Balolo Setup Cockpit review


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Nov 02, 2023

Balolo Setup Cockpit review

The Balolo Setup Cockpit is a highly useful and well-designed desk organizer

The Balolo Setup Cockpit is a highly useful and well-designed desk organizer that can significantly increase productivity. The mounting grid on the underside allows interchangeable accessories to be easily attached and rearranged, and the included accessories are of high quality and well thought out. The desk shelf itself can support two side-by-side monitors or a single ultrawide monitor, and can serve as a base for multiple accessories. Overall, we highly recommend the Setup Cockpit for anyone looking to declutter their desk and increase their efficiency at work.

Modular design

Interchangeable accessories

Multiple color options

Only Balolo-made accessories available for now

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What if you could save space and still be productive at your desk? The Setup Cockpit from Balolo is a desk shelf with a mounting grid on the underside of the horizontal piece of wood, allowing interchangeable accessories to mount to the shelf quickly and precisely. This mounting grid comprises a series of mounting positions for modular accessories - we could hang a pair of headphones, mount a phone on a small MagSafe Mount, and place two monitors on the stand, helping boost productivity no end.

We unpacked the Setup Cockpit in a few minutes, placing the stand on a desk and assembling the parts without using any of the included instructions. After unboxing the accessories, we laid out a plan to best use every additional piece in the most productive way, as this desk was used daily by a team member who utilizes multiple monitors and prefers to have their laptop open as another display.

We immediately noticed how helpful it is to have a mounting grid to organize accessories. After we looked at the many different options Balolo offers, we chose to add 10 accessories to our Desk Shelf; the Tray, Phone Stand, Headphone Stand, Laptop Riser, Laptop Dock (for Setup Cockpit), Laptop Dock, Cable Organizer, Magsafe Holder, Catch-All Tray, and the Deskpad Woolfelt. All these accessories are high quality, sturdy, and very cleanly designed, and they are all holding up very well.

Balolo recognized that modern desktops and workstations are more than just monitors that need to lift off a desk. Raising a monitor to eye level is important, but it's not enough in the modern workplace, as we all use extra gadgets, tablets, headphones, and other peripherals.

Dimensions: 45 x 9 x 4.72in / 114 x 23 x 12cm

Weight: 6.6 lbs / 3.8kg

Capacity: 110lb / 50kg

Material: American Walnut Wood / Oak Wood / Black stained Oak Wood

So, Balolo set out to create accessories that would not only look great but be able to mount to the Desk Shelf in ways that would enhance overall productivity.

This is achieved by creating a clean workspace, consolidating clutter, and having zones for important items, so they are not lost on the desk. We appreciate Balolo's choice of 15-play birchwood as the main material for the Desk Shelf due to its lightweight form and beautiful woodgrain.

The Setup Cockpit we used is available in three colors: American Walnut, Oak, and all-black. We reviewed the large-size Desk Shelf, which is wide enough to support two side-by-side monitors or a single ultrawide monitor and can serve as a base for multiple accessories and lift monitors off a desk.

The Phone Stand accessory for the Setup Cockpit is pretty self-explanatory. It mounts to the Setup Cockpit with a single bolt and can rotate to face whatever direction desired. The bottom of the stand has a cutout that allows us to swipe up on our phone easily without needing to reach around the lip of the phone stand or plug in a cable without needing to remove our phone from the stand.

The Headphone Stand accessory mounts to the shelf with a single bolt and angles, much like the Phone Stand. Wool felt tops the Headphone stand, keeping your headphones safe from scratches or damage. The Headphone Stand's design has a cable passthrough, which holds cables in an organized way right where you need them. Currently, this passthrough utilizes the cord of the headset we store on this stand.

The Tray for the Setup Cockpit is a phenomenally well-designed element that mounts to the underside of the Desk Shelf. The large model of the desk shelf has three possible mounting positions (left, center, right), and the small model has one mounting location. This tray can hold books, papers, the Catch-All Tray, storage drives, or even laptops up to 14". Balolo has added cutouts for cable access for popular laptops allowing for a safe hidden location for a computer while plugged in -we tried a MacBook Air, 13" in this tray, which worked well.

The Laptop Riser mounts to the Desk Shelf and has a 25-degree range of rotation, allowing us to point our laptops wherever needed, even from the edge of the Desk Shelf. The top of this Riser is covered in wool felt, so there are no worries about scratching our beloved laptops, and it is also minimal enough that it helps with overall laptop ventilation. Lifting our laptop with this Riser brings our laptop to the perfect height for virtual meetings and makes for a better viewing angle overall.

