If you recently bought a Chromebook for school, you probably need a few things to go with it. Whether you’re using your Chromebook for virtual classes on Zoom or in the classroom, accessories just make the overall experience easier. Those learning online will certainly want a new high-quality webcam. For power users, a USB-C dock is key to leveraging everything your Chromebook can do.
In this guide, we take a look at the best accessories to make the most of your new Chromebook in the classroom and at home.
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Best docking stations for Chromebooks
If you’re looking to use your Chromebook with an external monitor, you’ll likely want to add a docking station to increase the number of available ports. With a good docking solution, you can greatly expand your Chromebook’s versatility. You can use it to connect a mouse, a mechanical keyboard, external storage devices, multiple monitors, or all of them at once. On top of that, with some docking stations, you can even keep your Chromebook charged as long as it has a compatible USB Type-C port or thunderbolt port. Docking stations are great for students as well as business users that dock their machine at the office.
The Tiergrade USB C Chromebook docking station is perfect for power users. It offers the widest selection of ports, including two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, two USB 2.0 Type-A ports, two USB 3.0 Type-C ports, two HDMI ports, a DisplayPort port, an RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet port, 3.5mm headphone and mic jacks, an S/PDIF audio port and a USB 3.0 Type-C port with 60W power delivery. On top of that, the dock also includes a full-sized SD card reader and a microSD card reader.
If you’re not willing to spend $40 on a tiny USB C hub, then the Anker PowerExpand+ should be a better option. It’s slightly larger than the NOVOO USB C dock, but features the same number of ports. This includes two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, a USB Type-C port for data, a USB Type-C port with pass-through charging support at up to 100W, an HDMI port, and an SD card reader. It should get the job done if you have basic needs.
The Sabrent Chromebook docking station is a good choice for Chromebooks with a detachable keyboard as it features a stand that you can use to prop up your Chromebook when you’re not using the included keyboard. In terms of ports, it offers two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, two USB 2.0 Type-A ports, two USB Type-A 2.4A fast charging ports, an HDMI port, a DVI port, a USB 3.0 input, 3.5mm headphone and mic jacks, and an RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet port.
The Targus Chromebook docking station is a good 2-in-1 option that not only offers a decent selection of ports but also doubles up as an ergonomic stand. It includes 4 USB 3.0 Type-A ports, two DisplayPort ports, 2 HDMI 2.0 ports, a USB Type-C port with 60W pass-through charging support, a headphone / mic combo jack, and a RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet port.
This official Dell dock doesn’t have Thunderbolt, but it does give you a few ports, including two USB Type-A ports, HDMI, DisplayPort, and Ethernet, and it can charge your laptop. Plus, it’s a wireless charger and stand for your phone, too, so you can keep all your devices juiced up easily.
Does it sound crazy to spend over $400 on a dock? The Kensington SD5700T may be for you, costing just under $370. It still has a ton of ports, though, including three Thunderbolt connections, Gigabit Ethernet, four USB Type-A ports, a headphone jack, and an SD card reader, plus it looks sturdy and durable.
Best mice for Chromebooks
When shopping for a new mouse to pair with your favorite Chromebook, comfort is king. In this list, we’ll prioritize the comfortable operation of each mouse over other advanced features. After considering day-to-day usage, we’ll look at battery life, price point, and of course integration with Chrome OS. Mice come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s worth viewing a large volume of options before reaching a final decision.
Talking about the best mice without mentioning the Logitech MX Master 3S would be egregious. With a fast 8,000 DPI sensor, it even works on glass, it has a premium build with a metal scroll wheel (and one for horizontal scrolling), and it’s super comfortable. Plus it supports Bluetooth or a wireless dongle.
If you need a wireless mouse on a budget, Senda has you covered. This mouse lacks some bells and whistles, but costs under $6 and has a comfortable design. Battery life is excellent on this device. For those who only use a mouse on occasion, this is the way to go.
Some mice require you to choose whether you are left or right handed, but not the Logitech M355. This mouse has a slim and flat design, perfect for ambidextrous users. In addition, the slim profile and ultra-quiet clicks make this a great mouse to use at work.
iClever has another exciting option. This vertical mouse features a more dramatic curve that contours to the hand at a more shallow angle. At under $25, with whisper quiet keys, this mouse is great for home or work.
Another popular form factor is the vertical mouse design. This layout allows you to use the mouse in a grip-like orientation. Many users find this to be the most comfortable way to use a mouse for long periods of time. Anker also packs a fantastic feature set and battery life into this unique design.
Logitech’s M570 has a distinct and instantly recognizable form-factor. The giant teal trackball is easily spotted while the mouse is in use. If you do a lot of scrolling for work, and find a comfortable trackball, this is the best option by far. This is one of the most comfortable mice to use for long periods of time.
Best webcams for Chromebooks
Although not as essential as the mouse or keyboard, a new webcam can improve your video-conference experience. While most laptops come with built-in webcams, the quality is more often than not sub-par. It may get the job done occasionally, but it’s always advisable to have an external webcam for your Chromebook to achieve a more professional look in video meetings. If you have a Chromebox or you’ve hooked up your Chromebook with an external monitor, you’re likely on the lookout for webcams that will pair nicely with your Chrome OS device.
Here’s a list of some of the best webcams for a Chromebook or Chromebox you can buy across various price points and use-cases.
Best sleeves/bags for Chromebooks
Chromebooks are made to be portable. To protect your investment when out and about, you can grab a sleeve or bag at a fairly low price. This is even more important if you have an LTE-capable Chromebook and travel often. Most of these options are on sale often, making the deal even sweeter. With so many options available, you can find something that fits your personal style and has functionality for daily work and play.
Best stylus pens for Chromebooks
The Universal Stylus Initiative (USI) defines industry-wide standards for interoperable communication between an active stylus and touch-enabled devices, such as phones, tablets, and computing and entertainment platforms. Thus far, there are quite a few solid USI pens available on the market, but they’re a bit pricier than the old-school capacitive styli.
We recommend choosing one of the USI options below if it’s in your budget and your device supports USI, otherwise we provide a budget option that’ll do the job in a pinch.