602 words long | 3 minute read
I'm currently working remotely and prior to leaving I got a bit obsessed with figuring out what I was going to bring for my work setup. Throughout the whole process I kind of figured out that during covid I became a creature of habit more than I'd like to admit. The idea of leaving my comfy standing desk for a more uncomfortable setup gave me more pause than I'd like to admit.I think I was obsessing with finding the perfect setup so much because I was a bit set in my ways and subconsciously nervous about getting out of my comfort zone.
The one place I kept getting stuck on was how to have a second screen for my laptop. Call me spoiled but this was feeling like a non negotiable for me. I (think I?) work better and faster with a second screen and even though I was working remotely didn't want to sacrifice this piece of my setup.
I was convinced that buying one of these new portable screens was going to be my soution. A lot of them seemed cool online and I read a bunch of posts about "nomad packing lists" where they suggested a few different versions. After doing a deep dive online I found that a lot of these screens seemed to have a lot of drawbacks like:
Honestly not being able to see one before I got it was one of the main points why I ended up not buying one. I am weird about electronics where I feel bad returning them and want to play with the item before purchasing it. After doing a deep dive on Amazon reviews it felt like 10% were fake, 50% loved it, and 40% said it was too dim or had to exchange.
With those odds I decided that these drawbacks weren't worth the extra weight and space in my bag.
I always knew that my iPad could be a second screen but it just didn't appeal much to me for some reason. I think I was mostly concerned about screen size. Would I be able to work from such a small screen or spend more time trying to decipher what I'm looking at?
I decided to just go with the iPad as I already planned on bringing it along. Which honestly was one of the biggest selling points along with realizing that the screen on these things are pretty amazing and hard to replicate. Plus it plays nicely with my Macbook so I rolled with it.
It kind of seems like the obvious choice in retrospect considering the hassle of a real portable screen but it was a couple weeks of serious deliberation before I just went with what I already had. Saved me money & space. Win win.
I've only had a little time to do real work with the iPad and so far it's been great. Perfect? No. But does the trick with what I need it to do. It works well in bright and low light, is responsive, and easy to set up. I do wish that sometimes the screen size was bigger when doing UI coding but for the most part it's been great.
If you are in the same boat as me I would suggest giving it a try. It may not replace your big monitor at home but is a great option if on the road.
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