Hey friends, Andrew here – hope you’re well.
I’m sharing ten of my favorite budget tech and desk accessories that I’ve used, which are ideal for students, business owners, or anyone looking for a low-cost upgrade to their setup.
All of the items are under $150 and, despite their budget price, are of high quality in my opinion. Plus, read until the end for your chance to win one of these products. Let’s get started with the first item on this list of the best budget tech and desk accessories!
Muji Handy Shredder
So, first up is a really useful portable shredder from Muji – it’s so useful that it’s literally named “Handy Shredder,” and at $15, it’s a great budget accessory to have.
It is a portable, hand-crank shredder that does not require electricity and is ideal for shredding private documents that you intend to discard.
Although simple, it is of high-quality Japanese construction and can shred two sheets of paper at once. There is satisfaction with hand crank shredders in getting all of your private documents shredded away with a few twists of the knob here.
Best of all, unlike bulky electric shredders, this one is hand-operated and can be carried almost anywhere. At only $15, this is an inexpensive item to keep on hand in the office; I find myself using it more frequently than I anticipated.
Kodak Ektar H35 Half Frame Film Camera
Kodak’s new Ektar H35 camera is one of my personal favorites on this list.
This isn’t a digital camera, but rather an old-school film camera – but listen up, because it’s something you’ll want to learn more about!
To begin with, this bad boy is only $50 brand new, and it takes beautiful film photos without costing an arm and a leg or the burden of second-hand film cameras.
Take a look at these shots I’ve developed over the last month; they have an incredibly nostalgic look and feel to them that you just don’t get with modern cameras nowadays, with their aesthetic grain, lens blur, and sepia tones – all things that you don’t want in a modern digital camera, but look beautifully imperfect on film.
It’s also a half-frame camera, which means you get 72 exposures on a single film roll rather than the usual 36, giving you more bang for your buck!
The camera itself is super retro and visually appealing to use, though it is a little too light for my taste.
Film photography is on the rise in an era of embracing the imperfect, and the Ektar H35 is ideal for capturing “Kodak Moments,” as they are known.
Bellroy Tech Kit
Moving on, this is Bellroy’s famous Tech Kit, which is a must-have for tech heads who frequently use their laptops and commute.
It organizes all my tech accessories in a single spot and keeps my everyday tech from becoming a tangled mess, so if you’re a student with a bunch of text books or a traveller with luggage, you can throw this into your carry bag knowing everything is protected and organized in a single spot.
It has many pockets, magnetic slips, and mesh pockets and is made of high-quality recycled woven fabric.
Bellroy is a certified B Corp Company, which means they create products with the greater good in mind – they’ve met high standards of social and environmental impact and are a fantastic company to support.
Overall, it’s a fashionable way to carry your daily essentials, with a modern tech look and feel.
This Tech Kit is already an affordable and worthwhile purchase at $59 USD, but you can save an additional 10% off this and all other Bellroy products by clicking this link.
Twelve South Curve Flex
This amazing laptop stand by Twelve South, which I take with me when I’m working remotely and is ideal for students, is next on this list of low-cost tech and desk accessories.
If you’ve seen any of my previous desk setup videos, you’ll know that I used their Curved Stand to prop my MacBook up next to my main display as a secondary display. Its design was both functional and beautiful.
The Twelve South Curve Flex is their most recent update, and the name hints at its design.
It’s a Z-shaped, flexible frame with a curved base that can hold a MacBook up to 22 inches tall. This keeps you from hunching over your laptop and relieves discomfort.
There’s also a neoprene carry case included, as well as the ability to fold the entire stand into a flatpack, making it a portable option for taking it abroad or to school without scratching up anything else in your bag.
At $80, this stand is a stylish addition to any workspace.
Grovemade MacBook Dock (Maple)
When it comes to stands, I also love my Grovemade MacBook Dock in Maple Wood.
You already know how much I adore Grovemade’s handcrafted products, and this is a dock I recently purchased to house my MacBook Pro on my desk when I’m working at the office.
