Quntis

Can removing a 4K external display count as an upgrade? [Setups]

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MacBook Pro setup with LG UltraFine monitor on stand
Once again, a monitor riser (and other updates) elevates a computer setup.
Photo: jonyoungmusic@Reddit.com

Multiple-display computer setups are all the rage, but can a workstation benefit from losing one of its external monitors, even one with 4K resolution?

If today’s featured MacBook Pro rig is any indication, yes, it can — especially if the outfit sees a bunch of other cool upgrades at the same time, like a cool new monitor riser, an open stand for the MacBook Pro and a great new office chair.

Super-cool vertical Mac mini stand does it all [Setups]

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M1 Mac mini setup features vertical stand with SSD enclosure and 5-in-1 USB-C hub.
The unobtrusive vertical stand holding up the Mac mini at right does a lot.
Photo: eljelipe@Reddit.com

Mac mini, Apple’s small-but-mighty desktop machine, does a lot of things well — especially the M1 and newer models. They make bigger desktop computers unnecessary for people who don’t need truly massive computing power.

And today’s featured M2 Mac mini user found a way to greatly expand his computer’s capabilities with a vertical stand that also saves space on the desk.

Try this cool way to mount iPad for use with Sidecar [Setups]

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The little iPad holder makes using Sidecar or Universal Control a cinch.
The little iPad holder makes using Sidecar or Universal Control a cinch.
Photo: casualhostile320@Reddit.com

While many folks like to have miles of screen real estate with multiple external monitors, some enjoy simply having their iPad’s screen in tandem with their main screen, especially for use with Sidecar or Universal Control.

Today’s clean and well-lighted MacBook Pro setup mounts an iPad with the main monitor in a neat way while hiding away the laptop. 

Portrait-mode monitor and classic Apple poster pump up workstation [Setups]

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Adding a second 27-inch monitor in portrait mode enhanced the setup. And look at that classic PowerBook G4 poster!
Adding a second 27-inch monitor in portrait mode enhanced the setup. And look at that classic PowerBook G4 poster!
Photo: jonyoungmusic@Reddit.com

Adding a second or third external display in portrait mode can really enhance a computer setup and its workflow. The owner of today’s featured MacBook Pro setup lucked into a second monitor and set it up vertically. Many people find the orientation suits certain tasks, like coding or reading email.

And who doesn’t love a classic Apple poster? Don’t miss the nice framed PowerBook G4 poster on the wall above the desk in the photograph above.

Do this if you want to massively improve audio quality [Setups]

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The DAC is the little gadget to the left of the monitor.
The DAC is the little gadget to the left of the monitor.
Photo: spjdm2@Reddit.com

If you’re at all into audio equipment, you’ve probably heard of a digital-to-analog converter, or DAC. You might think it’s a fancy thing for rich audiophiles. But, actually, even you already have a few DACs if you have gadgets that make sound, like a computer, tablet and smartphone.

But not every DAC is created equal. Today’s featured MacBook Pro setup illustrates the point by going to the trouble of adding a standalone DAC in between a laptop and a pair of excellent powered speakers.

‘Look, ma, no Mac mini’ (but yes, crazy keyboard and backward trackpad) [Setups]

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The Mac mini is mounted behind the monitor. And, yeah, the Magic Trackpad in the middle of the split keyboard is backwards on purpose.
The Mac mini is mounted behind the monitor. And, yeah, the Magic Trackpad in the middle of the split keyboard is backwards on purpose.
Photo: sampledecoration@Reddit.com

Sometimes you see one thing that seems quietly radical about a computer setup, only to find out it’s full of even weirder tweaks.

Today’s featured setup is a good example. It hides a Mac mini behind a display. But in front of the display, a wildly split mechanical keyboard surrounds a Magic Trackpad turned backward — on purpose!

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

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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.
Photo: Mykhartley02@Reddit.com

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.

Before and after: Out with (some of) the old, in with (the best of) the new [Setups]

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In the after photo, a new LG 4K monitor replaces the Cinema Display.
In the after photo, a new LG 4K monitor replaces the Cinema Display, among other key changes.
Photo: jonyoungmusic@Reddit.com

When you spend a third or more of your waking hours all but chained to a computer setup, you might as well make it a pleasant place to spend time. That’s what most of Cult of Mac‘s Setups coverage is all about, really — glorifying both the high-tech performance and the stylish comfort that ease your enslavement to whatever it is you do with tech.

Today’s 14-inch M1 Pro MacBook Pro-based featured setup shows a “before and after” transition. Musician and Salesforce consultant Jon Young said a revamp of his wife’s “nicer and more spacious” work area inspired his changes. “Mine just has more gadgets lol,” he said.

What good are monitor light bars? [Setups]

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What good is a monitor light bar? Time to shed some light on the matter.
What good is a monitor light bar? Time to shed some light on the matter.
Photo: Strigga@Reddit

When you look at lots of computer setups people pimp out on social media, you see the same questions cropping up among the comments. One common query: What good are monitor light bars? And what are they for, exactly?

It came up again the other day when Redditor Strigga posted about their MacBook Pro-based setup. Almost at the same time, we saw it again in Maize-Calm’s post about finishing up a setup with, guess what, a light bar.

Mac mini M1 forces 2020 MacBook Pro into early retirement [Setups]

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Two smart monitors with matching light bars easily run off a Mac mini M1.
Two smart monitors with matching light bars easily run off a Mac mini M1.
Photo: TimTheEnchanterz@Reddit

You see it every year. Accomplished, vibrant computers that still have a lot to offer are cast aside in favor of hard-charging young upstarts more than willing to take somebody’s job.

In the case of React developer TimTheEnchanterz (on Reddit), a MacBook Pro from just last year lost its job to a bright new Mac mini M1 boasting 16GB of unified memory and effortless connection to two external displays.

Such a shame. It’s not clear from the post, but the poor 2020 MBP probably had to shuffle off in search of a new taskmaster on r/hardwareswap, eBay or — say it ain’t so — Craigslist.