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Good monitor arms ‘go a long way’ [Setups]


Mac Studio setup with three mounted displays
This user swears by the arms his 4 displays are mounted on.
Photo: TheJTizzle@Reddit.com

Sure, you can buy a computer monitor and set it up on the stand that came in the box. But what if you want to easily move the external display around? And what if you want to have multiple screens and move them around?

Keeping monitors up off the desk and mobile can really improve your setup. And the best way to do that is to mount your screens on arms. It takes some effort, but as today’s user points out below, it’s worth it.

Dual 5K displays and giant DIY desk distinguish this rig [Setups]


MacBook Pro setup
Cleaned, reorganized and beautifully underlit, this MacBook Pro and Studio Display rig is ready for work in the new year.
Photo: dominicmannphoto@Reddit.com

People often compare LG’s UltraFine 5K display to Apple’s Studio Display because they’re directly comparable, with the same size and resolution. But rarely do you find the two in the same setup. That makes today’s dual MacBook Pro and dual 5K display setup something of a rarity.

That, along with the rarely seen Wacom drawing tablet and the truly massive DIY desk, fashioned from a kitchen countertop and mechanized legs.

Designer calls in M2 Ultra Mac Studio to handle CG renders [Setups]


That M1 Max Mac Studio is about to get replaced for not quite handling renders.
That M1 Max Mac Studio is about to get replaced for not quite handling renders.
Photo: Complete-Fix-3526@Reddit.com

It seemed only yesterday M1 Max Mac Studio showed up as the new powerhouse in town, ready to take on all tasks. But in today’s featured setup, it’s on the chopping block for failing to handle heavy-duty rendering work for animated films well enough. The designer running the setup eagerly awaits an M2 Ultra Mac Studio.

Meanwhile, he uses Universal Control to pair his powerful desktop with an M1 iMac for basic tasks and relies on massive amounts of external storage for his humongous files.

New Studio Display prompts cable cleanup in killer workstation [Setups]


Once he added a Studio Display to the 5K LG screen, Mann decided to clean up the cable clutter.
Once he added a Studio Display to the 5K LG screen, Mann decided to clean up the cable clutter.
Photo: dominicmannphoto@Reddit.com

Getting great new gear for your computer setup has more than just the obvious benefit of awesomeness. Sometimes it’s the perfect reason to improve your setup in ways most people put off, like the dreaded cleaning up of cable clutter.

That’s what happened with today’s featured dual-display-and-M1 Max MacBook Pro setup. The user finally got his new Studio Display, and good things followed in the terms of taming the cable monster.

Super-clean MacBook Air rig shrugs off all distractions [Setups]


Solid cable management helps keep this MacBook Air setup clean.
Solid cable management helps keep this MacBook Air setup clean.
Photo: kevohreal@reddit.com

Some of the best computer setups look a little boring at a glance. But that’s just because they include only essential gear and they keep it well lit and free of cable (and other) clutter.

Today’s featured M1 MacBook Air setup is a good example. And that’s not to say it’s plain or overly simple. You can see that in  the well-thought-out gear list below, which features 19 items.

If you’re anti-mouse and anti-trackpad, what device can you use? [Setups]


That thing in the foreground is a Wacom Intuos Pro M tablet.
That thing in the foreground is a Wacom Intuos Pro M tablet.
Photo: happy_haircut

Some people dislike using a mouse. Others can’t fathom a trackpad. And believe it or not, some folks hate both. So what do they do to get their brilliant thoughts onto the computer screen?

Knowing it’s hard to get by in life on just a keyboard, what input device can they use in addition to it? As today’s featured computer setup illustrates, they might try using a certain tablet like it’s a cross between a trackpad and a mouse.

Designer’s MacBook Pro-driven office swims in Apple collectibles [Setups]


A MacBook Pro and a 4K LG display anchor Smelker's setup.
A MacBook Pro and a 4K LG display anchor Smelker's setup.
Photo: Terry Smelker

Graphic designer and illustrator Terry Smelker’s workstation includes many interesting elements, like a specialized drawing tablet and a multimedia controller he uses along with his tricked-out MacBook Pro. But even if you’re not curious about his setup proper, get a load of that Apple gear collection! Fortunately, he provided plenty of photographs.

