Want to make your monitor float in space? Try this. [Setups] | Cult of Mac

Want to make your monitor float in space? Try this. [Setups]

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That display is not wall mounted. And it's not levitating, either. It just looks like it is.
That display is not wall mounted. And it's not levitating, either. It just looks like it is.
Photo: jck1634@Reddit.com

Who doesn’t love good optical illusions? And they’re especially cool when they result from an unexpected action that works as well as the expected action. Today’s featured computer setup surprised us with a floating display.

Thing is, though, the screen is not mounted on the wall. And it’s not levitating, either.

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Beautiful photograph

Redditor jck1634 (JCK)posted about their rather sleek and design-y workstation in a post titled, “My hobbyist photography setup.” It’s a beautiful rig based around a new 14-inch M1 Max MacBook Pro.

But we found the post spare not only in its black-and-white photograph’s beauty, but in its lack of details about some of the gear. Luckily, some of our questions received answers.

The handsome monitor riser/shelf is an Ikea Bersghult shelf placed on some DIY legs from Amazon. The substantial-looking webcam, hard to ID in silhouette, is a Logitech StreamCam. The cushy desk mat is a DeltaHub Minimalist Desk Pad. The iPod-looking thingy to the left of the monitor is a MagSafe charger.

And the item in front of the keyboard — which does not look like it’s just a wrist rest because it’s flat, deep and has buttons — turned out to be a Wacom Intuos Pro Digital Graphic Drawing Tablet used for photography.

We list the gear with links below to the extent possible.

The trick to making your monitor float in space

In terms of subject matter, the main thing that grabs the viewer about the photograph is probably the floating monitor. It’s a high-end 32-inch LG 32UL950 UltraFine 4K display. It gets 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution with a refresh rate of 60Hz.

JCK pointed out they got a great deal on it and it’s sharp, color-accurate but has “awful” speakers.

“I had an iMac 5k Retina display before this and I honestly think the difference in pixel density (to my eyes anyway ) is minimal,” they added.

“Clean floating monitor,” said one commenter. “Have it on a wall mount?”

“Oh no, it’s on a monitor arm from Fully,” replied JCK. “It’s white and I painted the cable management plastic white and used a white sleeve around the cables. Plus the light in the back means you can barely see it.”

So there you have it. It’s a neat trick. If you want to make your display appear to be wall-mounted or even levitating, just make the arm and cables match the wall behind it so it’s hard to see the arm. Even in person the optical illusion probably works.

Input devices: no mouse needed

In another little surprise with this setup, there’s no mouse. You don’t see a setup lacking a mouse everyday. In fact, in our Setups coverage, I’d say we see more with both a mouse and a trackpad for input than we see with just a trackpad.

JCK uses a Keychron K2 wireless mechanical keyboard with a Magic Trackpad 2. And the Wacom Intuos Pro is also an input device, of course. JCK noted they’re just as comfortable on the Keychron K2 as a Magic Keyboard — a sentiment we don’t hear very often. Keyboard enthusiasts are often partisan regarding mechanical versus membrane.

Paired HomePod minis for stereo sound

Also note the paired stereo HomePod minis flanking the monitor at the back of the Ikea Idasen standing desk. And to go with that high-quality audio.

A commenter asked is JCK experienced any of the sound lag people talk about with HomePod minis. In response, JCK offered a succinct but informative review not just on the lack of lag, but on a lot of other factors:

Hand on my heart I haven’t experienced any kind of delay in the slightest. I’m not an audiophile but I’ve tried a few 2.0 speakers (audionengine a2+ being the most expensive) and the HomePod minis in stereo mode are hands down the best bang for your buck speakers. I honestly can’t speak highly enough for them. Less than £200 for the pair. Great audio quality. Really large sound stage for their size and if you push them up against a wall then a surprising amount of bass. Not to mention the added functionality of being smart speakers with HomeKit support (intercom is really handy in my house!) that auto switches between my desk’s Apple TV and Mac depending on which one I’m using for content.

Shop these items now:

Computer:

Display:

Input devices:

Stereo and TV:

Furniture, accessories and lighting:

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.