Tom Warren is a senior editor here at The Verge who covers “mostly anything Microsoft, PC, and console gaming.” He recently redid his home workspace and offered to tell us about his new setup; impressed with its practicality and neatness (which is nothing like mine, but let’s pass over that), I immediately took advantage of his offer.
Here’s some of what Tom has to say about his new work-at-home environment.
First, tell us a little about yourself.
I have a background in IT, which I developed by working at a variety of investment banks as a project manager for bespoke software, Windows machines, and more. My first proper job was working at a GAME retail store in the UK, selling Xbox and PlayStation bundles during Christmas time.
I understand that you recently did a total redesign of your workspace. What prompted that?
I did, indeed — a total overhaul! I moved house recently, so it was the perfect time to do some proper cable management, get a new standing desk, and really organize everything. Now I’m proud of my desk, and I’m aiming to keep it as clean and tidy as you see it in the photos.
That’s a cozy-looking space. Where in your home is it?
It’s in a spare room we have in our house, and there’s a little bit of room behind where I can store my gadgets. I’ve also got a little bench area where I can review the latest CPUs and GPUs.
Tell us about your desk and why you chose it.
It’s the Fully Jarvis hardwood standing desk. I looked at so many desks, but this was the one that really hit the perfect combination of size (to fit into the little nook in the room), standing flexibility, and build quality. Fully does a bunch of standing desks, and I thought about the bamboo option, but considering the last time I bought a desk was more than 10 years ago, I thought I’d stretch to the more expensive hardwood top that looks and feels great.
Tell us about your chair and, again, why you chose it.
I use the Herman Miller Aeron. It’s a pricey chair, but I’ve had it for years, and it’s well worth it. It supports my back really well, and when you’re at a desk all day, it’s crucial to have a good chair. The Aeron is super popular in offices, and I used to use one when I worked in the city, so when I started working from home full time, I knew it would be a good pick.
Here’s the big one. Tell us about the tech you’re using: computers, monitors, etc. Be as specific as you can — including why you chose it and if you’re happy with it (or not!).
My PC is a custom-built gaming rig. I’m currently using the Nvidia RTX 4090 inside, but I usually swap out GPUs fairly regularly as I’m always testing new PC parts for The Verge. I chose this PC case because I really wanted a mix of black and white inside and out. I’m a Star Wars fan, so the stormtrooper look was super appealing.
I’m using three monitors in total. The main one is a 32-inch Samsung Odyssey G7 curved monitor. It’s 1440p and 240Hz, so it’s ideal for PC gaming right now. I like it a lot, but the one thing I hate is that it takes a while to come out of standby.
The two portrait monitors are Asus ROG Swift PG279Qs — the same that we named editor’s choice in 2018. These are 27-inch 1440p 165Hz panels. They’re probably a little overkill for secondary monitors, but I had one originally and upgraded to the Samsung, and then I decided to buy another secondhand to match the opposite side. I use the right-hand one for Twitter (yes, I’m addicted) and the left-hand one for a combination of Slack and Discord.
I love the monitor setup. How did you figure out exactly what you needed?
My original setup many years ago was just a single large monitor, but I found adding a second one in portrait mode was great for reading long articles or monitoring my various Twitter feeds. After that idea and some upgrades, I’ve settled on this combination. I’m not a huge fan of ultrawide monitors, and I think my next monitor upgrade would be a 240Hz OLED and maybe even 4K resolution. I’ll have to wait for GPUs to really be able to deliver 240fps reliably at 4K first, though.
Okay, what else?
I’ve had a bunch of people ask me what the display is underneath my monitors or the little button on my desk. The display is a Google Nest Hub. I mainly use it to monitor cameras and switch up my heating and lights. The little Philips Hue Smart Button on my desk controls my light setup in my room, so I can change the light strip at the desk, the main light, and a couple of light bars I have set up behind me.
I also use a Shure SM7B XLR microphone with Elgato’s Wave XLR interface and a Stream Deck. I stream to Twitch very rarely, but this setup is great for work calls, chatting to friends on Discord, and controlling smart devices in my home.
The Stream Deck XL is the 32-key version of the Elgato Stream Deck. It doesn’t feature a swappable faceplate like the MK. 2 version of the standard Stream Deck, but it has more than double the number of buttons to push.
You might have noticed I have two cameras at the top of my monitor. One is for Windows Hello to automatically detect my face and log me in, and the other is a Sony Alpha a7S II that I use for video calls, YouTube videos, and everything else. A Key Light keeps my face well-lit during calls, too.
Great colors on the keyboard!
Thanks! I’m using the Ducky One 2 TKL with custom keycaps. I use rubber ones for WASD because I’ve found it helps with gripping the all-important movement keys. I have to regularly swap them, as I always wear out the W key. It’s a chance to swap the colors on the WASD every once in a while, though.
I see that you put your standing PC on your desk rather than the floor. Any particular reason?
Mainly for dust purposes. I’ve had my PC on the floor before and found that I had to clean it a lot more than if it was on my desk. Now that I’m using a standing desk, it also helps routing the cables to a tray underneath the desk rather than having to have a bunch of long cables just to reach the floor.
Those are great-looking acoustic tiles.
I mainly added them just to have something good-looking behind my setup. I’m not sure if they really help the acoustics all that much, but my microphone does sound good in this little nook, so maybe they’re doing something!
Are you finished with the redesign, or is there more to come?
I am pretty much finished. I have some storage behind me and a workbench that I’m still setting up and fiddling with. I really want to build a little den and snug area for my dog to sleep in under my desk, as he loves to come and hassle me to throw his ball all day long.
Is there anything else about your workspace that we haven’t covered?
I’m still building the setup behind me that I’ll be using for testing and photographing / filming products. That’s a work in progress for now, but I’m going with more of a workshop vibe.
Photography by Tom Warren.
Update January 18th, 2023, 12:01PM ET: Updated to add a sidebar with Tom Warren’s PC specs.