“I’ve always been a huge fan of Apple’s design aesthetic,” he told Cult of Mac. And that started him on his collection of vintage Apple products, which complements the rest of his gear.

Which monitor gets the boot when the new Studio Display shows up? [Setups]


One of these two displays is not long for this setup.
One of these two displays is not long for this setup.
Photo: dominicmannphoto@Reddit.com

The Mac Studio desktop computer and Studio Display came out on March 18 to (mostly) good reviews. And they’re showing up all over the place in people’s computer setups — especially the displays, according to our unscientific observations, as we scour the internets for interesting gear.

Today’s featured setup is a dual-display workstation. The owner said he’s expecting a new Studio Display to arrive soon. Sounds like it already shipped.

He said he’s going to stick with two screens, so which one of his current monitors is going bye-bye?

We’re already salivating about iPhone 14 [The CultCast]


The CultCast, a weekly Apple podcast: New iPhone 14 rumors get us excited about 2022.
New iPhone 14 rumors get us excited about 2022.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: Our 2022 hopes are up, up and away on the latest rumors about what new features iPhone 14 Pro might bring. The camera sounds like it will once again deliver impressive gains, but it’s the potential for an iPhone 4-style makeover that’s really got us drooling.

Also on The CultCast:

  • New Apple displays on the horizon?
  • Dying AirPods … and amazing deals on replacements.
  • Alex E. Heath’s goggle-eyed moment during his interview with The Matrix stars.
  • More of our product picks in Gear of the Year.

Listen to this week’s episode of The CultCast in the Podcasts app or your favorite podcast app. (Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review if you like it!) Or watch the video livestream, embedded below.

What Apple’s got up its sleeve for 2022 [The CultCast]


What Apple's got up its sleeve for 2022 [The CultCast]
This is where Apple's puck is going next year. Probably.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: It sounds like Apple has some really big plans for 2022. We’re psyched about some things, skeptical about others, but definitely shining up our Apple Cards.

Also on The CultCast:

  • Snap Spectacles, as modeled by Alex E. Heath.
  • Anxiously awaiting the end of the “notch.”
  • AppleCare+ getting a fear-based boost?
  • More of our Gear of the Year picks.

Listen to this week’s episode of The CultCast in the Podcasts app or your favorite podcast app. (Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review if you like it!) Or watch the video livestream, embedded below.

Win a Wacom Intuos Pro creative pen tablet [Cult of Mac giveaway]


Intuos Pro
This slim pen tablet is designed to create.
Photo: Wacom

If you fancy yourself an artist, this giveaway is for you. Cult of Mac is giving one lucky winner an Intuos Pro tablet with pen from Wacom, the global leader in the pen display and tablet market. You can connect it via Bluetooth or USB to your Mac (or PC), and use it to draw, paint or retouch photos.

Art is excellent for mental health. So boost your self-esteem by drawing and painting on your Mac. If you want a sense of accomplishment that a finished creation can give, make sure to enter our giveaway.

Unleash your inner artist with $50 off the Wacom Intuos graphics tablet for Mac


Wacom Intuos graphics tablet for Mac
Prices start at just $79.95.
Photo: Wacom

Create a masterpiece on your Mac with up to $50 off the highly rated Wacom Intuos graphics tablet. You can draw, design, and paint with more precision than ever before — and for a lot less.

This post contains affiliate links. Cult of Mac may earn a commission when you use our links to buy items.

This amazing video-editing setup is Hollywood-grade [Setups]


Check out this mouth-watering setup
This wfh setup is truly incredible.
Photo: @theqazman

Waqas Qazi may be a freelance Hollywood colorist, but his desk setup is worthy of an emperor. His jaw-dropping rig boasts three monitors to play with, and a trio of bookshelf speakers to pump out the audio. Plus, he has a DaVinci Resolve Mini Panel, for color-grading and editing, and the Elgato Stream Deck XL, which is great for multitasking.

