Keeping it weird with a ‘dual-display laptop’ and an ortholinear keyboard [Setups]

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A portable monitor is mounted over the MacBook Pro's keyboard and an ortholinear-layout keyboard is the main input device.
A portable monitor is mounted over the MacBook Pro's keyboard and an ortholinear-layout keyboard is the main input device.
Photo: inperiuscici@Reddit.com

We see a lot of dual- and multi-display workstations here at Setups Central, but we can’t recall seeing a “dual-display laptop” or a “laptop monitor stack.” Those are terms we made up for a second portable display mounted under a laptop’s screen and on top of its keyboard, as in today’s featured setup.

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That may sound (and look) odd, but it works just fine if you have your laptop mounted open on a stand and you can jerry-rig a mount for the second monitor so it does no damage to the laptop keyboard underneath. That’s just what Redditor inperiuscici (let’s just say “Cici”) showed in their post, “My little corner is just simple like this.

And if the little stacked displays weren’t odd enough, they also use a mechanical keyboard with an ortholinear layout — another rarity. This appears to be the first one to appear in a Cult of Mac Setups article.

But first, note the Lego Wall-E

And we’d be remiss not to mention the Wall-e set from Lego on the left side of the photo, in the back. As some Redditors commented, it’s all they noticed, despite the setup’s other unusual features. The Wall-E model’s a beauty. You can buy RGB light sets for it, too, to make it really jump out at you.

Fun decor and cool toys can steal the thunder from even the most formidable setups.

Portable monitor

And now back to the setup’s main elements.

Cici bought a nifty little 14-inch Lenovo ThinkVision Full HD portable monitor and mounted it using a modified phone stand. They included a piece of foam to help keep the stand from pressing the MacBook’s space bar under the weight of the portable monitor.

The display features 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution and runs at a refresh rate of 60Hz. It offers DisplayPort and USB-C connectivity. You can pick up a new one for about $250.

“I’m impressed with its quality although it’s only FullHD display,” Cici said in reply to a question asking why choose a portable monitor over a full external display. “Lenovo tuned it pretty well so the texts and images are rendered [quite well] for me. I used to have a 23-inch display and I sold it to buy this one. There are many reasons I chose this portable display instead of a normal one. But in short, it fits all my needs.”

Ortholinear keyboard

The portable display sits right over the MacBook Pro’s keyboard. The keyboard isn’t in use, because Cici uses peripheral input devices, including a Logitech wireless mouse and a very unusual mechanical keyboard.

The mechanical keyboard is unusual because it features an ortholinear layout. The layout reduces the amount of finger movement needed to reach keys, increasing typing efficiency (once you get used to it).

“Ortholinear keyboards are designed to increase efficiency and reduce finger travel when typing,” reads Idobao’s description of Cici’s ID75 keyboard. “Though it’s large for an ortholinear board, the ID75 gives you free reign over every key — so, if you get good with it, it’s bound to make work and play a lot more fun and effective.”

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If you would like to see your setup featured on Cult of Mac, send some high-res pictures to info+setups@cultofmac.com. Please provide a detailed list of your equipment. Tell us what you like or dislike about your setup, and fill us in on any special touches or challenges.