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Home office equipment essentials

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Working from home guides

This guide is one part of a series designed to help you get the most out of working from home. Check out our other articles:

1. Hardware essentials
2.
Software essentials
3.
Home office furniture

As we all face up to working from home on a more regular basis, it's prudent to equip a home office with devices that will help you perform your job to the best of your ability, and to furnish your surroundings in a way that will help make it not only a productive space, but also a pleasant one.

In this guide we'll help you find the equipment you need to make your home office a professional office.

Looking for something specific? Try these quick links:

Home printers
Digital copiers
Shredders
Laptop stands

Best home printers

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(Image credit: Canon)

Home printers have become vital to office workers this year. Now that so many people are working from home and can’t rely on expensive equipment because of the pandemic, having a solution at home that will properly fill that gap is vital. No matter what size of household and family demands you have, on this list you’ll find the best home printer for your needs.

Canon Pixma TS9120

The best all-round home printer

Specifications
Category: All-in-one inkjet printer
Print speed: Black: 15 ISO ppm, Color: 10 ISO ppm
Paper capacity: 100 sheets
Paper size: up to A4
Weight: 6.6 kg
Reasons to buy
+6-color individual ink system+Cloud, Bluetooth and social media printing
Reasons to avoid
-Small ink cartridges

Thanks to its six-color individual ink system, the Canon Pixma TS9120 delivers exceptional photo quality results, placing it firmly among the best home printers around. The Canon also is very flexible with its connection capabilities, allowing for both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to print. And you’re not limited to any device. If you want to print from a tablet or smartphone or even from the cloud, the Canon can handle it. 

The printer also comes with some photo-specific features such as Photo Blue ink as part of the six-color system and built-in creative filters to add something a little extra to your photos. Lastly, this printer comes in a choice of three different two-tone color options, giving you some cosmetic choices that you don’t really see with printers.

EDITOR'S CHOICE

Canon Pixma TS9120 - Print from anywhere - $549.99
The Canon Pixma TS9120 is a brilliant all-rounder, which is why it's our pick for the best home office printer. It works exceptionally as an office printer and just as well when it comes to printing photos, so it can fill the role of family printer too. Its connectivity options are second to none too.
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Also worth considering

HP LaserJet Pro M15w printer - World’s smallest laser printer- $108
The HP LaserJet Pro is the smallest laser printer around, being as small an d inexpensive as an inkjet, yet with all the speed, economy and consistency of a laser. It is, in many ways, the ideal home printer: it can hold 100 sheets of paper and print on them at the respectable rate of 19ppm. There’s no duplex mode, sadly, and no display, but at this price it’s hard to argue.
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Epson WorkForce WF-7210DTW printer - A capable and capacious A3 printer - $330
Printers aimed at the home office that can handle A3 paper are not common, but ones that can automatically print on both sides of an A3 page are downright rare. The WorkForce WF-7210DTW is one such beast and it does so successfully. Print quality is impressive, be that monochrome text, or a glossy photo. The long list of features includes both Wi-Fi and  NFC connectivity and the two paper trays can hold 500 sheets combined.

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The best home printers compared

PrinterCategoryPrint speedPaper capacityPaper sizePrice
Canon Pixma TS9120All-in-one inkjet printer15ppm (B+W) / 10ppm (color)100 sheetsup to A4$549.99
Epson WorkForce WF-7210DTWColour inkjet printer18ppm500 sheetsUp to A3$330
HP LaserJet Pro M15wColour laser printer19ppm100 sheetsup to A4$108

Best digital copiers

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(Image credit: Xerox)

Modern offices have plenty of reasons to use a fast and dependable photocopier, and in this section we'll list the best digital copiers for home and small office use. From usage tracking to improve security, auto duplex, mobile and wireless printing or digital touchscreen display, there’s now a flurry of options available on the market, for the occasional print out and mailing all the way to digital agencies. These are our best picks.

Xerox WorkCentre 6515

Sophisticated laser photocopying, at a price

Specifications
Category: 4-in-1 colour inkjet printer
Print speed: 28ppm
Paper sizes: up to A4
Paper capacity: 300 sheets
Reasons to buy
+Sophisticated touchscreen+Feature rich printing
Reasons to avoid
-Limited paper capacity -Not the fastest Xerox

By Xerox standards, this is a modest machine, but it has an impressive specification that will meet the demands of any small to medium sized business. Xerox makes faster printers than this, but the consistent quality of colour and mono prints here is impressive and its photocopying skills are among the best of any four-in-one we’ve tested. 

The intuitive touchscreen interface is another plus point that gives easy access to a wealth of features such as dual-sided scanning and a broad selection of security features. This feels like a premium product and it’s well supported by modular upgrades.

EDITOR'S CHOICE

Xerox WorkCentre 6515 - Sophisticated laser photocopying - $435
This Xerox WorkCentre 6515 gives outstanding performance in a modest package, making it ideal for a home or small office. Print consistency is especially noteworthy, and features such as dual-sided scanning and its intuitive touchscreen make this a premium product.
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Other recommendations

Lexmark MB2236adw - A scaled down photocopier for the SMB - $193.94
It might look a little top heavy, but this all-in-one A4 photocopier feels well made and offers plenty of features for the footprint that it takes up. Duplex scanning from the ADF and rapid automatic photocopying are performed flawlessly, while the print quality in both colour and mono is excellent. Duplex printing is not the fastest, but a wealth of security features and an easy interface more than makes up for the shortfall.
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HP LaserJet Pro MFP M227fdw - First class laser printing and photocopying - $268.90
If you have the space for it, this multifunction device will serve a small business well thanks to its useful 35-sheet automatic document feeder and automated photocopying skills. This is a mono machine and it’s not the fastest laser on the block, but it’s quicker than any inkjet and offers an attractive blend of features and performance.
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The best digital copiers compared

