This dual-display trick is not for everyone [Setups] | Cult of Mac

This dual-display trick is not for everyone [Setups]


You get a tall and narrow display when your portrait-mode (vertical) monitor is an ultra-wide.
You get a tall and narrow display when your portrait-mode (vertical) monitor is an ultra-wide.

As we know from looking at lots of computer setups, having at least two monitors is popular, and so is having at least one of those in portrait mode (vertical). But what if you have dual displays and both are ultra-wide screens? Turned on end, isn’t the one in portrait mode going to be awfully tall?

Today’s featured setup provides an answer to those questions. Here the MacBook Pro-centered setup features two 34-inch displays in different orientations.

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Tipped-over ‘T’: 2 ultra-wide displays, one vertical

Redditor Mykhartley02 (Myk) showed off his new arrangement in a post titled, “New work from home setup.”

The perpendicular layout of the screens is pronounced because they’re both wide screens, with the landscape-mode (horizontal) display right next to the portrait-mode one. It looks like a “T” laid on its side.

By the way, both are 34-inch LG 34WK650 UltraWide 21:9 monitors with 75Hz refresh rates, from 2018. They sit on an Eveo Premium Dual Monitor Stand and run into a Tobenone USB-C docking station made for pre-M1 MacBook Pro models and multiple monitors.

You might say the “T” works, though it’s probably not for everyone. The vertical screen seems tall and narrow. Perhaps 34 inches is about as big an ultra-wide that one would use this way. Imagine if both screens were gargantuan 49-inchers. You’d have to crane you neck to see up to the top of the vertical screen, assuming its lower end sat at about desk height.

Portrait-mode screens aren’t for everyone

Even if you think these 34-inch displays work this way, portait-mode screens don’t always work for everyone — no matter what size they are.

“I tried the portrait and landscape monitor layout,” said one commenter on the post. “I like the look but I couldn’t make it work. Too much of my content just worked better with both in landscape.”

Judging by what people tend to say about their uses of portrait-mode screens, their effectiveness increases only when used for certain tasks.

“I was not expecting to be able to keep one monitor vertical, but with things I use for work like Powershell, Slack and email, for me it worked better having the vertical monitor,” Myk replied.

Another commenter agreed, saying, “Reddit, emails, Discord/Slack, Spotify … I can’t imagine not having a vertical monitor in my setup.”

And then another person hit the nail on the head with their explanation.

“I used to do the vertical monitor as well,” they said. “It was great for things like Discord, Acrobat, a terminal window and anything I had to read ‘like a book.’ Right now my workflow doesn’t justify the vertical monitor but it really is a niche workflow.”

So, while including a monitor in portrait mode may make a setup look cool, it’s really only intended for certain uses, like coding.

In this view you get a better look at the mouse and wrist rests, plus other items on the desk.
In this view you get a better look at the mouse and wrist rests, plus other items on the desk.

Beware the overheating laptop

Myk keeps their MacBook Pro in clamshell (closed) mode on the back left corner of the desk, just behind the Blue Yeti microphone’s mount.

But Redditors spotted an issue straightaway.

“Oh please flip your laptop,” urged a commenter. “You are clogging the vents this way. The exhaust is blowing out into the stand now, it needs to blow up!”

“Don’t smother your laptop just because of the Apple logo orientation!” agreed another.

Myk said they planned to flip the MacBook. Not that it would have blown up, necessarily, but unblocking vents does help keep a laptop from overheating.

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If you would like to see your setup featured on Cult of Mac, send some high-res pictures to 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.



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