Ergotron LX Monitor Arm Review
Ergotron makes a darn good monitor arm. The company delivers on promises of quality, range of motion, durability, and just about everything else. Rave customer reviews back these claims. The LX is an excellent choice for a treadmill desker, and the Tall Pole variant may be the only choice for taller users. Put all these features together, and you’ve got our Experts' Choice for monitor arms.
Standard Model: 17"
Tall Pole Model: 22.5"
20 lbs. (25 lbs. with a reduced height range)
A solid, attractive construction – the Ergotron LX Desk Mount delivers on both form and function. Range of motion is head, shoulders, and torso above competitors. Good vibration reduction, and excellent company support and warranty.
The plastic under-arm cable clip is relatively flimsy in comparison to the rest of the arm. Sparse, graphics-only directions can make setup a minor headache for the non-mechanically inclined.
Having the right peripherals with your standing desk or treadmill desk is crucial for working in a productive, ergonomically healthy environment. Monitor arms are particularly important for preventing the neck and shoulder pains that occur when monitors are set at an improper height: They keep your screen directly in front of you, allowing you to keep your head in a healthy position while you work.
But which monitor arm should you pick? There is an ocean of products out on the market, and only a trickle of them are any good. When choosing a new monitor arm for your standing desk or treadmill desk, there are a few things to consider. First, it’s important to select a monitor arm with the right weight capacity. It should support not only your monitor(s), but any other attachments you might have (such as a dual monitor kit or a notebook tray). Secondly, it should offer an adequate amount of adjustability. Height is obviously something to consider, but so is depth and side-to-side adjustability—you’ll want to reposition your monitor throughout the day as you shift on your feet. Finally, a good monitor arm needs to be stable enough not to shake the monitor while you type. This is a bigger issue for treadmill desk users, since the oscillations generated from walking on the treadmill translate through your hands and onto your typing surface.
Ergotron, an ergonomics-focused manufacturer with decades of experience making things like digital displays, mobile TV stands, and yes, monitor arms, provides a precise solution for your monitor needs: Their LX Monitor Arm passes all three of the above criteria with flying colors, and is our monitor arm of choice for standing desk and treadmill desk users.
A Shiny Monitor Arm
Installation is incredibly easy. The base clamps on to the edge of your desk, though a grommet clamp is included if that’s more your speed. The first arm segment slips over the mounting pole, and the second segment connects to that. Remember to secure these different segments together with the provided set screws (having the base detach and accidentally fall on your feet is basically a rite of passage here). Attach any VESA-compatible monitor to the plate, secure its cables with the cable management compartments and hooks underneath the arm segments, and you’re good to go.
The Ergotron wows right out of the box. The sleek polished aluminum build is more eye-catching than the typical plastic models that litter the market. This polished aluminum construction looks quite sophisticated, though is notorious for collecting fingerprints. In our experience, brushed or speckled aluminum ends up looking cleaner than the polished kind over time. Additionally, the LX is also bulkier than many other arms we’ve seen, especially compared to the Humanscale M2 and M8 arms, which feature a more svelte construction. Nevertheless, the LX’s aesthetics remain in the top tier among monitor mounts.
And it’s not just a pretty face; two fully rotating joints allow the LX to contort itself into just about any position required. The 75º tilt and 360º pan of the VESA monitor attachment are also impressive. Want to show your coworker more baby pictures? He’ll still be annoyed, but he won’t even have to leave his chair. The arm segments themselves offer quite a bit of mobility as well: You can extend your screen horizontally up to 25″, yet its arms can overlap each other to create a profile just 14″ wide. This range beats any other monitor arm we’ve seen, save for Ergotron’s massive LX Sit-Stand arm, though that’s made for use with the longer sit-stand-walk desks.
The LX can support monitors up to 20 lbs. in weight and up to 32″ in size. A tensioning bolt concealed in the user end of the second segment lets you calibrate the arm to your specific screen size. If we were to get nit-picky, we’d talk about how there is no easy way to adjust the tightness of the joints between the segments, though we haven’t noticed the need to do so. The LX VESA mount is also well-designed – many similar products require someone to hold the monitor in place while a helper drives the four screws into place – not so with the LX, thumbscrews allow for one-man assembly.
