Smart lighting is an easy way to create some ambiance in a room and change the feel of the space. It comes in many forms nowadays, from smart bulbs and light strips to all kinds of oddly shaped lamps. The Govee Flow Pro is one such RGB accessory that’s designed to flank a TV or monitor screen to bring a splash of diffuse light and color to your setup.
It’s easy to pick colors or animations, but the real attraction of these vertical light bars is their ability to match on-screen action and react to music—all for just $80. That’s significantly more affordable than other devices that offer reactive smart lighting. There’s a bit of setup and finagling required to get the Govee system going, but it works. The catch? It relies on a camera.
Some Setup Required
The Govee Flow Pro system comes with a pair of 10.5-inch rectangular plastic light bars and a choice of two mounting solutions: stick them to the back of a TV or monitor, or slot them into stands. The light bars connect to a separate control unit via a lengthy USB-C cable, and the camera—yes, camera—plugs into the unit’s USB-A port. You’ll need to then hook the power adapter to the control unit to light the whole thing up.
The control unit has a power button, a color cycle button, and a button to switch to audio-reactive lighting, which brings us to the reason why there’s a camera here at all. You point the webcam-like device at your monitor or TV so it can see what’s going on and adjust the colors of the light bars to match. Watching a fiery scene from a movie? The camera tries to pick up the colors and directs the light bars to mimic them for a more immersive feel.
To do all of this, you first need the Govee Home app on your phone and run through a calibration process that involves sticking orange foam squares onto your TV screen or monitor. It took around 30 minutes to complete this setup process. Both the control unit and the camera have an adhesive backing, so you’ll want to pick a permanent spot for them carefully. The camera is angled to watch your TV or monitor and needs to be in the center top or bottom of the screen. This won’t work for every household as some bezel-less TV designs make placement at the top awkward, and placing it at the bottom can block the TV’s infrared sensor for the remote control.
The light bars are also designed for screens between 27 and 45 inches, and the reactive lighting won’t work properly with other screen sizes. If you have a 55- or 65-inch TV, you can get similar functionality from Govee’s Immersion TV Lightstrip.
Govee’s app has a ton of colors, scenes, and other preset lighting effects to choose from. It feels a little chaotic and takes some getting used to, but it’s worth experimenting here. You can create lighting effects if you’re prepared to spend the time learning how it works, and you can also schedule your light bars to turn on and off automatically.
The New York Police Department said Thursday it will stop using the “Digidog,” a four-legged robot occasionally deployed for recon in dangerous situations. NYPD officials confirmed in a statement it had terminated its contract and will return the dog to vendor Boston Dynamics. Last December, the agency leased the Digidog, nicknamed Spot, for $94,000.
John Miller, the police department’s deputy commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism, told The New York Times that the contract was “a casualty of politics, bad information, and cheap sound bites.” Miller bemoaned the role of bad press in the backlash, but in many ways the NYPD’s own actions were a blueprint for how not to introduce new tech. And, for activists, how to effectively agitate for banning unwanted technologies.
In truth, it wasn’t just sound bites that doomed Spot. New Yorkers didn’t want it.
In February, the NYPD used Spot to defuse a hostage situation in the Bronx. When video of the device went viral, its flexible legs and camera-for-a-head design spooked people. The robot is quadrupedal but doesn’t actually look like a dog. A more immediate comparison is the armed robots featured in a postapocalyptic episode of Black Mirror. This comparison spread rapidly on social media. The NYPD’s secrecy worked against it: There was no public comment process for Spot, and residents hadn’t known to expect to see robot-dogs respond to hostage situations.
The NYPD had exactly this opportunity, months earlier, when it had to disclose both the price and governing policies for all surveillance devices as defined by the city’s Public Oversight of Surveillance Technology (POST) Act. Instead, the agency included a passing reference to Spot in a larger section on “situational awareness cameras,” with no images.
In New York, the police department is not required to seek city council approval, which would usually involve a public comment phase, for new purchases. And springing a robot on people has consequences.
Notably, Spot’s relatively cheap price tag of $94,000 means that, in cities like Sacramento or Burbank requiring council approval for contracts over $100,000, it could pop up without public review.
In New York, the secrecy followed by sudden viral infamy doomed the Digidog.
US representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) criticized the robot as a waste of funds that could have gone toward social services. City council member Ben Kallos led a charge for banning armed robots, saying Spot was the first step towards launching an “arms race.” In the Bronx borough where the hostage incident happened, where police respond to calls for service often, many residents wondered whether they’d start seeing the dog show up frequently.
Importantly, Spot was not armed. The robot used cameras and a microphone to scout areas that may be too dangerous for officers, such as hostage situations. Mostly, the robots are used to investigate downed power lines or gas leaks. But, the “robot dog” label stuck because it was introduced in the context of policing, in the middle of a nationwide conversation on policing, in use by a police force that purchases new equipment without public approval.
Critics seized on this to emphasize the potential consequences of police using robots without oversight or public input. With less alarming technologies, video doorbells, for example, many wonder “what’s the worst that could happen?” In the case of Spot, they warned that it was part of a larger pattern of police militarization.
Computer chips might be in short supply at the moment, but chipmakers will continue wringing more power out of them for a while yet it seems.
Researchers at IBM have demonstrated a way to squeeze more transistors onto a chip, a feat of nanoscopic miniaturization that could significantly improve the speed and efficiency of future electronic devices.
