iPad-centric Desk Setup

Like most people, I’ve been tinkering with my desk setup for a while, but I think I’ve finally gotten it to where I want it to be. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

I work for a nonprofit, and over he past few years I’ve shifted from the Mac to the iPad as my primary computer. The 2018 12.9” iPad Pro is my main machine, with the 7th-generation iPad serving as a secondary monitor (of sorts). Nothing is so perfect that it can’t be criticized, but I’m quite happy with this setup. And I actually got a chance to talk about this on the most recent episode of the iPad Pros podcast, as Tim Chaten was kind enough to invite me on as a guest.


Nice, crisp setup. Thanks for posting (and welcome)!

The pencil holder gizmo on the older iPad on the right-hand side – what is it?

And the keyboard?

Thanks, @quorm !

The pencil holder on the older iPad is part of a case that snaps onto the back of the iPad.

The keyboard is probably my favorite (non-iPad) piece on the desk. It’s a Keychron K2 (the original version), but with a twist. My wife got me their retro Apple keycap set for Christmas. Adds a nice touch to a great keyboard.

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I like this setup, too. Do they keyboard and mouse control both?

Thanks, @oldblueday Yes, the keyboard and mouse can control both iPads, so I can toggle back and forth as needed. But I usually leave them paired to the iPad Pro and interact with the other iPad by touch.

Thanks for posting, are you using this Mic to record to the iPad? Care to share your setup?

Qoute of the day… well said Greg!

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Interesting - could you elaborate on the rationale and benefits of the swtich?

Can’t read the brand of iPad stands. Already have the small on on the left. Help!

p.s., already have the coffee cup :wink:

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Sure thing, @mina I do record directly onto the iPad from the mic. It’s a Samson Q2U, and it has both an XLR jack and a mini USB jack on the bottom. I record a weekly podcast for work, and I connect it straight to the iPad Pro with a mini-USB-to-USB-C cable. Works great for recording in Ferrite.


That’s an old quote (or near quote) from John Siracusa. Can’t take credit for that one. :wink:

@rkaplan When I first started using an iPad, it was as a secondary, lightweight-computing device. But over time I came to prefer iOS/iPadOS. In the end, I’d say these are the reasons I went with iPad over Mac:

  1. The iPad is more portable, not only physically but in terms of connectivity. With five special-needs kids, we have a fair number of doctor and therapy appointments, and having a cellular iPad makes it easier to work on the go.
  2. I like solving problems, so I welcomed the challenge of figuring out how to make the iPad do what I needed it to do. It’s not that the Mac doesn’t have problems to solve; I just liked the Wild West feeling of the earlier years of the iPad. Although, I’m certainly not complaining about how much more capable iPadOS is now than in prior years!
  3. I like the modularity of the iPad. It can be a desktop, tablet, or laptop as needed.

@Daveb08 The iPad stands are made by KABCON. Very sturdy and solid.

And coffee for the win!


I assume it was a reference to Hypercritical.


What’s your toggle method? Do you use a AB switch?

If you ever get an itch to write up a walk-through to detail the steps for setting up your dual-iPad configuration, I think there’s an audience here that would enjoy learning from it.


The keyboard can be paired with up to three devices, so all I have to do is hit the right key combo (fn+1, fn+2, or fn+3) to connect to the desired iPad. Similarly, the mouse can be paired to three devices, and there’s a button on the underside to switch among the three devices. Very handy to have multi-device Bluetooth peripherals.

I talked a little bit about my two-iPad setup on the episode of the iPad Pros podcast I guested on, but I should write that up on my blog at some point. Adding it to my list of ideas for posts…

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Thanks a lot @gmgodwin

Awesome set up. I, too, have a very similar Brother scanner. What’s your workflow fir using the scanner with the iPad? I find the app difficult to use and unintuitive.

I don’t use Brother’s app. (I don’t think I even have it installed.) Instead, I’ve set up a handful of shortcuts on the scanner itself (scan a series of 1-sided PDFs, scan a multi-page double-sided PDF, etc.), and all of them are set to save the files to a USB flash drive that I keep in the back of the scanner. Once every few days or so I take the flash drive out, plug it into my iPad Pro, and use the Files app to rename and move those PDFs where I want them to go. It’s not as smooth as letting Hazel do the filing on the Mac, but it’s pretty good. And it’s the best scanning workflow I’ve found for the iPad so far.

Cheers. I use a USB key too. But plug it into my Mac and let Hazel do the heavy lifting. Still an awesome set-up

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Thanks! Wallet is $30 lighter!

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