December 14, 2012, 11:39 AM — PCs are incredibly useful tools, but if you want to get the most from your desktop or laptop, you'll need to look beyond CPU speeds and storage capacities, and pick the right accessories. Gamers are well serviced herecheck out our guide to gaming upgrades if youre looking to get more from shooters, strategy games, and so on. And if youre just looking for an inexpensive new monitor or a comfortable keyboard, weve got you covered too.
But theres a lot of stuff to choose from, and prices can vary wildly. We took a look at peripherals and accessories that wont set you back more than $200, and rounded up 10 of the best.
Harman Kardon SoundSticks III
Desktop speakers dont have to be ugly. Consider Harman Kardons SoundSticks III, a 2.1 channel sound system that sports a gorgeous transparent design. The down-firing plastic subwoofer complements a pair of skinny speakers, and the speakers are controlled with touch-sensitive volume and mute buttons. The speakers are compatible with all devices with a stereo mini-jack output, and while they wont necessarily match the raw output youd get out of a full surround-sound system, they will make a stunning visual statement on your desk.
Price: $154.99, Amazon.com
Asus VS247H-P 24-inch display
Looking for a second desktop monitor, or an external monitor for your laptop? Asus 24-inch VS247H is a fairly affordable choice at about $180, and comes with DVI, HDMI, and VGA ports. This slim black monitor has a native resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels, and it performed well in our subjective viewing tests. Color quality is fairly good and we appreciated the wide viewing angles, but the monitor lacks any sort of height adjustment, which can prove problematic for some.
Price: $180, Amazon
Logitech HD Pro webcam C920
Logitechs HD Pro webcam C920 offers 1080p resolution for Skype video calls. This makes it perfect for high definition conference calls, or even casual video chats when you want a better picture of friends and family across the country or the world. The C920s Carl Zeiss lens also offers 20-step autofocus, and if youre not a fan of Skype, it will serve up 720p video on other instant messaging clients.
Price: $69.99, Amazon.com