Top selling tech essentials during lockdown

Staff Writer By Staff Writer - updated August 20th, 2021
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With New Zealand locked down under Alert Level 4 again, Kiwis have been heading online to stock up on the essential products they need to help them work, study and stay connected while at home.

As a result, PB Tech has been inundated with orders for essential goods from customers all over New Zealand.

Let’s take a look and see what people have been buying!

No big surprises in this list with home office essentials such as cables, printer paper, USB hubs, monitors and keyboards all featuring.

Just like the last lockdown when we reviewed these top selling essential products, the humble HDMI cable was still the most popular product sold. But, unlike the last lockdown, it's the more common 2M length that proved popular rather than the 5M length which was the star of the last lockdown.

Again Wi-Fi extenders were popular, but depending on the number of people and the size of your home you might also want to consider a mesh Wi-Fi setup which offers superior stability and coverage than traditional Wi-Fi extenders. 

Cables have been PB’s best-selling category during the latest lockdown by the number of unique orders placed.  Looking at the top 10 list, we see HDMI cables and DisplayPort cables to help people connect their new home office monitor; the trusty 20M network cable for when your Wi-Fi is not playing ball; USB Type C to USB Type C charging cables to suit modern Android phones, high end laptops and more; the USB Type A Male to Type B Male aka ‘the modern day printer cable’ which people often need as Wi-Fi enabled printers don’t usually come with them anymore; and finally the ever popular USB Type A to lightning charging cable which is used to connect and charge the myriad of Apple devices (but not those with the latest USB Type C charger, for that you will need this cable).

Computer monitors have been another super popular category at PB during this latest lockdown. The venerable 24” monitor remains as popular as ever, but with two different 27" monitors being the two most popular monitors bought, I think it's safe to say 27" is now the size that most people are turning to for a home office monitor as it's extra size enhances productivity and immersion compared to the 24" while still being reasonably affordable. If your budget allows, we do recommend considering an ultra-wide monitor as it offers extra screen real-estate making split screen multitasking a breeze.

With laptops being another top selling essential goods category (we’ll get to those in a minute) more and more people are realising the frustration those small laptop keyboards can cause if you are forced to use them all day. Let’s face it, a full-sized keyboard and mouse is nearly always a welcome addition to a laptop-based home office setup and Microsoft’s keyboard and mouse combos in particular have been flying off our (warehouse) shelves.

Being the hub of most home office setups, laptops have been another popular essential good during this lockdown. Let's take a look at some of the models that feature in the top 10 list.

The awesome new Apple MacBook Air with the new M1 chip is unsurprisingly our best seller. This model has been dominating sales in its category since it launched and even has this die-hard PC fan-boy thinking about turning to the dark side. It really is such a great device for working or studying from home with epic performance, super light weight and fantastic battery life.

Chromebooks also feature prominently, but these devices are really quite limited and while suitable for many school students, are not usually a good option for older students or for work from home applications. Popular Chromebook models include the Lenovo 100e Gen2 and the more versatile (and expensive) ASUS Chromebook Flip C214MA.

Next up on the list is the HP Pavilion GTX 1650 Gaming Laptop. I'm not sure if this model's popularity is due to people wanting a device that they can work / study on as well as play games, or whether they plan to do a lot of gaming this lockdown and not much work!

Microsoft's Surface Laptop Go also features strongly, with it's remarkably low price point, dependable performance and slick compact design, it is also a fantastic device to work or study on.

Rounding out the top 10 are some more powerful Windows based devices like the gaming focused ASUS TUF Laptop and the business-time Dell Latitude, HP ZBook Firefly 14 and HP Elitebook 840 G8.

You would think with all this lockdown enforced calling and conferencing that headset sales would be going crazy. And while we have definitely seen demand increase, interestingly it's headphones and earphones, albeit ones with built in microphones that are now proving to be one of our most popular essential goods categories. Why? Versatility. With many headphones now including microphones meaning they can function as headsets for all of your work-related calling and conferencing, they can also do a much better job than traditional headsets in providing rich clear audio suitable for listening to your favourite Spotify playlist or podcast. Check out this recently updated article, Amazing headphones that are also headsets.

I guess the paperless dream is still very much a dream since printers are proving to be very popular during this latest lockdown. I wonder if that's because people can't use the printer at the office to do their personal printing any more (or was that just me that likes to be a little naughty like that?).

Looking at the best selling models, The Brother MFCJ491DW Inkjet MFP is the most popular right now, likely due to its affordable price and the fact it contains all the functionality someone working or studying from home likely needs: printing, copying and scanning.

Those who already own a reliable and economical printer have also been snapping up printer ink and toner. If you're not sure what toner / ink your printer takes check out our consumables finder.

You home monitor doesn’t always play nice with your work laptop. Sometimes your new laptop doesn’t play nice with your old monitor. Can’t they all just get along and work well together? Well yes they can, with the right adapter.


So there we go, PB Tech’s top selling tech essentials during the latest Alert Level 4 lockdown so far. If you can’t find what you’re looking for and need some expert help, please do contact one of our team who would be happy to assist you. Stay safe New Zealand and keep washing those hands!

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Staff Writer

For the words, not the glory!

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