Ergonomics in the dorm with a new monitor, keyboard, mouse and stand

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Well if you are hunched over in your dorm room, it’s time to realize your back is going to really hurt, so here are some suggestions:

  • Separate keyboard and mouse/trackpad. So that you can have them at lower spot than the laptop
  • A laptop stand. This move the laptop up about 4 inches. We use the Logitech X-model and it is great.
  • If you really want to get it right, get a separate monitor.

There are now quite a few choices of 27″ 1440p with IPS. Many more than just a year ago. Here are some to choose from:

  • Apple makes a $1000 one that is thunderbolt and has a Mac power connector which is 1440p and has an IPS panel with LED lighting. The nicest thing is that if you have AppleCare on your MacBook (which everyone should), then the monitor is covered as part of it. That comes in handy when something breaks and Apple is great on service. But it is expensive and it is nearly two years old and about to get an update most likely according to Macrumors, so hold off if you can, otherwise, look at these below…but they expect 4K displays to be the most likely thing (oooh, going to 2160p aka 4k would be cool!).
  • Dell U2713HM. For $620.  you can get the Dell U2713HM and is nice since it uses LED lighting so is much thiner and TFTCentral really likes it and PCMag gave it an Editors’ Choice and Anandtech liked it too. To get it to display 1440p, you need or getting a DP to dual-link DVI cable from Monoprice for $8 or a mini DisplayPort to Displayport for $5 and then hacking the EDID file (strange but widespread as Dell and Apple are not compatible)  so you need some hacking at the EDID file so that Apple doesn’t think the Dell is a television. It has an integral power supply and good quality colors. Reliability is the big question and Amazon users rate it 4/5 but sadly there are quite a few quality complaints 🙁 YOu want revision A02 and not the older A00-A01 that Amazon has apparently. This puts you between a rock and a hard place as Amazon support is great but you can’t tell the revision you get and dell.com where you are getting newer but at the mercy of Dell support (bleh!). So best solution might be to wait out the Amazon shipments till you get the newer Dell. Sad that Wirecutter doesn’t note this.
  • For budget purposes, the Yamasaki Catleap were great but you can now get it as the Monoprice Zero-G Slim IPS which Anandtech. It is a little weird with an external power brick, funny OSD controls. Or listen to Wirecutter and get a $350 panel from Korea that does about the same. Although you do need a Thunderbolt to DVI cable.
  • The recommended lost cost monitor is the Nixeus Vue 27 which has DisplayPort and the same great IPS screen. ($480 from Amazon)

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