And don’t forget that cheese-grater Mac Pro!

The ultimate PC replacement? Wacom Companion 2 [Reviews]


A tablet that I can actually work on.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The 9.7-inch iPad Pro was titled the ‘Ultimate PC replacement’ by Apple, and for a lot of people it is. But for myself, mainly working within the creative world designing graphics, editing videos and conjuring up visual effects — this isn’t really possible on the iPad Pro yet.

But I think I’ve found the solution in the form of Wacom’s latest tablet, the Cintiq Companion 2.

Check out my full video review below.

5 iPad Pro apps creatives should download now


iPad Pro
You should build something on all of that real estate the iPad Pro is giving you.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Apple’s massive iPad Pro tablet is finally getting into the hands of the waiting public, and now all that remains is the small matter of how to make the most of its 13-inch screen.

The company has been pushing its new hardware to creators and enterprise. And while we’re guessing that most artists and professional designers and artists who already owned iPads have a favorite app or two, newbies picking up the latest for its huge screen and fancy Apple Pencil stylus might be at a loss with where to look.

Here are some of our picks for iPad Pro apps to start getting your creati-on.

Why Apple Pencil blows away Wacom Cintiq


The Apple Pencil makes drawing on an iPad Pro incredibly precise.
The Apple Pencil makes drawing on an iPad Pro incredibly precise.
Photo: Apple

This is a guest post by Linda Dong, a graphics expert and former designer at Apple. It originally appeared on her personal website.

A lot of hesitation (or dismissal) of the new Apple Pencil seems to stem from people’s belief that the Wacom Cintiq, currently regarded as the pinnacle of professional drawing stylus/surface design, is superior in performance and design at a similar price.

😩 *sigh*

Quite plainly, the Cintiq sucks in comparison. And I’ve been using them for years for industrial design sketching, UI and art. Let’s compare the experience:

Painter X3: A Complete Art Studio At Your Fingertips [Deals]



Whether you’re an illustrator, concept artist, traditional artist, professional photographer, or designer, Corel® Painter® X3 will give you all the tools you need to unlock new artistic possibilities.

As digital art continues to make its way into the mainstream, Painter is about as realistic as it gets, and an invaluable resource for any artist. If you are making the move from traditional to digital, Painter will make the transition as painless as possible. And Cult of Mac Deals has it for 30% off for a limited time — just $299!

iPad Accessories For Artists


The NeoLucida lets you trace images from real life.

So you have your iPad and your apps, and you even arranged a bowl of fruit/nude model (delete as applicable). But what about hardware? After all, only stupid babies fingerpaint, right?

If you’re doing a lot of iPad painting, you should pick some kind or drawing tool. But what kind? Styluses can be had as dumb pencils, as brushes or even in Bluetooth pressure-sensitive versions.

And then there are the other accessories that’ll make painting a little easier.

Wacom ICS

fig 1wacom-fall-07

Wacom makes the best graphics tablets for Mac and PC and now it wants to do the same for the iPad. The Bamboo stylus is already my favorite iPad stylus, but the ICS, or Intuos Creative Stylus goes one better with pressure sensitivity.

The iPad’s screen is binary in terms of touches: It might detect multiple fingers, but they’re either touching or not. So the pen itself has to measure how hard you’re pressing and send that info to the iPad. In the case of the ICS, this is done via a low-power Bluetooth 4 connection, with the pen communicating 2048 levels of pressure. This wireless connection also means you can use the button on the side to control various functions: undo/redo for example, or to pop up a color picker.

The ICS uses a single AAA battery, has a replaceable nib, and comes in a natty box which carries extra batteries and nibs.

This, as they say, is the Rolls Royce of styluses.

Price $100

Jot Tote Case

jot tote

You have your pens and pencil, but what about somewhere to keep them? A pencil case is traditional, and the Wacom comes with one. But Adonit’s Jot Tote case is made to hold your iPad and also let you clip on a stylus. And while it’s designed for Adonit’s own Jot, you can use it with pretty much any pen-shaped object.

