by Kevin O’Brien
Computer users who multitask have always run into the problem of how to get multiple computers or displays running on a small desk surface. LCD stands take up precious space, and notebooks take a big footprint compared to just a keyboard. One solution, besides a larger desk, is purchasing a device stand that will attach to a single point on your desk, and allow devices to move around suspended above the desk surface. The LX Dual Arm Desk Mount is one option offered through Ergotron.
The Ergotron LX Dual Arm Desk Mount has a very stylish design, not unlike Frenzy from the latest Michael Bay/Paramount film. As you can see in the following picture, you can see they share many design elements.
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Both designs have multiple pivot points for easy positioning of arms (or legs).
Both designs are very sturdy, supporting a great deal of weight.
Both designs have a futuristic look, as if they were made by some advanced civilization.
Both designs look as if they could destroy you at any time.
The Ergotron LX Dual Arm Desk Mount feels incredibly sturdy and overbuilt. The backbone and footing are solid, keeping the assembly planted firm against the desk surface once clamped into place. The footing is so strong that you can actually bend the desk surface by pushing on the stand. The arms have a great deal of mass, to keep items suspended in the air with minimal flex, and to reduce vibration. Joints are large, with many adjustments under spring tension, to let lightweight or heavy items float perfectly in the air.
The only part that feels somewhat cheesy, but not noticed under normal use is the plastic covering that hides all of the inner workings of the height adjusting bar. It is fairly thin and very flexible, but you never notice it unless you try to pinch the sides.
When you first open up the box you see a ton of parts that make most DIY projects appear to be a walk in the park. With so many arms and connecting screws I thought this was going to take forever to put together. Then I took a peak in the instruction manual and figured out that most of the small parts were for the optional mounts (one side can have laptop plate or LCD mount) as well as different size LCD mounts.
The main support section clamps onto your desk through 2 different methods. One is designed to clamp on to the edge of your desk, with the other designed to grip on from below through a hole drilled in your desk. This gives you a decent amount of flexibility depending on where on your desk you feel the stand might best fit in.
With backbone in place, the real fun begins. Each fixed arms gets installed first, with a metal donut to keep it at a height you choose. Then you attach the spring loaded height adjustment arms. After that you install the plates you need to the ends of the height adjustment arms. Next comes actually mounting your devices onto the ends of the arms, and adjusting the spring tension to the perfect level that keeps heavier items up in the air. This is adjusted using a huge allen wrench which was included with the kit. After that a few joints get tightened down with smaller allen set screws, and it’s basically done. In all I think I spent about an hour getting the stand installed on my desk, devices mounted, and wires routed.
One reason I decided to pick this stand to review is my desk gets cluttered with an obscene amount of junk. Many review devices including laptops, accessories, wires, books, you name it… are all scattered around my desk. This stand was able to take my monitor stand off the middle of my desk, as well as elevate one laptop. This freed up a great deal of extra space, and kept a few wires off the middle of the desk with them wrapped around the arms of the stand.
Another benefit of this stand is the flexibility you have on where you want to position devices. The standard monitor stand had a limited height and rotating it around to show a coworker something meant moving the stand itself around my desk. With this stand I can easy get the LCD to almost twice the height above my desk, pivot it to face almost any direction, and tilt the LCD to face the ceiling if needed.
Slate tablet users might find this style of stand handy, being able to elevate their notebook off their desk, and use a keyboard and mouse (wired or wireless) below it. It is useful with standard Tablet PCs as well because it gives you more space and is great for presentations.
For use as a notebook stand, it can’t really hold the notebook steady enough for typing. The entire stand ends up acting like a springboard against the desk surface and you end up having the keyboard bounce against your fingers. Another problem I noticed with notebooks specifically is the tilting joint has no tension adjustment. Heavy notebooks will not stay at the angle that you originally set, and end up flopping down.
If your job requires multiple notebooks or monitors to be around your desk surface, the Ergotron LX Dual Arm Desk Mount might be worth looking into. I was able to free up the footprint of one LCD and one notebook from my desk, gaining some much needed clean space. Overall the quality of the stand was top notch, which you would expect of something designed for a business environment.
- Solid construction
- Lets you position displays over other equipment, which is not really possible with a standard fixed stand
- Compatible with a wide range of devices
- Does not provide a solid enough surface for typing on a notebook placed on the stand
- No internal routing for cables
- Giant, swinging multi-arm device annoys everyone in cubicles next to you.