If you can’t afford Apple’s Pro Display XDR, then what? [Setups]

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The custom-made redwood desk is nice, but the Pro Display XDR is stunning.
The custom-made redwood desk is nice, but the Pro Display XDR is stunning.
Photo: Caliform@Reddit.com

Gorgeous, high-definition monitors hold a place of honor in many a computer setup. And sometimes it’s several displays, actually. But we rarely come across one of the most amazing monitors out there: the Apple Pro Display XDR. Why? Well, it costs $6,000, for one thing. Or, if you’re lucky, not quite that much.

So if you’re not a wealthy or financially irresponsible person, what’s a reasonable alternative to the Pro Display XDR?

Today in Apple history: Apple reclaims top spot in education

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On this day in 1998, the world says
The easy-to-use iMac spurred Apple's return to dominance in schools.
Photo: Apple

July 9: Today in Apple history: Apple reclaims top spot in education July 9, 2001: Apple is named the No. 1 computer manufacturer in the education market, with twice as many machines in schools as runner-up Dell Computer.

It’s a big turnaround from a couple years earlier, when Dell overtook Apple and Steve Jobs was accused of abandoning this important market.

Think you’re productive? Go split-screen ultrawide +1 on the side [Setups]

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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.
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.
Photo: randomo_redditor@Reddit

Randomo_redditor runs her MacBook Pro and iPad with a monstrously wide Dell monitor, at 49 inches. But even that curved showstopper fails to provide enough real estate for all she does. So she added a 27-inch Dell display in portrait mode on the side.

Now she can fit everything on the screens. And we do mean everything. Randomo already made the most of her widescreen by using an app to split the screen into thirds, for different uses.

M1 MacBook Air handles dual external monitors [Setups]

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There's a trick to running dual external monitors with an M1 MacBook, but it's not very tricky.
There's a trick to running dual external monitors with an M1 MacBook, but it's not very tricky.
Photo: ImajiiMac@Reddit

One of the downsides you hear about the M1 MacBook Air and the M1 MacBook Pro is that they officially (natively) support just one external display in addition to the laptop’s screen, not dual external monitors.

Well, that may be true in the user manual. But Redditor ImajiiMac is among those discovering that “official” ain’t everything.

‘Mostly monochrome’ rig focuses on innovative storage, nice lighting, cool keyboards [Setups]

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It's amazing what you can do with a pegboard (left) and some inexpensive but effective lighting.
It's amazing what you can do with a pegboard (left) and some inexpensive but effective lighting.
Photo: carrotcakeblack@Reddit

Redditor carrotcakeblack wins more than a few style points for his “mostly monochrome! Also some keyboards” setup, as he calls it in his post’s title.

But he leaves out one of the factors visitors like most about his well-photographed MacBook Pro-based outfit. Namely, the way he hangs so much of his gear on a pegboard off to one side in such a visually appealing way.

Let there be lighted Zoom calls [Setups]

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You, too, can have a clean, well-lighted place for Zoom calls.
You, too, can have a clean, well-lighted place for Zoom calls.
Photo: UGenya806@Reddit

Redditor UGenya806, who works in marketing for San Francisco-based DocuSign in Germany, takes appearances on Zoom calls seriously. After all, their job has always been remote and will remain so, even when others return to offices following the COVID-19 pandemic.

UGenya806’s setup centers on an M1 Mac mini tethered to dual Dell 24-inch 4K monitors and a CalDigit TS3 Thunderbolt 3 Dock. The mini is connected wirelessly to a Magic Keyboard and a Magic Trackpad.

A stand-mounted MacBook Air rounds out the mix, but is usually used separately as a standalone machine, not with the peripherals.

Nice rig. Here are 28 ways to make it better. [Setups]

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If you want suggestions for how to improve a computer setup, just ask.
If you want suggestions for how to improve a computer setup, just ask.
Photo: No-Top-5065@Reddit

To be fair, when Redditor No-Top-5065 posted pics of their MacBook Air-based computer setup, they asked for suggestions on how to improve it.

“Any recommendation on how can I improve my desk setup? Not into gaming, work and study most of the time,” said the post’s headline.

Retired DJ and TV writer rocks head-spinning gear list [Setups]

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Three setups in one makes for hot fun in the Arizona sun.
Three setups in one makes for hot fun in the Arizona sun.
Photo: Tyler Botha

Arizona-based Tyler Botha, aka theallseeingeye on Reddit, is a TV-focused copywriter for a San Francisco startup and a retired pro DJ. The setup and epic gear list he sent to our attention does triple duty with a capable “WFH Desk,” a powerful “Gaming Corner” and a remarkably complete “DJ Desk.”

Talk about “complete.” Botha’s gear list, represented in the links below, is probably the longest one ever published in a Cult of Mac Setups article. You don’t have to be a DJ to appreciate it, but it helps.

It’s all in the swanky details and DIY touches [Setups]

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Some DIY touches and nice decor top off a highly functional setup.
Some DIY touches and nice decor top off a highly functional setup.
Photo: callum-edw@Reddit

While London-based dental student and Redditor callum-edw studies how to fix your teeth, maybe you should study how he builds a classy computer setup with solid tech plus a few swanky details and DIY touches.

Callum’s rig centers on a MacBook Air M1 tethered to a 24-inch Dell U2419HC UltraSharp external monitor.