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Maximizing Efficiency: Transitioning from MacBook Pro to PC with Anker Dock Setup Swaps

It’s the best of both worlds: A computer setup with a Mac and a PC. They each have their strengths. But how best to use both in the same workstation? Well, today’s setup does it with a MacBook Pro and Anker dock arrangement.

The user, a systems engineer for a software developer, relies on an Anker 5-in-1 Thunderbolt 4 dock to connect an M1 Pro MacBook Pro and Windows laptop to displays that suit them, plus other peripherals.

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Setup’s M1 Pro MacBook Pro swaps with PC laptop using Anker 5-in-1 Thunderbolt 4 dock

System engineer and Redditor Stephen Horan (u/stephotosthings) showcased the formidable setup in a post entitled “Finishing Touches.” The setup runs a 14-inch M1 Pro MacBook Pro and an unidentified Windows laptop through an Anker 5-in-1 Thunderbolt 4 dock to a pair of displays and other peripherals. A fifth-gen 12.9 iPad Pro rounds out the mix.

“Been working on a cleanish-but-lived-in-feeling setup for a few years,” he said. “I still wonder about going up to a 48-inch monitor and a 27-inch vertical. But if I can get my hands on a cheap LG DualUp in place of the 16:9 vertical monitor then I definitely won’t.”

Horan works for a software developer but also uses the setup for a series of semi-intensive tasks, like photo editing and gaming.

“I work as a system engineer for a software developer, and swap the MacBook out to a Windows laptop with the Thunderbolt dock, Bluetooth accessories [Logitech MX series mouse and mechanical keyboard],” he added. “Personal workflows are photo editing, AI generation, media consumption and some gaming.”

MacBook Pro and Anker dock: Connecting everything

So Horan’s Anker Thunderbolt 4 dock with five ports connects all the vital gear, allowing him to swap the laptops pretty easily. It works with MacBooks running macOS 11 (Big Sur) or later and Windows 10 laptops that include a Thunderbolt 4 port.

And the dock expands connectivity. It offers an 85W Thunderbolt 4 upstream port that connects to a laptop and charges it. Plus he gets three Thunderbolt 4 downstream ports with 15W of charging and 40Gbps data transfer speed, and one USB-A port.

And for displays, the Thunderbolt 4 downstream port supports a single monitor in up to 8K@30Hz, or to dual monitors in up to 4K@60Hz.

The pair of displays would seem to suit Steph’s work and play, as well as their Mac and PC laptops. One is a 25-inch Dell U2520D UltraSharp 1440p monitor running at 60Hz refresh rate (Mac-friendly). The other is a 43-inch Gigabyte Aorus FV43u gaming display running at 144Hz (PC friendly).

DIY shelving

“I also recently added these cheap pine shelves to the space, mainly as I got too much stuff and I want it all on show all the time,” Horan said. See the photograph below.

And if you like the desktop wallpaper on the displays (most clearly on MacBook Pro), Horan said he got it from Basic Apple Guy.

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MacBook Pro setup in home office with DIY shelves
Here’s a shot of the whole office nook, complete with DIY pine shelves for extra gear.

Computers and dock:


Input devices:


If you would like to see your setup featured on Cult of Mac, send some high-res pictures to Please provide a detailed list of your equipment. Tell us what you like or dislike about your setup, and fill us in on any special touches, challenges and plans for new additions.

Anker PowerExpand 5-in-1 Thunderbolt 4 Dock

Anker PowerExpand 5-in-1 Thunderbolt 4 Dock

This compact dock features up to 85-watt charging for a laptop, 15W charging for other connected devices, single 8K@30Hz or dual 4K@60Hz display support, USB 3.1 Gen 2 port. Works with MacBook Pro/Air and more.

Buy now

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