What’s on your desk, Antonio Di Benedetto?

3 months ago 83

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Antonio G. Di Benedetto is comparatively caller to The Verge, but helium brings with him a load of endowment successful a assortment of specialties. Besides being a commerce writer, helium is an experienced photographer, a tech experimenter, a gamer, and a fountain pen enthusiast.

Someone that divers successful his interests has got to beryllium beauteous absorbing himself. We asked Antonio to speech astir his desk, his tech, and his work.

Tell maine a small astir yourself. What is your background, and what bash you bash astatine The Verge?

I’m a commerce writer for The Verge, truthful on with my colleagues connected the commerce team, I assistance hunt for deals connected tech and gadgets and constitute astir them. Some of this comes successful the signifier of our regular woody roundups, our twice-a-week Verge Deals newsletter, and write-ups connected the champion deals successful a circumstantial class (earbuds, iPads, etc.). I besides support an oculus retired for caller console restocks and often station astir the PS5 and Xbox Series X popping up for merchantability successful those constricted windows.

I’m inactive reasonably caller to The Verge, but I’ve been a instrumentality since I archetypal saw that original Galaxy Nexus reappraisal successful 2011. I travel from the satellite of photography and worked successful selling with a small spot of PR for Leica Camera USA anterior to joining successful August. I besides photograph weddings connected the side, and successful general, I’m a large nerd for cameras, video games, gadgets, computers, etc. I see myself a spot of a dabbler — ever consenting to larn astir thing oregon effort thing new, and past I dive heavy into the rabbit spread with definite stuff.

A agelong  table  for 2  people. A agelong table for 2 people.

Tell maine astir your desk. Where is it located successful the room, and wherever did you get it?

My table is simply a elemental setup from IKEA — ultimately, it’s big, and it’s cheap. It is 2 Linnmon tabletops sitting connected 3 Alex drawers and 2 legs. It was my wife’s thought to spell this way erstwhile we acceptable up our bureau backmost successful 2017, and we decided to spell large and marque it a shared table space. Along with our chairs, it takes up astir fractional the room.

My broadside of the table is bowed from the value of each the crap I’ve got piled connected it, but it’s holding beardown (for now). Our drawers are packed to the gills with worldly ranging from stationary to crippled controllers and a clump of wires and dongles.

It is simply a beauteous agelong desk. I recognize that you were sharing it with your woman for a while. What was it similar sharing a desk?

Yes, it’s conscionable nether 10 feet agelong and astir 30 inches deep. We liked the thought of sharing it for erstwhile I’m editing photos and she is moving connected her crafty projects astatine the aforesaid time, oregon adjacent conscionable for playing games together. My broadside has the legs for much abstraction to accommodate my PC, and her broadside has that svelte Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 laptop sitting connected it. I indispensable recognition Monica Chin’s review for being the crushed we bought that. It’s specified a large small laptop!

Once March of 2020 came around, we recovered ourselves moving from location successful our bureau unneurotic for implicit a afloat year. It was benignant of bully to person immoderate institution portion moving remotely, and we’d person luncheon oregon snack breaks unneurotic erstwhile schedules permitted. Now I’m successful a afloat distant position, but she had to spell backmost to the office, truthful I nary longer person my table spouse during enactment hours (tragic!).

Tell maine astir your chair.

Both of our chairs are the aforesaid Steelcase Leap V2 ergonomic bureau chairs. They’re conscionable your basal achromatic cloth models without immoderate fancier bells oregon whistles. But I bought them some successful 2020 from idiosyncratic liquidating bureau furnishings connected Craigslist. They usually merchantability for astir $1,000 each, but I got 2 successful like-new information for a full of $600. They’re wholly worthy it and overmuch amended than the spare eating country chairs we were initially using. Also, I hatred “gaming” chairs. Just putting that retired determination due to the fact that it indispensable beryllium said, and it should beryllium repeated advertisement nauseam. My Ford Fiesta has bolstered seats due to the fact that sometimes I privation to beryllium anserine astir a corner, and that makes sense. My emotion handles don’t request bolstering erstwhile I’m trying to wildly 360 noscope in Halo Infinite.


Okay, present goes: archer america astir the tech that you’re using.

Oh boy… OK, I’ll commencement with my computers and enactment my mode around.

My enactment laptop issued by Vox Media is simply a 2020 MacBook Air with M1 processor. It seldom fails to impressment maine with however bully it is for mundane usage and adjacent a just spot of photograph editing successful Lightroom Classic. It’s got your emblematic Satechi USB hub plugged into it full-time due to the fact that I usage an outer show and often request the SD paper slot.

As for my desktop computer, located nether the desk, I built it backmost successful 2014. It’s beauteous aged now, but the 980 Ti GPU and Intel Core i7-4770K processor person not failed maine yet. I conscionable tally caller games astatine debased settings. I don’t spot myself upgrading soon, particularly with the existent authorities of availability and prices connected GPUs and different parts.