The engineering feat might also help the US regain some ground when it comes to minting the world’s most advanced chips, something that has become central to geopolitics, economic competition, and national security. Chips are critical for a growing array of products, and access to faster, more advanced chips is likely to fuel progress in critical areas including artificial intelligence, 5G, and biotechnology.
IBM says 50 billion of the new transistors—the electronic switches that let chips perform logical operations and store data—could fit on a chip the size of a fingernail, two-thirds more than what was possible using the previous process. It says the chip could help a smartphone or laptop run 45 percent faster or consume only one-fourth of the energy of the previous best design.
“It’s a tremendously exciting technology,” says Jesús del Alamo, a professor at MIT who specializes in novel transistor technologies. “It’s a completely new design that pushes forward the roadmap for the future.”
Making the new transistor relies on not simply etching the features of a chip into silicon, but also building them on top of one another. Chipmakers first began crafting transistors in three dimensions in 2009 using a design called FinFET, in which electrons flow through thin vertical fins—rather than a flat surface—to pass through transistors. The IBM design takes this further, stacking transistors on top of one another in the form of nanosheets that run through a semiconducting material like the layers in a cake.
Dario Gil, senior vice president and director of IBM research, says making the transistors required innovations at various stages of the manufacturing process. The work comes from IBM’s research lab in Albany, New York, where IBM collaborates with the State University of New York as well as leading chip manufacturing companies.
IBM sold off its chipmaking business in 2014, but it continues to fund research on next generation chip materials, designs, and manufacturing techniques. The company plans to make money by licensing the technology to chipmakers.
For decades, chipmakers have been focused on shrinking the size of components to wring more performance out of chips. Smaller scale allows more components to be packed onto a chip, improving efficiency and speed, but each new generation requires incredible engineering to perfect.
The most advanced computer chips today are made using a process that involves etching features into silicon with extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV), resulting in features smaller than the wavelength of visible light. The process is called “7 nanometer,” but it no longer refers to the size of components; instead, it reflects the generation of technology employed, because of the stacked transistors and other changes in chipmaking. The new IBM chip is three generations ahead, using a process dubbed 2 nanometers.
IBM first demonstrated transistors made this way in 2017 at 5-nanometer process scale. The fact that it has taken four years to move to 2 nanometers shows the challenge of mastering the techniques involved. The world’s most advanced chip companies have begun making 5 nanometer chips using existing approaches, which appear to be nearing their limits.
So long eggs Benedict with sturgeon roe, lavender- and honey-roasted duck, and butter-poached lobster tail. Last week, Eleven Madison Park, one of the most high-end, meat-laden restaurants in New York City (and the world), announced it’s going vegan, with the exception of milk and honey for coffee and tea.
The news came as a big surprise to the culinary community, but Eleven Madison Park isn’t the first high-end restaurant to stop serving animal products; it’s the latest in a trend of food institutions drawing stark lines in the sand around meat consumption. Just last month, the Michelin-starred French chef Alexis Gauthier turned his London-based restaurant, Gauthier Soho, entirely vegan. “I’m vegan myself; it would be unethical for me to profit from selling dead animals,” Gauthier told Big Hospitality. Daniel Humm, the owner and head chef of Eleven Madison Park, cited environmental concerns: “The way we have sourced our food, the way we’re consuming our food, the way we eat meat, it is not sustainable,” he told NPR’s Guy Raz on the latest episode of the How I Built This podcast. “And that is not an opinion. This is just a fact. So we decided that our restaurant will be 100 percent plant-based.”
Chefs like Gauthier and Humm are on the right side of history. The global meat industry accelerates climate change, condemns billions of animals to terrible treatment in factory farms, and leaves meatpacking plant workers in unusually cruel working conditions. But even so, there’s one variation of these plans that I wish they had considered: simply cutting back on meat, rather than ditching it altogether. It might seem counterintuitive, but introducing their omnivorous clientele to plant-based dining gradually with, say, an 80 to 90 percent plant-based menu would have a similar impact on the planet—and without making it a binary choice for consumers. This change in perception could reduce the polarization around veganism, eventually leading more people to eat less meat.
As a flexitarian myself, I primarily eat plant-based but occasionally eat some animal products. Given the grim state of our industrialized farming system, I think a vegan world—or one in which we eat drastically fewer animal products—would be optimal. But I’m also realistic about how hard it is to get any individual person, let alone an entire culture, to cut back on animal products. Environmentalists and animal advocates have been trying for decades, and still only a small percentage of the industrialized world is vegetarian or vegan. Right now, the average American eats about 225 pounds of meat annually. That number is slowly increasing, even as the popularity of plant-based meat grows. And it’s no wonder; meat is cheap, delicious, convenient, and tied to culturally significant moments like Thanksgiving and Christmas. For some people, an entirely vegan meal is simply not appealing.
To be clear, I think it’s great that Eleven Madison Park and institutions like it are moving the ball on plant-based eating, and there’s a case to be made for bold moves that draw attention to the urgency of cutting meat consumption. Plus, it’ll showcase how delicious vegan food can be. And because Eleven Madison Park is a culinary icon, other restaurants and institutions may follow its lead.
