I didn't set out looking for a desk lamp, I was simply researching ways to provide a bit of extra light for my Android Police gadget photography. You know, for images like the ones you see on top of our articles. For weeks, nay months, I've been lost among the small LED panels, the portable photo studios, the huge light umbrella-looking thingies, and every apparatus in the middle of that range. Then it occurred to me that for one, Parisian apartments are small enough that I didn't have the space luxury to store big paraphernalia, and for two, maybe I just needed a small light or two to put near me when taking pics like... a bedside lamp or... a desk lamp?! Then I could also use them as a regular lamp too — what a novel idea!

Long story short, I ended up on Baseus' site trying to decide whether the rechargeable USB-C desk lamp or the magnetic under cabinet lamp was a better fit for my needs. In the end, the former won, and I'm glad it did, because it turned out to be a lot more versatile than I thought it would be.

But before talking about functionality, let's first address the design. I'm going to gush over a lamp, so please be ready for that. It looks gorgeous. It's so simple and elegant, aesthetically, with straight lines and rounded corners, but it also looks a bit modern or dare I say futuristic with its abstract tall columns. I have no qualms about it fitting perfectly well on a desk next to any Macbook, Pixelbook, or Surface computer. Plus, the front column can bend all the way down to reduce space and become an ambient night light, or rotate all the way up to transform into a blinding vertical light.

Left: Bent all the way down, great as an ambient night lightRight: Lifted all the way up.

Left: 3000KMiddle: 4500K. Right: 6000K.

Minimal features blend with minimal design here — there's nothing superfluous. A USB-C port on the back, a touch-sensitive power button that can be tapped repeatedly to toggle through three different light temperatures (3000K, 4500K, and 6000K) or long-tapped to adjust brightness, a light sensor next to it, and an auto-brightness switch on the bottom. Would I have preferred a more granular way of controlling brightness? Yes, but this long-tap gesture works well enough.

Cycling through different color temperatures and brightnesses.

What I hadn't anticipated, though, was how multi-purpose this simple desk lamp can be. First, I don't have to worry about keeping it plugged all the time, I just charge it every now and then with the USB-C cable that's already on my desk, and it can last up to 13 hours. Second, it works as an all-around light for everything, not just my Android Police gadget photography.

On a Meet call with my teammates? Rotate the column upward so it illuminates my face for video chats. Working a little later at night? Prop it up horizontally to provide some light around my desk and work area. In need of more light when taking photos for an article? Just grab it and move it to whichever table or surface I'm using as a photo-op background around the house, and adjust it however I want. The difference is not night and day, but it's just what I need to balance things out with the ambient light that's already in my apartment. And when I'm done, close it, and leave it be.

Left: Pixel 5, ambient light onlyRight: With the lamp, the area is better lit with fewer shadows.

Left: Marshall headphones, ambient light onlyRight: With the lamp, the headphone jack is clearer.

Left: Video call, ambient light onlyMiddle: Lamp at mid-brightness. Right: Full brightness.

There's no plugging or unplugging like with regular lamps, no funky DC chargers like the ones used by photo LED panels, no big umbrella contraption to unfold then store back — basically no friction whatsoever. (Sure, I realize it's not as powerful as the bigger setups, but it's all I really need for my photos.) So yes, I'm gushing over a desk lamp, but you see, it's so much more than a desk lamp. The only concern I have right now is whether I need another one, you know, because it'd clearly be better if I had two and could put them across each other.