One complaint we did encounter among multiple users concerned the under-arm cable holder. After applying a few zipties, cables can be tucked under a plastic snap on the underside of the segment attached to the monitor. Some buyers reported difficulty with the snap, and many others simply disliked the jarring combination of highly polished aluminum and black plastic.
Taller Users Rejoice
A common problem with most monitor arms is that they often have too short a height range to comfortably use standing or walking. People tend to keep their hands in a lower position when they’re out of their seat, particularly if they’re using a keyboard tray or ergonomic keyboard. Even at maximum height, standard monitor arms force users to crane their heads forward to view the majority of the screen—a recipe for ergonomic disaster, especially on a treadmill. This is why we recommend the LX Tall Pole model, which comes with a 13.5” stand, compared to the standard model’s 7″ pole. While this may sound less than breathtaking, those few inches may be the last, crucial component of making your workstation ergonomically sound. Here at the office, we’ve found that the Tall Pole can help vertically-blessed users reach a comfortable, upright posture when other arms come up short. It’s a very capable height range surpassed only by the LX Sit-Stand, which also offers enough horizontal range to pair well with both sides of a sit-stand-walk desk.
Because a monitor arm is essentially a long lever suspended by a fulcrum, you can imagine that it’s easy to make one shake. And many do, as the vibrations you create while you type transfer through your desk up to your monitor. It’s noticeable enough when you’re just standing, but it can be downright distracting once you fire up the treadmill—you’ll generate more force while you anchor your hands to your desk. Most of the adjustable arms on offer are light and flimsy, but the LX is as rock solid as they come. Its thick, comparably heavy components and wide desk clamp keep your screen rigid, even when you’re on a treadmill. Its thick construction not only makes it resistant to monitor shake, it also keeps it rooted to your desk and prevents it from slipping out of place—a common occurrence with monitor arms with smaller bases.
The LX uses a spring counterbalance system. For a detailed comparison between spring lift and gas lift monitor arms, click here.
Get to Know Ergotron
Ergotron has more to offer. The LX comes with a 10-year warranty, including the tension system. Buyers, prospective buyers, everyone, really, should also visit the site for their fantastically lame – and consequently endearing – action-movie promotional video for the LX.
Listen to the reviews. The LX is the proud owner of an ocean of rave reviews, some of which are actual confessions of love. Users tend to be so enthusiastic, that we’d suspect rigged reviews were they on sites other than Amazon.
Ergotron offers a decent array of separately-sold accessories for its monitor arms. Users who have formed emotional bonds with their laptops (or just don’t have a spare monitor) may want to consider purchasing the Ergotron Notebook Tray, which turns the VESA mount into a convenient platform. We would caution against using this product without an external keyboard and mouse, as using the laptop’s keyboard would force an ergonomically poor mix of head and hand position.
The Universal Tablet Cradle provides a similar fix for devoted Kindle (or iPad, or just about anything else) users. This add-on can be affixed side-by-side to an attached monitor – providing a quick fix for anyone after a lightweight second screen.
Throw an LX Extension on if you’d like some extra inches. This polished-aluminum arm modifies an existing LX, adding 9″ (23cm) of length, as well as another articulated joint. The LX, arm, particularly the Tall Pole option, already has superb range-of-movement, but users who need that last bit of reach, flexibility, or height should consider this option. Something else to think about: an extension also allows users with an extra-wide sit-walk desk to swing their monitor to either position.
A quick-release LCD Bracket may sound a little pointless, but users love them. If you use multiple workstations, for example, both treadmill and sitting desks, these gadgets allow you to easily transfer a monitor from one mount to another. Quick tip: they also apparently come in handy for outdoor televisions.
|Ergotron LX Desk Mounts||Price|
|Ergotron LX Monitor Arm||$209.00|
|Ergotron LX Monitor Arm Tall Pole Option||$239.00|
|Dual Monitor Bar and Handle Kit||$99.00|