Still, it seems other restaurants would be more likely to follow Eleven Madison Park’s lead if the shift were less drastic. Industry professionals are probably wary that many diners still think vegan food and vegan restaurants are only for vegans—even Humm himself has said, “At times I’m up in the middle of the night, thinking about the risk we’re taking.” This trepidation is not unfounded. There’s no shortage of people who think vegan food is boring and bland, and research has shown that veganism is heavily stigmatized. Many omnivores simply will not go to a vegan restaurant unless a friend or family member drags them. But if the vegan label and stigma are removed, and diners know they can eat what they want, they are more likely to go on their own. Once they’ve been hooked as a customer, they’ll come back—and maybe they’ll try something new (and meat-free). While Humm will undoubtedly attract many folks who aren’t vegan because of his reputation and status, he will likely still lose some customers, and with them, the likelihood of influencing other restaurants.
To locate SmartTags, Samsung phones, and Samsung Galaxy Buds, you can use the SmartThings app for Android (the tracking feature isn’t available in the SmartThings app for iOS). Choose SmartApps from the main app menu and you’ll see the SmartThings Find option, which shows your gadgets on a map and lets you force them to emit a sound.
Tap More options and you’ll see the older Samsung Find My Mobile service (which is also available on the web.) If you need to track down a Galaxy phone, you can remotely wipe it, remotely lock it, and remotely back it up from here.
For your Galaxy phones to show up, however, you need to turn on tracking in the options on the device. Open up Settings on your phone, then choose Biometrics and security—depending on the model of phone you’ve got, it might be labeled Lock screen and security or just Security. Then tap Find My Mobile and turn the feature on.
With Galaxy phones being Android phones, you can use the tracking service from either Samsung or Google to keep tabs on where your handsets are, or you can use them both together in tandem.
Tile and Others
Besides the options we’ve already mentioned, there are a number of companies who will sell you trackers very much like the AirTags or the SmartTags—and many have been in the business of finding lost gadgets for much longer than Apple and Samsung have.
Perhaps the most prominent of these is Tile, which offers a variety of trackers of different shapes, sizes, and capabilities. The smallest trackers in the Tile range are small stickers that can attach to just about anything.
Through the Tile app for Android, iOS, or Windows, you can communicate with your Tile via Bluetooth, looking for your item’s last recorded location or getting the tracker to emit a sound. You can also press a Tile tracker to get your phone to ring if your handset is lost. If a Tile goes out of Bluetooth range, the app will anonymously and privately ping other Tile users to see if they spot it on their travels.
Every year, WIRED favorite retailer REI hosts its biggest sale of the year right before Memorial Day, just in time to get you equipped for all your summer adventures. This year’s sale lasts through May 31 and is unusually wide-ranging, with many gear picks we’ve tested and loved.
Don’t see anything you like? Other outdoor retailers, like Backcountry and Moosejaw, are also holding summer sales. You can also check out our buying guides to the Best Portable Grills, Best Camping Gear, Best Running Gear for Hot Weather, and more.
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The Snow Peak Takibi Fire Pit Is 20 Percent Off
Several years ago, I wrote about the fire pit that made me like camping again. At that time, my children were much younger than they are now, and a packable, simple, and sturdy fire pit that didn’t require fiddling and had an easy-to-use and easy-to-clean grill cover made camping a much more manageable proposition.
Camping has finally gotten a little easier, but I still really love this fire pit. With wildfire season imminent, it also makes sense to take precautions to make your outdoor fires safer. Snow Peak’s grill folds down for easy storage in your car trunk. You can also adjust the grill height to three different levels for different cooking temperatures. In the over 20 years since Snow Peak CEO Tohru Yamai designed it, he’s only ever gotten two customer complaints. The updated version of BioLite’s FirePit is also on sale as well.
The Original Rumpl Blanket Is on Sale
Think of a Rumpl blanket as if your sleeping bag had a baby with the coziest lap blanket that your grandma knitted for you. They’re made from DWR-treated ripstop polyester, so they’re sturdy, durable, and resist getting soaked or stained. But they’re also soft and warm enough to fall asleep under on the couch, and they come in a wide variety of colors and patterns. I throw my Rumpl blanket in my trunk when we’re driving through snow; compress it down into my backpack to take on picnics or to the beach with my kids; then wash it and fall asleep on the couch underneath it while rewatching Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. They were impossible to find in stock last year, so grab one while you can.
Camping and Hiking Deals
Cotopaxi Tarak Del Dia Backpack for $70 ($30 off): I haven’t tried this specific backpack, but in general Cotopaxi’s bags are irresistibly bright, incredibly light, no-frills, and made from repurposed fabric stock that would otherwise go into a landfill. This 20-liter frameless pack is designed for climbing and skiing, but it weighs only 1 pound and would work well for day hikes.
Osprey Fairview Trek 70 Backpack for $172 ($58 off): I own this backpack, and it’s a pretty useful combination between a framed hiking backpack and an open, zip-front duffel. Osprey also makes a men’s version for $120 ($40 off).
Hydro Flask Kids Bottle for $22 ($8 off): All of Hydro Flask’s bottles, drinkware, and accessories are 25 percent off. This water bottle is a little difficult to clean, but it’s the only kid’s water bottle that hasn’t leaked all over at least one of my bags.
Grayl Geopress Water Filtering Bottle for $65 ($25 off): If you’re backpacking by yourself, you might not need an additional, bulky water filter. Grayl’s simple bottle works as both a filter and a drinking vessel. Just fill it up and press the filter down through your water like a stiff french press; you can drink giardia-free water anywhere, any time.
Garmin InReach Mini Satellite Communicator for $300 ($50 off): This tiny, lightweight device is still at the top of our list of the Best Satellite Communicators. It utilizes the Iridium satellite network, which has incredibly fast response times and coverage for emergencies.
