Ultrawide monitor and computer setup changes
I’ve gotten myself one of those ultrawide curved monitors. I’ve wanted one for a long time, and I finally bought one; a Samsung 34". Since my desk is pretty shallow, and not that big really, I also wanted to free up some work surface by getting things on shelves. So I’ve been doing a bit of work on my computer setup.
I’ve been using a dual monitor setup for as long as I can remember, both at home and at work. I find myself pretty much always having a browser open on the right monitor, and using the left for everything else. I’ve always loved the additional desktop space. But there are a few things I don’t like about it, like; right in front of me is the monitor bezels. So I have to look either right or left. And I typically find that I work within one monitor, not much across. The experience with the 34" ultrawide is very different; the windows float more easily around on the monitor. Not bound to either the left or right. I like it!
So this is my previous setup; with two 24" monitors placed on the desk. The desk is 2 meters wide, and the monitors took about half of that. Having them angled towards each other gave a better viewing experience, but it also left a bit of dead space behind them even more with the speakers placed on each side. And there wasn’t a whole lot of space in front either.
So; time for some changes!
First I needed to put up a shelf to hold the new monitor. The wall behind the desk is drywall, so I located two studs and mounted a shelf rail. I got pretty lucky with the studs; their location was perfect for where I wanted the monitor. These rails have a couple of functions; first, they allow the shelf height to be adjusted and second, and most importantly, they distribute the load over a large area. The ultrawide monitor is pretty heavy, around 10 kg (22 lbs) so the shelf needed to be stable.
Next, I got a shelf from Ikea and cut it to size; 28 cm deep and 90 cm wide. It sits about 6 cm over the desk; this leaves enough room that the keyboard can be tucked away when I need the work surface for something else. I also put the speakers on the shelf to get them off the desk, but they got partially covered by the monitor, so it wasn’t a great solution.
Now; the shelf did have one side effect that I didn’t like. Previously the light from the Hue Light Strip would light up the wall behind the monitors, and give a kind of bias lighting effect. But the new shelf is blocking that light, leaving the area behind the monitor darker than I would like. So to remedy that I put two Hue Bloom lights on the monitor shelf, lighting up the wall behind it. That turned out really cool :) But it left no room for the speakers, so I moved them back onto the desk.
Next, I got myself a DxRacer Iron chair, and a laptop stand. I got the “Rain Design mStand for MacBook” from Apple Store, it looks cool and works just as well for other laptops.
I wasn’t happy about the speakers placed on the desk. I already had a shelf I could put the right speaker on, so I mounted a new shelf for the left. Success! Finally, I got the speakers off the desk again. And having them pointed at me, in the correct height made the sound a lot better!
So; this is how it turned out in the end. I’ve kept the monitor on the computer rack as a second display; only really using it for things like logs, music, and such. Things I look at but don’t work with. I’m using the laptop stand for my Chromebook for the moment. But I am thinking of getting myself a laptop with Linux in the future.