Each year, consumer tech firms try to sell us their shiny new toys. Like a new smartphone to replace your perfectly-working one. Now, it’s understandable to become jaded about this never-ending upgrade cycle (let’s not even get started on planned obsolescence), but there are certain tech upgrades that actually make a real difference. We’re not talking about marginal improvements here. These upgrades will change how you work or play. Here are our picks:
Acer Predator XB253Q
Games will never look the same again. Smooth as butter. Ditch your old 60Hz monitor for one with a higher refresh rate, such as the Acer Predator XB253Q gaming monitor. On top of having a 144Hz refresh rate, it also supports Nvidia G-Sync technology, which synchronises the refresh rate to reduce screen tearing. While we originally reviewed the 144Hz model, Acer has since refreshed it with a newer 280Hz version (buy at the Lazada link). If you have a tighter budget, the 144Hz model is still available (and good) via the Shopee link.
Samsung 980 NVMe SSD
A new graphics card will make your games look better than ever. But the single biggest upgrade for any computer, one that will revitalise it and even extend its lifespan, is a solid-state drive (SSD). SSDs have become the de facto storage option for new computers, and it’s not hard to see why. They make everything faster, from booting up to copying files. They are also more affordable than ever. Take Samsung’s latest mainstream 980 NVMe SSD for instance, which starts from just S$72 for a 250GB version. Alternatively, if your PC is still stuck in the SATA era (without an NVMe slot), check out the Samsung SSD 870 Evo.
Foldable Adjustable Laptop Stand
Why be constrained to a desk when you’re working from home? Or perhaps there is no desk, and you’re forced to work on the bed or the couch. Either way, having a laptop stand like this unbranded Foldable Adjustable Laptop Stand is a godsend. Not only does it provide good stable support for even larger laptops, it prevents heat from the notebook from burning up your lap. There’s even a mouse pad attachment for those who prefer using one.
Logitech MX Anywhere 3
Speaking of mice, it is an invaluable tool for those who do more precise work, such as photo editing. And since the modern mobile employee is more likely to be working at a variety of locations — the office, a cafe or your couch — it is essential to have a compact wireless mouse that you can take with you anywhere. The Logitech MX Anywhere 3 fits the bill. It has great battery life of up to 70 days on a single charge. It also works with Logitech’s excellent Flow multi-tasking software, which lets you seamlessly control up to three computers with just one mouse.
Huawei WiFi AX3
We rely so heavily on the Internet for work, information, and entertainment. Hence, one of the best upgrades for your home is a Wi-Fi 6 router, such as the Huawei WiFi AX3. It uses the latest Wi-Fi 6 standard that offers faster speeds, and more importantly, is better designed to handle network congestion. Wi-Fi 6 is already available in most smartphones and laptops launched in the last couple of years. As for the AX3, it performs well in our testing, despite being one of the cheapest Wi-Fi 6 routers in the market. In addition, you can pair multiple AX3 units to create a mesh network that can extend wireless coverage and eliminate Wi-Fi blind spots.