During my annual trip to CES in Las Vegas this past year, I entered myself in the Tweet2Win contest hosted by Ergotron. They are a company from St. Paul, Minnesota, who make ergonomic products for work environments, from monitor stands, to portable desks, laptop stands, and everything in between. Turns out, I was one of the winners. Through a series of conversations, I was able to receive an LX Dual/Triple Display Lift Stand as my winnings. Here are my thoughts:
A before picture. At home I am lucky enough to have two Samsung Syncmaster 213T LCDs. Each with a 21.3″ viewable area, running at a resolution of 1600×1200.
I lugged the sufficiently heavy box home from the office and began the unpacking. The hardware came in several small plastic bags, each large piece wrapped in bubble wrap. Instructions included are in at least half a dozen languages.
The first thing I noticed was that on the tripod base, the rubber coasters to protect the base from your desk are awfully small. For someone who has a polished wood desk, the thought of having a 40 pound stand potentially scratch my desk is horrifying. I wish those rubber circles were a bit bigger, if only to ease my scratch concern.
The instruction for assembly are clear, and pictures are explanatory. Put this part into here, take X-many screws and tighten there, etc. There were a couple pieces whose connections made me scratch my head, where there was a little bit of wiggle room and I wasn’t sure if things should be aligned to the top of the hole where the screw goes, or the bottom. Considering the unit is supporting my two monitors now, I assume I did it right. The piece I refer to here is the horizontal bar which the monitors connect to. This bar rests on top of a ‘lip’ on the vertical support. I was unsure, given the instructions, whether it should ‘click in’ or just hang on the lip and be secured with the screws. Turns out, it should just hang on the lip, and be secured with the two provided screws.
Once I got the bar secured to the vertical support, the rest was easy. Disconnect the current stands from my monitors, attach the Ergotron square mounting bracket to the back of each monitor, and attach the alligator clip-like brackets to the bar. Be warned, as the instructions say, not to hang the first monitor all the way out on the edge of the arm. This will, which it did for a split second in my case, make the stand tip over. Position the first monitor closer to the center until you can attach the second monitor to balance the weight out.
Two plastic clips meant for cable management are included. They clip onto the back of the horizontal monitor arm, and are meant for you to feed cables behind. These are handy, but I only wish a few more were provided. I am only running two monitors now, but if I expand to a third, which this stand supports, I’m not sure those two clips will be enough to handle several thick DVI and power cables.
I finally connected the cables and basked in the glory of my construction effort. There was one thing wrong though, the monitors were at least 4-5″ above my eye level. The provided Allen-wrench tool is used to loosen the spring inside the vertical support, allowing the bar to stay at a lower height. This became an exercise in curiosity. Should I push down on the bar, and while holding it, decrease the tension? Or do I keep turning the wrench counter-clockwise until the bar lowers and ‘hovers’ at your preferred height? Turns out, it is the latter. After what felt like at least 100 turns of the wrench, the bar lowered and stayed at a proper height.
All told, from un-boxing to both monitors being mounted, I spent about 45 minutes getting the stand put together and installed. While installation was fairly easy, I wish Ergotron had put some more construction tips in English writing, rather than just graphics, to answer my confusion. I’ve been using the stand now for the past few days, and I really appreciate how it has helped clean up my desk. Having the monitors at eye height is a lot more comfortable. With the addition of a third monitor down the road, this stand will really pay dividends in saving me a ton of desk space rather than each monitor having its own base. Now I just have to convince myself to buy a third monitor.