BioLite Headlamp 330 for $45 ($15 off): After testing many, many headlamps over the years, this light, slim version that sits flush on your forehead is still my favorite. The battery does wear down after several years—the promised 40 hours of run time is now more like 20. The controls also take some getting used to.
Goal Zero Yeti Lithium 200X for $240 ($60 off): This doesn’t make the list of product reviewer Scott Gilbertson’s favorite portable chargers; lithium-ion NMC is much less effective than lithium polymer batteries, and it has a limited charge cycle rating of 500 charges (not great!). But for a small power station that’s under $500, it works pretty well. I’ve owned this charger for several years and it’s still going strong.
Preparedness is personal, and it exists on a broad spectrum. For some people, it’s tied to a season—hurricane season in the South or wildfire season in the West. In some communities, you have folks boarding up the windows days before a storm makes landfall while others ignore evacuation warnings, figuring they can just settle into the laundry room with a box of donuts, a flashlight, and a good book.
Luckily there is a middle ground.
“It’s an investment in yourself to be prepared,” says Katie Belfi, who was an attorney for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) during Hurricane Sandy. After Sandy, NYU Langone recruited Belfi to rebuild the hospital’s emergency preparedness/emergency response program. But her interest in emergency planning started years earlier, as a 3-year-old nagging her mother to buy escape ladders for the family’s bedrooms.
“Preparedness has always been delivered through a filter of fear,” Belfi says. “And it takes on a tone of ‘You have to do this or else,'” One of her goals is to get people to see resilience through a mindfulness lens, by switching the narrative from something you have to do to something you get to do.
Instead of talking about emergency preparedness in terms of numbers of MRE meals, cases of bottled water, or solar panels, Belfi frames emergency preparedness in the context of things like gratitude and rest, things that we already associate with self-care. “We have morning routines, exercise routines, and skincare routines,” said Danielle Roberts, an emergency physician in Norwalk, Connecticut. “Why shouldn’t we have a readiness routine?”
Roberts is the medical director for The Readiness Collective, which twins Jesse Levin and Sefra Alexandra founded out of a concern for a society that remains reactionary, unprepared, and vulnerable due to a disjointed relationship with readiness. “When we work to acquire the skills and mindset that make us ‘ready,’ the fear, sense of vulnerability, and divisiveness typically experienced in emergencies are replaced with calm and an eagerness, capability, and desire to help others,” Levin says. It’s hard to know where to begin with personal preparedness, but the best time to do it is right now.
Where Do We Begin?
After someone has lived through something traumatic, whether it’s a wildfire or a global pandemic, they’re in the best possible place to look at things objectively when the experience is fresh in their minds. It’s overwhelming, and so many people want to fling their masks aside, forget about the Texas power crisis, and ignore hurricane and wildfire predictions. Despite strong impulses to push the past aside and move on, Belfi says, “this is the most important time to sit down—whether it’s with yourself, your family, or with a larger group in your community—and reflect on what worked and what didn’t. From that information, you’ll have an amazing blueprint for building your plan.”
After reflecting on what worked well and where your household needs improvement, you can refill, restock, replace, and repair supplies and tools. The next step is a little challenging because this is where you dig deeper, polish some skills, and tweak your plan.
Belfi offers a guide on her website to help you get started, along with Bringing Resilience Home, a free, printable ebook that lists the essential questions to ask yourself as you draft your preparedness plan. It’s critical to know how much food and water your family needs. A freezer full of meat isn’t the best stable food source, but it’s something. Twenty-pound bags of rice, beans, and lentils are better. The worst is relying on takeout, as many people learned the hard way when everything was closed at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Our final update: Prime Day has ended. If you’re sale hunting, we’ve collected thebest Prime Day deals still available (as of June 23). As always, we hope we helped you sift through the sales madness and find great products. Check ourBuying Guidesfor the latest recommendations.
You may be going back to the office soon, but several companies are allowing employees to work from home for a few days of the week. Some are offering a permanent WFH option. Needless to say, remote work isn’t going away even as more and more people get vaccinated. If you’re looking to upgrade your home office, we’ve rounded up the best Prime Day deals on work-from-home gear.
Note: We regularly update articles and strike through items that sell out or rise in price as of publishing, and we mark discounts based on recent product pricing or average price, not MSRP. Be sure to check discounts for yourself. Our picks come from research and our extensive experience reviewing products. You’ll need anAmazon Primesubscription to get most of these deals.
WIRED’s Prime Day Stories
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Desk and Chair Deals
You’ll need to click the coupon to see the deal at checkout. I’ve tested and really like Flexispot’s EN1 standing desk, but this version goes a step further by adding USB charging ports (two USB-A and one USB-C) and a drawer so you can clean up your desk clutter. There are four height memory buttons, so you can preset the perfect height for when you sit or stand, and also configure it for others in your household. This one even has a child lock that prevents kids from operating the desk.
Click the on-page coupon to see the discount at checkout. I’ve been using a similar version of this desk for more than a year, and it has served me exceptionally well. This one doesn’t have folding legs, but it’s spacious at 63 inches, and it takes just minutes to set up. The desktop is particleboard and nothing special, but it feels solid.
We haven’t put our rears in this chair yet, but based on reviews across the web and on Amazon, it’s clearly well-received. Razer says it has a lumbar support system to help your lower back, it’s made of synthetic leather, and it utilizes high-density foam cushions for a plushy seat.
