Sure, you only need a MacBook Air or Pro to get things done almost anywhere. Or maybe an iPad with a stand and keyboard. But if you want to be more comfortable (and productive), wouldn’t you want a fuller computer setup? Today’s incredibly spare featured setup gets the job done.
The user is a journalist who takes their work on the road, like the fast-food joint in the photo above. They use just an M1 MacBook Air on a stand, a mini mechanical wireless keyboard and mouse, and sometimes a clamp-on light and iPhone mount to handle quality video calls via Continuity Camera.
This post contains affiliate links. Cult of Mac may earn a commission when you use our links to buy items.
Bare-bones M1 MacBook Air mobile workstation is ready for almost anything
Journalist and Redditor injuredhorse (“Horse”) showcased their svelte setup in a post appropriately titled, “The perks of having a fully portable Mac setup.”
It consists of an M1 MacBook Air, but not just the laptop. They mounts it open on a folding Nofinn Laptop Stand for an ergonomically healthier working position, so the screen is more at eye level as he sits with good posture.
And they use external wireless input devices — a Logitech MX Mechanical Mini Wireless Keyboard and a Logitech MX Master 3 wireless mouse — to avoid having to reach for the laptop’s keyboard and trackpad. Sometimes they bring along a Magic Trackpad 2, as well.
In the photograph above, you can see the basic rig sitting in a MacDonald’s restaurant. But Horse mentioned they add a bit more to the setup for video calls of reasonable quality.
Quality video calls using Continuity Camera
“I’m currently in a hotel with the same MBA, similar stand and a portable keyboard and trackpad,” Horse said. “I added a clamp-mounted light for video conferencing and a mount for Continuity Camera and I’m ready no matter where I am!”
When they talked about a mount for Continuity Camera, they meant a way to sit an iPhone right on the laptop and use it as a webcam. A late-model iPhone’s camera is a lot better than a MacBook’s webcam. Continuity Camera in macOs Ventura makes its easy to make the switch. And with the light, they’ll look even better.
Cool little mechanical keyboard
And just a quick note about the mini keyboard Horse totes around. It’s a pretty recent release. Logitech decided to add low-profile mechanical keyboards to its MX lineup, and the Mini is one of them.
Logitech promises “fluid and quiet mechanical typing” with it via tactile quiet switches. Or you can choose clicky and linear switches. The keyboard pairs with up to three devices at once and works with macOS, iPadOS, iOS, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS and Android.
“I love this keyboard,” Horse said. “It’s the best keyboard I’ve ever used.”
Shop these items now:
Computer and stand:
If you would like to see your setup featured on Cult of Mac, send some high-res pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide a detailed list of your equipment. Tell us what you like or dislike about your setup, and fill us in on any special touches, challenges and plans for new additions.