Monday, April 11, 2022

The Budget Battletop

I love YouTube videos about battletops (laptops used as desktops that are kitted out with a dozen components to make your laptop seem like you are using a desktop).  The central theme with those videos seems to be putting together a bunch of high-end (read: expensive) components to get the immersive desktop feel.  Since I mostly use my 14" laptop for web browsing or reading books in the evening, I don't need the full desktop experience but on the few occasions each month when I am doing Zoom meetings, I really want a desktop-like experience with a larger monitor so I can see the meeting as well as the documents that go with the meeting without squinting!  So I made my own budget-friendly battletop which includes...

  • A desk which is actually a moveable kitchen island that I picked up at the Goodwill for $20.
  • The chair I use for this set up is a high cafe-table chair which I borrowed from our kitchen table set which we don't use because everyone tends to sit at our kitchen island instead of the table.
  • A monitor.  This one is a 1080p 20" monitor which I set up for hubby months ago.  I got a larger monitor for this set up but it was too big so I gave it to hubby and took his which makes viewing easier when I am sitting so close to it.  This one cost about $100 at Best Buy.
  • A webcam.  I got a basic 1080p Logitech webcam from Best Buy on sale for $30.  It works fine, but maybe it is too clear because when I look at my face in the camera I feel the need for plastic surgery!
  • Logitech computer speakers which I got on sale at Target for $15.  I am not editing music or doing high end gaming so I just need basic speakers and these work fine.
  • A mouse and mouse pad which I have had for ages, it is a Logitech basic mouse which cost around $10.
  • A small, wireless no-name keyboard which works great for $12.  I didn't want a full-size keyboard with the number pad on it because I only type on it a few times a month and wanted to save space.  I'm surprised at how nice this keyboard is even though it was so cheap!
  • A no-name USB hub that ties the entire system together which cost $20 on Amazon.  The hub allows you to plug a bunch of devices into a central device which then plugs into the laptop
  • My laptop is central to the whole setup, it is a Lenovo C940 i7 laptop that I have had for a few years.
  • I got a great deal on the power strip from Target which included three strip/adapters for $11.
  • I have had the headphones (which are hanging on the right side of the desk) for several months.  They are JBL 500BTs which cost about $40 on sale from Amazon and they work great!

Overall this system works great for Zoom meetings or even reading and editing documents on a large screen.  I didn't want two devices--a laptop and a separate desktop--so this set up works perfectly for my needs!

In other news, it is windy AF here in Las Vegas today.  The blowing dust is so bad I can barely see a hundred yards in front of me and my walk this morning was miserable and quick because it was so windy and dusty.  Apparently the rest of the country isn't faring very well either, I have been watching storm chasers on YouTube today as they search for tornadoes and other scary weather across the eastern part of the US!  eeekkk


  1. We do watch out for tornadoes almost every storm that comes through. You have a nice setup.

    1. Thank you. Stay safe, the tornadoes I've seen on the storm chaser videos look absolutely terrifying!