Must have Chromebook accessories

Must have Chromebook accessories

After you’ve gone all hipster boasting your Chromebook an’all, you probably don’t want to get caught using some kind of an old clunker for a mouse, end up looking all pixelated on your Google plus Hangout or come across all garbled while on a Google Talk session, now do you? Not to worry, there are great Chromebook accessories out there that will make you shine in all your beauty.

Disclosure: Please note that the links below are affiliate links (all but one I think), and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. Please understand that I try to find the best fit for the need with products made by great companies, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.

Since one of the most frequently asked questions is “Can I use a … with my Chromebook?” I thought it’d be helpful to create a resource page with the most needed accessories to use in combination with your Chrome device. I’ll add to this as I learn more, so you’ll notice that in the future I will reference this page quite often. I hope you’ll Enjoy!

A Mouse

When picking a mouse the obvious choice is to go with Samsung’s own series of mice which work fine with the Chromebook. The one I’d recommend is the Samsung Wireless USB Optical Mouse because of it’s ease in use. All you need to do is plug in the little USB plug that stores away in the bottom of the mouse and you’re good to go. Be ware though! The Chromebook Series 3 has only 1, yes one, USB 2.0 port. So if you decide to get a USB mouse you’ll either be out of USB ports, or you’ll have to get a USB hub to go with it. They’ll go from about seven dollars and up, so not to much money, just something to keep in mind.

Another option is a to go with a Bluetooth mouse. The problem with that however is that the Samsung Chromebooks do not have Bluetooth. It is in the 1st generation Acer A700 and the relatively new Samsung Series 3 Chromebox, but not in the series 5 or the newest Samsung Chromebook. So if you’re looking to connect your trusty wireless mouse you can do so, though you’ll need to plug in a Bluetooth dongle to make it work.

update: As Chris on Google+ correctly points out: The latest Chromebook does have Bluetooth. It is Bluetooth 3.0™ Compatible. Thanks for pointing that out Chris!

Webcam

Time to make you look good. Depending on the type of Chromebook you’re using you’ve either got a nice onboard HD Webcam that works well with GTalk and Google+ with its Hangout feature or you’ve got a somewhat okay VGA webcam at a measly .3-Megapixels. The first one being the Series 5 550, the latter the newest Chromebook. When you’re just into hanging out with your friends or doing a bit of one on one G-Talking, you’re fine, no need to buy anything extra. But, when you’re planning on joining Leo Laporte on TWIG you better get some gear.

Don’t really know what 1080p HD looks like? Check out these scenes! And remember, make sure it displays at 1080 since Youtube sets it to a crappy setting which is not even close to as awesome as 1080p HD is!

Unlike with any Windows or Mac machine there’s no guarantee that the webcam you pick works with your Chromebook. This complicates things a bit in choosing a great webcam but it shouldn’t hold you back either. The ones I show here are two great ones that have been reported to work in the wild, but if you want to know for sure ahead of time you might want to contact the manufacture of your webcam of choice (and that goes for any webcam) and simply ask them if it works. [If you do do that by the way I'd really appreciate it if you'd take the time to let us know the outcome, either by mail or just leaving a comment. I'll add your suggestion to the list and give you all the credit you deserve :)]

Now remember, being on TWIG, or your companies cost-effective, easy-to-use video conferencing solution requires 1080p HD equipment. With Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 you get exactly that. Full HD 1080p video, high quality dual mic for stereo audio and more. It’s even better than it looks because the H.264 video compression is done in the camera itself! You heard that right, we are talking about built-in hardware compression here. Usually a webcam captures the video and sends it in an uncompressed stream to the computer, where the main processor (CPU) performs the video compression.

By having the camera perform the hardware, it is possible to have excellent video quality, even on a mildly powerful computer. To me that makes this particular one the webcam to get for your Chromebook. The best thing is that it doesn’t run you broke either, you can get your hands on one for just $79.25 over at Amazon.

Just a tad less impressive but still a great webcam to get is it’s little brother the Logitech HD Portable 1080p Webcam C615, with autofocus. Yes, it says 1080p, but that is only for video recording, not for video calling as that is limited to 720p HD video in 16:9 wide-screen. The C615 is yours for only $53.26 on Amazon.

Microphone

If you’re anything like an average chrome user, you’ll find yourself using Google Talk/Voice and Google Plus Hangouts more and more. If so you will undoubtedly run into the limitations of the on-board microphone on both the old and new Chromebook models. They’re fine for a quick call to a friend, but lack the quality for continuous or professional use. A shortcoming, especially during those important calls when quality of sound is important. Not to worry though. There is an excellent solution, or two actually.

The Buddy FlamingoMic 7G Portable is a 17″ unidirectional noise cancelling microphone. It has a specially designed L shaped USB connector, designed especially for the Chromebook, notebook, netbook and tablet PC.

This microphone is ideal for use with all portable devices. Contort this microphone into any desired position to suit your needs. The use of FilteredAudio technology makes this by far Buddy’s highest quality FlamingoMic to date. The unrivaled combination of highly accurate speech recognition results and ease of use makes the Buddy FlamingoMic 7G an ideal product for use both at the office and on-the-go.

