Laptop stand + keyboard + trackpad OR external monitor
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Laptop stand + keyboard + trackpad OR external monitor

For under $200 for the whole setup, you can get an excellent laptop stand that brings your screen up to eye level + a keyboard and trackpad. (for the stand, you can also just substitute in a stack of books). Good for your back/neck as well as a more flattering video call angle.

I personally use the Nexstand because it travels so well. As far as I can tell, it's just a cheaper (in all respects) version of the Roost. It has three height settings, but I usually use it extended to its full height.

I pair it either with a Logitech keyboard which is cool because it can switch between devices like an ipad or iphone, or a (more expensive) apple magic keyboard. And I either use an apple trackpad or I just bring my hand up to the laptop to move stuff around between typing.

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Alternatively, you can use the built-in trackpad and keyboard on your laptop, and get a large external monitor as your primary screen (you can choose to continue using your laptop screen for a dual setup, or semi-close your laptop and just use the external monitor).

I think this is generally a better option than the laptop stand because the extra screen space is such an upgrade, but it's not as mobile if you're a traveller (even within your own house/office). For $140 you can get a (smallish) 24in monitor — (the best 27" or fancy 4k models are typically $350+). You may still want to put your laptop on a stack of books for video calls unless you get an external USB camera.

Bonus: It seems like everything having to do with home office equipment is at a premium due to the pandemic, but I also really love having a monitor arm to adjust my monitor (even allowing it to rotate 90degrees) and take up less space on my desk.

Note on laptop stands: the ones that are in a fixed position really look like they wouldn't be able to get a sharp enough angle + lift to get your screen as high as it's supposed to be. That seems crazy, since that's literally their purpose, but I still raise an eyebrow when I see the highly rated options out there... (my best guess is that they’re highly rated because people love having their laptop up higher and they aren’t looking a gift-horse in the mouth).

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The good news is that there's been a surge in innovation in this area and I expect there to be a lot of adjustable ones worth checking out. I haven't browsed around much, but this one is the kind of thing I'd try, if I didn't need something to travel with.