This is one of the most popular standing desks around, and for good reason: It’s pretty much the best. (WIRED reviews director Jeffrey Van Camp uses it and agrees.) The bamboo top is exquisite and eco-friendly, and there are a myriad of ways to customize the desk to your liking. You get a 15-year warranty on all the desk frame components, as well as the mechanical parts, motors, and electrical components, which is rare.
Laptop and Laptop Stand Deals
Be sure to read our Best Laptops, Best Cheap Laptops, Best MacBooks, and Best Chromebooks guides for more of our recommendations. Our How to Buy a Laptop guide also offers lots of advice if you’re unsure on what processors and RAM to choose.
The entry-level MacBook Pro for almost the same price as the MacBook Air? Yes, please. It’s the lowest price we’ve ever seen. This is the first MacBook Pro with Apple’s powerful M1 processor, and while you shouldn’t expect a tremendous power boost over the MacBook Air (which has the same chip), the Pro has a fan that allows the chip to deliver more power, and it can sustain it longer during intensive tasks. You also get better battery life, a brighter screen, nicer speakers, and higher-quality mics. Oh, and the Touch Bar, if you care.
Use coupon THINKBIGSAVINGS to see the discount at checkout. When you land on this page, you’ll be overwhelmed by the number of options available for the ThinkPad X1 Nano. We recommend grabbing the 11th-gen Intel Core i7 model with 16 gigabytes of RAM and a 1-terabyte SSD. That will deliver more than enough power and storage for most people. This machine is lightweight, attractive, has a great keyboard, buttons on top of the trackpad, and a nice 13-inch screen. Ports are limited to two USB-C and a headphone jack.
This is the lowest price ever on this 14-inch Windows machine. It’s thin and light yet offers long battery life, the ability to play some games like Fortnite, and you get tons of ports! Seriously, you get an HDMI, two USB-A ports, a USB-C that supports Thunderbolt 4, and a headphone jack. The trackpad is a bit mushy, but the 1080p screen is bright and battery life is excellent.
The 14-inch Acer Swift 3 is our favorite budget laptop. This model uses an Intel Core i7 chip, which means you can get a more powerful chip for less than the price of the configuration in our guide (which has an i5). It also has 8 gigabytes of RAM and a 256-gigabyte solid-state drive (SSD), with a Full HD IPS LCD display (IPS is a little nicer than some types of LCD).
This is a match of the lowest price we’ve ever seen. The Flip C434 is our favorite Chromebook at the moment. The display is bright and sharp, the battery lasts more than a full work day, and the Core M3 chip is decent enough for standard-fare everyday tasks. (If you frequently have more than 25 tabs open, you may want to opt for something more powerful, like the Galaxy Chromebook below.)
It’s not the sleekest Chromebook around, but you get surprisingly decent performance with the 10th-gen Intel Core i3 processor inside. It has a 360-degree design, so you can flip the screen all the way around, which is handy for watching movies or using the 13-inch touchscreen with Android apps.
Samsung’s original Galaxy Chromebook remains a powerful machine with a gorgeous screen. If you’re looking for a top-tier Chromebook, this is one of the best we’ve used. The only problem is the battery life, which is pretty bad—you’ll rarely get more than 5.5 hours of run time. Also keep in mind that this has been selling for less than $800 for many months now (and it has dipped even lower before).
Stop craning your neck and staring down at your laptop screen. Get a stand to elevate it! We like this one from Moft, which you can configure to five different positions. It can get up to 10 inches tall, so if you want to stand and work for a bit, the option is there. The best part is that this model is so lightweight and thin, you can take it anywhere.
This is our favorite laptop stand for most people. It can get higher than most, and you can adjust it to pretty much any angle you want. It’s also sturdy enough that you don’t have to worry about heavier laptops or tablets.
I’m not sure what this company’s name means, but I really like this mini laptop desk for working in bed or on the couch. It offers up a large surface area that can fit bigger laptops, and you can tilt the main platform up, which is especially handy if you’re sketching on an iPad. There’s a tiny little drawer you can use to store cables or other tchotchkes. It’s hovered between $40 and $50 since the pandemic began.
This is last year’s Razor Blade 15 (our favorite gaming laptop), but it’s still a plenty powerful portable gaming rig. The configuration on sale here pairs a 6-Core Intel i7 with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 graphics card.
The Lenovo Yoga 9I is a 14-inch convertible ultrabook. This configuration features an 11th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8 gigabytes of RAM, and a 256-gigabyte SSD. It also comes with a stylus, which packs away in a handy storage slot.
Alienware’s M15 is one of the best gaming laptops you can buy. It’s sleek (for a gaming laptop), powerful, and has an eye-popping screen (with a 240-Hz refresh rate). The only catch is it’s expensive, but this deal takes some of the pain out of the price. We reviewed a similar version here.
We haven’t tested the monitors in this section, but we’ve cross-referenced reviews from around the web and tried to stick with reputable brands we are familiar with. Looking for more options? We have a few products we’ve tested and recommend in our Home Office Gear guide.
Sure, you’ve probably used a 24-inch monitor before, maybe even a 27-inch one. But what about a 32-inch monitor? There’s enough room to fit two browser tabs side by side. You also get high resolution (2,560 x 1,440 pixels) on this VA panel, support for AMD’s FreeSync if you plan on gaming and need a fast response, and the monitor itself supports a 144-Hz screen refresh rate. The array of ports on the back include HDMI, DisplayPort, USB-C, USB-A, plus a headphone jack, and it can be VESA mounted if you want to ditch the stand. It has dipped to this price before, but not frequently.