If a headset mic is not for you because of pain in the neck or because of –the most common complaint by people– you feel silly wearing it the FlamingoMic is for you. It plugs into the USB port and easily coils up neatly against your computer for portability and easily extends for dictation. Oh yes, and you have both your hands free to use the mouse or keyboard, flip through papers, hold your cup of coffee.

When a headset is more your cup of thee then the next generation of headset microphones, the Buddy HeadsetMicTM series is the way to go. Made of heavy duty, highly durable materials such a stainless steel headband and Teflon reinforced cables, Buddy headsets are backed by an industry leading 2 year warranty. Featuring a top of the line, highly unidirectional microphone element, this headset has been designed from the ground up with quality in mind.

Very important for you the Chromebook owner is to remember that the Chromebook sports a 3.5mm TRRS connector which is not your every day connector. The Buddy HeadsetMicTM is ideal for pairing with devices such as a Google Chromebook simply because it comes with such a TRRS connector, making it one of the must have Chromebook accessories.

Solid State Drive

Somehow there are ‘still’ a lot of folks who have bought into the Chrome OS story and gotten themselves a Chromebook, but that do want to store stuff locally. Being limited to the 16GB of on-board storage that is a bit of a problem. The cool thing is that the Chromebook recognizes and works with external drives, so if you really want to you can carry it with you. Here are three great choices, beginning with two external solid state drives packing 128GB and 240GB followed by a 1TB wxternal hard drive. The connect using USB 3.0, which means data transfer at a blazing speed.

20 Comments

  1. Roger Macadaeg
    Jan 09, 2013 @ 00:55:13

    Does my device have a bluetooth installed?

    Reply

    • Kain Young
      Jan 09, 2013 @ 10:10:09

      Hi, what kind of device is it you have?

      Reply

      • slackerhacker
        Jan 09, 2013 @ 16:36:29

        If you have a Samsung Chromebook then they DO NOT have any bluetooth capability. I believe the Acer has.

        Reply

        • Kain Young
          Jan 09, 2013 @ 19:50:03

          Actually Slackerhacker.., the new ARM based series 3 does have Bluetooth compatibility. It’s the series 5 that doesn’t.

          Reply

          • Jumpy
            Apr 28, 2013 @ 12:36:27

            got a series 5 samsung and bluetooth dongle, everything works perfect

        • Michael
          Mar 06, 2013 @ 02:58:27

          My new ACER C7 is not BT enabled. I am looking on how to enable it!

          Reply

  2. Tim
    Jan 10, 2013 @ 18:28:27

    What about attaching a CD drive to the Chromebook? Is it possible?

    Reply

    • Kain Young
      Jan 10, 2013 @ 19:47:40

      Attaching a DVD / CD to a Chromebook isn’t an option, as far as I could find out. It’s not really meant tool be used in that manner.

      Reply

  3. cam
    Mar 01, 2013 @ 02:56:11

    the link you give above to view the 1080 HD is blocked

    Reply

    • Kain Young
      Mar 01, 2013 @ 06:48:28

      @cam Pitty, that was an awesome clip. Thanks for the heads up, I’ve put up another one. Although maybe not as awesome. Anyone got a great tip to replace the new HD example with? Let me know!

      Reply

  4. Harold Walters
    Mar 14, 2013 @ 12:40:45

    The only thing I need to get is a light for the keyboard.One that plugs in to usb port with a long lasting bulb.

    Reply

  5. Harold Walters
    Mar 14, 2013 @ 12:43:43

    What I need is a light that plugs in to the usb port for the keyboard.If it had a dimmer it would be perfect.

    Reply

  6. Harold Walters
    Mar 14, 2013 @ 12:46:09

    A light that plugs in to usb port. A dimmer would be perfect.

    Reply

  7. jm
    Mar 26, 2013 @ 07:11:13

    I have the Acer c7 chrome book. If I bought a dongle could I print to a Bluetooth printer using an app like printershare?

    Reply

  8. Sb
    Aug 09, 2013 @ 02:30:27

    Hi! I bought a Samsung chromebook without 3G, only wi-fi but it turns out that I need 3G at work, what can I do?

    Reply

    • Taylor Rowlett
      Oct 06, 2013 @ 03:02:02

      You could get a mobile hotspotfrom ATT/Verizon/T-Mobile… it picks up 3g/4g and spits out a Wi-Fi signal.

      Reply

  9. d00mbilly
    Oct 25, 2013 @ 14:18:19

    On the phone with Samsung, they can not guarantee the Logitech C920 will work with the Chromebook. This is kind of the whole point of me looking at these.

    Reply

  10. nedguy
    Jan 24, 2014 @ 10:33:23

    I use a C920 webcam with my Acer Chromebook for hangouts. It’s ok but I wish Logitech would get off their arses and produce a control app like the one I have for my Windows desktop C910.

    Reply

  11. Karl_S
    Feb 03, 2014 @ 16:43:15

    I picked up one of Acer’s touchscreen Chromebooks and would say that with this, a mouse is not needed. When I need fine tuned selection the touchpad works well, but for most of my use, which has included a lot of formulas and scripting in spreadsheets, the touch screen has worked verfy well.

    Reply

  12. Barbara Wilson
    Mar 28, 2014 @ 17:00:31

    Is it true that an HP Google chromebook has no plug-in accessory that will allow a CD to be used? If so, HP is missing a big opportunity to make some extra money by selling such an accessory.

    Reply

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