Dear Lifehacker, I'm in the process of clearing up my workspaces both at home and in the office using a heap of your previous tips. One thing I'm looking at for a cleaner desk is wireless keyboard and mouse. Can you recommend what your picks would be? Rechargeable docks/cables would be nice, but not required. Cheers, Uncluttered Desk
Picture by Michael Aulia
Congratulations on getting started on the de-cluttering process. Shifting cables off the desk is always a great step to take -- there's less tangle, less mess and more potential to effectively use the space you do have.
I can't personally offer any brand insights into wireless hardware, as I've long been an advocate of the notebook-with-no-external-input-peripherals approach. That will absolutely minimise desktop clutter, but doesn't suit people who want a full-scale keyboard, a separate numeric keypad, or who prefer working with a mouse than a trackpad. So to get some more specific thoughts, I consulted with our in-office experts: Gizmodo editor Nick Broughall, publisher and former Giz editor Seamus Byrne, and night editor (and definite mouse enthusiast) Elly Hart. Here's our collective wisdom/buying advice:
- Don't skimp by buying super-cheap devices. You'll use your mouse and keyboard constantly, so it's absolutely worth investing in decent quality. You can check out a bunch of recent models by looking at Gizmodo's keyboard and mouse categories.
- The obvious dominant brands in this space are Microsoft, Logitech and (particularly if you're thinking Mac) Apple. If you don't want a full-size keyboard, both Nick and Seamus are big fans of Apple's wireless Bluetooth keyboard.
- If you're connecting to a notebook, then a Bluetooth option will be the most sensible and won't claim one of your USB ports. If you're working with a desktop which doesn't have built-in Bluetooth, then a separate wireless connection dongle won't be such an issue.
- If you're a heavy mouse user, consider specific gaming mice. Even if you're not a games freak, good games mice are designed for extremely heavy use.
- If desk space is tight, then a wireless trackpad doesn't require as much coverage area as a wireless mouse.
If any readers want to share their own favourite wireless keyboard and mouse combos, speak out in the comments. Happy shopping (and clearing)!