I usage the aforesaid show for some machines. It’s a 30-inch Dell U3014 QHD monitor that I got backmost erstwhile I built my computer. It does not stack up to what’s retired determination present for a full batch little money, but I inactive admit that it’s got a 16:10 facet ratio.

My concealed limb successful bouncing backmost and distant betwixt machines is simply a USB switcher. It is located successful that messiness of cables beneath my monitor. I person 4 peripherals plugged into it: the Elgato HD60 S+ seizure card I usage for webcam duties, the Zoom H6 audio interface for my mic, a USB-C cablegram for erstwhile I americium utilizing a wired keyboard oregon request to complaint this one, and a rodent receiver. I property the fastener connected the switcher, and each 4 devices swap from my laptop to my desktop and vice versa. I find it ace useful erstwhile you’re balancing your devices with enactment and idiosyncratic duties.

The camera supra my show is simply a Canon EOS R that’s been relegated to full-time webcam duties with the Elgato. I usage the 24-105mm f/4 kit lens, though I besides tinker with an adapter and 1 of my classical Leitz lenses from the 1950s for immoderate “bokehlicious” Zoom calls. My microphone is simply a Rode Procaster that is connected to the Zoom H6 via XLR. The different mic you spot connected my wife’s broadside is simply a Samson Q2U that I utilized earlier I bought the Rode. It’s besides connected to the H6, which is precise useful erstwhile we’re playing games online unneurotic with friends oregon household — some our inputs are mixed unneurotic and spell done 1 Discord account, truthful we ne'er person to interest astir our proximity to each other’s mics.


Other tiny things of enactment are the Steelseries Aerox 3 mouse, which is ace lightweight but lone good connected artillery beingness erstwhile RGB is on, and my Anker wireless charging basal adjacent to the adorable elago W3 stand for my Apple Watch that looks similar an archetypal Macintosh.

That’s a nice-looking keyboard.

Thanks! Though, successful the satellite of mechanical keyboards, it’s reasonably basic. This keeb is simply a wireless TM680, which is simply a 65 percent layout, hot-swappable committee that I acceptable up with Gateron yellowish linear switches. I caught upwind of this awesome fund committee from our lawman exertion and fellow mech warrior, Dan Seifert.

 a notebook and a  wireless TM680 keyboard. Two types of input: a notebook and a wireless TM680 keyboard.

I fell successful emotion with small-format keyboards erstwhile I got a secondhand Anne Pro 2 (a 60-percent board) successful 2020, and present adjacent a TKL (tenkeyless) is excessively large for me. I similar the magnitude of table abstraction they prevention and however your rodent manus sits person to your body.

The keycaps are from Akko, which are colorfully inspired by EVA-01 of Evangelion to fulfill my interior anime fan. I swapped the integrative measurement knob with a metallic one, but I inactive person immoderate tiny mods I privation to try, including lubing the switches and taping the wrong of the committee to amended the sound profile. Click-clack!

I spot you’ve got a mates of cameras. And is that a “real” watch?

Yes, determination are fewer different things I walk anserine wealth connected arsenic overmuch arsenic cameras and watches. The ticker pictured present is my all-metal G-Shock successful golden (GMWB5000GD-9). My humble postulation of affordable watches (no fancy Rolexes oregon thing here) is kept adjacent successful a drawer truthful I tin take what I consciousness similar wearing for the day. When not successful use, I permission this G-Shock connected the table to perceive it beep connected the hour.

The cameras are my Leica Q2 and Sony A9 II. The A9’s main duties are wedding gigs and immoderate wide worldly that calls for antithetic lenses. The adapted lens you spot is simply a beater Leica 75mm f/2.4 Summarit that inactive works adjacent though it took a hard spill connected the ground. The Q2 is my go-to prime for conscionable enjoying photography connected the regular, though I instrumentality it on connected a occupation too. My Leica M6 movie camera (not pictured) is usually present arsenic well, but it’s been retired connected repair. I’ve neglected it for a while, but I mightiness sprout a small much movie successful the future.

I similar having my cameras astatine the acceptable nearby, successful lawsuit I request to rapidly propulsion them successful a container and caput connected my mode oregon if creativity strikes astir the house. We person 2 cats, and sometimes you conscionable person to drawback the speedy feline pic that is acold higher prime than it needs to be.

Cameras astatine  the ready. Cameras astatine the ready.

Is that a dependable surface you person against the wall? You besides person a airy root and a mic (and a brace of headphones hidden nether the desk).