It’s an elegant vertically oriented laptop stand that helps save desk space while also allowing me to “dock” and connect my laptop to the CalDigit TS4 dock and monitor.
To protect both your laptop and the desk it sits on, it is held in place with premium materials made of hardwood, stainless steel, merino wool felt, and natural cork.
It’s also been hand-sanded and finished with vegetable-based oils, so it’ll be a piece you keep on your desk for a long time.
This stand is incompatible with the current MacBook Air M2 models, which are simply too thin. My MacBook Pro M1 fits perfectly in it, however.
It is on the more expensive end of this list at $130, but it is a quality purchase.
AZIO Cascade Custom Keyboard
Next up is this $99 mechanical keyboard, which is incredibly well-made for the price.
It’s the AZIO Cascade Keyboard with custom retro arcade keycaps for a really fun splash of uniqueness to the desk – I absolutely love the fresh look of this keyboard.
It’s a 75% hot swappable keyboard, which means it’s 75% the size of a full-sized keyboard, similar to a laptop keyboard, and has completely customizable switches and key caps.
This keyboard has Brown Gateron Pro switches that, when combined with its aluminum upper body and dual sound dampers, make it a pleasure to type on.
With the backlighting turned off, it lasts a solid 160 hours before needing to be charged, but when it does, it thankfully comes with a USB-C port.
So, yeah, I like how this keyboard looks and feels. It’s a good keyboard and an inexpensive way to get started in the world of custom mechanical keyboards.
Pixel Pals are a fun desk accessory.
These $20 collectibles are adorable pixel-art renditions of iconic characters that will brighten up your desk or general office setting.
I personally got Ken from Street Fighter and Flash!
With a pair of double A batteries, they light up like a life-like 8-bit character. I’ve had these for several years and the batteries are still in good working order.
Getting a few to display on a shelf for $20 is a great way to show off your personality while also brightening up the space.
Their main website appears to be down, but there are still a ton of them available on Amazon.
Samsung T5 SSD
A dependable SSD is now essential for almost anyone who works on a laptop.
I’ve used a few over the years, and the first was the inexpensive Samsung T5 SSD.
These or the T7 in 1TB sizes are now available on Amazon for as little as $80. These tiny SSD drives transfer files up to 10x faster than external hard drives, with read/write speeds of up to 1,000mb/s – though I don’t get close to those speeds on my old T5 here.
It’s also shock resistant, with drops of up to 6 feet – I’ve had this one for years and haven’t had a single problem with it.
This is a great entry-level SSD that is fast enough to improve your workflow and get work done faster thanks to its faster read and write speeds – especially if you transfer large files or do video editing.
Studio Neat Pen
The Mark One Pen is an excellent choice for those looking for a long-lasting, high-quality pen.
At first glance, it appears to be a simple, high-quality, sturdy pen, and it is.
It’s a small pen with a nice heft to it at 25 grams and an aluminum body with a cerakote coating with a matte finish.
The custom copper-plated click mechanism is extremely satisfying to use.
At $90, it’s not a cheap pen, but if you plan on using it for years to come (it’s built to last a lifetime), divide the cost over years and it’s an affordable purchase – rather than buying and replacing cheap ballpoint pens.
This is the premium Kindle Oasis, but the new Kindle has recently launched for only $100, which is $10 less than the previous 2019 Kindle and $150 less than the Oasis I have here.
Having all of your books – from textbooks to paperbacks and even PDFs – on a single device that lasts for weeks on end is a good enough reason to invest the $100.
Sure, you could do it on an iPhone or an iPad, but you’d miss out on the glare-free screen and e-ink technology, which looks like a printed page and is low on power consumption and high contrast for great readability in any lighting condition, from the beach to a dark room.
I’ve taken this Kindle everywhere with me, and it’s the ideal bedside companion because it doesn’t emit blue light, which, if you didn’t already know, is a major sleep disruptor.
Whether you’re a student, freelancer, or professional, these budget-friendly accessories are worth considering. With so many tech and desk accessories available, it’s possible to upgrade your workspace without breaking the bank.