Sometimes, your budget doesn’t go as far as you want it to when you outfit your computing space. If your favourite PC user is anything like me, the money in the budget ran low when it came time to buy the keyboard and mouse for their set-up. Here a few ideas on gifts to increase their productivity (and gaming scores) by upgrading the tools they use every day.


corsair keyboard.jpgCorsair Strafe RGB USB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Talk about bells and whistles. When it comes to increased functionality and snazzy visual upgrades, the Corsair Strafe keyboard takes the prize. It’s a mechanical keyboard, which means each key has a physical switch, instead of a rubber membrane that keeps a circuit from being completed until the key is pressed. Mechanical keyboards are much more responsible and durable than the regular type, and they make a pronounced sound when the key is depressed. No more tentative typing when this bad boy is your keyboard:it authoritatively announces each character you add with a satisfying click. The adjustable backlighting encapsulates the keyboard in whatever glowing light show your imagination can conjure, and the fully programmable key layout will allow for the perfect arrangement for top notch performance.



mouse.jpgLogitech MX Master Wireless Laser Mouse

Versatility is the reason for choosing the Logitech MX mouse. It has the ability to pair via Bluetooth with 3 devices, and switch quickly between them. This is an ideal feature for the multi-device workstation where you’ll need to hop from tablet to laptop to desktop as a part of your work flow . The buttons are customizable, and you can program specific actions using the included Logitech software. A neat additional feature is the inclusion of a thumbwheel for horizontal scrolling on web pages. It also has the ominously named Darkfield laser sensor, which does not scan for shadowy beings in a nether realm. Instead, the Darkfield sensor offers precision responsiveness from the laser, even on difficult surfaces (like reflective glass).




Insignia Mouse Pad

Are you on a budget that’s a little too tight for a high-end mouse? Switch it up and go for this Insignia Mouse Pad with a picture of an adorable kitten on it. You will be surprised at how nice it is to use an actual mouse pad, instead of the pile of paper that happens to be on your desk. And whether your PC user enjoys the cat picture ironically, or just likes seeing the cute ball of fuzziness underneath their mouse, they’ll have a smile on their face.





Livescribe Echo 2GB Smartpen

Consider this useful addition to the standard keyboard and mouse input methods. How often have you taken notes in a meeting, but forgotten to transcribe them digitally afterwards? The Livescribe Echo Smartpen captures written notes and uploads them to your PC when it’s connected to the USB charger. The pen also records and uploads audio, for those times when your writing skills can’t keep up with pace of the conversation.



touch plus.jpgLogitech Touch Plus Wireless Keyboard

Why have two peripherals when one will do? In a confined space, every bit of desk surface is valuable real estate, and finding a spot for a mouse pad may not be feasible. The Logitech Touch Plus Keyboard has a touchpad built in, eliminating the need for an additional mouse. It has enough wireless range (10 meters) that it could be easily used as the keyboard for your entertainment center PC, giving you control from the comfort of your couch without precariously balancing an improvised mouse pad on the arm.

Chris Loblaw
Chris is a novelist, avid gamer, tech enthusiast, and proud dad of a 13-year-old video game master.


  1. After my last post about poor cust service, I  got a call right away saying banks are not respondind about charges, Christmas rush! Any way the order went through, I thought Hooray!  But three days after they increased shipping from $95 to about $600! Bestbuy and their carrier think Deep River, only 250 km from Ottawa and on Highway17 is at North Pole, a remote location! I was forced to cancel the order and now have an extra TV stand for the 65 inch Vizio TV!!


    I am sending a registered letter to the CEO in BC complaining about their web order and changing shipping terms and prices every third day. I will now buy local and BestBuy can go to a blackhole!!

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