Some computer setups are so strikingly beautiful they look like art installations. That tends to happen more with multiple-display setups because the imagery on the screens really adds to the aesthetic impact.
Today’s featured M1 Mac mini setup makes a visual statement using six displays, including two ultra-wide monitors and two iPads, plus some clever backlighting.
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M1 Mac mini enjoys festival of screens: dual 34-inch LG 4K displays, 2 iPads, Echo Show 5 and Asus Zenscreen
Redditor darushe (“Dar”) showcased the beautiful workspace in a post entitled, “My M1 Setup.” The M1 Mac mini makes no appearance in the photograph, but you can’t miss those six screens.
“This setup has taken my a couple years to work on, and more money than I should probably admit, but it’s my happy place,” Dar said.
He uses a CalDigit TS3 dock to connect the Mac mini to two 34-inch LG ultra-wide monitors featuring 21:9 aspect ratio plus HDR 10 and AMD Free Sync technologies. On each of those sits a BenQ Screen Bar monitor light. And behind each one, Philips Hue smart lights illuminate the wall, creating an appealing backlighting effect.
Dar’s 12.9-inch iPad Pro running iPadOS 16 connects to an Asus Zenscreen portable external monitor. An iPad mini running iPadOS16 sits in the mix, as does an Echo Show 5 smart display with camera.
“All controlled by a single mouse and keyboard thanks to Universal Control. Maximum multitasking!” Dar enthused.
Those input devices are a Logitech MX Master 3 wireless mouse and the black versions of a Magic Trackpad and Magic Keyboard, by the way.
Why so many screens?
A couple of commenters asked Dar what he does with so many displays.
He had a comprehensive answer:
So it kind of varies during the day depending on what I’m working on, but typically what I do is have a calendar pulled up on the iPad mini with a day view so I can keep track of my day, the iPad pro will have Slack or Messages, the portable monitor will have Trello or another project-management program, and I usually have a couple windows open on the main monitors.
I use different Chrome profiles for work/personal, so I’ll usually have a couple of those pulled up, in addition to Safari, Reddit chat, music, Excel/Google sheets, etc. Sometimes it’s easier to have two windows pulled up on the same monitor for reference. Also helps with coursework/research.
An more specifically, people wondered why he has two iPads.
“I use the iPad Pro like a laptop and I use the iPad mini for watching movies and other things. I bought them at different times and I travel so the mini is nice on the plane,” Dar explained.
Using Universal Control
“Did you get Universal control working vertically?” a commenter asked. “I also have an iPad under my displays, but could only get Universal Control to work on the left or right edge of my Mac’s displays.”
Another commenter chimed in:
“I’ve got mine running vertically! Only issue is when I try to drag and drop an image down from Mac to iPad it’s easy to drag it past the multitasking toggle or the top right corner which activates Control Center. Minor annoyances though. This is on the newest available version of Monterey and iPadOS (not beta).”
“Works for me, sometimes buggy, but I’m also on the beta software so not sure if that’s the culprit,” Dar added.
Shop these items now:
Displays and related gear:
- 34-inch LG 34WK650 Monitors
- BenQ ScreenBar
- AVLT Monitor Arm
- VIVO Mini PC Mount (for the dock system on the back of one monitor)
- Asus Zenscreen Portable Monitor
Accessories and lighting:
If you would like to see your setup featured on Cult of Mac, send some high-res pictures to email@example.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.