repetitive stress injury. Some computer operators may achieve better posture from a kneeling chair, or even a tall chair paired with a standing desk.
If an ergonomic chair is not in the budget, a standard office chair can be modified for comfort and support. Back rests are available in a range of materials, including foam, gel, and mesh, and can be positioned at the height most beneficial to the computer user's back.
Wrist Rests and Mouse Pads
One of the simplest adjustments a computer user can make in the name of comfort is to purchase a padded wrist rest, mouse pad, or both. Made of foam or gel, these can be used not only with desktop computers but also laptops that have an added mouse. Other comfortable height adjustments can be made with the use of foot rests and chair pads.
Buying Laptop and Desktop Accessories on eBay
eBay is home to all your home and office needs. Not only does the site offer a wide assortment of computers but also a plethora of laptop and desktop accessories, many of them designed to increase your comfort. Unless you have identified precisely what you are looking for, you can easily review product groupings and individual offerings in the section of computers listings.
You can view computer accessory offerings by top manufacturers, including Microsoft, Goldtouch, and Kinesis, or break your search down into products, such as ergonomic keyboards, gel mouse pads, and foam back rests. As you scroll down the page of initial search results, you can easily review brand names and models, brief descriptions, and prices; product photographs give you a better idea of the product at hand. From there, you can click on either photos or titles to open a page with detailed product information, including the seller's name and feedback rating. Take note of both shipping and return terms before you buy to ensure satisfaction with your purchase.
Europeans spend great quantities of their day staring at screen and typing on keyboards. Due to the mass proliferation of computers, both desktop and laptops and across both work and home lives, comfort of use becomes an important consideration. Many of the countless computer accessories on the market today have been designed with comfort in mind. Whether people spend their computer time locked to a desk or out and about with a laptop, computer users have a range of products with which to customise their experience.
Amongst the top accessories making computer use more comfortable are supportive keyboards, mice and mouse pads, wrist rests, ergonomic chairs and back rests, and adjustable or cushioned keyboard drawers. All of these computer accessories and many more are available on eBay, where both broad and specific searches return relevant results at remarkable prices. Laptop and desktop computer users can buy accessories with confidence every day, all day, on the convenient Internet shopping site.