Updates on Desk 2.0 Project

Today, I received the new 27″ Samsung LCD Monitor along with an attachable double shelving unit. I did a small amount of rearranging and my desk overall has cleaned up immensely. However, I did find some issues with pieces of equipment and with these latest changes, I’m thinking about what else I can expand upon.

First, the new monitor is great. It’s actually lighter and has more space plus far better resolution overall. The power button is on the backside and I guess Samsung has a standard method for shutting down these newer monitors. I’m hoping that with this switch, my overall power consumption will drop. But I do think my eyes will find this new screen more amendable. Part of this process has allowed me to learn about the VESA mounting format on the back, which allows me to use the twin monitor arms. I wasn’t aware of the name beforehand, but I will be looking a lot closer to avoid the mistake with the other curved monitor. I might still try to get another curved monitor that’s as good quality or better but I’ll certainly make sure it has the VESA mounts next time.

For the shelving unit component, it was quite easy to assemble and attached nicely exactly to the spot I had planned. The main thing there was moving my router to the top shelf and the external hard drive to the lower shelf and stand it up. The benefit of this shuffle is to avoid a disastrous spill on my desk as I often eat and drink here. Of course, I have my attachable cup holder too but that’s off to one side of the desk and sometimes, I get a little lazy and just use the main desk space.

Beyond that, I put a few additional items on the shelves like my towels, a Kleenex box and some papers as well as my trusty backscratcher. If I were more of a green thumb, I might even add a plant. For now, I think it’s a good setup. However, I’d like to get a longer coaxial cable for my cable modem and place it next to the external Western Digital drive. That would clean up the floor, leaving only my air purifier as the thing remaining that really belongs beneath the desk.

Another major thing I was able to do was move the Soundbar in between my two work monitors. It’s actually a better spot since there’s an unclaimed space there. Also, the cable doesn’t have to stretch as far. But the idea was that I wanted to remove this laptop shelf that originally was used for my monitors. Since I’m moving towards a clamp style to create more room on my desk, the shelf no longer served a purpose except take up excess space. In addition, it was hampering my home MacBook Pro whenever I had my work laptop out. With those items gone, the only thing remaining on the table is my iPad and even then I don’t really want to keep it in that space.

But with my table is a far cleaner spot, I’m beginning to come up with more ideas to further optimize this space. I think the next biggest addition will be a laptop mount. I’ve been eyeing a few brands that use a mount with an arm that swivels outward. There’s two in particular that I think are really good. One seems more secure and has a similar spring loaded mechanism similar to my two monitor arms. The other seems a little less flexible and less secure but is cheaper and might be good as a test for my gaming laptop. What I want to do is put the first one in between the two work monitors and move either my work laptop to that spot or my gaming laptop there. Then I’ll shift the curved Samsung 27″ to where my gaming laptop is and get rid of the stand. I have to figure out how I want to handle the keyboard and mouse parts. Currently, I have a sliding drawer for my gaming setup but I might partly abandon it for a middle extension. Certainly, I’ll need to fiddle with that because I won’t be using my gaming keyboard for both work and games. Same with the mouse.

If that happens, I’ll have to look for another keyboard. I could just replace the gaming keyboard because it is several years old (same with my main gaming mouse). I’m more hesitant about using a PC style keyboard with a Mac though since I’ve gotten used to my Mac keyboard. I might just try to get a normal Mac keyboard and swap it in whenever I use my work Mac (or my home Mac). But I absolutely hate the traditional Mac mice and will stick with a gaming mouse. However, I would consider either a track pad or some drawing mechanism because mice are terrible for that type of application.

Also, I know that I’m going to need another power strip. I really like the one I got. The USB hook ups for power are great. The USB-C hookup is terrible for my laptops. They don’t seem to function well for them. I haven’t tried a non-laptop with the USB-C hookup. Nonetheless, when I get a new monitor, I will probably abandon the old cable. I might just swap out for my floor light plug. Then I’ll eventually get a better desk light. The one I saw has a USB connector and adapter. So I can use either type of plug. With that additional power strip, I’ll start using it to keep my iPad and old iPod Nano charged up.

Beyond those items, I also have been looking at drawers. This desk is just so bare bones when it comes to features that I think all these extensions were meant for this type of table. But I miss having drawers that I keep pertinent papers or other items. I still have my apartment’s drawers from the built in desk. But that thing is a hassle as my old computer chair is in the way and has a mechanical problem that interferes from easily getting stuff out of those drawers. So I’m either going to add a left side attachment for stuff like manuals, small magazines and other utilities to prevent me from losing things easily. I saw another device that acts as a clip and I could place my iPad there.

I’m not a huge fan of that one because I’m afraid that I might bump into the iPad and cause it to crash and shatter on the ground. Instead, I think a better option would be to find some sort of stand or mount for my iPad. There’s no immediate requirement for my iPad as I had been using mine for a few games. I could eventually start using it for stuff like music and get better Bluetooth speakers and move the soundbar into my bedroom. Then my iPad could be used to remote control the music in my place between my bedroom and office area.

Going back to the Bluetooth speakers, while I like the little soundbar I have, I think the quality isn’t great. It seems like a nifty device that I would prefer in my bedroom that I can attach to another, smaller power strip that I can add to my bedside table. But for music, I want something more booming. I miss my old Sound Blaster speakers which I used forever. So my main computers could use something more sophisticated. In that I’ll do more investigation on what to use. Nonetheless, I really like the Bluetooth aspect. I hate directly connecting via a wire and just being able to power up separately seems like a great thing

Other items I could get are another shelf. I might add something like that to either side of my L-shaped desk. For instance, if I got a subwoofer (are those still a thing?) and some extra speakers, one of these shelving units might be a great place to put such a thing. I wouldn’t mind having a shelf just for a few Lego sets. That one would have to go on the right side though because if I have my balcony screen door open, I don’t want the Lego to get wet during a storm. I could get a cart similar to my old desk. I still have my old one but it’s full of Lego instructions and way too heavy to move around. Also, if I ever got another, I don’t want it to be used as a glorified Lego instruction box or a spot where I keep tons of VHS tapes.

The other option is to evaluate the laptop arm. If that one turns out to be decent or inadequate for my gaming laptop, I might just use it for my personal laptop. I’ll keep it to one side and add another keyboard. Then I’ll shift my mobile phone, which has a goof arm to a different side of the desk. That might not happen for another month or two though. Before that occurs, I’ll try to get another monitor.

At any rate, I would say I’m at the half way point with this project. There’s still other things that I need to examine but I like the progress. I think this is definitely worth the money and effort.

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