The Retro-Style Laptop Accessory That Makes Me More Productive While Working From Home

published Aug 26, 2022
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Ever since striking the keys on my grandma’s old typewriter in my parents’ basement, I have been obsessed with trying to bring a typewriter into my home. Unfortunately, after doing about 10 minutes of research, I discovered that the real deal is very expensive — not to mention finicky — and the modern equivalents I saw didn’t seem to be up to snuff, according to reviewers. So a few years ago, I filed away that dream and resigned myself to either writing by hand or on my computer.

But then my dream was brought back to life when I stumbled upon colorful retro keyboard sets late last year. After working hunched over a laptop sans monitor for my entire media career, I decided that it was time to invest in a laptop stand, keyboard, mouse, and some wrist supports. When searching on Amazon, I found the Perixx Wireless Mini Keyboard and Mouse Combo, which is the modern version of a typewriter (but more convenient than I had ever imagined) brought to life.

At just under $40, I added the blue version of this set to my cart immediately. There are also purple and pink ones, but blue fit my aesthetic and personality better.

This set does require one AAA battery and one AA battery, which are not included, and you do need to have USB receivers built into your laptop to connect the keyboard and mouse. My MacBook Air did not, so I bought this hub to compensate. But after I got everything plugged in, the mouse and keyboard connected automatically without having to fool around in my Mac settings.

Credit: Alicia Kort

After years of using the flat Mac keyboard, it did take me a few days to get used to typing and using a mouse. I love the clickty-clack sound of the keys as I type — even if I’m just sending a Slack message, I feel like I’m doing something extremely important.

The reason I wanted a typewriter in the first place is because I am easily distracted by the Internet and pinging notifications of any kind. I thought I could benefit from not being connected directly to the World Wide Web. This set did increase my productivity more than I thought, because instead of going to sit and sink into my loveseat to work, I sit (or stand) at my desk. It feels like for the first time I have a designated space to focus in my one-bedroom apartment.

There’s a joy in setting up my workspace every day, instead of just unceremoniously opening my laptop. I also love looking down at the pop of color of the keyboard (I don’t usually opt for vibrant shades in my home decor design but this office accessory is my exception). It’s the only purchase I’ve made in the past year that has increased my serotonin levels. That said, there are definitely more practical and supportive keyboard sets out there, but I’d choose mine over those any day of the week.