The case is a rear shell with a grippy finish, and on the back is a steel strip which slides out of the side and grabs onto the pen, holding it both safe and handy until you need it. This might not be strictly necessary, but for serial pen-losers it’ll be sure to save you some cash.

Price: $50

Nomad Brushes

fig 3 nomad

While a pen is nice and all, nothing quite beats the feel of a good hogs-hair brush when you’re smearing on the oils. When I first saw a Nomad capacitive brush years ago, I thought it was just a gimmick. Then I tried one, and I loved it. You can’t really scrub and stipple the paint of course – the iPad sees the brush as just another pink digit – but that doesn’t mean that the action of stippling, scrubbing or stabbing isn’t more pleasing to the brain. It really does feel like you’re painting on canvas. Well, not canvas, as canvas has a stretch and give that the glass screen lacks, but it is like painting on wood or card.

Now nomad has a range of brushes, but my advice would be to go for a set of whole brushes. The kits with the single handle and screw-on tip look good in theory, but these things take up so little space it’s nicer to have the convenience of quickly grabbing the brush you want without dicking around changing the tips.

Price: From $20

Your iPhone

fig 4 remote palette

One thing that was essential to me when I painted in oils was a palette. I went the traditional route with a thin plywood board in the familiar shape, which is easy to hold in one hand, but I know people who just mixed their paint on tabletops or any nearby flat surface (including one of my own paintings).

Remote Palette is an app which lets you use your iPhone as a palette to mix paints. You can swoosh your colors around until you have the exact hue you need and the color will be automatically loaded into your brush in the iPad app. It works via Bluetooth so you can use it anywhere.

The only downside is that you have to paint using the Remote Palette app on the iPad, which is pretty limited. It’s not MS Paint, but neither does it come anywhere close to something like Procreate. Still, it’s cheap and fun.

Remote Palette
Price: $1


fif 5 neolucida

The NeoLucida isn’t really an iPad accessory, but it can certainly be used as one. It’s a modern version of the camera lucida, an optical device used by artists throughout history (well, since the mid–1800s anyway) to make their drawings more accurate.

The principle is simple: the unit has a prism on the end of a flexible arm, and this lets you see both your paper and your subject at the same time. This allows you to “trace” the image from real life as if it were projected onto your paper.

And of course when I say “paper” I also mean “iPad.”

The NeoLucida was made by university art professors Pablo Garcia and Golan Levin because antique versions are too expensive for working artists and students to afford. Their Kickstarter was super successful, raising almost half a million on a target of just $15,000, and they’ll be back in 2014 with a retail version. Until then you might want to speak to your bank manager before hitting Ebay.

Price: Around $40

Wacom Announces Super Cute, 1.85-Inch Bamboo Stylus Mini



I love my Wacom Bamboo Stylus; it’s by far the best stylus I’ve owned for the iPad. And although I wouldn’t exactly call it big, I wouldn’t want to carry it around in my pocket all day. Fortunately, Wacom has a new, smaller and super cute version of the Bamboo for that.

Called the Bamboo Stylus mini and measuring just 1.85 inches, it’s the perfect portable stylus for those on the go.

Modbook Pro Brings OS X To The Tablet, Pre-Orders Start October 3


The closest you'll get to an iPad running OS X.
The closest you'll get to an iPad running OS X.

Have you ever looked at your iPad and wished it ran OS X, Apple’s desktop operating system? I have — like when I attempted to use WordPress in mobile Safari. But a Mac-powered tablet is no longer just a dream, thanks to the Modbook Pro. The Modbook Pro comes with all the benefits you get with an iPad, such as a touchscreen and excellent portability, but it runs Mountain Lion. And you can pre-order yours from October 3.

Wacom Bamboo Pocket,: A Tiny, Extending Stylus



Wacom might be letting every other pen maker bring touch-sensitive styluses to the iPad first, but at least its regular dumb iPad styluses are amongst the best out there. And if you have ever hefted your Wacom Bamboo stylus and thought “This is almost perfect, but I wish it were a little stubbier,” then I have good news:

Wacom has made a stubby stylus. What’s more, it transforms into a long and slender stylus. It’s called the Bamboo Stylus Pocket.