Digital copierCategoryPrint speedPaper sizesPaper capacityPrice
Xerox WorkCentre 65154-in-1 colour inkjet printer28ppmUp to A4300 sheers$435
Lexmark MB2236adwColor laser multifunction device23ppmUp to A4250 sheets$193.94
HP LaserJet Pro MFP M227fdw4-in-1 mono laser printer28ppmup to A4300 sheets$268.90

Best office shredders

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(Image credit: Fellowes)

These days it's more important than ever to make sure that our private and sensitive documents are disposed of securely, especially as cases of identity theft fraud rise exponentially. While shredders may not be the most glamorous of tech, they are still incredibly important, and there is now a huge range of shredder makes and models. While many people may think of shredders as big and bulky (not to mention noisy) devices that take up a huge amount of room, the best shredders can easily fit into any modern office or home. Here are our picks.

Fellowes Powershred 79Ci

Capable large capacity shredder

Reasons to buy
+23-liter capacity+Doesn't jam+Safesense+14-sheet input
Reasons to avoid
-None

A great choice all-round for the office and home, the Fellowes Powershred 79Ci Paper shredder has a 23-liter capacity and uses a cross-cut mechanism that will slice and dice anything you feed into it in two ways for maximum security. One of the best things about this model is that it is 100% jam-proof, so you will never have to wrestle with it to pull out paper that has got stuck. 

It also packs SafeSense Technology that immediately disables the unit if anybody’s fingers gets dangerously close to its internal components, making it a suitable option for home offices. It also has a max sheet input of 14 sheets, which is double what you will find on most budget variants.

EDITOR'S CHOICE

Fellowes Powershred 79Ci - Capable large capacity shredder $194.98
The Fellowes Powershed is our choice for the best shredder on the market right now. A 23-liter capacity, 14-sheet input, and efficient cutting mechanism make a great combination and, if you're worried about fingers getting into the mechanism, then don't - it will automatically shut off before that happens.
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Other recommendations

Bonsaii Evershred - A good all-purpose paper shredder - $116.99
With up to a 30-minutes running time, the Bonsaii Evershred can shred 3500 sheets of A4 paper in a single charge, making it a great option to chew through all of those documents that you’ve been waiting to dispose of. Like the Fellowes shredder at the top of our list, it has a maximum of 14 sheets shredding capacity and cuts paper into tiny 5mm x 50mm particles – and it will even shred credit cards, CDs and staples.
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Rexel Style Cross Cut Shredder - Small but completely reliable paper shredder - $101. 23
This shredder from Rexel is a small yet capable model for shredding anything from bank statements to utility bills and credit cards – but be aware that it will not shred CDs. Suitable for up to A4 paper size, it has an auto start and stop function that will also run in reverse for clearing paper jams.

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Best laptop stands

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(Image credit: Rain Design)

If you're finding that your neck and back are feeling the strain – or you simply want to keep your desk looking tidy – you might want to consider investing in one of the laptop stands from our list. These handy pieces of equipment not only bring your laptop screen up to eye-level (which is regarded by health & safety experts as an important part of keeping your office working environment safe), but they can also bring a stylish twist to your home office.

Rain Design mStand

Sleek, stylish and endlessly practical

Reasons to buy
+Very stylish+Perfect ergonomic height
Reasons to avoid
-None

Raise your laptop to the same ergonomic height as an external display with the Rain Design mStand. This patented design is made from a single solid piece of aluminum, stylishly matching the MacBook Pro's sand-blasted and silver anodized finish to add an extra elegant touch to your workspace. 

However, despite the fact that the Rain Design mStand is designed for the Apple MacBook and MacBook Pro, it's actually suitable for all laptops. There's an outlet at the back that you can feed all of your cables through, which will help keep your desk nice and tidy. 

So far, the Rain Design mStand has over 3,000 5-star reviews on Amazon US, which is a great indication of how well this modern and stylish laptop stand works.

EDITOR'S CHOICE

Rain Design mStand - Sleek, stylish and endlessly practical - $39.99
Our pick for the best laptop stand. The mStand is a stylish aluminum stand, with some good cable management. And, even though this laptop stand is specifically designed to work with Apple MacBooks, we found it works just as well with PC laptops.

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Lavolta Folding Laptop Stand - Keep your laptop cool - $54.31
This laptop stand might place function over fashion, but if you're not bothered by what your new laptop stand looks like, then this might be the one for you. This super adjustable stand means that you can bend and tilt it onto the best position for you. This flexibility means you can use it at your desk, on your sofa, or even lying down in bed. The built-in cooling pad is also very helpful, as it'll help prevent your laptop from overheating as you work. It's even got a removable mouse board, if you're not a fan of your laptop's trackpad.
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Twelve South HiRise for MacBook - Give your MacBook a little extra lift - $67.95
This laptop stand is made out of brushed aluminum, although it lacks a lip at the front to help secure your laptop from falling off. However, the rubber non-slip base should be enough to keep your laptop still.  One of the best aspects of this laptop stand is the rear piston, which can easily adjust the height of your laptop up to six inches for improved ergonomics.
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More working from home guides and product deals

This guide is one part of a series designed to help you get the most out of working from home. Make working from home as comfortable and as productive as you can:

  1. Hardware essentials
  2. Software essentials
  3. Home office furniture