Ph.D. student rocks M1 MacBook Pro in whipsmart workstation [Setups]

A computer setup run by a doctoral degree candidate had better be damned smart, and today’s featured setup doesn’t disappoint. It’s got a powerful M1 MacBook Pro, a recent (but not the latest) iPad Air, a very slick 4K display and a trio of whipsmart input devices boasting plenty of customization options.

And it’s got all that and pretty clever cable management, too. But does the future Ph.D.’s rig smoke a pipe and pretentiously hold forth on esoteric topics? No, it’s actually somewhat modest (down to the nice but not top-shelf headphones).

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14-inch M1 MacBook Pro, iPad Air 4 and LG 4K display rely on trio of input devices

Ph.D. student and Redditor logical-risei showcased the studious and learned workstation in a post entitled, “PhD student setup.” They run an M1 Pro MacBook Pro open on a distinctive Almoz stand along with a 4th gen iPad Air driving a 27-inch LG 27UP500 4K IPS display.

For input devices they use a full monty, meaning not just keyboard and mouse, but keyboard, advanced mouse and trackpad, the last of which is often favored for gestures.

Two of the three input devices we’ve become accustomed to seeing all the time in Setups — a Logitech MX Master 3 wireless mouse and a Magic Trackpad 2.

“How’s the MX Master 3S on your Mac?” a commenter asked.

“It’s great, probably the best mouse I’ve used,” Cal replied. “I use it when remoting to a Windows machine. Definitely recommended for people who love to customize. Having said that, I still prefer the trackpad when doing anything else.”

And as for the keyboard, it doesn’t show up quite as often as we see the mouse and trackpad.

Vissles V84 mechanical keyboard

It’s a Vissles V84 mechanical keyboard with Akko Cherry MX switches. It connects and easily switches among up to five different devices via Bluetooth 5.1.

The high-quality keeb comes with three sets of PBT keycaps — for macOS, Windows and Android use — known for stability and oil resistance over time. The keyboard’s also “hot-swappable,” meaning you can remove the keycaps and replace the switches underneath without soldering, customizing your typing experience.

The Vissles also packs 19 RGB lighting effects and 9 monochromatic lighting effects. The software that comes with the keyboard lets you customize the lighting and created macros and shortcuts for different programs.

The keyboard features solid battery life because it stows a 3750mAh battery, which is on the large side. And it even comes with a wrist rest.

Tips for shortcuts and such

A Vissles mechanical keyboard, Magic Trackpad 2 and Logitech MX Master 3 wireless mouse share input duties.

A discussion in the comments netted some decent tips and opinions about using GoodNotes on a Mac, using hot corners and BetterTouchTool for shortcuts, and more:

  1. “How do you use GoodNotes on the Mac?” a commenter asked. “Do you just read things you wrote on the iPad or do you also write documents?”
  2. “I use it on the Mac just to view the documents on a larger screen,” Cal replied. “I never write on it except when I don’t have my iPad.”
  3. “I’ve been contemplating getting a Magic Trackpad for my desk setup because the macOS gestures are pretty much nonexistent without one,” said a commenter.
  4. “It is well handy,” another Redditor replied. “Ya might be able to postpone the GAS with hot corners though, check em out!”
  5. “Even more gestures when you have BetterTouchTool,” Cal added. “I postponed buying one for a while until I got a good deal.”
  6. “Honestly, memorize the keyboard shortcuts and it’s just as fast,” another commenter chimed in.

Mounted headphones and cables

Headphones and cables hang from Daiso hooks, reducing clutter on the desk.
Headphones and cables hang from Daiso hooks, reducing clutter on the desk.

A cool detail with this setup relates to how Cal reduces desktop clutter by hanging some gear off the edge of the desk with Daiso hooks. Although any hooks that fasten to a surface and dangle will do, of course.

In this case, a nice set of Audio Technica ATH-M40X closed-back studio-monitor headphones and some cables are stored that way. That’s a fine sets of cans (though a few models below the top AT shelf), so you want a stout hook to hold them securely.

The Audio Technica headphones sport 40mm drivers with rare earth magnets and copper-clad aluminum-wire voice coils. And they also feature “circumaural design contours around the ears for excellent sound isolation in loud environments,” Audio Technica said.

Sounds good to us.

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Author: Subham

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