This is how HardwareZone works from home #HWZWFH (Part 1)
Thousands of us will be working from home because of the ongoing pandemic. To be sure, it’s a massive change to our way of life but it’s necessary if we are to slow down the spread of the coronavirus and defeat it. Over the next few weeks, the team at HardwareZone will be showing our #WFH setups and here’s mine.
I can’t claim clairvoyance to this setup. Thing is, I have always spent the bulk of my time at home at my desk and I have set it up as such from the get-go. Even without the current Circuit Breaker order in place, this is how my desk would have looked. So let me run you through some of the things here.
The desk is from Omnidesk and naturally, I picked the largest one (72-inch) they had. The cabinets to the left and right are from Ikea and I specially picked ones that were almost of the same height as the desk so that they could function as extra working surfaces – very handy because I review a lot of notebooks. If you are interested, the one on the left is a Besta storage combination drawer and the one on the right is the Alex drawer unit.
On the left, you have my headphone setup. I prefer headphones to speakers because with speakers most of what you are hearing is actually the room. Therefore, to get the best out of speakers, placement and room treatment is important. Headphones are considerably simpler and easier to enjoy. My headphone of choice is the Audeze LCD-3 and they are driven by an Oppo HA-1 headphone amplifier/DAC which I wrote about briefly here. I have heard better headphones but there's something about the way the LCD-3 sounds that keeps me coming back to them. Perched on top of the HA-1 is a Mistral desk fan – an invaluable tool in our stifling climate.
Because I prefer headphones, my speaker is decidedly basic. I'm using the Edifier R19U and it only costs around S$30. It is a bargain and I might write more about them in the future. Quick introduction, the R19U is a USB-powered speaker so it draws power directly from your system. But unlike most USB-powered speakers, the Edifier R19U has a built-in DAC so there’s no need for a separate audio connection. This means less wiring and clutter. The sound is surprisingly good too for something so cheap and so simple.
After a month with Acer’s Predator X34, I decided that I wanted an ultra-wide monitor. Back then, 34-inch ultra-wide monitors were really expensive and so I opted for the Prism X340, which, if I recall correctly, was nearly half the price. Somewhat off colours aside, it’s a decent monitor for the price. The one thing that I didn’t like about it was its fixed stand – you can’t adjust for height, tilt, anything at all – so I have mine mounted on a Prism Arc Stealth monitor arm which I purchased along with the table.
Since I’m in the midst of reviewing the new MacBook Air with Magic Keyboard, I don’t have a fixed work system right now. Instead, I’m rotating between the new MacBook Air, 16-inch MacBook Pro, and 13-inch MacBook Pro. Some of you might be wondering, how do you keep all your documents and files synced across so many devices? iCloud Drive, my friend. If you have multiple Mac devices, I think it’s one of the best investments you can make. Enable the Desktop and Document syncing feature and all the files on your Desktop and Documents folder will be synced across all devices – you can even access them on your iOS device.
Last but not least, my keyboard and mouse. The mouse I’m using is the MX Master 3. As I said in my review , it is hands down, the best mouse for productivity and general use. The size is just right, the sensor is excellent, and it has a ton of customisation options.
As for my keyboard, I’m currently using the Mistel Sleeker MD870. It’s a great mechanical keyboard for Mac users, but recently, I’ve been lusting for something more exotic. I prefer tactile clicky switches, so if you have any recommendations, please send them my way.
Stay tuned next week when our senior tech writer Ken shares his #WFH setup. In the meantime, I’ll like to take the opportunity to say thanks to all our frontline workers and those working in essential services. And to everyone else, I hope all of you stay safe, stay healthy, and mostly importantly, stay at home.
Kenny Yeo / Associate Editor
Specifications are not everything. It's what you do with what you have that matters.