No two people work alike — our vocation and habits make sure of that. What most of us can relate to, though, is the need to curate our home or office workstations the way we want. And we’re all dipping our hands into the same pool of devices — computer, mouse, keyboard, and speakers — and hoping the right mix will allow us to become our most productive, efficient and creative self. So what to choose?

At Gear Patrol, we gravitate towards an Apple workstation. Its Mac line is secure and dependable — and damn pretty as well — plus all Apple computers seamlessly integrate with the iPhone most of us already own. Still, walk around our offices and you’ll notice that no two setups are identical. Some have desktops. Others have laptops, with no — or multiple — external monitors. There are standing desks, too, along with every kind of over-ear cans you can imagine.

Since everybody works differently, there really isn’t a perfect desktop setup — so we’ve created four for four different people. There are the minimalist and high-end setups, depending on how much you want to spend or how clutter-free you want your workspace. And there are desk-tied setups and ones that have no problem being packed up and going mobile. All are rooted in a Mac. And all have a little flair. A good desktop setup can be used for work and play, remember.

The Apple Laptop Basic Setup


Despite proclamations to the contrary, the smartphone hasn’t antiquated the computer. Not even close. A laptop still provides more processing power, memory and versatility than any smartphone could ever hope to. Don’t underestimate the bigger screen and an actual keyboard, either. This basic setup is for the person who can’t always be confined to a desk. Even if there aren’t too many frills, everything works seamlessly with each other. Plus, this specific power bank can juice the MacBook Pro for a few extra hours.

The Details
2016 MacBook Pro 13-inch (No Touchbar), $1,299
Apple AirPods, $159
Alvin Cutting Mats, $18
iPhone 8 Plus, $799+
AmazonBasics Surge Protector (Not Pictured), $11
Anker PowerCore II 20000 PD, $50

More Apple Coverage
• Apple Watch 3 (LTE) Review: It’s Still the Smartwatch To Buy – Read now
• Which Apple Products Are Really Worth Your Money? – Read now
• 10.5-Inch iPad Pro: A Month-Long Review – Read now

The Apple Laptop Power User


This setup combines the best of both worlds. It’s rooted around a 15-inch MacBook Pro, so it can be taken mobile if need be, but it’s really optimized to run like a high-end desktop. There’s a separate wireless mouse and keyboard, so you don’t have to be right up near the screen. Speaking of which, the huge curved display is an Excel user’s dream. (It’s also pretty awesome for gaming.) The finishing touches — superb desktop speakers, external hard drive Leica CL and elegant desk mat — will make this desktop difficult to leave, and be refreshing to return to.

The Details
2016 MacBook Pro 13-inch with TouchBar, $1,799+
Apple Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad, $129
Bose QuietComfort QC 35 II, $350
iPhone X, $999+
Samsung Fast Charge Wireless Charging Convertible, $75
LaCie Rugged 2TB External Hard Drive, $160
AmazonBasics Surge Protector (Not Pictured), $11
Mophie Powerstation USB-C XXL, $150
Satechi Universal Vertical Aluminum Laptop Stand, $45
Dell UltraSharp 38 Curved Monitor, $1,169
Audioengine A2+ Powered Speakers, $249
Killspencer Desk Mat, $225
Leica CL, $2,795+

More Apple Coverage
• iPhone 8 Plus Review: The iPhone You’ll Probably Buy – Read now
• iPhone X Review: A Notch Between Great and Perfect – Read now
• Best iPhone X Cases for Every Need & Budget (Available Now) – Read now

The Apple Desktop Basic Setup


Even in this age of portability, there’s still a place for a traditional desktop. It’s more upgradable than a laptop and you generally get more for less, in terms of better processor, better graphics chipset, bigger screen and more storage. And, of course, its fixed location naturally helps you separate work from everything else. This setup is designed to gel effortlessly together, while still maintaining a clean, clutter-free desk.

The Details
Apple iMac 21.5-inch with Retina 4K Display, $1,299
Magic Mouse 2, $79
Apple AirPods, $159
Satechi Desk Mat, $35
Logitech MX Sound, $100
Magic Keyboard, $99
iPhone 8 Plus, $799+
Apple Watch Series 3 (LTE), $399
AmazonBasics Surge Protector (Not Pictured), $11
RAVPower Fast Wireless Charger, $50

More Apple Coverage
• The 12 Best-Designed iOS Apps of 2017 – Read now
• 5 Essential Cases for iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus – Read now
• Comparing the iPhone 8 vs. the iPhone X: How Are They Different? – Read now

The Apple Desktop Power User


The ultimate desktop setup doesn’t include a desktop — let that sink in. Instead, we’ve combined the top-of-the-line MacBook Pro with two 4K monitors (connected via Elgato’s powerful dock, which can also connect one 5K display), powerful desktop speakers, two smartphones (one Android, one iPhone) and other accessories that’ll maximize productivity. Just step back and revel in its glory. No desk mat needed.

The Details
MacBook Pro 15-inch with Touch Bar, $2,799
LG 4K Displays (2x), $700/ea
Logitech Craft Keyboard, $200
Logitech MX Master 2S, $100
Meridian Explorer2 Digital to Analog Converter (not pictured), $199
Bose QC35 II, $350
Audioengine A5+ Powered Speakers, $399
Fermata Charging Headphone Stand by Twelve South, $80
Apple Watch Series 3 (LTE), $399
Elgato Thunderbolt 3 Dock, $300
Yeti Rambler Lowball, $20
Gear Patrol Magazine, $20
Essential Phone, $499
iPhone X, $999+
Nikon D850, $3,300+
Mophie Wireless Charging Base, $60
Bowers & Wilkins PX Wireless Headphones, $400
Oris Aquis Date, $1,600

More Apple Coverage
• Apple’s New iMac Pro Comes in All Black and Is Fast as Hell – Read now
• It’s Here: Apple’s First Smart Speaker, the HomePod – Read now
• Review: Apple’s AirPods Are an Excellent Upgrade, for Some – Read now

The Desk

The Henning Modern Desk from Room & Board is crafted from the wood of a cherry tree, and finished with oil and wax. It’s minimalist yet handsame, and an optimal size for a home workstation. It’s also available in a walnut and maple.

Buy Now: $1,099

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