The 6 Best Office Gadgets of 2020
These tech gizmos will make your workday a little easier
We are committed to researching, testing, and recommending the best products. We may receive commissions from purchases made after visiting links within our content. Learn more about our review process.
Work. Office. The words make a lot of us wince late on Sunday nights when we think of going back to the grind in the morning. But there are a lot of gadgets and supplies out there these days that not only make salary-earning easier and more efficient but sometimes more fun, too. At least they’ll make you smile while you’re earning a living, even if you sometimes have to smile privately. This list covers the best official gadgets that go the extra mile.
Best Desk Clock: FiBiSonic LED Clock
Sure, you can check the time right there at the bottom of your computer monitor, but that’s so one-dimensional. This LED clock by FiBiSonic also tells you the date, the humidity and the temperature — Celsius or Fahrenheit, your choice. It includes three different alarms in case you’re worried about losing track of time, and you can set them with the voice control mode. The clock has three brightness settings, so you can choose the easiest on your eyes, as well as two face modes. Use the one that gives you the information you most need to know. You can pick and choose what to show. The console is made of durable, attractive wood.
You can charge the clock with a USB cable or insert four AAA batteries, but the cable is recommended. Neither the batteries or the cable are included, but at least you shouldn’t have to keep replacing the cable.
Best Posture Monitor: Lumo Lift by Lum0
All desk jockeys do it, particularly as the day wears on. Your shoulders slump a little at first, then the next thing you know you’re in an all-out slouch. Back pain sets in to really ruin your day. Just place Lumo’s little sensor on the back of your shirt. It will vibrate when you begin to slouch, sort of like a gentle tap on the shoulder to remind you to straighten up.
The Lift is wireless and will sync with your smartphone if your phone is equipped with Bluetooth 4+ and operates on iOS 10 or later or Android 5.0 or above. If you really want to get a handle on your office physical fitness, you can purchase an additional app that will monitor how long you’ve been sitting, how many steps you’ve taken, as well as how many calories you’ve burned while the sensor is attached to your clothing.
Best Charging Station: 7-Port USB Charging Station Dock & Organizer by Kavalan
You’ll never have to deal with dead electronics again with Kavalan’s charging dock station. It has seven high-powered USB ports (and two of them are fast-charging in case of emergency). This dock accommodates tablets, smartphones, your Apple watch, even your camera or MP3 player — pretty much anything that requires powering up occasionally.
The ports are all silicon-padded, so nothing gets scratched. And the dock is equipped to withstand power surges and over-charging. Best of all, it has built-in dividers to help you keep everything neat and organized, so you can immediately lay your hands on the device you need. The one downside is that you have to purchase charging cables separately.
Best Mug: Ember Temperature Control Ceramic Mug
There’s not much worse than reaching for your coffee mug to power up for the day’s next task only to end up with a mouthful of cold, congealing brew. The Ember mug keeps your caffeine — or any other liquid you prefer — warm so it’s pleasantly digestible whenever you pause for a sip or three.
The mug comes with a saucer that is actually the charging device. You can leave it on the saucer or take it off for up to an hour or more to carry around the office with you. Your coffee or tea will stay warm and palatable. Best of all, you can remotely set it to the temperature you prefer. Whether you like your drinks scalding or lukewarm, the Ember mug can handle the job. Just be kind to it and handwash it when you’re done. Don’t put it in the dishwasher.
Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best coffee mugs.
Best Handheld Scanner: PenPower WorldPenScan X
The information you’re looking for is there in front of you in black and white on a printed page, but you need it saved on your phone or on your hard drive. Or maybe it’s in German, a language you’ve never mastered and don’t intend to. This handy pen scanner and translator by PenPower can help you out in both cases.
The scanner is compatible with Mac, Windows, Android and iPhone, and it’s ideal for offices with high-volume correspondence that you don’t want to have to repeatedly dig in a paper file to find. Just run the “pen” over the text in question and it will convert the data into text on your computer or smartphone. The translation software will tell you what it all means. The scanner can decode 12-plus languages and turn the words into English. The WorldPenScan X can also take data from screenshots and direct-deposit it into most Word programs and search engines. At just eight inches long, it’s not clumsy or difficult to handle, either.
Best Desktop Cleaner-Upper: USHONK USB Mini Vacuum
If you spend enough time at your desk, it’s sure to advertise bits and pieces of what you’ve done with your day — maybe crumbs from that sandwich you had for lunch or the usual office detritus like pencil shavings. The mini-vacuum by USHONK inhales all that and more and gets rid of it in a flash.
You can keep it charged with any available USB port. There’s no need to plug it into an electric source. The mini-vacuum offers various speeds and two types of nozzles, one flat and one brush, so it can fit into all sorts of small places and you can match it to the job at hand. The device also works safely on your keyboard or laptop. It’s small, about six inches, so it’s easy to handle and you can tuck it out of sight when you’re not using it. Nobody has to know what you had for lunch, and your keyboard will last longer, too.