Choosing a Monitor Arm, How to Get the Right Fit for Your Monitor

Monitor stand with articulating arm is just one of the many great ways to overhaul your work desk and make it conducive for work. It is a simple tool, but it is definitely one of the most effective ways to feel better as you sit on your chair and work on your computer. Here at Dual Monitors Guide, we emphasize the importance of ergonomics, which is why we feature and review the best third-party ergonomic workstation solutions you can find in the web today. With tons of choices out there, it can be hard to find the right monitor arm for your monitor and workstation. In this entry, we will talk about finding the right LCD arm that fits your monitor and work desk.


Why You Need an Ergonomic Monitor Arm

Regular monitor stands that come with the monitors don’t usually have the adjustability feature. This setup forces users to keep their neck and head in a fixed uncomfortable position (which is usually too low) for hours, resulting to neck, shoulder and back pain issues, even eyestrain. A good monitor arm lets you position your display at eye level, tilt the screen back and forth and swivel left and right to get the right viewing angle, rotate to switch from landscape to portrait orientation mode, and even fold to save precious space on your desk. This makes a comfortable working environment to help you boost your productivity, as you can save a lot of time from readjusting your screen and focus more on your work task.

(image from Amazon)

Some good quality LCD monitor mounts such as LX HD Sit-Stand Wall Mount LCD Arm even allow sit-stand adjustability, meaning the articulating arm has enough range adjustments for users to switch between sitting and standing position. It can hold large displays, while its arm is conducive for both working and for entertainment. It’s solidly built and has all the components and features you need for optimum viewing and working experience.

(image from Amazon)

People who work share workspace with their colleagues will also have an easier time showing and sharing their display, as monitor arms allow easy adjustment between each user.

(image from Amazon)

The Ergotron MX Desk Mount LCD Arm is a great example of desk mount LCD arm its sleek, adjustable arm is designed to lift mid-size displays and all-in-one computers that weights up to 30lbs. It has superior flexibility and versatility for both comfort and ergonomics.

But how can you really find the perfect LCD arm to match your computer display? Here are some tips.

 

Finding the Right Monitor Arm that Fits with Your Computer Monitor

Things to Look For

VESA Compliance

VESA (Video Electronics Standards Association) is one of the very first things you need to look for. Most after-market ergonomic solutions use VESA for mounting the monitor. Thus, when choosing an LCD arm, make sure your monitor is VESA compliant, meaning the backside of the cabinet features standard holes pattern used for mounting and easy attachment.

 

Where to Find the VESA Mounting Holes

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To know if your monitor is VESA compliant, check the backside of the cabinet and look for hole patterns. Some monitors hide the VESA holes, which mean you may have to take it off from its stand. Each model has a different way to do it, so make sure you read the instruction manual before taking the LCD monitor off from its stand. You can also make a quick online search or contact your display manufacturer to know whether your existing display is VESA compliant or not.

 

Different Sizes of VESA Standard Patterns

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A VESA holes are measured in both horizontal and vertical direction, between each mounting holes. Monitors weighing 30 lbs. or less come with 100 x 100mm and/or 75 x 75mm VESA mounting hole patterns. Monitors weighing up to 50 lbs. have 200 x 100mm VESA mounting hole pattern, while larger displays (32-inch screens or larger) have varying hole patterns spaced in 200mm increments, and usually use 600 x 400mm mounting pattern.

 

What If Your Display Is NOT VESA-Compliant

(image from Amazon)

There are however, products that don’t use VESA standard mounting holes. Apple product for example, is not VESA compatible. There are however special VESA adapter which you can install to your monitor’s cabinet to make it compatible with VESA standard mounting arms. Apple in particular, also has its own Apple VESA mount adapter kit for their iMac and LED Cinema or Apple Thunderbolt Display. Some displays don’t work with VESA adapters, which mean you can’t attach them to any VESA-compliant mounting solutions. Thus, if you’re thinking about upgrading your workstation with better ergonomics, make sure you choose displays with VESA –compliant mounting holes.

Workstation Specifics

Consider Your Monitor’s Weight

When choosing a mounting solution, whether it’s fully adjustable monitor stand, wall mount, or LCD arm desk mount, you need to consider the weight of the display you want to attach and make sure the product you’re choosing is capable of supporting the weight of the display you want it to carry. You can check the weight capacity of monitor arm from reviewing product specs.

