My home office – the peripherals

After talking about my new office desk, chair and monitor arm, I wanted to highlight the other tools on my desk.

Disclaimer: I’ve bought all my gear myself with my own, hard earned, money. So no sponsorship here! Which is why I can give you the good and the bad.

Because I like gaming and I love Logitech gear, I’ve got myself the G502 Hero gaming mouse. It’s a great mouse and I can’t decide if I like it more than my MX Master 2S. The G502 is attached to my desk and I use the MX when I take my laptop with me. The MX has a very long battery life and it can easily switch between multiple PC’s, but the G502 is a lot more sensitive and it’s a lot more customisable. For gaming, I love the G502, for coding and day to day use, I prefer the MX.

My keyboard is the Microsoft Comfort Curve 3000, there is already an upgrade: the Wireless Comfort Desktop 5050. I love the ergonomic design, it really is a lot more friendly on my wrists. I don’t think I want to go back to a normal keyboard. The keys type very smoothly. I just wish I could disable the CAPS LOCK KEY BECAUSE… damnit it happened again. That is a complaint irrespective of the type of keyboard; normal keyboards, ergonomic ones, they all still have a CAPS LOCK KEY… damnit. I think the Logitech Ergo K860 has the option to turn it off or remap it. That and it can switch between multiple PC’s like the MX Master 2S mouse.

To improve the video recording during teleconferences, I bought myself a Logitech BRIO webcam. This is a good upgrade from my laptop camera. The image looks more crisp and it recognises me in a flash. From friends I’ve heard that the image over Skype is not great, but I think that might be Skype as Teams, Zoom and Discuss do produce nice video. The audio is good, but I’ve heard that it’s a bit hollow compared to the mic on my headset.

My headset is a Logitech G933 surround sound one. I must say, that surround sound really is awesome. When I play video games, this really comes to life as I can clearly hear which direction the enemies are coming from. It’s comfortable, even when I game for a few hours (too few and far in between). The microphone is really superb as well. It captures a nice, warm sound and filters out background noise effortlessly.

The reason I focused so much on connecting to multiple PC’s earlier is because my laptop and PC share a desk. So I had to find a way to share my keyboard, mouse, headset and webcam between these two devices. Cue in the UGreen 2 In 4 Out USB Sharing Box. This little device allows me to plug in 4 USB devices: headset receiver, keyboard, mouse and webcam. With a single press of the button on top, I can switch to which device they are attached to. My PC streams to my screen on the Display Port input and my laptop connects via HDMI. Now I press the button on top of the UGreen box and I switch the input of the screen and I’m good to go. Unfortunately, I should have taken a bigger UGreen box, because if I want to share additional devices (say a USB microphone) I’ll have to start choosing.

The only thing that is directly plugged into my PC is my Logitech G13 gaming keyboard. I received this as a birthday gift from my wife. I was looking for something like this and I kept doubting. When my birthday rolled around, she presented it to me. I’ve used it for every game I’ve played since. I hope it doesn’t break as I don’t think they still make these. I can’t find a link to it on the Logitech site nor on local PC stores. The only reference I find is on Amazon for way too high a price. After a little fiddle with the key mappings, either to make a special profile for the game or to remap the keyboard config, I play way smoother with this device than any keyboard or gamepad. Best gift ever!

The last thing on my desk is the Roost laptop stand. It’s a bit pricey, but it’s the best laptop stand I’ve ever had. I’ve given my wife one a few years ago and it’s a very easy to set up stand. Much better control over the stands than the ones I’ve previously used in corporate settings. It also keeps a much better grip on my laptop.

Hopefully this series helps somebody make a decision while they are looking for a new keyboard or mouse, (standing) desk or ergonomic chair.

My home office – monitor arm

Third blog in a row about my office, this one is about the brand new monitor arm I got. This one took me by surprise as I did not think it would make such an impact on me.

Disclaimer: I’ve bought all my gear myself with my own, hard earned, money. So no sponsorship here! Which is why I can give you the good and the bad.

The last package to arrive is the monitor arm. I took a single one, as I only have one screen, my laptop screen functions as my secondary screen. I have used 2 dedicated screens in the past and this is something I want to go back to. Multiple big screens (27″ and up) are a lot more practical than my small laptop screen.

The monitor arm can be attached as a clamp or drilled through the table. The foot of the support column can be changed so the stand can be attached how you like. The part on the underside is a metal clamp and I could easily see how that would damage my brand new table. I have placed the second foot, which has a rubber sole, between the metal clamp and the underside of the table.

Underneath the table

With the column installed, I can attach the arm at the right height. This part feels a little unstable as I need to clamp it on the column. This did have me worried as I installed the arm, but it has not moved since I set it up.

The clamp on the column

Finding the right height can be a challenge though as the arm can’t easily be moved up or down once it’s been installed. If I loosen it up, I’ll need to adjust the height with the screen attached to it. Which I can assume is tricky and has the risk of the screen falling. That’s why I put it at the same height as my screen was when it was standing on it’s base. That way, I knew it was at a comfortable height.

When I prepared the screen to be attached to the arm, I was slightly worried that the arm would not be able to carry the weight of the screen. This fear proved to be unfounded as the Asus ROG PG279Q is really light and most of the weight is in the foot. The arm can easily hold the screen up and after I tightened the bolt that controls the tilt, it hasn’t budged from the angle I placed it in.

The Asus ROG is a great screen: it has nice colours and a good refresh rate, but I do wish I had taken the 4K version instead of the 2K version. 4K just looks a lot more smooth and is easier on the eyes. Especially when looking a whole day at code, mails and stack overflow. Maybe also a bit for gaming. But mostly for the code.

Attaching the screen to the arm did provide a problem. The mechanism would be super easy to use if the part that holds up the screen would stick out of the back of the screen. If you take a good look, the attachment is sunken into the case of the screen. This part slides over the end of the arm, so it’s really easy to install… normally. With the cool triangular design (that you never see), the sliding mechanism is blocked by the triangular part of the back. I attached the sliding mechanism to the arm and asked my wife to hold up the screen, while I screwed it to the attachment. Luckily, the screen itself is very light, but it was a tense moment anyway.

Screen attached to the arm

The arm can’t easily be adjusted in the height. Tilting and turning the screen side to side is very easy and I notice I use it to show my wife something if she’s standing next to me so she can more easily see what’s on the screen. The screen has a nice viewing angle, but staring directly at a screen instead of at an angle is always more fun.

Cable management is pretty easy although the plastic holders are a bit of squeeze for my HDMI cable. I made sure there is a bit of room on the end so I can turn my screen left and right without pulling on the cables. There is one cable that is not in the cable management, but that’s because my display port cable is not long enough to fit into the cable management holders.

There is one detail that annoys me. When I put the table in the standing position, I notice the screen wobbles if I type or touch the table (put a glass down, for example). When I type more slowly, it doesn’t happen, when I type harder or faster, it wobbles more noticeably. It’s subtle, but I notice it when I write while standing up. I know it’s the vibrations through the table and I can’t do anything about it. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make it any less annoying.

Now that my screen floats above my desk, I noticed that I have a lot more table space. The place that the foot of the screen took up is quite large and now it’s available for documents, my phone and keys. Maybe a microphone if I want to upgrade my audio setup. It’s a decent arm and I love the additional space on my desk, but next time I would look for an arm with a more sturdy base so it won’t wobble.