For my 200th Post i thought i would do something a little special, so here it is:
The Ergotron LX Arm with CF
A few weeks ago I was contacted by Ergotron; they asked me if I would like to review a monitor arm for them, in return I get to keep the arm. Of course I jumped at the offer and yesterday it arrived, so here is my full review of it.
You can checkout the company’s website here and the page for this particular arm (the LX) here. The website doesn’t work at all well in Firefox (Tut Tut) so you’ll have to look at it in Internet Explorer, although I’m told that a new website is currently being designed which is more Firefox friendly.
Basically the arms are designed to give you much more freedom than the basic stands that come with most TFT and LCD monitors, perfect for anyone who needs more desk space or if more than one person needs to see the screen.
The box I received was about the same size as the box for my Samsung TFT Monitor, with everything nicely packed and wrapped, everything had survived the trip from the Netherlands. I pulled out all the pieces and laid them out before hand. You get a lot of little things plus the main three pieces of the arm itself. There are a number of different ways you can construct the arm; bolting it to a wall, drilling it to a desk, or clamping it onto the desk which is what I’ll be doing, you get all the pieces and more than enough screws to do any of these.
If you’re putting it together and going to clamp it to a desk or table then the only tool you need is a Philips screwdriver. Included in the box are a couple of Allen keys for adjusting settings but I’ll get to that later. Clamping it to a desk is defiantly the easiest way to set up the arm, it comes ready for it and needs very little effort to put it together, obviously wall mounting will require you to drill and secure it to a wall which takes a little more skill.
First thing to do is to remove your existing stand from your TFT monitor, mine had 3 Philips screws holding it in, once they were removed then it just slid out of the slot at the bottom.
You then go about attaching the first piece of the arm to the screen, most TFT monitors have a VESA mount which is an industry standard size for attaching stands and arms to TFT and LCD monitors, the LX fully complies with this and fitted very nicely. Even if your screen does not have a VESA mount, Ergotron have thought about this and included a second backing plate for larger mounts.
I ran into a problem here when connecting the arm to the screen, one of the thumb screws for securing it wouldn’t go in properly, but this is most certainly a problem with a cross thread in the screen and not the arm, because I didn’t want to strip the thread I have left it empty, because its at the bottom it shouldn’t cause too many problems.
After attaching the arm you can mount the upright pole to the desk/table, very simple and easy to do, just make sure you do it up nice and tight, (Don’t want your arm falling off!!) As the pole lets the arm swing 360 degrees around it you can put this almost anywhere; to the side of your desk, at the back even facing the wrong way, like on my shelf, which is easily strong enough to hold it.
Once clamped, it’s just a case of sliding the pieces of the arms together and then sliding it over the pole. Nice and Simple.
You can then connect the power and data cables back up to your monitor and squeeze them into the clips inside the arm itself, keeping you desk free and tidy.
Once assembled you can start making good use of the LX.
You may need to adjust the strength of the spring in the LX for your specific monitor weight; this is so that if you move the screen up or down it stays where you up it. This is also very easy, simply turn different grub screws with the provided Allen Keys to increase or decrease stiffness.
Initially I was a little overwhelmed by the different ways you can position the screen, there are 6 degrees of freedom, much like an expensive robot arm, you can position the screen pretty much anyway you like. The screen will even rotate around, perfect for if you have a widescreen monitor you can make good use of the width when reading or editing long text documents.
The arms movement makes the screen almost seem like it is floating, it’s a very smooth action and just oooozes quality.
After having it for a whole day now I’ve started to make much better use of the ability to move it around, when I play day of defeat I position it straight on with me in the centre of the desk quite close to my face with the keyboard underneith it, when I’m programming I can move it back next to my CRT monitor to make good use of the dual screens I have, and when lying on my bed watching the Simpsons I can pull it over towards me making the pictures quite a bit bigger than when its sitting on my desk.
I’m planning on using this on my University Open Day in a few weeks time to show off my program, I will be able to swing the monitor right out into the walk way and make my presentation stand out from all the rest of the projects and make it easier for the people who are walking around to see what’s going on on my screen.
I’ve fell in love with the LX but there is a problem… I was given this for free, if you do a quick froogle search you will see that they retail at about £130, personally I think this is a bit too much to spend on an arm which is not entirely necessary, but if you have spent over £400 on a TFT monitor you are going to want to make good use of it.
I’ve also just noticed that there is a black version available… SWEET!
This is defiantly an ubergeek pc accessory, if you have the money to buy Dual or even Quad SLI graphics cards or an FX60 then you would love one of these, think of the attention you would get at a LAN party.
It’s also perfect for someone who does regular demos or presentations, but for the average pc user i think it is just a bit too expensive.
Saying that Ergotron also do some cheaper stands with less degrees of freedom, even dual and quad stands for holding 2 or 4 TFT monitors!
Check out Ergotron.co.uk for all of their products.
All the photos in this review can be seen in this flickr set.
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