 

How Many Monitors Do You Wish To Use?

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Most workstation setups will only need a single display. But for some professionals who work on multiple applications and programs, and open multiple windows simultaneously, a single display will not suffice. They either get a really big single display (32-inch monitor) or mount two to three displays side-by-side for dual monitor or triple monitor setup. If you use multiple programs simultaneously, and wish to work on dual monitor setup, then you should choose a monitor arm mount capable of supporting such setup.

 

(image from Amazon)

The LX Dual Stacking Arm is quite an impressive product for dual monitor setup, as it can support (stacking setup where you put one display on top of the other) or use your monitor alongside with your laptop.

(image from Amazon)

There are also regular stands with better adjustability than factory stands that comes with monitors, such as Dell MDS14 Dual Monitor Stand. It is designed for dual monitor side-by-side setup of two mid-sized Dell displays, but can also work nicely with other monitor brands as well.

 

Consider Desk Depth

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Another important workstation specific to consider is the depth of your desk. You need to get the mounting arm with an articulating arm long enough for wide range of adjustability, but can fold nicely into place when you need to save space on your desktop.

 

Monitor Base and Mounting Options

(image from Ergotron)

Unlike the regular monitor stand that you simply place on your desktop, monitor arm has and needs a stiffer and solid base where it will be immovable, support the monitor and allow the adjustments. There two basic choices for attachment; c-clamp and grommet.

 

The C-Clamp

(image from Ergotron)

The C-clamp is the more popular version; it is easy to attach to the desk (all you have to do is attach the clamp to the back desk). No drilling or screwing required. If you choose this version though, you need to make sure your desk has enough depth lip for the clamp to attach and tighten securely.

 

The Grommet

(image from Ergotron)

Some desks and desk setup doesn’t allow c-clamp, in this case you will need a grommet mount. Grommet mounts need holes to mount through, which means there should be a hole on the desk’s top surface. Some desks come with pre-made grommet hole. If your desk doesn’t have it, then you need to modify the desk yourself.

There are also monitor mounts that uses universal mounting system, eliminating the need for choosing between c-clamp style mount and grommet style mount.

 

Accessories and Extras

Simple accessories and extras can make a huge difference in your workstation comfort. However, you should understand that every extra feature means are added to the price. Thus, choose basic features you really need, and don’t settle for bells and whistles that has nothing to do with your work and productivity.

 

Cable Management

(image from Ergotron)

Cable management system is a simple feature that can have a huge impact on your works desk. Since you’re using an LCD arm, chances are cables and cords will hang freely on your desk. Loose and cluttered cables are unpleasant, and can be really distracting. Good thing many monitor mounts come with cable management system that will allow you to run the cables and cords of monitor through the arm down the pole and base of the mount.

 

Keyboard Tray

Some mounting arms come with keyboard tray to help keep your shoulders, elbows, and hands in right height and working position. This is practically helpful for sit-stand LCD arms, as users will definitely need the support to minimizing the strain of working on your computer for extended period of time.

 

How to Choose

(image from Amazon)

You have tons of choices when it comes to choosing LCD arm for your computer display. Ergotron for example, is one of the world leading computer ergonomics solutions provider, and it has a wide selection of products to fit anyone’s workstation, form standard monitor stand, to fully articulated and adjustable monitor arm, to wall mount LCD arm, which all provide superb monitor positioning adjustments for better productivity.

(image from Amazon)

If you’re working on a laptop and want to have the benefits of a sit-stand desk LCD arm, then you can opt for WorkFit-P Sit-Stand Workstation, still from Ergotron.

(image from Amazon)

It is specially designed for Apple’s current line of Mac book and iMac laptops, but it can also work nicely with any laptop. It encourages users to think and work on their toes, allow users to work freely in either sitting or standing position, and can switch in either position in seconds. Above all, it comes with a great design, very solid, and sets up very easily. Aesthetic wise it fits perfectly with Apple laptop products.


Look for something that is easy to set-up and install in your workstation. Also, opt for brands that has been in the industry for quite a while and has proven its quality through tons of satisfied clients and positive reviews.


Click here for Part 2



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