There are a hundred and one reasons why you might want to create a two-laptop setup at home or work. Windows and macOS are very different operating systems with unique features and advantages. Having a Two Laptop setup gets you all of the advantages without any of the compromises.
Creating a Two Laptop setup is fairly straightforward. All you need is a small server for quick Data Transfer and a few portable SSDs, a monitor dock connected to both devices via HDMI, and Laptop docks/ stands for easy access to each computer. Speakers, keyboards, and mice can also be connected to the Monitor.
Which Laptop or Macbook is best for your Two Laptop Setup?
Anything made in the last four years will serve you well. The latest generation of Intel and AMD provide a substantial performance increase over older models, and Apple’s M1 chips are famous for their efficiency, power, and speed.
However, if you have a favorite Laptop or system where you do most of your work, we recommend spending more on that computer.
If you’re a CG artist Video Editor, Modeller, or product designer, it makes more sense to go with a powerful Windows Laptop or Macbook Laptop, but not both simultaneously.
What Do You Need for Your Two-Laptop Setup?
Here’s a breakdown of everything you’ll need for your Two-Laptop setup asides from the computer. Ideally, when it’s all set up, you should be able to toggle between operating systems while using a single monitor and transfer data using SSDs or a local network or server.
Whether you’re shopping for entertainment, professional use, or gaming, the right monitor/ display can be the difference between a lackluster viewing experience or peak enjoyment. Your Monitor is the heart of your two- Laptop setup, and it’s where you’ll be doing most of your work.
Different monitors are designed for all sorts of users, and the major differences between them come down to specifications and features.
Here are a few rules guarantee you’re shopping for the right displays:
- Decide whether you want a gaming monitor, a professional monitor, or a general use monitor. Gaming monitors prioritize frame rates and fluidity. Professional monitors are all about color accuracy, and general use monitors offer an acceptable middle ground.
- Higher resolution means more detail and cost. Your monitor resolution tells you roughly how many pixels are in your PC dimensions. Higher resolutions are best for large monitors.
- High refresh rates are essential for gaming.
- Panel technology determines the viewing quality of your Monitor. TN is the worst and has poor viewing angles, IPS is fast and has great color accuracy, but VA panels show contrast best.
- Curved monitors are more immersive, but they are non-essential.
- Connectivity features like HDMI, Bluetooth
Display Port Cables
You need a pair of display port cables to extend/ mirror your Macbook and PC display to your Monitor. You can also use HDMI or even USB-C.
Use a Display channel for each computer and toggle between them via remote or physical buttons to switch between your Windows and macOS computer screen. At this point, you’ve created a basic two-pc Setup.
File sharing via networks, USB-C, and third-party applications
Basic file sharing is available via Windows and Mac if both computers are on the same network. However, storage devices like SSD and HDD make the most sense if you frequently transport large files. Third-party applications like Resilio synching and Syncthing are also valid options if you’re looking for a faster alternative to wireless sharing via your computer.
Laptop Docks/ Stands
Your Windows and Macbook Laptops will need two adjustable Laptop stands that bring them up to the level of your monitor display. This is essential for multitasking and general posture health.
Plus, Laptop stands are great for ventilation, and it’s super easy to remove and setback either of your computers when you need them for class, remote work, or just want to relax on your couch.
Peripherals (Speakers/ Keyboard Mice)
Good Peripherals tie your two Pc setups together via Bluetooth and wires. Essentials like your keyboard and mouse work great as Bluetooth devices that are connected to both your Macbook and Windows PC. Ideally, you want to use a brand with a proven track record, great Bluetooth connectivity, and a history of working with multiple computers.
The speakers of your choice should connect to your Monitor and allow you to play audio seamlessly regardless of what computer you’re using.
A table (Height adjustable)
Your two-monitor Setup will require a good table that is, at the very least, wide enough to occupy your Laptop stands and the Monitor of your choice. Height adjustable tables are popular now and save you the trouble of wasting hours looking for the right table height for your chair set up. Plus, they also let you work on your feet.
Ergonomic chair (Optional)
Ergonomic chairs are the only sitting choice for modern professionals. They place less stress on your lower and upper back and can help you with your overall sitting posture. Good Ergonomic chairs can be adjusted to your specific height and sitting preferences and make a perfect companion to an adjustable table.
With file sharing, a good monitor, and a decent workstation in place, you should have everything you need for your dream two-laptop Setup. Since none of the tips we’ve shared so far are limited to Windows or macOS operating systems, you can create a two Macbook, Windows, or even Linus setup. The file-sharing methods might differ, but the foundation still holds up well. There’s also no reason why you can’t have a Laptop and Pc set up too. Your limit is your imagination.