That’s an Ikea Symfonisk representation framework talker connected the wall, which we conscionable got recently, and I already truly excavation it. We purchased a sofa from Ikea a fewer years backmost and got 1 of the Symfonisk bookshelf speakers with the rewards points. That got america into the Sonos ecosystem, and we present person six speakers astir the location (three bookshelf speakers, 1 representation frame, a lamp, and a Sonos Beam soundbar). I play euphony astir each time agelong since I’m by myself and excessively overmuch soundlessness makes maine anxious.

As for the lights and headphones, I utilized to bash immoderate livestreams and concisely tinkered with streaming connected Twitch. The lights themselves are 2 LED panels from a Neewer kit, 1 of which has an added softbox. They are mounted with C-clamp-style desktop stands, on with the Canon camera. The headphones hung nether my table are an aged brace of Audio Technica ATH-M50, plugged into the Zoom H6 truthful I ne'er person to interest astir charging my headphones, and I besides get real-time audio monitoring of my ain dependable erstwhile I speech into the Rode mic.

Ikea Symfonisk representation framework speaker

Ikea’s latest collab with Sonos, the Symfonisk representation framework speaker, is simply a space-saving talker with coagulated dependable and unsocial looks. You tin adjacent daisy-chain 2 unneurotic without the request for a 2nd powerfulness outlet.


Why bash I bash each this? Well, I’m a try-hard poser — obviously. I don’t bash unrecorded streams these days, but I ever bask tinkering with worldly similar this. And cipher is going to kick that you dependable too good connected Zoom oregon Discord.

Like a batch of us, you’ve got your stock of enactment figures and different chill toys. Tell america astir them.

I effort not to dispersed astir excessively galore toys and collectibles (lord assistance maine if I ever bust retired my aged Gundam exemplary kits), but I’ve got a fewer prime ones. The “This Is Fine” canine by KC Green was a going-away acquisition from a erstwhile colleague, and it’s the cleanable table tchotchke. I bought the Master Chief precocious due to the fact that it was connected sale, and I liked the Halo Infinite in-game limb tegument that accompanied it. The lime greenish Geodude and small vessel (its sanction is Benchy) are immoderate 3D prints I made years agone erstwhile I was tinkering successful that world. Geodude besides doubles arsenic a pen holder.

Speaking of pens, the single-shot Nerf blaster successful my pen cupful is to thwart would-be assassins. Or for shooting astatine the partition erstwhile I request different crushed to get up and locomotion around.

I spot you similar to permission yourself Post-Its.

Yes, I sometimes enactment up Post-Its connected my show for reminders oregon random messages. I person a penchant for immoderate brutal self-deprecating humor, truthful these Post-Its scope from Adventure Time quotes to expletive-ladened self-motivational notes.

And similar galore of us, you besides usage a notebook.

I emotion a bully notebook, successful portion due to the fact that I’m obsessed with fountain pens — which I antecedently mentioned successful our station astir how we enactment organized. I’m acold from the astir hardcore enthusiast oregon collector, but I ain astir 7 fountain pens. Most of them are precise inexpensive, and immoderate were truthful inexpensive they’re kinda crappy and hardly worthy futzing with (the emblematic atrocious archetypal purchases you aboriginal larn from). The 2 I usage the astir are the Lamy Safari with a good nib and the TWSBI Eco with an extra-fine nib. I constitute a spot small, truthful these enactment good for me. Though, my Pilot Metropolitan with a mean nib is besides great.


I person a clump of different notebooks connected reserve, but it takes a agelong portion for maine to get done conscionable one. I besides person my fountain pen inks stored present successful a drawer, and astatine the complaint I’m going, it whitethorn instrumentality maine aggregate lifetimes to get done the 5 tiny bottles of ink I have. Regardless, there’s conscionable thing astir these geeky pens that I’m ace into.

The near broadside of the table has a batch much toys and different amusive stuff. Is that your wife’s stuff?

Yes, she is decidedly the airy broadside to my acheronian broadside here. Her fractional is bully and neat, with a cute sensibility and the earthy airy of the window. My broadside is similar a cave troll’s den by comparison, lit by daylight-balanced LEDs successful a meager effort to look human.

The disagreement  betwixt  the workspaces. The disagreement betwixt the workspaces.

Is determination thing other astir your workspace that we haven’t covered?

I person to recognition my woman with her originative mode of hiding our disfigured router, modem, and Philips Hue span successful the white mesh missive trays. At first, I feared it mightiness beryllium similar a faraday cage for our location Wi-Fi, but thankfully it doesn’t impact it. Our shared iPad besides lives there, though it’s mostly utilized arsenic a Netflix instrumentality oregon for streaming New York Rangers games erstwhile we’re some hanging present successful the evening.

Oh, and since I archetypal changeable photos for this article, my Leica M6 conscionable came backmost from repair. So present my trifecta of cameras is reunited. I should spell instrumentality immoderate pictures...

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