The Best Peripherals for Your Gaming and Work Desk Setup

keychron k2 keyboard

These are the best peripherals for your gaming and work desk setup – tested in daily use. Keyboard, mouse, monitor and other things – equally suited to both productivity and fun.

I have been on the hunt for the best peripherals for my gaming and work desk setup for years and have now finally narrowed it down after an extensive period of daily use.

The hybrid setup will save you time and money

Working from home is here to stay and so is gaming for adults. The old days of hunching over a Lenovo ThinkPad laptop at the kitchen table for work and a flashy RGB cave in the basement for gaming are gone. Unless you want your back and productivity to suffer, the best idea is to make a hybrid setup that doubles for gaming and work. To do that, you need to be laser-focused on the features that matter, so you don’t get lost in the jungle of marketing, which will undoubtedly tell you that you need all kinds of indispensable luxury – that is if you pay up.

While I find popular magazines’ reviews and recommendations helpful for technical insights and inspiration, they often lack real-life relevance. For instance, if you search on Google for desk accessories, the headline that pops up is “35 essential home office desk accessories”. I can’t help but smile at the thought of having 35 essential items obstructing my face during a virtual meeting.

My recommendations follow these criteria:

  • Strong emphasis on the best value for money, i.e. getting features that really matter.
  • The best all-round product and therefore only one recommendation per category.
  • Suitable for casual-competitive gaming across genres.
  • Productive in work such as writing, coding, or data analysis.
  • Looks that are suitable for a professional setting.

I will also write down my considerations for choosing each recommendation. They are useful to evaluate any purchase you might be considering.

Please note, I may get small a commission from links, but I always buy products out of my own pocket and never recommend anything that wouldn’t be useful in my own, daily life. I hope you’re also able to see that from my many original images and posts. This way I can keep the site free of annoying banner ads and you don’t have to search for the product yourself.

Jump to a section:

The best monitor

best monitor for gaming and work

HP X34

No non-essential extra features. Simply just a good display, which is exactly what a monitor should provide after all.

  • 34″ ultrawide non-curved
  • 3440 x 1440
  • IPS panel
  • 165 Hz refresh rate
  • 1 ms response rate
  • 400 nits brightness
  • 99% sRGB color spectrum
  • 8 kg (with stand)
  • 1x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort output

See the product on Amazon

Why this?
  • 34″ size

    The 34″ is an adequate size for multitasking two windows side by side and fits on most desk sizes. Technically, a 38″ would be equivalent to dual 24″ monitors, so you almost get dual monitors – without the bezels in the middle and two sets of monitor stands and cables. For games that support ultrawide, you get the extra immersion of a wider view. In some games, this feels almost like cheating.

  • 3440 x 1440 resolution

    Many of the budget ultrawide monitors only have a resolution of 2560 x 1080, which really isn’t a place you should compromise. Here you get 3440 x 1440 for crisp images and text.

  • IPS panel

    A non-curved panel means you can afford IPS, which has better colors and viewing angles than curved VA panels. I have used both curved and non-curved and don’t miss the curve at all because the viewing angles of the IPS panel make it obsolete in the first place.

  • 165 Hz refresh

    The refresh rate is suited to fast-paced, competitive gaming. In fact, your PC will likely have a hard time catching up. As an added bonus, scrolling webpages or documents will be extra smooth.

  • 400 nits brightness

    The 400 nits brightness is very bright for a desktop monitor. This is not something you would usually notice if you’re only gaming in the evenings, but during work hours when the sun is out, you will really appreciate this.

  • 8 kg weight

    The monitor itself weighs only 8 kg with the stand and looks sleek in a professional setting. If you put it on a monitor arm, the low weight will make it less susceptible to wobble.

Where is the compromise?
  • Plastic materials

    Materials are plastic and build quality could probably be better, but you won’t find better value for money.

  • No extra features

    There is no USB-passthrough, speakers, webcam or other extras. However, those are usually features that can be bought cheaper and better, when they’re not integrated in a monitor.

  • Not suited for professional graphic work

    The color spectrum is not suitable for professional graphic work, but don’t for a second let someone fool you into thinking that you need to pay a HUGE premium to get accurate colors for other uses.

