State of my Hardware (2023)
I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while, and I’m thinking about posting one every year to document my work setup so that I can see how it evolves over time, just for fun!
For many years, while living in Asia, I’ve mostly been working out of cafes and haven’t had a proper “home office”, which is one of the reasons why I started cafeandcowork.com. However, things changed when I moved to the Netherlands, where I now enjoy the luxury of having a proper home desk setup (although I do miss the cafe-work lifestyle).
My good old 2018 15-inch MacBook Pro is still going strong. Despite having had over $10k of repairs and my AppleCare has expired, I haven’t had any issues with it lately (knock on wood). I’m starting to consider an upgrade to Apple silicon, but I’m holding off until I really need to.
I spent a lot of time researching monitors and eventually landed on the Dell UltraSharp 27-inch (U2722DE) with Ethernet. The size is great and the price point is good. Also, the fact that it connects to my laptop with a single USB-C cable (providing a USB hub, power, and ethernet) is fantastic! For the price I’m happy with the monitor, although the crispness of text could be better.
One of the main reasons I decided to get was to reduce eye strain. I’ve found that over time I’ve started getting more and more eye strain from long work sessions on a small laptop screen. Having a big monitor has definitely improved this.
When my laptop is plugged into the monitor I don’t really use the laptop screen for anything, except I keep the screen open so that I can keep using Touch ID.
For quick phone calls or short sessions listening to music or podcasts I mostly use my Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro. They’re comfortable enough and the noise cancellation is good enough to use on short flights.
For meetings or deep-focus (and for long travel) I still use my first generation Bose QC35 over ear headphones. I’ve had them for many years now and they’re still fantastic, although the case is slowly starting to fall apart, and I’ve replaced to ear pads several times. I’d like to upgrade my headphones at some point, primarily so that I can finally get rid of the old micro-USB cable.
I still use an old Apple Magic Keyboard and a Logitech MX Anywhere 2 mouse. Again, I’ve had these for many years and held up great. The only thing missing is a USB-C.
For the mouse I tend to find that using the USB receiver performs better and uses less battery than Bluetooth. Any old Google Pixel users might recognize the adapter, which is the handy little USB-A to USB-C adapter that I received together with my old Google Pixel phone many years ago.
My everyday carry smartphone is a Samsung Galaxy S21. I love the size of this phone and the camera is great. Also, it comes with two physical sim tray slots, which has been very useful.
I also have some old iOS devices that I’ve “adopted” from my wife. The phone is an iPhone XR which I really only use for some occasional app development/testing.
I also have an iPad Pro (10.5-inch), which I’ve actually started to use a lot. I mostly use it for watching YouTube (again, having a bigger screen has helped me reduce eye strain). However, I also use it for Spotify or YouTube Music, some light surfing before going to bed, and “Find My” for my Airtags.
JINS glasses that I use as reading glasses to increase eye comfort and reduce eye strain (no blue light filtering lenses).
I’m a huge fan of Timbuk2 backpacks. They look good and they’re built to last. I recently upgraded my old Timbuk2 backpack to a new Timbuk2 Division Laptop Backpack Deluxe. For me it has a perfect balance of practical features without being overly complicated, and it’s comfortable!
I’ve never carried a battery pack until last year when I received a Belkin BoostCharge Power Bank 10k as a Christmas present. I’ve ended up using it a lot while traveling and on day trips. It has a good amount of power, but not too heavy to keep in my backpack.
For travel (and at home) I use a Ceptics All-In-One International Travel Adapter Plug which has 3 USB-A ports and 2 USB-C ports and a universal plug. It’s great for connecting all of my devices to a single power outlet.