‘Gadget’ as a term to describe our tech equipment doesn’t really hit the mark these days. ‘Accessories vital for life’ is probably more accurate, because let’s face it, we can’t do without them, especially given that so many of us are working more flexibly now.
Our phones, laptops and workspaces have become a core part of who we are on a day-to-day basis so it only makes sense to take pride in them. Hence why a massive complementary industry in tech and desk accessories has emerged, imbuing our quotidian processes with sophistication and style, while protecting our kit at the same time.
Here’s our pick of the best brands in the space making our working lives that much more interesting.
Best For: Leather Desk Mats
While the days of huge leather-topped mahogany desks have gone the way of the dinosaurs, the designers at Carl Friedrik have referenced that nostalgia and distilled it into thoroughly contemporary leather desk mats and mouse mats.
Made from beautifully soft vegetable-tanned Vachetta leather – burnished and brushed for durability – the mats of various sizes come in black, cognac and chocolate tones, providing a strong contrast of rich colour against a modern white workspace.
Looks aside, they make sitting at your desk that much more inviting, which can’t be a bad thing for your deadlines.
Best For: AirPods Cases
Founded in Stockholm in 2016, Nudient produces fashion accessories for smartphones, whether you’re an Apple or Android fan boy. Its award-winning range spans screen protectors to MagSafe wallets to phone cases, all featuring that clean, minimal Scandi aesthetic.
However, the pick of the bunch has to be the brand’s Airpods cases, which manage to offer a sleek, stylish upgrade on Apple’s own design. Available for all generations, including Pro models, they’re made from either razor-thin, 2mm toughened polycarbonate, or grippy silicone to ensure you don’t drop them. No matter which you choose, you can expect wireless charging compatibility and your AirPods to stay well protected.
Best For: Slick Laptop Covers & Pouches
Danish company Mismo have long been at the top of the pile when it comes to constructing weatherproof bags with a slick modern aesthetic, but don’t let their portfolios and pouches slip under your radar.
From stunning A3 leather portfolios and 13”/15” laptop sleeves to canvas pouches for your everyday accoutrements, Mismo’s designs are elegantly minimalist and perfectly complement a smart work look.
Best For: Made For Tech Luggage
We’ve long been fans of British luggage brand Bennett Winch for their acute attention to details, beautiful functional designs and sustainable approach to bag making.
Its flagship product is The Weekender, which as the name suggests is designed for short trips. Available in a range of canvas and leather styles, the bag is perfectly designed for those constantly on the move – it features a fully protected laptop pocket as well as a tablet/tech internal pocket while being sizeable enough to hold a change of outfits or your gym kit (the waterproof side-sleeves come in handy here).
Moreover, the Weekender looks the money, and is well worth the money.
Best For: A One-Stop Shop
Where to start with Native Union? For over a decade, founders John and Igor have been shaping the way we interact with our tech, providing beautifully functional solutions to charging, displaying and storing. With some amazing collaborations under their belts (the Paul Smith hook-up is excellent), Native Union has led the way by amalgamating fashion, design, culture and technology.
From stylish magnetic docks for your iPhone to leather Airpod cases, it’s a one-stop-shop for considered tech accessories.
Best For: Apple Fanboys
We couldn’t curate a tech accessory brand list without featuring the granddaddy, Apple. There’s no denying that the Palo Alto cult continues to make some of the most intuitive, beautiful and aesthetically-pleasing tech accessories out there, including Air Tag leather keyfobs, Air Pods, cases, the list goes on.
Sometimes, most times, the original is best. We’re currently eyeing up the colourful HomePod minis to double up as cool desk speakers and paperweights.
Best For: Modular Luggage
Founded in 2017 in Mayfair, London by Melissa Morris, Métier is a very luxury expression of bag design. Handmade in Italy to the highest standards using the finest quality materials, Métier’s modular collections are built to survive a lifetime (and improve with age).
While the bags are absolutely exquisite, its tech accessories (designed to be modular with the bags) are some of the most sophisticated we have seen. From leather tablet and laptop portfolios to our favourite, the Metropolitan, a combined portfolio and laptop case, these are products you will truly care about.
Best For: Designer Kudos
We would be remiss if we didn’t inject a little designer cachet into this list of brands, and one such mega-label that stands out for oh-so-chic understatement is Saint Laurent, which has designed a slick arsenal of predictably black leather tech accessories.
From subtly monogrammed iPad cases to embossed leather AirPods cases, trust the Parisians to put the ‘haute’ into hi-tech.
Best For: Desk Accessories
Founded in 2015 by designer Hunter Craighill, the eponymous brand has a novel and delightfully succinct way of describing our personal workspace: our ‘deskscape’. If that is our 9-5 terrain, then Craig Hill are the architects, designing incredibly beautiful and functional items for daily use, such as brass pens and letter openers; hardwood catch-alls, eyewear stands and bookends; money clips and carbon key rings.
It’s all of the stuff you never thought you’d need then quickly realise you can’t do without.
Best For: Stylish Stands & Mounts
Our jobs may have become more flexible since lockdown, but our spines most certainly have not. Working from home has its perks but correct posture is rarely one of them, which is why using a laptop stand or tablet mount is crucial to avoid the dreaded nerd neck.
Grovemade specialise in wooden stands for every kind of device. Manufactured in Portland, Oregon by a small in-house team, Grovemade’s products are meticulously crafted from the finest maple and walnut woods, not only improving the ergonomics of your workspace but also the aesthetics.