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PC Tip of the Month

Try Third-Party Peripherals

December 2020 – by Per Christensson

Most desktop computers come with a standard keyboard and mouse. They get you up and running, but they are usually basic, no-frills input devices.

If you use your computer on a daily basis, it might be worth investing in a third-party keyboard and mouse. They can make your computer more comfortable to use and improve the appearance of your computer setup.

Corsair Backlit Keyboard and Mouse

Third-party peripherals often have extra features like media controls and macro keys that standard keyboards don't have. For example, some keyboards have a volume knob, which allows you to quickly adjust your PC's volume. You can assign a specific function to each macro key, such as running a command or opening an application.

▶ Want a "clicky" keyboard with tactile feedback? Get a mechanical keyboard with "Cherry MX blue" or "Cherry MX brown" keys. Want a keyboard that doesn't make a lot of noise? Get a "membrane" keyboard or one with "Cherry MX red silent" keys.

Third-party input devices, especially wired ones, are often backlit. LED lights can add a cool effect to your physical desktop. Most have software utilities allow you to select from different RGB colors and animations. It's a great way to customize your home computer or workspace. As an added benefit, the lights make your peripherals easier to use in the dark.

While fancy backlit peripherals might look like they cost a lot of money, many third-party keyboards and mice are available under $50. Some high-end gaming peripherals cost more than $100, but you don't have to spend that much to improve your setup.

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