The Blog

Mar 17, 2009

Ergotron LX in the Hizouse 

by Maxim Porges @ 12:00 AM | Link | Feedback (0)

I got a few toys at the end of last year for my home office/studio (namely a Virus TI and a 22" monitor), but they had the unfortunate side effect of cluttering up my desk.

The monitor doubles as a USB hub and has three video inputs, so it created a whole bunch of spaghetti behind it. And as much as I love my Virus TI, it's so deep that I have to push my monitor back to accommodate it, making small text too hard to read when the TI is on the desk. This means that when I work from home I have to unplug the TI and take it off the desk so I can move the monitor closer, which is a pain in the ass.

I looked at a few monitor mounts, but they were either ridiculously expensive, wall-mounted (I wanted a desk-mount device), or looked crappy. We have a few flat panel TVs in the house, and the only arm-based mount I had bought was a $25 job from BJs, which was too flimsy to hold the little 15" TV in the exercise room. After my bad experience with that floppy piece of crap, I was concerned about getting an arm-based system again, but they seemed to be the only solution to my cable and monitor-distance dilemma.

Then I found the Ergotron LX Dual, which got rave reviews on Amazon. Dell had the silver for $199.00 with shipping, so I ordered it last week and it arrived today.

This thing rocks the house, and just screams build quality. It came out of the box with two monitor mounts and a laptop mount; I have just the Dell monitor and either my work or personal MacBook Pros to worry about, so I went with the monitor/laptop configuration. The mount got great reviews from the Amazon crowd for being sturdy, and they weren't kidding - the tension mounts are all fully adjustable to a very fine degree. I've got my setup to the point where I can move the monitor and laptop to any position and they just stay there - no wobbling or sagging. I've got a pretty deep desk (I think it's about 30"-36" deep by 72" wide), but the 24" of extension the Ergotron LX gives me easily brings my monitor in to viewing range with the post mounted to the back of my desk. There are integrated cable tidies, so I've got all the cables running through the arms and floating above the desk too, which gives me all my desktop space back again. Although I don't typically work this way, you can also swivel the monitor to portrait mode if you like without having to pull any levers or make any adjustments.

The mount is mostly held together by gravity, so if for example I wanted to switch my monitor to the right and my laptop to the left, I can just lift the arms off the top of the support pole and switch them around without breaking out the tools. Tension is adjusted through Allen keys and a Phillips head screwdriver, and the tension points are very easy to get to.

Installation was a breeze with the well-diagrammed instructions, and they give you all the tools you need to get going. The only item I was concerned about during installation is that my desk is glass, just under 1/2" thick, so I was concerned about the leverage imposed by the 20-odd pounds of weight that my laptop and monitor would put on it (especially since I was using the clamp mount). To spread the weight out a bit, I cut a 2x4 about twice the width of the clamp mount and put it on the underside of the desk. You can't see it unless you look for it, and it is doing a nice job of distributing the load. If you decide to pick one of these up, note that the grommet mount can hold twice the weight of the clamp mount. You get installation hardware for both mounting styles in the box.

I snapped a few photos, so check them out.