The best monitor arm

Fellowes Platinum Monitor Arm

Minimal monitor arm with all the essentials and USB.

  • Up to 9 kg
  • Built-in USB
  • Cable management
  • Gas spring
  • Tilt, pan, and rotation movements

See the product on Fellowes

Why this?
  • Stable

    The most important thing on a monitor arm is stability. This will become particularly evident if you have an adjustable standing desk, where your desk inevitably will wobble to varying degrees. Having tried the 3x more expensive Ergotron LX, I find the Fellowes just as good as long as you keep within the specified weight limit.

  • Essential adjustments

    A lot of the cheaper monitor arms compromise on movement. The Fellowes Platinum have all the essential adjustments. E.g. when I’m gaming, I like to move my monitor closer, when I’m reading I like to tilt it.

  • Built-in USB

    The monitor stand is in my opinion the best place to get additional USB ports. They take up minimal space and your cables won’t look like a mess, e.g. compared to dangling from your monitor.

Where is the compromise?
  • Not for really heavy monitors

    If you have a very large and heavy monitor or maybe even use a TV, you need a specialized heavy-duty monitor arm. However, my monitor is a 34″, which is no problem at all.

The best keyboard

keychron k2 best keyboard for gaming and work

Keychron K2

A quality wireless typing experience while taking up minimal space on your desk, allowing you to move your mouse around with a cup of coffee near at hand.

  • Mechanical keyboard
  • 75% compact size
  • Wireless Bluetooth and USB-C wired
  • Gateron Blue switches
  • 15+ types of RGB light
  • Switch between Mac and Windows layout
  • Included keycaps for Mac and Windows
  • 3 Bluetooth connections
  • Wrist rest (additional purchase)

See the product on Amazon

Why this?
  • 75% compact size

    After testing all keyboard sizes and shapes, I find that the ideal choice is a compact 75% size. This keyboard occupies minimal desk space while only sacrificing the Numpad. When using a mini keyboard, I consistently find myself missing the F- and Arrow-keys. Conversely, a full-size keyboard with a Numpad feels bulky. Either my mouse collides with the side or my hands feel awkwardly positioned because I have to shift the keyboard leftward to accommodate mouse movement. This is particularly problematic during gaming. Additionally, only a small number of people need to enter a lot of numbers, rendering the Numpad practically obsolete. Even if you belong to that minority, I still recommend opting for the 75% size and separately purchasing an inexpensive Numpad.

  • Wireless Bluetooth and wired

    The wireless Bluetooth ensures that you can connect to most new devices that support Bluetooth. I prefer Bluetooth as opposed to a dedicated USB-dongle because I don’t have to waste a USB-port and I don’t have to worry about losing the dongle. If you want to be sure you get the absolute best connection for gaming, you simply just use it in wired mode.

  • Gateron Blue switches

    Once you experience mechanical switches, there’s no turning back. This is particularly true for the Blue switches, known for their delightful snap and satisfying click, which make your old office keyboard feel mushy by comparison. Gateron Blue switches strike the perfect balance between quick responsiveness for gaming and precise, enjoyable typing for work. They require a lighter touch compared to Cherry Blues and Razer Green switches, yet they’re slightly heavier than Razer’s fully gaming-oriented Purple switches. Additionally, they offer full-sized keys that enhance the typing experience, surpassing the shallow keys found on laptops or the highly popular Logitech MX office series keyboard. While they do produce noise, it shouldn’t be a concern for a home setup.

  • 15+ types of RGB light

    For work you simply use the regular white backlight and no one will ever notice this keyboard can be used for gaming. In fact, the keyboard looks a lot like the Logitech MX series dedicated to office work. When it’s time to game, you can toggle between a lot of other color profiles with one button.

  • Switch between PC and Mac

    Unfortunately, Apple and Microsoft try their best to lock us in to their respective ecosystems. For a lot of us, who have a PC in our home and a MacBook when we’re on the go, this is a big headache. As such, I applaud this feature, where you can switch between Mac and PC with corresponding sets of keycaps for both layouts.

