If you recently bought a Chromebook for school, you probably need a few things to go with it. Whether you’re using your Chromebook for virtual classes on Zoom or in the classroom, accessories just make the overall experience easier. Those learning online will certainly want a new high-quality webcam. For power users, a USB-C dock is key to leveraging everything your Chromebook can do.
In this guide we take a look at the best accessories to make the most of your new Chromebook in the classroom and at home.
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Best docking stations for Chromebooks
If you’re looking to use your Chromebook with an external monitor, you’ll likely want to add a docking station to increase the number of available ports. With a good docking solution, you can greatly expand your Chromebook’s versatility. You can use it to connect a mouse, a mechanical keyboard, external storage devices, multiple monitors, or all of them at once.
On top of that, with some docking stations, you can even keep your Chromebook charged as long as it has a compatible USB Type-C port or thunderbolt port. Docking stations are great for students as well as business users that dock their machine at the office.
- The Tiergrade USB C Chromebook docking station is perfect for power users. It offers the widest selection of ports, including two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, two USB 2.0 Type-A ports, two USB 3.0 Type-C ports, two HDMI ports, a DisplayPort port, an RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet port, 3.5mm headphone and mic jacks, a S/PDIF audio port and a USB 3.0 Type-C port with 60W power delivery. On top of that, the dock also includes a full-sized SD card reader and a microSD card reader.
- The Baseus 16-in-1 Chromebook docking station is a cheaper alternative to the Tiergrade dock with a slightly different port selection. It includes three USB 3.0 Type-A ports, two USB 2.0 Type-A ports, two USB 3.0 Type-C ports, a USB type-C port with pass-through charging support, an RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet port, a 3.5mm headphone/mic combo jack, a microSD card slot, and an SD card slot. For display connectivity, it features a VGA port and an HDMI port. However, it only supports screen mirroring for dual external displays.
- The NOVOO 8-in-1 USB C dock is the tiniest Chromebook Docking Station on this list, earning it the most portable title. Despite its tiny size, it packs 3 USB 3.0 Type-A ports, an Ethernet port, a USB Type-C port with up to 100W passthrough charging, an HDMI port, and an SD card reader. That’s a lot of ports for something as tiny as this. Makes me wonder why some fruity OEMs can’t offer more than two USB Type- C ports on their laptops.
- If you’re not willing to spend $40 on a tiny USB C hub, then the Anker PowerExpand+ should be a better option. It’s slightly larger than the NOVOO USB C dock, but features the same number of ports. This includes two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, a USB Type-C port for data, a USB Type-C port with pass-through charging support at up to 100W, an HDMI port, and an SD card reader. It should get the job done if you have basic needs.
- The Sabrent Chromebook docking station is a good choice for Chromebooks with a detachable keyboard as it features a stand that you can use to prop up your Chromebook when you’re not using the included keyboard. In terms of ports, it offers two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, two USB 2.0 Type-A ports, two USB Type-A 2.4A fast charging ports, an HDMI port, a DVI port, a USB 3.0 input, 3.5mm headphone and mic jacks, and a RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet port.
- The Targus Chromebook docking station is a good 2-in-1 option that not only offers a decent selection of ports but also doubles up as an ergonomic stand. It includes 4 USB 3.0 Type-A ports, two DisplayPort ports, 2 HDMI 2.0 ports, a USB Type-C port with 60W pass-through charging support, a headphone / mic combo jack, and a RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet port.
Best mice for Chromebooks
When shopping for a new mouse to pair with your favorite Chromebook, comfort is king. In this list, we’ll prioritize the comfortable operation of each mouse over other advanced features. After considering day-to-day usage, we’ll look at battery life, price point, and of course integration with Chrome OS. Mice come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s worth viewing a large volume of options before reaching a final decision.
- Logitech’s M570 has a distinct and instantly recognizable form-factor. The giant teal trackball is easily spotted while the mouse is in use. If you do a lot of scrolling for work, and find a trackball comfortable, this is the best option by far. This is one of the most comfortable mice to use for long periods of time.
- The Logitech MX Master series is the industry standard for what a mouse should be. Ultra-fast mag speed scrolling, ergonomic design and app-specific customization make this an ultra-premium pick. With USB-C quick charging and the ability to work on glass surfaces, this is a mouse you can use anywhere.
- Another popular form factor is the vertical mouse design. This layout allows you to use the mouse in a grip-like orientation. Many users find this to be the most comfortable way to use a mouse for long periods of time. Anker also packs a fantastic feature set and battery life into this unique design.
Best webcams for Chromebooks
Although not as essential as the mouse or keyboard, a new webcam can improve your video-conference experience. While most laptops come with built-in webcams, the quality is more often than not sub-par. It may get the job done occasionally, but it’s always advisable to have an external webcam for your Chromebook to achieve a more professional look in video meetings. If you have a Chromebox or you’ve hooked up your Chromebook with an external monitor, you’re likely on the lookout for webcams that will pair nicely with your Chrome OS device.
Here’s a list of some of the best webcams for a Chromebook or Chromebox you can buy across various price points and use-cases.
Best sleeves for Chromebooks
Chromebooks are made to be portable. To protect your investment when out and about, you can grab a sleeve or bag at a fairly low price. This is even more important if you have an LTE-capable Chromebook and travel often. Most of these options are on sale often, making the deal even sweeter. With so many options available, you can find something that fits your personal style and has functionality for daily work and play.
- If you just want a basic sleeve with no frills, Amazon has you covered here. This sleeve’s size ranges from 11.6 inches up to 15.6 inches, depending on the size of your Chromebook. With three color options to choose from and a low price, grab this if you just need to carry your Chromebook outside on occasion.
Best stylus pens for Chromebooks
The Universal Stylus Initiative (USI) defines industry-wide standards for interoperable communication between an active stylus and touch-enabled devices, such as phones, tablets, and computing and entertainment platforms. Thus far, there are quite a few solid USI pens available on the market, but they’re a bit pricier than the old-school capacitive styli.
We recommend choosing one of the USI options below if it’s in your budget and your device supports USI, otherwise we provide a budget option that’ll do the job in a pinch.
- This USI stylus from TiMOVO features unique palm rejection features that effectively avoid your palm from disturbing your creation. Comes with a replacement tip and a tool, you can use the tool to pull out the nib, which is very easy to replace. This pen is also frequently on sale, making it a good option for those on a budget.
That’s our roundup of the best Chromebook accessories for students. Hopefully you now have everything you need to use your Chromebook in class, at home, or on the go. Our ideal setup for college would be the Tiergrade USB-C Docking Station, Logitech MX Master 3 mouse, and the Penoval USI pen. Webcam and sleeve options are really all about personal preference and style. If you try out some of our picks, let us know how they work for you in the comments section below.