How I built my desk setup entirely around using iPad as a computer

The mix of iPadOS 16.2, an M series-powered iPad, and prolonged monitor assist, now permits iPad customers to make use of nothing however an iPad to energy a whole desk setup. Head beneath for a better, in-depth take a look at my desk setup – that’s constructed completely round my iPad Professional.

iPad Professional’s OS rollercoaster

For the reason that iPad Professional’s authentic launch again in 2015, it has been on an evolutionary curler coaster with its working system. At first, it was only a HUGE iPad nonetheless simply operating a blown-up model of iOS, then in 2018 the {hardware} was fully refined and acquired just a few unique options like cut up view and cursor assist. This was the 12 months Apple created iPadOS.

These new options gave iPad fanatics, like myself, hope that it may totally exchange a desktop-class working system. However two years glided by and iPadOS 14 & 15 had been massive duds when it got here to attaining the laptop computer substitute objective. However lastly, with iPadOS 16.2 we acquired the whole lot we wished from the iPad Professional. We acquired floating home windows, a brand new (extra conventional) method of multitasking, and true prolonged monitor assist. Gone had been the times of iPad shows being mirrored onto your monitor and solely with the ability to open two apps side-by-side.

iPadOS 16.2 Stage Supervisor

This new OS change has now opened the door for the iPad to be a full-on desktop and laptop computer substitute for me, so I wished to indicate off some equipment I take advantage of to make this iPad Professional-only desk setup a actuality.

Fast observe: You want an M sequence powered iPad to run prolonged monitor assist. M1 iPad Professional, M2 iPad Professional, & M1 iPad Air.

iPad Professional-only desk setup

I’m going to interrupt up all of the equipment into three primary classes:

  • Pc
  • Desk ergonomics
  • Peripherals
  • Energy

Desk ergonomics

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Let’s begin with the desk itself! I’ve been utilizing my Autonomous Smart Desk for over three years now, and I might not change it for some other sit/stand desk. It has gone by three strikes with me and has gone by six or seven desk setups over time. It’s a high-quality desk that simply continues to work. It goes as little as 29.5 inches and as excessive as 49 inches, so it ought to be sufficient for many heights. It additionally comes with 4 programmable buttons that may be saved to any peak that you just want.

With any good desk expertise, you want an equally nice desk chair. The desk chair was one of many final issues I upgraded. I at all times used cheaper Ikea desk chairs or hand-me-downs as a result of I believed it wasn’t as vital as a terrific monitor or a pleasant keyboard. However after upgrading to the brand new Hon Desk Chair, I see why folks at all times rave about their extra high quality desk chairs. I not too long ago began utilizing Hon’s new Ignition chair and checks each single field. It’s comfy, and peak adjustable, you’ll be able to modify the arm peak & width, it leans far again with out worrying that you’ll fall over, and it has a four-way mesh breathable material that’s wonderful; the perfect half is that it’s pretty priced at round $400. I used to assume you wanted to spend $1000 or extra to get the sort of high quality, however Hon opened my eyes and saved my again!

Now let’s get to the merchandise on the desk. The primary product I’ll briefly point out is the brand new MagFlott Pro iPad Stand by CharjenPro. It’s a fantastically made magnetic iPad stand that matches completely for this setup. We did an entire hands-on assessment here, if you wish to know extra! Sitting on that stand is my beloved M1 iPad Professional.

The stand & monitor is sitting atop a Grovemade monitor riser. Grovemade makes very high-end and high quality wood desk equipment. This monitor riser runs the size of my desk, has loads of weight on it, and has by no means bent or warped as soon as. Utilizing this monitor riser offers me additional cubby area and floor space that can be utilized to tuck away different merchandise that I take advantage of much less usually however nonetheless need at arm’s attain. On the left facet of the monitor riser, I place a laptop stand by Momax, for these conditions the place I simply need to plug in my M2 Macbook Air. This product is engineered completely. It’s made out of plastic and makes use of the burden of no matter laptop computer you’re inserting there to shut in on itself. So there’s nothing to tighten, nothing to maneuver. You simply place the laptop computer down and it closes!


Now we’re entering into the enjoyable stuff! I went with the 27in UHD 4k Clarity monitor by Alogic. This monitor is ideal for an iPad Professional. The facet ratio is nice, the 4k monitor is extraordinarily brilliant and clear, it has built-in audio system (not tremendous nice however they’re there), and it connects by way of Thunderbolt so it delivers energy to the iPad and the stand it comes with is amazingly constructed. We even have a hands-on write-up on this monitor if you wish to get into its specs of it. However for $800, it’s onerous to beat this monitor.

One massive challenge the iPad faces when it’s pushing video out to an exterior show is that it’s going to additionally default the audio to the show, even when that show doesn’t have built-in audio system. One other factor to notice is that, as of the time of this text, Apple is not going to allow you to use the iPad’s audio system when linked to a show. It is a disgrace as a result of the iPad Professional speaker system is wonderful in its personal proper. The one strategy to change your audio supply is to make use of Bluetooth headphones or, on this case, a speaker. I opted for the Marshall Action III BT Speaker. I’m simply an enormous fan of the sound high quality and the guitar speaker aesthetic. On this desk setup, I take advantage of the Marshall speaker as my primary audio supply. It has nice sound, tactile button controls, insane bass for the dimensions, and matches completely beneath my monitor.

Then lastly, we now have the ultimate three merchandise that at all times sit in entrance of me: my desk mat, the keyboard, and my mouse. The desk mat I take advantage of has just a few tips up its sleeve. Firstly, it has this divet that runs alongside your complete prime portion of the mat which I take advantage of to carry my Apple Pencil, and in addition has a magnetic cable organizer which is nice when needing to cost a keyboard or mouse. However then it additionally has a hidden layer that may be lifted to tuck away just a few items of paper or a brochure, principally something flat. Laying on prime of the mat is my Satechi X1 Slim Keyboard and my Logitech Anywhere S2, two tried and true merchandise which have labored for me, with out fault, for years.


Lastly, let’s speak about what I take advantage of to energy this desk setup. There may be actually just a few items that I take advantage of to cost my gadgets. The primary is iSwift Powercloud, which is a powerstrip that has the whole lot you want. Three full AC retailers, a 65W PD USB-C port, an 18W USB-C port, and a fast-charging USB-A port. I take advantage of this to cost peripherals like my mouse, keyboard, microphones, energy banks, and the rest. I maintain it tucked beneath the monitor stand, and it has been nice for my use.

After which I’ve my Satechi 3-in-1 Magnetic Charging Stand, which I take advantage of to cost my telephone, AirPods, and Apple Watch every time I have to. It prices your iPhone at 7.5W and the opposite gadgets at 5W. It’s also MagSafe and allows you to put your iPhone on the excellent angle to view notifications and take any FaceTime calls if wanted! It’s nice to have as a desk charger to verify your gadgets are topped up.


These are all of the equipment that I take advantage of to finish my iPad Professional-only desk setup. As I discussed, now that we now have prolonged monitor assist and extra apps are being up to date to benefit from this, for sure workflows, the iPad is all you will want. I’ve been on this iPad-only journey since 2018, and it’s been nice. Apps are snappy and work amazingly, the app retailer has hundreds of thousands of apps to attempt, and on the finish of the day, the shape issue of the iPad is simply extra enjoyable to make use of.

What do you assume? Might you employ an iPad as your solely laptop? Can you employ it to exchange your laptop computer or desktop? What’s lacking from it that’s stopping you from taking the iPad plunge, or is it nonetheless only a pill to throw round the home? Let me know with a remark beneath!

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