Want a large screen that can reasonably fit on your desk without spending too much? This Lenovo monitor has positive reviews around the web, a 2,560 x 1,440-pixel resolution, and a 75-Hz refresh rate that works with AMD’s FreeSync platform. You get an HDMI and DisplayPort connectivity, plus a 3.5-mm headphone jack on the back. VESA mounting support means you can reclaim some space on your desk. This is the lowest price we’ve seen yet.
If you’re itching to go back to working out of a coffee shop but got used to the luxury of a monitor hooked up to your laptop, well, here’s the solution. We tested and really like this portable 1080p touchscreen monitor (9/10, WIRED Recommends). It has dual USB-C ports as well as Mini HDMI, so it’s easy to connect it to an array of devices, and it’s slim enough to stow it in a backpack.
We haven’t tested this model yet, but we’re familiar with the brand and the reviews are overall positive. This one isn’t a touchscreen like the Vissles above, but it comes with a screen protector, a leather case, and all the cables you’d need. It’s 1080p, has USB-C and HDMI ports as well as a headphone jack. The included smart cover lets you orient it in portrait or landscape mode.
This is an elegant monitor mount if you want to ditch the stand to clear some space on your desk. I’ve been using it to hold up my 34-inch ultrawide for the past two years and it hasn’t failed once. We haven’t tested it, but Fully’s Jarvis monitor arm is also discounted for $89 ($20 off).
If all you need is a simple, external screen, then this 24-inch monitor should do the job. My partner has been using it for a year with no issues. It has VGA, DVI, and HDMI ports, along with a 1080p resolution. It doesn’t have VESA mounting capabilities.
This HP monitor doesn’t have as high a screen resolution as the Lenovo above (it’s just 1,920 x 1080 pixels), so you might see more pixels, but it has built-in speakers, can be VESA mounted, and has HDMI, DisplayPort, and VGA ports.
OK, hear me out. Sometimes you just don’t want to switch tabs. It’s 2021, people! This super ultrawide from Samsung has a screen so large and wide, it will probably hang off of your desk. But it can probably fit three full-size spreadsheets side by side. For some folks, that’s worth $900. This is the lowest price we’ve ever seen for this monitor. The VA panel has a 120-Hz screen refresh rate, it’s curved, gets incredibly bright, and has a whopping 5,120 x 1,440 pixel resolution. Just know that you may need a fairly powerful PC to run intensive apps and games on this behemoth of a screen.
Keyboard and Mouse Deals
We have plenty more picks in our Best Keyboards and Best Gaming Mouse guides.
If you’re like me and want a compact mechanical keyboard to save on desk space, try the Huntsman Mini, which is also in our keyboard guide. It has 60 percent of the keys normally found on a regular keyboard, so there’s no NumPad or even arrow keys. Nice, small, and simple.
This is as subtle as mechanical keyboards come. Yes, it has RGB lighting like almost all gaming keyboards these days, but you can turn it off if you prefer. WIRED reviewer Jess Grey says the keys are durable and quiet, and you get a full-size number pad.
Want no wires at all? This is the way. I’ve been using this Vissles mechanical keyboard for a few weeks and it is excellent. It’s clicky yet quiet, sits slightly sloped toward you, and has a wonderful layout (with arrow keys too!). There’s RGB lighting and hot-swappable switches, and Bluetooth means you can pair it with five devices and switch between them quickly. Enter the code V84 at checkout to see the discount.
We love this keyboard because you can customize the type of mechanical switches in each key for a truly personalized typing experience. There’s also a nice LED display for system alerts, volume, and other things you can configure with SteelSeries’ software. And, of course, RGB.
This reliable wired mouse is frequently on sale, but this is one of its lowest prices ever. It has customizable RGB lighting, quick response times, and two extra buttons on the left edge.
I used this mouse for more than two years with no problems whatsoever. It’s simple yet well built, with a reliable and speedy connection as well as no noticeable input lag. The single AA battery it requires usually lasted me three to four months before it needed replacing, and that was with my heavy use.
For an upgraded mouse experience, this used to be our top gaming pick. It was recently supplanted by the SteelSeries Prime Wireless, but it still has industry-leading response times, optical switches, and wireless connectivity. Unlike many wireless mice, you don’t need to buy batteries to put inside it. It comes with a dock you can plop it on for wireless charging. Better yet, it’s ambidextrous, so it’s a great option for righties and lefties.
Headphone and Headset Deals
These are just a small selection of our favorite headphones and mics. For more, read our Best Wireless Headphones, Best Cheap Headphones, Best Podcasting Gear, and Best Wireless Earbuds guides.
Like the Sony pair listed below, this is the lowest price ever for these Bose headphones. They’re an especially excellent pair if you make a lot of phone calls.Even if you’re in a noisy coffee shop or the kids are yelling in the next room, they’ll silence the world around you so the person on the other end can hear you clearly.
These usually dip to between $278 and $298 when they’re on sale, so this is the lowest price ever on our favorite wireless headphones. These Sony cans have long battery life, a comfy fit, and some of the best sound quality for the price. They also excel at noise canceling—important if you need to drown out the construction happening outside. (They’re also our favorite ANC headphones.) In this version, Sony also improved call quality, which makes them a solid choice for Zoom meetings.
