Connectivity tricks of a multi-display workstation [Setups]

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Oh, what a difference three external displays make.
Oh, what a difference three external displays make.
Photo: Cypher_27@Reddit.com

Not long ago we wrote about a person who fashioned an ergonomically healthy computer setup with little more than an M1 Pro MacBook. At the time, their fancy new display was still to-be-delivered, so they made-do without it. Now all the screens are in place and they make a magnificent workstation, with the MacBook running with one landscape-mode display and two portrait-mode monitors. It took some special connectivity tricks to make it happen.

Part 2: From PC pigsty to prim M1 Pro MacBook workstation [Setups]

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In round 2, I experiment with an open laptop stand, a mechanical keyboard with a wrist rest, a Magic Trackpad 2, an ergonomic mouse with a trackball and a monitor light bar.
In round 2, I experiment with an open laptop stand, a mechanical keyboard with a wrist rest, a Magic Trackpad 2, an ergonomic mouse with a trackball and a monitor light bar.
Photo: David Snow/Cult of Mac

I wrote recently about the shameful squalor of my previous “setup” — basically a borrowed PC laptop perched on a pile of junk — and my effort to build something worthwhile around a gleaming new 14-inch M1 Pro MacBook. Well, like a lot of people in the throes of building a computer setup, I found that second-guessing haunted me into buying a whole lot of alternative gear.

You know, for testing purposes. Trial and error. Not because of my apparent shopping addiction. Or not much, anyway.

No external monitor? Build an ergonomically correct setup around your laptop. [Setups]

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It may look complete, but this M1 MacBook Pro setup is waiting for a big secondary display.
It may look complete, but this M1 MacBook Pro setup is waiting for a big secondary display.
Photo: Cypher_27@Reddit.com

From time to time, as you work on making your computer setup all it can be, you order new equipment. And maybe it takes a long time to arrive. Perhaps “supply chain” issues intervene. And if that piece of equipment is your workstation’s visual centerpiece — the magnificent display, placed just so for graphical and ergonomic bliss — then what do you do, when you have no external monitor?

Do you hunch over your laptop until your neck and your back and everything else hurts? Not necessarily.

Why go with stacked displays? [Setups]

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People wonder why one monitor isn't set vertically (portrait) rather than way up high. Well, there's a reason for that.
People wonder why one monitor isn't set vertically (portrait) rather than way up high. Well, there's a reason for that.

When you see people online showing off their computer setups with dual displays, you often see side-by-side horizontal monitors (landscape mode). Sometimes you see a horizontal screen and a vertical one (portrait mode). And sometimes you see stacked displays, with one landscape-oriented monitor mounted on top of another.

Sometimes you see the stack because of space issues, where there’s simply no room to either side of the setup. Other times you see a stack when someone wants to run four or five displays. And there are cases where the user couldn’t get one monitor to work in portrait mode, so they had to have both screens in landscape mode.

The beauty of monitor and laptop stands (and a Hulk cord holder) [Setups]

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When you don't a big desk, stands for monitor and laptop are great space-savers.
When you don't a big desk, stands for monitor and laptop are great space-savers.
Photo: dhudong@Reddit.com

In the world of computer setups, space is often at a premium. When you’ve got computers, displays, peripherals, gadgets and cables, you need some surface area. But not everyone has a big desk, much less more than one. That’s where certain types of stands and mounting arms come in handy.

New Keychron Q1 brings keyboard customization to the masses

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Even a beginner can customize the new Keychron Q1 mechanical keyboard.
Even a beginner can customize the new Keychron Q1 mechanical keyboard.
Photo: Keychron

Those who love the old-school touch and feel of a mechanical keyboard have long-admired Keychron for its range of K-series keebs. The newest member of the family offers a new series name, Q1, an affordable price and more customization than the company has yet put out there.

Should you put a keyboard cover on a MacBook Pro? [Setups]

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Note the cool-looking keyboard cover on the MaBook pro at left.
Note the cool-looking keyboard cover on the MaBook pro at left.
Photo: whatsyourname@Reddit.com

When a computer setup is as clean and spare as Redditor whatsyourname’s, the eye tends to go to the most unusual item. In this case, it’s probably the colorful keyboard cover on the MacBook Pro, making it look like some other model of laptop.

And, of course, what did commenters most want to talk about in the setup? That thing. Naturally, a little bit of a debate ensued. Should you use a keyboard cover on a MacBook at all?

No need to overthink it (or overpay for it) [Setups]

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A solid M1 MacBook Air and widescreen setup gets things done.
A solid M1 MacBook Air and widescreen setup gets things done.
Photo: floridatastic@Reddit.com

Redditor floridatastic, who probably dwells in The Sunshine State, said they spent a while as a “serial lurker” on the macsetups subreddit. But after rebuilding a home workstation centered on an M1 MacBook Air, the time came to to take the gear public.