The Essential Chromebook Accessories

By September 13, 2013Accessories
Essential accessories

Chromebook accessories make it that perfect machine you can’t do without. Yes, it’s quite perfect all by itself already, but there are those cases in which you could do with a little more oomph, quality or comfort than you get with a standard Chromebook. And since the adoption rate of the Chromebook has pushed it past the status of dinky niche product into mainstream computing as a serious competitor to Windows machines we can now welcome many great accessories to go with it.

To make it a little easier for you picking the desired accessory I’ve grouped them into easy categories. If you like the product category just click the name and it will take you to the page.

 

Google Cloud Printers

google cloud print chromebookOne thing you won’t find on the back of a Chromebook is that trusty old parallel port we’re used to for hooking our printers up to. That doesn’t mean however that printing documents is now of limits for you. On the contrary, Google didn’t just build a Chromebook, it build an entire ecosphere to with it and printing is part of that.

The answer Google came up with is a new technology that connects printers to the internet called Google Cloud Print. It allows you to make your printer available via the web, to any other person (machine rather) you’d want to grant access to. Even better, Google Cloud Print works on more than just a Chromebook, it works on your Chromebook and on your phone, tablet, PC and any other web-connected device you want to print from. Great isn’t it? I’ve compiled an extensive list of Google Cloud Print ready printers here. They’re the great multifunctional print and scan machines we’re used to only now with the option to access them through the internet.

 

Lap Desk

lapdesk chromebook styleA lap desk can be a lifesaver when it comes to preventing lap burn and giving you the needed support when sitting in the couch or working from a chair. But that’s not all. There is a whole assortment of lap desks in all shapes and sizes, categories even that do a lot more than just give you support. They can be lifestyle enhancers too.

Did you know that there are nice looking Designer Desks that not only help you work but also make you look good? Or what about slick looking Executive Desks ready for the boardroom? Or even Tech Desks, desks that can house an array of different devices so that the working professional can feel right at home? No? Well, I sure didn’t. But they do exist, and are actually quite nice. One, the Lap Desk 45075 Old School [affiliate link], makes me feel like I’m back at school again. I might just buy me one. It’s in the overview I’ve made of some of the most popular and beautiful lap desks I good find.

 

Chromebook compatible external drives

chromebook compatible external drivesIf you love what you got, BACK IT UP! You can’t have enough backups. Remember the 3-2-1 rule of for backing up? It goes like this:
3 – copies of anything you care about
2 – different formats – Example: Google Drive+External drive or Dropbox+DVDs
1 – off-site backup – If the house burns down, how will you get your memories back?

You’re a winner with a Chromebook, because 2 and 1 are combined when you go for the Google Drive+External drive option.

Pretty much any external drive will work with Chrome OS as long as it is formatted the right way. Just make sure it connects using a USB. A list of Chromebook compatible external drives can be found here.

These are just some of the accessories that I’ve written about on this site. For mice, headphones, and other basics, check out Must have Chromebook accessories.

Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • cat says:

    I need a new cord. I can’t find the order form for this one item…help! Don’t send me to the general accessories page againQ

  • I have a slim dvd writer SE-208DB/TSBS. How is the best way to use?
    Thanks
    Ken Stokes

  • Love my Acer 15″ Chromebook (w/ 4GB RAM &16GB SSD), which I purchased directly from Google Store ($269 w/tax). I also bought, directly from the Acer website, a matching (white) Acer bluetooth mouse ($10). Most Chromebook brands have their own branded externals and so it’s logical to try to match whenever possible; that way if there’s any compatibility issues, your justified. Mine works almost flawlessly (it sleeps when idle too long, and sometimes it takes a few seconds to wake it).

    I also bought a SanDisk Ultra Fit 128GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive ($30 Amazon). I save to my G-Drive everything I consider public domain to begin with; stuff you get online: other people’s music, PDF’s, movies & videos, and any other non-personal content. But personally created stuff, as well as secure things like my bank statements and the like, I save only to my hard drives. By dividing it up this way, I need very little personal space. Video files being large, I use my WD 1TB USB 3.0 Passport Ultra Portable External Hard Drive, but lately it remains tethered to my Channel Master.

    Nowadays, everything is being streamed via subscription services (I’m Amazon Prime since 2010), and so the days of storing large amounts of such data, personally, and even DVD’s and the like, is fading. My brother is a photographer, and so he saves lots of high res images, and yet, he now buys 128GB USB 3.0 flash sticks, so that there’s not too much data on any one device, then labeling them by year. A musician could do similarly.

    To what brought me to here: I am now seeking (probably BT) headphones with mic, with the mic feature being the important feature, since we can now talk our text into G-Docs. I’ve been experimenting with it, and it works quite well, but with the mics on any laptop (or most handheld devices for that matter); they’re not designed for precision; they’re mostly for Hangouts, Skype, etc.

    G-Docs Voice Typing (talk-to-text) feature is awesome (under the Tools tab, FYI), especially for those of us who constantly hit 2 keys at once. Even with auto-correct (which is also great), it often does not recognize my typing garble and replaces words incorrectly. So I’m going to give up the keyboard, for the most part, and do all my writing by voice. Thanks G!

    When the creative juices flow, the last thing anyone would want (authors or musicians: I am both) is to be limited in mobility. I have my brightest moments (unfortunately) on the toilet, or on the trail, and so I’m thinking bluetooth, so that I can also use it with a portable android device. However, G-Docs Voice Typing is not (yet) available when I use my Android Tablet. It works on my Win 10 PC (w/an external 3.5 mm mic), via Chrome browser, but with many more typo’s on it, than on the Chromebook with its tiny microphone hole.

    The 2 questions are this (and anyone who knows, can field them):
    Will G-Docs Voice Typing become available on other devices or formats other than Chromebooks?
    Any recommendations on BT headphones for Chromebooks?

    Added at: http://googledocs.blogspot.com/2016/02/type-edit-and-format-with-your-voice-in.html

    • Kain Young says:

      Thanks for sharing the details of your use case. For now, you can do speech-to-text on Android, but not formatting and editing commands. Google hasn’t released any information about their roadmap for adding it.

      We haven’t looked at bluetooth headsets yet, only USB, but I like the idea of having one headset that can switch between Chromebook and Android devices.

  • Keith Parker says:

    I see nothing about a usb mouse

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