‘Small’ MacBook Pro rig punches well above its weight [Setups]


MacBook Pro setup
Despite appearances, there's really a lot going on here.
Photo: dartiss@Reddit.com

Isn’t it great when someone on social media humbly displays a well put-together and complete computer setup that makes yours look like random debris? Well, at least it’s a good learning opportunity. And today’s MacBook Pro setup is an exceptional example, as it doesn’t look like “all that” — even though it is.

At a glance you might not guess that it packs about two dozen components, and the user is happy to explain how he uses most of them.

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‘Small’ MacBook Pro rig’s 20+ pieces of gear make it more than meets the eye

Redditor dartiss (“Dart”) showcased the prim-but-well-equipped setup in a post entitled, “My small home office set-up.” On a sit/stand motorized desk, he’s got a 14-inch M1 Pro MacBook Pro in a Twelve South BookArc vertical laptop stand.

“There [are] just two cables coming in — USB-C connector that plugs into my monitor, and the MagSafe power cable,” Dart said.

The monitor is a 32-inch LG UltraFine UN880-B 4K display with a BenQ ScreenBar Halo light on top. A desktop remote controls the light. Also atop the screen sits a Logitech StreamCam, plugged into the back of the monitor.

“There’s no stand, but a multi-direction arm that clamps to the edge of the desk, freeing up space,” he said of the display. “It has a 2-port USB-C hub and speakers.”

And when someone asked about the display, he added this:

It’s… okay. When using HDR it’s not very bright but also the cable tidying part of it doesn’t work particularly well (which you can see if you zoom into that picture). Cables go down the pole mount but, unless the mount is put centre, the cable exit is turned, exposing the cables coming out. Unfortunately, if you place it centre, the monitor sits too far forward (which I guess is another issue here – that angled arm on the back isn’t as flexible as I’d like). I had an LG 5K before and miss it.

Attached to the underside of the monitor on the right sits a 4-port USB 3.0 hub, which Dart uses as a quick way to plug in USB-A devices to his MacBook. And he also uses a 7-port USB-C hub hidden in a cable tray under the desk.

A plethora of other devices

And he’s got reason for the hubs for use with various devices, among the many rounding out his full-service setup, as he describes them:

Audio gear:

  • Creative Pebble V3 USB-C speakers. “I connect with Bluetooth and use the USB-C for powering it. I use these speakers for video calls and general laptop output.”
  • OG HomePod. “This has a great sound and I mainly use it for listening to music, connected directly to the Apple Music app on my laptop. All other sound is directed through the monitor speakers.”
  • Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ Microphone, shock mount and pop filter.
  • Elgato Wave Mic Arm LP. “LP stands for ‘low profile,’ so the arm sites more horizontal than the usual ‘up and over’ of most microphone arms. This is great. I just push it to the side when I don’t need it. It’s also incredibly well built too, with magnetic cable covers.”


  • Magic Keyboard with Touch ID and Magic Trackpad 2. “I prefer the trackpad over the mouse (yes, I do have one), and is still my original, now 7 years old. The keyboard is new, now sporting the Touch ID (which has allowed me to keep my laptop closed).”
  • [Elgato] Stream Deck+. “Intended for streamers, it’s also got a life outside of that too. Everything from simple shortcuts to video editor controls, the tactile buttons and touch screen of this version makes it a worthy upgrade.”

Furniture and cable management:

  • Humanscale task chair. “My chair is the rather comfy Humanscale Diffrient World. All mesh and very simply built, I’d recommend it.”
  • A “rather splendid” sit/stand desk with adjustable height controls. “This is the DeskRite 300, but with the added extra of replacement, brushed steel, inserts. However, what’s under the desk is also of interest …”
  • “Underneath, at the rear, is a metal cage/tray, which is used for tidying cables, as well as to store the monitor PSU.”
  • “A 7-port, powered USB hub also sits inside the cage. This plugs into a USB-C port in the back of the monitor.”
  • “Next to the cage is an under-desk mounted 7-way power strip. This means that only a single cable goes from the desk to the floor, which on a desk that can be raised and lowered, is a God-send.”


  • Eve light strip. “An Eve strip light lines the outside of my desk (well, the rear part of it so they’re not visible from the front). Controllable from both my phone but also my Stream Deck.
  • Govee Glide Hexa light panels. “[They] add a dash of colour to the wall. I often have these set up to light up based on music but otherwise can be used to add a warm glow to the room.”


  • Belkin BoostCharge Pro, “keeps my iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods wireless charged with ease. Whilst working, my iPhone magnetically snaps to it on landscape mode, making use of the Standby Mode.”
  • ShuttleXpress video jog/shuttle. “I like video editing but this can actually be configured to control any app, so it’s great for simple shortcut keys, etc.”
  • Nordik Vegan Leather Desk Mat (blue)
  • Pegboards for wall storage

And if you like the wallpaper showing on the display, you can find it in macOS Sonoma.

Shop these items now:

Computer, stand and hubs:

Display, mount, light and webcam:

Input devices:



Furniture 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, challenges and plans for new additions.

2021 14-inch M1 Pro MacBook Pro

Apple's powerful M1 Pro MacBook Pro with a 14-inch display features an 8-core CPU and a 14-core GPU.

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03/08/2024 12:30 am GMT


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