  • Optional Wrist Rest

    The only disadvantage of full-height keys is that the keyboard can feel tall compared to e.g. a laptop. This disadvantage can be completely mitigated by purchasing the compatible Wrist Rest. It comes in beautiful wooden finishes and is worth considering, if you type a lot. While not obligatory, it undeniably enhances the comfort of the typing experience.

Where is the compromise?
  • No dedicated wireless receiver

    For ultra fast-paced wireless gaming, some would say that you need a dedicated receiver instead of Bluetooth. Something which you would have to pay a huge premium for. Personally, I can’t tell the difference but this will depend on the quality of the Bluetooth in your PC as well. But again, this can be easily mitigated by plugging the keyboard in for gaming sessions.

  • No RGB customization

    There is no dedicated customization software for macro-keys or RGB lighting. I don’t miss this feature, as customizable RGB usually is very cumbersome to program and I end up losing patience. I like the idea of swapping between a multitude of different pre-programmed lighting schemes with one button.

  • No extra keys

    Due to the trade-off between keys and the footprint on your desk, there are no extras, e.g. a volume wheel or a fancy display. The volume wheel is a luxury I actually do miss. However, you can hold down the Fn-key and turn the volume up and down, among other things, which is a sensible compromise.

The best mouse

best mouse for work and gaming

Logitech G Pro X Superlight

Wireless tech suited to both gaming and work with understated looks and unparalleled precision.

  • Wireless Lightspeed technology
  • 63g weight
  • 5 buttons

See the product on Amazon

Why this?
  • Wireless Lightspeed technology

    For a mouse, I don’t recommend Bluetooth or going wired for gaming as I did with the keyboard. Here, the wire is in fact a nuisance and so the dedicated wireless receiver is a must.

  • Lightweight and precise

    This is an extremely light mouse, weighing only 63g and the precision is unbeatable. It is a myth that you only need precision for gaming. It is also extremely useful for work tasks.

  • Minimalistic look

    The look is minimalistic and there is no RGB lighting, so it doesn’t stand out in a work context.

Where is the compromise?
  • No ergonomic design

    The mouse is not designed with ergonomics in mind. However, usually you give up precision for this, which I would never trade anyway.

  • Expensive

    For a mouse, it is pretty expensive. However, this is a peripheral, where you shouldn’t compromise too much if you want to be both competitive in gaming and productive in work. Moreover, you can usually find it at a discounted price.

The best mousepad

Glorious XXL White

A surface to optimize mouse movement with an unassuming look.

  • Low-friction cloth material
  • White with black stitched edges
  • Small logo in the corner
  • Goes into the washing machine
  • 18×36 inches / 46×91 cm
  • 3mm thick
  • Anti-slip rubber base

See the product on Amazon

Why this?
  • Low-friction cloth surface

    I will be the first to admit that a leather or wool desk mat looks great. However, for mouse tracking those surfaces are just plain horrible compared to a real mousepad. Go for cloth, even if you’re not gaming a lot. It will be like when you learned to walk instead of crawling.

  • 46 x 91 cm size

    I find this size perfect for a normal desk and comparable to a desk mat. You can get smaller, but most likely the edges will be obstructing the spots exactly where you want to put your coffee and other things.

  • Machine washable

    And speaking of coffee… this used to be one in favor of a leather mat, which is easier to clean. However, this mousepad goes into the washing machine and it looks like new again (tried and tested)!

Where is the compromise?
  • Gaming logo in the corner

    The small logo in the corner signals gaming, but gaming mousepads simply are the best for mouse performance. This is the best trade-off I have been able to find with an almost complete white look, great price and features.

The best headset

best headset for gaming and work desk setup

SteelSeries Arctis 7

Great sound, great mic, no wires and often heavily discounted.

  • Wireless
  • 7.1 virtual surround
  • Extendable microphone
  • Cloth headband and earpads

See the product on Amazon

Why this?
  • All-round features

    Headsets unfortunately still come with some trade-offs depending on their intended use. Work dedicated headsets are often small, uncomfortable and wired. Music-oriented headsets compromise on the microphone and connectivity. You CAN get gaming headsets that have it all and look somewhat professional but you will have to sell your kidney. The SteelSeries Arctis 7 is a worthy trade-off.