The Cloud Flight S is one of our favorite wireless gaming headsets, but it’s great for anyone who wants headphones with a built-in mic that comes up to your mouth. WIRED reviewer Jess Grey says you get an excellent soundstage and 30 hours of battery life, and the microphone is detachable. It doesn’t look too obnoxious, unlike some gaming gear, and the comfy ear cups mean you can wear ’em for a while. Stock seems to be limited right now, but the price has dropped another $37 since earlier today.
Understated design is something we appreciate in a gaming headset, especially when it’s going to serve double duty as a pair of Zoom meeting headphones. SteelSeries has always been great at providing headsets that don’t look out of place in a home office. The Arctis 5 is one of our faves for PC gaming (the mic is quiet on PS4). It fits comfortably for long periods of time, has an excellent microphone that hides away inside one of the ear cups when not in use, and produces rich, resonant sound.
If you want to spend less, the excellent corded SteelSeries Arctis 1 is $35 ($15 off), and it’s our favorite headset under $50.
These are our favorite earbuds (8/10, WIRED Recommends) for most people. That’s because they’re affordable (especially on sale), offer up a comfy fit, are sweat-resistant so you can use them for your home workouts, and they manage to sound pretty great for the price. They hold six hours of battery life, but you can pop ’em in the case, which holds another 16 hours.
These earbuds have gone on sale at this price two other times since April, but they made our list of the best workout earbuds, so we’re including them. If you want a single pair to transition from your Zoom meeting to the gym, this is it. Jabra improved the microphones, so call quality is great, and they sound good too. They have a two-year warranty, a comfortable fit, and physical buttons so your sweaty hair won’t switch tracks automatically mid-run. Read more in our review.
Charging, Cables, and Hub Deals
Plug this USB-C hub into your laptop and you can now connect an array of accessories. There’s an Ethernet port for faster internet, HDMI to hook your laptop up to a monitor, and even a MicroSD and SD card reader if you need to transfer photos or other documents. We’ve tested similar hubs from Satechi, and they worked well. This is a match of the lowest price this hub has dropped to. Belkin has a similar hub (with similar ports) also on sale for $50 ($50 off).
I tested and like this dock, which lets you plug in and charge multiple gadgets through one system. That means saving on the number of outlets you need. It’s not going to charge your iPads or bigger devices as quickly as usual, but it’s still really convenient. The front area is also a wireless charging pad for your wireless earbuds case. Satechi is also offering 33 percent off other work-from-home tech gear if you want to take a look.
This hub from Anker is made for MacBooks. It’ll take up two USB-C ports on your Apple laptop, but in return, you get access to nine other ports. This includes two USB-A and two USB-C ports, an HDMI, Ethernet, MicroSD and SD slots, plus a 3.5-mm headphone port. Plus, it can pass through power to recharge a MacBook Pro.
This is the top pick in our Best Wireless Chargers guide. The fabric design is attractive, it comes in an array of colors, and the metal base won’t slide around. It exudes elegance, which is important if you’re curating the look of your room. It charges at 10 watts, which is fast enough for most Android phones and iPhones (though not the fastest).
This is the lowest price we’ve seen on this wireless charger, which is in our guide to the Best Wireless Chargers. It’s a well-designed pad you can pop your Android phone or iPhone on, but what makes it special is the RGB lighting underneath. You can plug the USB-C port into your PC and download Razer’s Chroma software to activate unique lighting effects too.
Charging adapters are getting smaller and smaller while outputting more power than before. This dual-port Anker charger should be sufficient to recharge an iPad Pro and even a MacBook (maybe not a MacBook Pro under heavy load). It comes with travel adapters, which is nice.
This cable isn’t for sale at a huge discount, but it’s nice to have extra connectors around the house. Whether you need to charge your iPhone by the couch or your official Apple charging cord was ripped up by the cat, these Anker cables should do the trick. They come in a variety of colors.
Webcams, Tablets, and More
Read our Best Tablet, Best iPad, and Best Webcam guides for other options.
Apple updated the iPad Air in 2020 to make it more powerful than the standard iPad, but not quite as luxurious as the iPad Pro (learn more in our iPad guide). It can even use the second version of the Apple Pencil, meaning the stylus stores and charges magnetically. It’s powerful so you can crank out some work on it thanks to iPadOS, which is getting more robust with every update. You also still get some old-school features like Touch ID (it’s integrated into the side power button).
We haven’t tested the Pro version of the Razer Kiyo, but we like its cheaper sibling so much that it’s our favorite webcam (it’s also on sale for $80 ($4 off). This pricier option delivers uncompressed 1080p video at 60 frames per second and an adjustable field of view, and it purports to look great in a variety of lighting conditions. It has a cover to hide the camera when you’re not using it.
Since most of the country started working from home at the exact same time, webcams became scarce. This came out a few months ago, and we haven’t had a chance to test it yet, but we like Anker products, and it’s reliably in stock.
If you don’t want to spend so much on a webcam, you can improve the built-in one in your laptop by giving it more light. If there’s no window nearby or your Zoom calls are often at strange hours, then invest in an LED panel like this one. You can tweak color temperature and brightness, and your webcam quality will suddenly look loads better.
You probably are running out of outlets in your home. We haven’t tested this power strip from Anker, but you get six outlets, two USB-A ports, and a USB-C port. That’s pretty much all most people need to plug in at a desk, if not more. The USB-C port is rated for 30 watts, which means it can charge an iPad Pro just fine.
