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Swiveling desktop + tablet replaces laptop

December 7, 2011

Like most workplaces, Notre Dame is on a multi-year cycle for updating employee computers; this year was my turn. Yay! During the previous round I had a laptop that sat in a dock connected to a 19″ display. Over the past year a tablet had gradually taken over nearly all of my mobile computing needs, and I came to the conclusion that a laptop was not necessary. I decided to move to a desktop computer and use the tablet for all out-of-office work.

Some of the people I meet in my consulting role feel intimidated by technology. For that and other reasons my space incorporates lots of plants, art works, books, and toys. I also do my best to hide any wires. An all-in-one computer can eliminate many wires, and if it has a large enough screen you won’t find yourself wishing for a second monitor. I decided to go with a 27″ iMac; its processing power is more than adequate for the kinds of work I normally do (and I have ready access to beefier devices). So far, so good.

desk arrangementarm hardwareMy office desk is in an “L” shape that lets me visit with people at an attached table. With the old setup, if I wanted visitors to see my screen I had to turn the monitor base toward them. If someone needed to type, they came over to my side of the desk. I pondered for a long time whether there was a better way, and finally the answer came in two parts.

The first half of the solution was simple: use a wireless keyboard and mouse. When visitors need to type, just hand them the keyboard. The second idea was the beauty part: attach the iMac to a swiveling arm! Sound a litte iffy? Well, I was nervous at first, but I have worked with this arrangement for nearly six months and it is awesome! I use the arm almost daily and I have no complaints.

I don’t miss my laptop either. I have a computer I can use at home when needed, and the tablet does nearly everything I need it to do. “What about the rest?” you may ask. Well, the laptop didn’t do everything I wanted either, and it was much less convenient to carry around. Here’s what I used to make the iMac swivel

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Mark permalink
    May 31, 2012 7:35 am

    This is exactly what I am looking at doing right now, with the same kit, but couldn’t find for certain whether the arm could handle the 27″ iMac. Problem solved! Cheers.


  1. 20 Types of Tablet Tools for Teaching « NspireD2: Learning Technology in Higher Ed.

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