Mantra behind orgy of screens: ‘Nothing exceeds like excess’ [Setups]

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Can you ever really have too many monitors?
Can you ever really have too many monitors?
Photo: KipKang@Reddit

A Mission Control-looking setup featuring an ultrawide monitor with a spacious screen above it and a portrait-oriented screen on either side of it was bound to get some attention — especially with ring lights sticking up from it like antennae. And it did.

“That just seems so excessive that it isn’t even funny,” one Redditor commented on KipKang’s post promoting his MacBook Pro setup and its relative orgy of displays. “I love it and I am jealous of it. Long winded way of saying NICE!”

“Thanks! ‘Nothing exceeds like excess,’” KipKang replied.

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Orgy of screens not just about excess

Another comment suggesting some setups on Reddit are getting out of hand — ahem, like maybe this one — prompted KipKang to justify his workspace in other terms

“Believe it or not … I use every inch of screen real estate while working … most of the time productively! Even use the top display for presenting due to some of the limitations of presenting from and ultra-wide display,” KipKang wrote.

What do you do with all those screens?

The central screen starring in KipKang’s show is his first ultrawide, and it’s quite the magnificent beast. It’s a Viotek SUW49C 49-Inch Super Ultrawide 32:9 Curved Monitor with speakers, running at a gaming-worthy 144 hz with a 3840 x 1080 pixel display.

As the post’s comments make clear, one of the main benefits of many screens is plenty of screen real estate. As KipKang pointed out, with that much space, he doesn’t have to move or minimize windows much.

Commenters seemed particularly curious about his uses for the big screen on top.

KipKang said he mostly plays video from YouTube TV or Netflix on it, in addition to running work presentations there.

“Presenting with the ultrawide has its drawbacks, so I’ll also use it as a sharing screen when I present in Webex or Zoom, etc.” he said. “Most of the time [the top screen runs] ambient programming … the news, The Price Is Right, Sportscenter.”

As far as the high placement of that top screen, it’s all about tilting it down. And it’s all relative, apparently. In the setup’s previous iteration, it was even higher in the mix.

“In my old office in the basement, I had this same display about 6 – 8 inches higher, it was much less convenient than it is now,” KipKang said. “Feels like staying close to the displays below and adding some tilt is my sweet spot.”

Connections and cables

KipKang uses a Belkin mini dock hanging in a cable management sleeve behind the desk as his main connection point between his MacBook Pro and the monitors, which are on Vivo desk mounts.

The ultrawide display and the unnamed 32-inch monitor above it run from the dock via two HDMI cables.  The 23-inch HP monitors in portrait mode on the sides are fed straight from the MacBook Pro via UBS-C to DisplayPort cables. A Thunderbolt 3 port on the laptop connects to power.

KipKang uses two power strips back at the back of the setup, one mounted under the desk with tape to power the monitors and another in the cable management skirt to power accessories.

The skirt is a Vivo 60-inch Under-Desk Privacy and Cable Management Organizer Sleeve. It certainly helps control the mess of cords that tend to result from such an orgy of screens.

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