Dealing with large files? If you need to move them around from the office to your home and don’t want to deal with long upload times, this portable SSD is your solution. It can store up to 2 terabytes and includes a USB-C to USB-A or USB-C to USB-C cable so you can plug it into your devices. This is the lowest price we’ve ever seen it.
Clip the on-page coupon to see the full deal at checkout. Ever since I started working from home, I’ve spent $2 printing labels every time I head to the post office. I just don’t have much room for a full-size printer (nor do I want the problems that usually come with them). We haven’t tried this yet (I will, soon!), but it prints labels of all sizes quickly and quietly and has really positive reviews around the web. You’ll want to make sure you grab labels.
This Android slate dips frequently to $270, but this is still a good deal on a cheap tablet. It’s more powerful than many other Android tablets in this price bracket, though you’ll still see some stutters here and there. It comes with a stylus, which is nice, and it’s a great size for catching up on the news after work or hopping on a Zoom call in another room.
I tested and like Lenovo’s slightly newer M10 HD, but this tablet should work similarly well. It’s not very powerful, so don’t expect snappy performance, but it’s one of the few good cheap Android tablets out there. Unlike Fire tablets, which also run on Android, you can access all the apps in Google’s Play Store, just like any Android phone. This one’s handy to have around the house, whether it’s for following cooking recipes or joining a Zoom meeting in another room.
Router, Security, and Home Deals
Working remotely means you need good Wi-Fi. WIRED reviews director Jeffrey Van Camp uses and loves the standard Eero Mesh Wi-Fi router in his home. This deal is on the Pro version, and this is a match of the lowest price it’s ever been. Amazon, which owns the Eero brand, says the Pro is more than twice as powerful as the standard model. There are two Ethernet ports (one for the router and the other for hardwiring it to another device like a PC). This 3-pack lets you place the routers around your home to create a mesh system for robust coverage everywhere. If you already own several Wi-Fi 6-enabled gadgets (lucky you), the Eero 6 is also on sale for $181 ($98 off), also the lowest price ever. (You can read our Wi-Fi 6 explainer here.)
If you want a more aesthetically pleasing router, we like Google’s Nest Wifi—even though it spells Wi-Fi wrong. This deal is on the two-pack, which includes two full Nest Wi-Fi routers (not the mesh extender), and it’s the lowest price we’ve ever seen. It’s dead simple to set up, has great guest network features, and is rated to cover up to 4,400 square feet.
For a more traditional (mesh-less) router experience, this is the one to get. It supports Wi-Fi 6, so you can connect more devices than ever and still maintain a good connection to all of them, and you get five gigabit Ethernet ports built in to hook it up to your primary devices.
If you’ve upgraded your home office with more and better equipment, you’ll want to make sure you keep it protected. Wi-Fi-enabled security cameras have their own host of privacy concerns, but if you follow the best practices we mention in our Best Security Cameras guide, they should give you some peace of mind. This camera from Nooie is one of our favorites. It’s attractive, offers 1080p video quality, and has pretty great motion detection. Even better, there’s two-factor authentication for the app for extra security. You can supply your own MicroSD card to store clips or subscribe to a cloud storage plan. It lacks pet detection.
We also like this camera from TP-Link’s Kasa brand. As the name suggests, it can pan and tilt, and you can control it via the app. You get 1080p video quality and motion detection, and it works with Google Assistant and Alexa, so you can view the feed on select smart displays. It’s not the biggest discount, but this is a match of the lowest price it’s ever been.
Working from home can mean juggling a lot of tasks. One of those doesn’t have to be vacuuming the house. Get a robot to do it for you instead! This is the lowest price ever for this robot vacuum. It’s in our Best Robot Vacuums guide, and you can read more about it in our review, but if you have a pet, it’s a no-brainer. It has powerful suction and has cameras that can identify and avoid obstacles (even pet poop).
We are coffee snobs here at WIRED. We have guides on the best latte and cappucino machines, cold-brew coffee makers, coffee subscription services, coffee grinders, portable coffee makers, rugged French presses for the outdoors, and portable espresso makers. But maybe you just want your daily caffeine fix without any effort and miss the ease of pushing a button on the office Keurig. If that’s you, this model should satisfy. You’ll need to supply your own K-Cup pods, which are now recyclable—for what that’s worth.
If you prefer cold brew, this is our favorite cold-brew coffee maker for most people. You put coarse grounds into the mesh basket, snap it in place, and slowly pour water through. Toss it in the fridge, wait 24 hours, and voilà! You’ll have smooth-tasting coffee.
WIRED writer Arielle Pardes likes this under-desk treadmill. She logged 8 miles walking on it on her very first try, all while emailing, responding to Slacks, and writing. If you’re using a standing desk and want to feel more active, this is a great solution. This is almost a match of the lowest price we’ve seen for it (but that was before the pandemic).
Since you’re spending so much more time at home, you may as well keep the air clean. This is our favorite air purifier for small rooms. It’s small, so it will fit pretty much anywhere, and it is rated for spaces up to 361 square feet. There’s an included air quality monitor that will turn the machine off when it doesn’t detect pollution.
Working from home means you don’t necessarily get the same security protections your office used to provide. This security key lets you keep your accounts secure with two-factor authentication. Pop it into the USB-A port of your laptop and PC to authorize access, or tap the NFC end to your phone. Just know if you use the LastPass password manager, you’ll need to upgrade to a YubiKey 5. If you’re unsure how it works, we have a guide.
If you’d like to check more deals yourself, here are some links to sales going on this week.