16 Best Deals: Home Office and Dorm Room Essentials


It’s that time of year when you start to notice it’s getting dark earlier and there’s a certain crispness to the air. That, and the back-to-school sales start clogging your inbox. Even if school is a distant memory, there are plenty of great deals right now to outfit a home office, upgrade your laptop, or deck out that new dorm room.

Looking for more discounts? Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale runs through August 6, and we also found some nice deals on sex toys and PC components earlier this week. 

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Laptop, Tablet, and Accessory Deals

Check out our Best Laptops, Best Tablets, and Best Chromebooks guides for more.

Photograph: Best Buy

The Chromebook Duet is our favorite Chromebook for school, but really it’s great for anyone who wants a small, no-frills device that doesn’t cost a fortune. This model offers a combination of a Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 chip and 4 GB of RAM, which is enough for browsing the web, editing documents, and chatting with friends. The low point is the speakers: Bring your headphones, as they are tinny and, ultimately, unpleasant.

At the other end of the spectrum from the simple Chromebook above is this Lenovo powerhouse of a laptop. Perfect for anyone heading off to get a degree in design or video work, or anyone who already works in those fields, this model features a 13th-generation Intel Core i5 chip, with a dedicated Nvidia RTX 3050 graphics card and a 16-inch, 2.5K-resolution display with 16:10 aspect ratio and 120-Hz refresh rate.

This mini, simple, cheap Bluetooth keyboard uses two AAA batteries that can last well more than a year. It comes in a variety of colors, and you can easily switch between multiple connected devices, from a phone to a desktop. 

Photograph: BenQ

WIRED senior editor Michael Calore says this BenQ is one of the best choices for creative professionals, like graphic designers, photographers, and video editors. It hits many of the creative industry’s color accuracy standards and delivers near-perfect accuracy out of the box, so you don’t have to do much calibration.

The Lepow is plastic, and the IPS display isn’t the highest quality we’ve tested, but it’s surprisingly compact, despite the 15-inch screen size. It also has a built-in kickstand that’s far more stable than portable displays that rely on a kickstand case. 

Samsung just announced its newest Tab S9 series, which means it’s a good time to catch last year’s slates at a discount. The Tab S8 has an LCD screen, but it’s sharp and bright, and this Android tablet has plenty of power to run almost anything you throw at it. Just pair it with a Bluetooth keyboard (like the Logitech above) and get a kickstand case—you can easily do some work on it, or just use it as a way to wind down at the end of a long day.

Square Off Pro

Photograph: Square Off

This Bluetooth chessboard connects to a companion app, which is how it works with Chess.com. That’s right—once you connect with another player, you can play against them by moving the physical pieces on this rollable board. You’ll have to move your opponent’s pieces as well, but it’s an excellent way to retain the tactile nature of the game even when your opponent is virtual. You can read more about it here.

If you have an iPad that supports the 2nd-gen stylus, it’s worth snagging it. It’s excellent for drawing and taking notes. You can also just plop it at the top edge of the (supported) iPad to recharge it. Read our Best iPad Accessories guide for more.

Headphone, Webcam, and Storage Deals

Read our Best Wireless Headphones, Best Webcams, and Best Portable SSDs guide for other picks.

Beats Fit Pro

Photograph: Beats

The Beats Fit Pro (9/10, WIRED Recommends) are excellent wireless earbuds. They’re comfortable, sound great, and offer seamless integration with both iOS and Android. They also feature active noise canceling and decent mics. Equipped with Apple’s proprietary H1 headphone chip, they work like AirPods when used with an iPhone.

This is our favorite webcam for most people. Its automatic white balance and color saturation are excellent right out of the box, and the image quality is sharp. It focuses quickly too. You can affix it on top of your laptop or monitor with the included mount. Too bad it doesn’t come with a privacy cover.

The Moft Z 5-in-1 laptop stand is easy to configure into different positions, which range from a 10-inch height to being level with your desk. It’s light and folds down to just half an inch thick, so you can take it anywhere without adding much bulk.

Satechi USB-C Hub

Photograph: Satechi

If you need a hub and an SSD to get your work done, this is a great hybrid device. It includes two USB-A jacks, a 100-watt USB-C, and a 4K HDMI out. What makes this one special is the reason it’s so big: You can install an M.2 SATA solid-state storage drive inside. This 1-TB card should work. Note that Satechi’s hub does not support NVME M.2 cards.

Looking to upgrade your laptop drive? This Western Digital drive offers good speed and doesn’t run very hot. This drive hit speeds of 5,100 MB/s in my testing, which is blazing fast. If you’re doing a lot of drive-intensive tasks, like editing video or gaming, this drive is well worth the money.

Coffee Deals

What’s an office–or dorm room–without plenty of coffee? Coffee. Coffee NOW! Read our Best Automated Espresso and Latte Machines guide for more. 

Photograph: Mr. Coffee

The Café Barista is our favorite cappuccino maker for under $200. It’s perfect if you want pure espresso and a machine that mixes the milk for you without much fuss, but it’s also more plasticky and lightweight, which means you really have to steady the machine with your hand as you twist the portafilter into place. But other than that, it makes fairly rich single or double-size espressos, cappuccinos, and lattes with the push of a button. If you can spend a bit more, our top pick (also from Mr. Coffee) is also on sale for $250 ($50 off)

This deal has been running since Prime Day, but it’s still a solid deal on our top pick in our Best Cold-Brew Maker guide. It’s small enough that it won’t take over your whole fridge, and during our testing, it provided the smoothest, most flavorful brew–and it has a filter fine enough to keep out even the finest sediment. 

This is our top recommendation for most people if you want an espresso machine. It has a built-in grinder, and you can choose the type of grind you want. It’s pretty easy to use, and there’s a steam wand if you want to froth milk for a latte. WIRED reviews editor Julian Chokkattu has been using one for more than five years with very few issues. 

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