The Laptop Dock mounts a laptop in clamshell mode to the desk shelf in one of several compatible locations. This option helps keep our laptop off the desk while keeping it safe and secure, and Balolo has added cutouts to help with ventilation while making it easier to grab a docked laptop. Some suggested locations to mount this dock are the sides or the back to avoid blocking valuable areas for other accessories.

The Laptop Dock is one of the three accessories we will talk about that does not attach to the Setup Cockpit itself but is a free-standing add-on. This dock holds a laptop in clamshell mode vertically off a desk or workspace while giving room for ventilation, much like other accessories from Balolo. A welcome feature of this accessory is the freedom to move outside the grid system within the Desk Shelf. While we love how much we can add to the Desk Shelf, utilizing it for accessories and then having a laptop or secondary laptop tucked away on the corner of our desk, or another desk is helpful. This dock fits the plethora of laptops we have tested it with, as well as an iPad, even if it is in the thicker Magic Keyboard case.

The Cable Organizer for the Setup Cockpit is a small powder-coated steel hook that attaches to any mounting grid spaces on the underside of the Desk Shelf. The purpose of this attachment is to help guide cables, catch cables, or manage them in general. Balolo designs the spacing within this hook to hold upward of five cables. Additionally, there is a cutout allowing for adding or removing cables without needing to feed the entire cable. We have a few Cable Organizers setup, mainly on the back side of our Desk Shelf, to help route cables from falling off the back of the desk. We have also used these to catch and hold the main USB-C Cable that plugs into our Laptops from our USB-C Laptop Dock.

The Magsafe Holder continues the trend of a single mounting screw to the Desk Shelf, allowing the ability to angle toward the user. This accessory moves the iPhones off our desk or an additional charger to a part of our Desk Shelf setup. This mount holds an Apple MagSafe Charger within a silicone ring and has a well-placed cutout to help feed the cable towards the back of the Setup Cockpit. In addition to getting iPhones off our desks, this mount brings our phones to a much better height while working. All this while simultaneously charging the iPhone at full MagSafe speeds (assuming you plug the MagSafe into a compatible charging port).

The Catch-All Tray is a great tray to house the small miscellaneous items that would otherwise clutter the workspace. Balolo made this little tray with the same vegan felt on the inside that they utilize to soften their other accessories, and to protect the desk it is used on, it added cork strips on the bottom so any sliding will not damage a desktop. This little tray looks beautiful and is offered in American Walnut, Oak, or all-black to better match any workspace. The American Walnut option perfectly matches our American Walnut Desk Shelf. Currently, our main setup has a Catch-All Tray stored within the under-shelf tray, holding a hex key and a knife for opening packages.

The Deskpad Woolfelt is our final element from the Setup Cockpit series. It doesn't attach to the Desk Shelf, much like the Laptop Dock and Catch-All Tray, but extends the workspace to where our keyboard and mouse reside. Creating a cohesive, productive workspace has many steps, including creating structured zones for items and work.

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If everything in your workspace is strewn about, it is significantly harder to get productive work done, so if you organize and zone out your desk, you can jump to essential tasks quickly, find what you need when you need it, keep yourself on task and not distracted, and increase overall time management. Another benefit to having a Deskpad like this is that it works as an extended mousepad - we have our mouse and full-size MX Master Series Keyboard with palm rest on this pad with room to spare. Keeping these items on our Deskpad keeps our desk free of scratches and adds some padding and sound dampening when we are in an intense writing session.

The Setup Cockpit from Balolo is an entire workstation of accessories packaged as one Desk Shelf. The additional accessories make this ecosystem stand out, and their ability to interchange with the ease of removing one bolt is genuinely brilliant.

Collin is the B2B Hardware Editor for TechRadar Pro. He has been in journalism for years, with experience in small and large markets, including Gearadical, DailyBeast, FutureNet, and more.

Collin is an experienced individual who has an abundance of knowledge when it comes to all things professional hardware. He is the go-to subject matter expert for TechRadar Pro and focuses on standing desks, office chairs, business laptops, "pro" monitors, and other similar topics. With his in-depth understanding of these areas, Collin can provide invaluable insights and advice to readers looking to make informed decisions about their hardware investments.

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Dimensions: Weight: Capacity: Material: