The best work from home tech of 2023Reading Time: 8 minutes
The future is Work from Home, and it’s going to be like this.
If you’re working from home, you need a comfortable, capable setup. Sure, you can spend all day slouched in a folding chair and banging out emails on your phone, but you get so much more done with the proper equipment at your fingertips.
We’re adjusting to the new normal of remote work here at PCWorld, just like so many others. But unlike most, we’re in a privileged position to put a lot of gear to the test to find out which truly deserves a spot in your home office. Our staff spent endless hours evaluating all manner of hardware to bring you this, the best WFH tech of 2022 and 2023—the hardware and software you should bug your boss to buy you.
And yes, we’re looking forward to next year, because until even newer products begin launching in 2023—and some of these champions hit the streets months and months ago yet still earned a place on this list. Because when you’re great, you’re great.
Best work-from-home laptop: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9
When you’re looking for a laptop, you want to make sure it will do everything you need it to do. And when it comes to working from home, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 ticks off all the right boxes. It’s fast, quiet, and rugged. In other words, it’s designed for some serious productivity. This laptop is packing an Intel Core i7-1185G7, 16GB of RAM, and integrated Iris Xe graphics. It’s well-equipped to handle web browsing, Word processing, spreadsheet work, and so on. The spacious 16:10 display is the perfect size for scrolling through documents. The keyboard is stellar—it’s roomy and super comfortable—which is great for long typing sessions. For business-oriented tasks, you really can’t get much better than the ThinkPad X1 Carbon.
Best work-from-home webcam: Logitech C920e Business Webcam
You know what we’re talking about.
You’ve got a Zoom meeting coming up, and you can’t wait to show off your latest project. But there’s just one problem: your laptop’s webcam has been so unreliable that it makes you want to run back to the car wash and take a shower.
Well, don’t worry—we’ve got some great news for you! The Logitech C920e Business Webcam will make life in Zoom meetings so much better. It’s a standalone camera that connects directly to your laptop via USB, giving you crystal-clear video and audio capture of every moment of your Zoom meeting. You can even connect an external microphone if you want to add some extra flair to your presentation.
The C920e is also great for video calls with clients or coworkers, as well as Skype calls when you want to chat face-to-face but don’t have time for long-distance calls or video chats over Skype. The wide field of view (78 degrees) means that anyone on either side of the call will be able to see exactly what’s going on during a conversation—no more trying to figure out who’s talking.
Best work-from-home Chromebook: Acer Chromebook Spin 713
Have you been looking for a laptop that can do it all? Look no further than the Acer Chromebook Spin 713. This convertible laptop is perfect for remote workers, as it has a zippy performance and versatile form factor. You can prop this laptop up like a tent for video conferencing, rotate the screen around and use it like a handheld tablet for note taking, or just prop it up on its side and enjoy your favorite shows on Netflix.
It’s also lightweight at just over three pounds, which is perfect for those times when you need to commute to the office (or the coffee shop). Other features include a vibrant 2256×1504 touch-enabled display, all-day battery life, and a diverse selection of ports. So long as you don’t need Windows, the Spin 713 is a fantastic everyday laptop.
Best online backup service: iDrive Online Cloud Backup
The best online backup service is iDrive Online Cloud Backup.
When you’re paying for an online backup service, you want it to be complete and versatile. And out of all the best online backup services we have tested, none are more complete or feature-rich than iDrive Online Cloud Backup. It has you covered with offline, local, sync, and snapshots. The company will even ship you backup drives with your stored data for a quick recovery if something were to happen to your data locally.
iDrive also has a simple and easy-to-use interface that allows you to back up your important data with a minimum of fuss. Additionally, all of its most advanced features are included in the basic service level, making it a better value than it appears to be at first glance. It is a one-stop shop and likely to be the only online backup service you will ever need.
Best work-from-home Thunderbolt dock: Kensington SD5500T Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C Docking Station
You’re a busy person. You work from home, you have a family, and you’re probably doing most of your work on a laptop—but it’s still nice to be able to expand its capabilities when you need to do more.
If you’re looking for a Thunderbolt docking station with the most versatility possible, look no further than the Kensington SD5500T Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C Docking Station. It’s designed for WFHs who want all the ports they need without paying top dollar for them.
This dock sticks to the tried-and-true Thunderbolt 3 standard, so you can use every single port in your arsenal: two DisplayPort options for external monitor connectivity, which lets you connect up to two displays at once; three USB-A ports; an HDMI output; and even an SD card slot (which is handy if you want to take your laptop on the go). And that’s not even counting its 60W of laptop charging power!
The best part? At $260, this is one of the cheapest Thunderbolt docks we’ve tested out there—and it’s still got plenty of punch for getting some serious work done.
Best work-from-home monitor: Asus ProArt PA348CGV
We know what you’re thinking: “I don’t have the room for a multi-monitor setup.”
And we get it. We know that sometimes you just want to be productive, and that can mean having to make decisions about how much of your screen real estate you’re willing to devote to your work (or play). But if you can’t have (or don’t want) a multi-monitor setup, an ultrawide monitor with abundant horizontal space to spread out apps is an enticing alternative. Most ultrawide displays focus on gaming, but our pick for the best WFH monitor of 2022, the 34-inch ultrawide Asus ProArt PA348CGV, works in features sure to make WFHers drool…while also including juicy gaming features for those after-hours play sessions.
“The Asus ProArt PA348CGV is a superb ultrawide monitor that manages to serve a huge range of users,” our reviewer said en route to handing out an Editors’ Choice Award. “It’s equally excellent for professional content creators, gamers, and prosumers who have basic needs but want a premium experience. It’s also a rare example of a monitor that’s equally suited to both.
Best work-from-home mouse: Logitech Lift
If you’re running a long-distance marathon, you need to be comfortable.
That’s why we’re introducing the Logitech Lift — it’s an ergonomic mouse that makes working at your desk more enjoyable. It was our Editor’s Choice Award winner this year, and it earned it with its refined design and comfortable feel in the hand.
The Lift is smaller than the MX Vertical, so it’s better suited for small-to-medium hands. It comes in fun duo-tone colors, too!
This mouse connects via Bluetooth or the included 2.4GHz wireless dongle, so there’s no need to spend extra money on a USB adapter. The buttons can be customized using Logi Options+ software, so this mouse will meet your specific workflow demands as well as your demands for physical comfort.
Best work-from-home keyboard: Keychron Q8
You spend all day typing away on your keyboard, so you want it to offer the most pleasant experience possible. As someone who has worked from home for over a decade, I’ve found keyboards and mice to be the most vital components to a smooth WFH setup, and well worth spending up for. That’s why the $205 Keychron Q8 mechanical keyboard earns our nod as the best keyboard for working from home this year.
Mechanical keyboards deliver a superior typing experience thanks to their responsiveness and sublime key travel, but the Keychron Q8 takes things to the next level with a relentless focus on quality—and a curved ergonomic key layout that spares your aching wrists. “Keychron’s Q series is once again impressive for quality and customization, now coming in the much-loved Alice layout,” our reviewer said while crowning the Q8 with a rare Editors’ Choice Award. “It’s an easy buy if you want an ergonomic layout with amazing typing and lots of features.”
If you prefer a standard keyboard layout, however, cast your eyes on the Q8’s sibling, the similarly excellent $205 Keychron Q5. “It will ruin others.
Best work-from-home budget keyboard/mouse combo: Logitech MK540 Advanced
If you’re looking for a quiet, affordable mouse and keyboard combo that will still let you get the most out of your desktop PC, our Logitech MK540 Advanced wireless mouse and keyboard combo is the way to go.
The MK540 Advanced keyboard is a solid choice for WFH types on a budget thanks to its compelling blend of value and performance. It’s comfortable for typing, has plenty of programmable buttons and macros, and comes with a built-in rechargeable battery that will last for up to four years. The mouse itself is also worth a mention, since it has smooth, reliable scrolling and offers up to three programmable buttons per side.
If you don’t want to spend up for a premium ergonomic mouse and keyboard but still want to upgrade beyond the bland gear that came bundled with your desktop, this combo should be on your radar. Our verdict nails why this combo should be on your radar: “Quiet yet snappy, roomy and programmable, the reasonably priced Logitech MK540 Advanced keyboard will appeal to typists looking for tactile typing experience without making too much of a racket, while the bundled mouse impresses with its smooth, solid scrolling and programmable gestures.
Best PDF editor: Adobe Acrobat Pro DC
Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is a powerful PDF Editor that’s been around for years. It’s one of the industry standard tools, and it continues to be the best choice for professionals and small businesses alike.
If you’re working from home, there are a good chance PDFs will be part of your workflow. Adobe Acrobat Pro DC has been and continues to be, the undisputed king of PDF Editors. Its combination of features for editing, creating, reviewing, and security are the industry standard and what most of its competitors can only attempt to emulate.
In the latest version, Adobe redesigned the interface to make it easier to navigate the robust toolset. Additionally, it added a cloud subscription option and a mobile app for both iOS and Android—both great services for individuals and small businesses. Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is a subscription-based service, meaning that you will always have access to the latest version and don’t have to buy new software every year.
Best work-from-home USB-C hub: Yeolibo 9-in-1 USB-C Hub (RU9A)
If you’re looking for a way to make your life easier, and your laptop more functional, consider an inexpensive USB-C hub. The Yeolibo 9-in-1 USB-C Hub is just $20 and offers a variety of USB Type A and USB-C ports, plus a microSD and SD slot for transferring photos. It’s also rated for up to 100W of input power, so you can connect your USB-C laptop charger to this hub, and from there to your PC.
It’s not often that you can make your life easier for $20, but this is one of those times!