  • Wireless

    With the advances in wireless technology, I can’t find any reason not to cut the cord anymore for most people, even those who do the occasional competitive gaming. Wires on a headset is a huge nuisance as they get stuck so easily because they’re literally hanging from your body.

Where is the compromise?
  • Gaming logo

    There’s a SteelSeries logo on the band and minimal text on the sides. SteelSeries is a gaming brand as some of your colleagues may know.

  • Expensive

    Gaming headsets, especially the wireless ones, are more expensive than those solely for work. However, the sound for hearing footsteps, comfort and wireless performance will simply be too bad for gaming if you use a cheaper work-oriented headset. The Arctis 7 are often heavily discounted. I bought mine with a 50% reduction.

The best speakers

Edifier R1080BT

Great sounding and great-looking speakers that fit on your desk at a great price. Great!

  • Bluetooth
  • 3.5mm minijack
  • 12 watt

See the product on Edifier

Why this?
  • Bluetooth and minijack

    I have my PC connected through the minijack and my phone paired through Bluetooth making it extremely easy to switch.

  • 12 watt

    Having tried smaller dedicated PC speakers, they just don’t provide enough oomph. Sure, they can go loud enough considering they’re very close, but sound terrible at higher volumes. The Edifier R1080BT are adequate.

  • Great price

    These speakers are simply great value for money. A tad more expensive than budget PC speakers and a lot cheaper than most other bookshelf speakers.

Where is the compromise?
  • Not for bassheads

    The speakers have a great balanced sound, but for people who is really into bass, they don’t make your desk dance.

The best wireless charger

Anker 623 MagGo

Fast wireless charging with MagSafe

  • 2-in-1
  • 7.5W
  • 450g weight
  • Magnetic

See the product on Amazon

Why this?
  • 2-in-1

    You simply flip the top and you have 2 charging surfaces, where the top is magnetic and can be used as a dock for your phone. The surface behind is perfect for charging e.g. Airpods.

  • Fast charging

    The charging on the top surface is powerful for charging a phone.

Where is the compromise?
  • Newer models look more slim

    The newer 2-in-1 models from Anker look a bit more slim, but I don’t think that justifies the price bump.

The best desk lighting

BenQ Screenbar

Auto-adjusting task light that doesn’t take up your desk surface.

  • Different color temperatures
  • Auto-dimming
  • USB powered
  • Rotatable

See the product on Amazon

Why this?
  • Light where you need it

    The shape and position is exactly where you need your light. It lights up your main desk surface and doesn’t take up space.

  • Auto-adjusting

    The censor adjusts the light intensity and temperature. For someone who has other smart lights, this is perfect as the lightbar synchronizes when I switch temperatures on my other lighting.

Where is the compromise?
  • Older model

    The newer models have e.g. remote control and backlighting. However, I don’t think this justifies the added price.

  • Expensive

    Compared to a desk lamp, the Lightbar is expensive. However, I think it is well worth the price. It looks better, the lighting is more evenly distributed and it adjusts to your environment.

Closing tips on your gaming and work desk setup

The models I recommend will inevitably be discontinued. Some of them are already old, but this means you can get them at a great price! However, I hope you will be able to use my considerations of “why” just as much as the specific recommendations for your future purchases.

I believe that the distinction between gaming and work peripherals will be less obvious in the future, but for now, my general recommendation is to find gaming peripherals with minimalistic looks. A gaming keyboard, mouse, and monitor are great for work use as long as they look professional, but work peripherals are still not suited for gaming.

My best tips on where you shouldn’t compromise are the monitor, keyboard, and mouse. Saving money on a low-resolution, dim monitor will bottleneck your experience completely. Likewise, trying to save money on cheap mechanical keyboards will have your fingers aching. The mouse, you simply use for everything you do on your PC, so it should feel buttery smooth.

This series consists of several posts that you should also check out!

This Is the Ideal Clean White Gaming Setup Equally Suited to Work

How to Build an Easy DIY Desk Shelf and Monitor Stand in 5 Minutes!

The Secret to Designing an Aesthetic Desk Setup

The Best Peripherals for Your Gaming and Work Desk Setup

How to Make Cool Posters for Your Desk Setup

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