What is your iDeal Work Setup?


Sundays are good days for reflection. Tomorrow starts the first full week of the new year—and hopefully Do Not Disturb working again—sending a lot folks back to work for the first time in a while. I think it’s also safe to guess a lot of new iPads, iPhones, and other devices are going to be heading to work as well. All this makes me wonder about what the perfect device, OS, and machine set up is.

Most of the time I work on my late-2008 15″ MacBook Pro with a 22″ monitor as the primary screen, a Moshi Luna keyboard, and a Magic Trackpad. The MacBook itself sits a top a Griffin stand keeping it out of the way and at the right height. But you already know I love—sometimes prefer—to write on my iPad with an external keyboard. It’s a lot easier to wander to a different spot in the house, to a coffee place, or just anywhere I feel like with the iPad setup than unplugging and disentangling my MacBook from drives, cords, and connectors.

Since my MacBook is getting on in years, I always have an eye out for what will replace it. I waver between an iMac (probably a 21.5″) and another MacBook. Picking what is the right balance of power, price, and portability is a lot harder now than it was a few years ago. It wasn’t long ago that if you wanted power you picked a desktop machine. If you wanted to save money, you picked a desktop machine. If you really needed to carry a machine around, you picked a laptop, but knew that it would always feel underpowered. Now a MacBook Pro is quite a powerhouse on its own. Sure the top end iMac would probably smoke a MacBook Pro head to head, but in reality (and from many of the reviews I’ve read) even a MacBook Air performs more than well enough for most people.

Which brings me to the question for you:

What is your ideal combination of devices for power, portability, and performance?

I stress combination because I feel strongly that many of us find that we do need to work in various locations now and then. Maybe not so often that you need a MacBook, but maybe often enough that a tricked out iPad is the choice for your portable needs.

There you go, something to mull this late Sunday.

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  • Britjoe

    sitting on my lazyboy I run a 24 inch touch screen, Win 8 Pro, and a logitech t650 touch pad that brings WIn 8 to life, I have a IPad2 3g for mobile use

  • Rockstar

    MacBook Pro 15″ 2011, iPhone 4S White 32GB Factory Unlocked, iPhone 5 32GB Black Factory Unlocked, iPod Touch 5th Gen 32GB Product Red, iPad 2 32gb WiFi+3G, Sony Vaio, Sony NEX-5 DSLR, Apple Airport Extreme Base Station, Apple TV 2nd & 3rd gen,,, Pheww Am i missing anything???

  • Shrivatsa Somany

    15″ Mid-2011 MacBook Pro + 27″ Cinema Display + 32GB iPad 2 as a third screen through AirDisplay (for all those misc. windows, like iTunes and Adium). Thats what I use currently:

    iDeal? Well lets go a little insane shall we? 2x 27″ Cinema Displays and my MacBook Pro Retina (when I get one) and the iPad 4/5 with AirDisplay. PIXELDROOLZ

    • http://twitter.com/dOEY3639 B

      is your work set up for entertainment? what do you do with all of that power exactly?

      • Shrivatsa Somany

        My work setup that I actually currently use (first part of the comment)..it’s for programming. I like have multiple Eclipse windows open to cross reference UI files, class files etc. I like keeping my chat windows on another screen, since they are pretty distracting at times.

        As for my iDeal setup? Well, the PIXELDROOLZ finale should have been an indication enough that I’m a little whacko. Imagine…a workspace that is 10048 pixels wide. Useful? no, useless? no, required? NO, AWESOME? hell yes.

  • DiamondDNice

    Microsoft word, desk, chair, black pen, red pen, legal pad, John Coltrane, Shut door, lots of coffee.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dotcompals Prashanth Randadath

      log out from facebook

  • Joe

    There is zero portability in an iMac so go with another MBP. I have 16GB RAM in my early 2011 and a 256GB SSD FusionDrived to my 512GB 7200RPM secondary drive. The thing flies.

  • Luciana Daré

    I’m an iOS dev and iPad doesn’t run xcode, so I can’t live without a MacBook Pro. To “normal” people, though, I’ve been recommending a lot of iPads and MacBook Airs lately.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jasonlisnak Jason Lisnak

    Anything as long as there is caffeine with me.

  • Guest

    “…inspired by nokia lumia” would have been a more appropriate title.

  • mkimid

    at office, I am using 27″ imac, 24″ addtional monitor, Macboo Pro 13′ Retina, iPad 4, iPhone 5.
    at home, Mac mini with 65″ 1080p TV…

  • JerryA

    MacPro with two 27″ LED Cinema Displays running Photoshop, Illustrator, Mail, iTunes, Safari, Twitter, Facebook, and maybe Dreamweaver.

    iPad 2 with Netflix or SlingBox on

    MacBook Pro on the side in case I need to hide my screen from customers.

    iPhone 5 always on my desk.

    Bose Portable Sounddock with a Jailbroken iPod Touch to accept airplay in case I want some great sounding tunes and the LED Cinema Display speakers just won’t make the cut.