My Laptop desk setup
With most of us working from home the search for the ultimate work from home desk setup is high on everyone’s agenda.
My laptop desk setup consists of a docking station and dual monitors. This setup allows me to run 3 screens as the laptop screen is also available as well as the dual monitors.
Let me walk you through it.
Best desk setup for two monitors and laptop
I have actually been working at home for many years and this dual screen home office setup has evolved over the years and consists of:
- Electric standing desk
- Lenovo T450s Laptop
- Lenovo Docking station
- 2 x Dell U2412 Monitors
- Evoluent Vertical Mouse
- Logitech Gaming mouse pad
- Blue Yeti USB microphone
- Logitech Webcam
- Bose QC35 noise cancelling headphones
- Logitech Z333 Multimedia speakers
- Lava Lamp
I have honed this to be the best home office setup for productivity I could achieve. I work in a garden office and have wired ethernet direct to my router which provides me the best broadband speed.
Laptop docking station setup
To bring my setup together I use the Lenovo xxx docking station which allows me to instantly connect my laptop to power, ethernet and dual monitors in a click.
I am now going to go through each item of my work from home desk setup and explain its purpose.
Laptop Desk Setup Ideas
This desk setup has not come together overnight, it has been an evolution but I think it’s at a point now where I don’t want to change anything. Let me walk you through each item.
Electric Standing Desk
This is quite a luxury for most, but as I have been working at home for many years I saw it as an investment in my back. I typically stand for the morning and sit down after lunch and then finish the day standing from about 3pm. If I am doing any work in the evening I will usually sit down.
Laptop – Lenovo T450s
Whilst this is not a new laptop, it has been a workhorse in the corporate world for many years, which means you can pick one up for only a few hundred pounds. When I bought mine in 2017 it was retailing for over £895 new but a 2 year old model sold on ebay for £250 – This is the laptop I have been using ever since and it has not missed a beat, I have 16Gb of ram and an SSD drive with an extra battery pack I can pick it up and use it for over 8 hours of continuous use.
If you are are going to have a permanent desk setup with single or dual monitors then it makes sense to use a docking station. This device connects to all your hardware and then you click your laptop into it, saving you connecting lots of cables each time you start work.
It also gives me the ability to connect dual monitors, it has 4 extra USB ports and I also have ethernet connected directly to my broadband router. When the laptop is docked it is always charging, so I am ready to pick it up and go whenever I want.
Dual Monitors – Dell U2412M
I have always worked with 2 monitors as I tried it at work once and if you have never had the experience of using multiple screens, once you have you will never want to go back to a single screen again.
I picked up a pair of Dell U2412M monitors for £125 each. These are also ex-corporate monitors with a very high spec which you can now pick up at a reasonable price on ebay.
At some point I might look at an extra wide monitor, but I will be unable to have my second monitor in portrait mode, which I really like.
Evoluent Vertical Mouse
For anyone that works with a laptop you will know how awkward and uncomfortable it is to use the trackpad for any length of time. For me I started to experience carpal tunnel syndrome back in 2012 and it got so bad that I was considering my future as a network consultant if I could not use a laptop.
I went on the search for the best mouse for carpal tunnel syndrome and found the Evoluent4 Vertical Mouse. In less than a few hours my pain started to ease and I have been using this mouse daily ever since.
I have one I keep in my rucksack and one I keep on my desk. If I do use the trackpad for a few hours I can feel the twinges coming back, so I make sure I am never in that position.
This mouse has literally saved my career!
It is the best vertical mouse I have ever used.
Logitech G640 Gaming Mouse Pad
Whilst not the most thought about item for your work from home desk setup, the mouse mat or mouse pad is often overlooked.
Typically a mouse mat is a thick piece of stiff foam with a surface on top to help the mouse glide, I could never get on with all the mouse mats I tried.
Then I discovered this ultra thin mouse mat from Logitech, it is 1mm thick and measures 460x400mm. You hardly know it’s there but it provides the ultimate surface for your mouse, I also have a spare in my rucksack so I am never without it!
Blue Yeti USB Microphone
I do a lot of Zoom and Microsoft Teams calls and I also author online courses on network automation so a good microphone is essential.
I use the Blue Yeti USB mic on a boom arm which for the most part stays out of my way and when I need it I can just swing it into range.
I have used the Logitech Quickcam Pro 9000 for many years and it has been more than adequate for my requirements. For the most part good lighting is much more a part of quality video than a good webcam. I am looking at getting a Logitech C922 at some point, but since the pandemic the price of these have gone through the roof.
Bose QC35 noise cancelling headphones
Another essential item I could not live without and use every day.
My Bose noise cancelling headphones are an item I could not live without, if you are working at home you just need to isolate yourself from the noise. Pop on your Bose QC35’s and the background noise disappears.
I also take them with me whenever I travel on trains and planes.
If you have a pair of Bose QC35 headphones and are struggling to get them to connect to your Windows laptop check out this guide – Bose Connect App Windows 10
Logitech Z333 Multimedia speakers
For when I don’t want to wear headphones, I also have a setup of Logitech Z333 speakers. These come with the base box which lives under my desk and provide some good volume bass when you just want to turn up some music.
Finally I also have a lava lamp on my desk setup which I have had for year, it’s very relaxing to watch and provides a gentle light in the corner of my desk in the evenings.
Finally, my reading man
I picked up this wooden carving of a man reading a book on travels to Sierra Leone many years ago, it inspires me to keep studying. With access to education to limited in Africa, anyone we met who had a passion to learn would take any books we had and consume them with passion. School children will study late into the night by torch or candle light.
Whenever I look at him it makes me realise how much we have and how much we take for granted.
He also makes a great headphone stand!
This concludes my ultimate desk setup for working at home.
Check this post on how to clean laptop screen
Portable Laptop stand
When I am not working at home I also use the Roost Laptop stand for when I am working at client sites or coffee shops etc.
Frequently asked questions
How can I improve my desk setup?
This depends on your requirements, but the 2 main things you could do to improve your desk setup is to get a monitor or even better dual monitors, clear the clutter and invest in a good mouse.
How big of a desk do you need for 3 monitors?
I used to run 3 monitors, the main one in landscape and the 2 side monitors in portrait, they were mounted on a single boom arm and my desk was 160cm wide, you could easily get away with a smaller desk
How do I setup a dual monitor for my desk?
To run dual monitors you either need a docking station or a dual monitor adapter for your laptop or PC, once connected your PC will recognise the extra displays and you can arrange them as you wish.