iMovR ZipView Unison Dual Monitor Arm Review
- Lab tested
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The strength of the ZipView Unison Dual Monitor Arm is obvious at first glance: You can adjust both of your monitors in unison with a single movement, rather than adjusting two monitors independently and expending energy getting them to line up with each other every time. But it’s not a one-trick pony. It also has a solid weight capacity, an impressive maximum height, max monitor width of 32” each, and superb build quality.
|MSRP / List Price||$229|
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Height Adjustment Range (“stroke”): 12.25″
6.5-17.6 lbs per display
|Number of Monitors Supported||
|Typical Assembly Time||
Meets or exceeds ANSI/BIFMA x5.5 and CSA CAN/CGSB44.227
|Where to buy||
Buy on iMovR
|Ease of Assembly|
|Quality and Aesthetics|
|Positives||With both screens mounted on a single crossbar, this arm provides a rare solution for users annoyed with tweaking two screens each time they switch between sitting and standing. Excellent specs for maximum height and the arm’s range of motion add to the flexibility. Features, quality, and easy installation aren’t commonly found on dual monitor arms in this price range. A 10-year warranty and commercial-grade componentry make it a highly-durable, reliable choice. Finger-touch adjustment is made possible by a high-performance gas piston counterbalance (not a mechanical spring). Nice touches like integrated cable management make this a no-excuses ergonomic mount for dual monitors under 17.6 lbs and up to 32” in width each, at a great price.|
|Negatives||We love having the ability to adjust two monitors with a single motion, but others might like more flexibility to move their arms independently (for example if they want to rotate one of them into portrait mode only on occasion). It only comes in silver, whereas other popular arms usually offer black and white choices as well. The tilt is limited to 10 degrees.|
The strength of the ZipView Unison Dual Monitor Arm is obvious at first glance: You can adjust both of your monitors in unison. Each time you switch from sitting to standing your lower spine will stretch out, and you’ll want to adjust your monitors upwards a few inches. If you have a dual monitor mount with independent arms, the effort expended to adjust both monitors such that they visually line up with each other every time you change posture gets old quickly.
The Unison gets around this annoyance by having both monitors attached to a crossbar, keeping them sturdy and aligned. It also comes with a handle that sticks down below the monitors, which makes it easy to adjust using just one hand instead of wrestling two monitors with both hands on a conventional dual arm setup.
Where It Fits In The ZipView Family
Along with the ZipView Single, there are two dual-arm models in the ZipView line (ZipView Dual and ZipView Unison). The ZipView Dual ($245) has two arms that move independently. This gives you more flexibility in adjusting for different monitor sizes at different orientations and angles, plus the ability to use even larger monitors. While the ZipView Unison can handle monitors with a width up to 32”, the Zipview Dual can handle uncommonly wide monitors up to 35” (measured left-to-right, not “diagonally”).
So you’ll need to weigh monitor size capacity and independent arm adjustability vs. ease of adjustment every time you sit and stand. We’re guessing the majority of users would be better served by having the single-hand movement of the Unison (along with the slightly cheaper price).
We should also note that the ZipView Dual is the better choice for standing desk converters because, at 12 lbs, it’s much lighter than the Unison (19.3 lbs). If you’re using a full-fledged standing desk the weight of the monitor arm won’t factor into your decision, but for a manually adjustable desktop converter like a ZipLift or Vari, it’s a crucial issue.
iMovR is well ahead of the game when it comes to fine-tuning the ergonomic setup of a given workstation, something we cannot say for most of the competition. The wide variation in desk styles, monitor sizes, and individuals’ anthropometry is why iMovR offers 12 different mechanically-articulating monitor arms (3 in the ZipView line, 3 in the Tempo line, 2 in the TopView line, and 2 in the Compass line), much less their their new Emma electric monitor arm series.
With so many choices we literally can’t think of a single monitor/desk/user combination that iMovR doesn’t have a perfect arm for. They also publish a very handy Buyers Guide to Selecting the Right Monitor Arm that helps consumers quickly narrow down from many choices to the few they should consider; and from there it’s usually about budget, styling or color choice.
In sharp contrast, most online sellers of monitor arms don’t have an inkling as to the differing needs of a fixed-height desk user, a standing desk user, or a desktop converter user, much less a walking desk user. This lack of attention to ergonomic details leads to monitor arms being one of the most frequently returned ergonomic accessories. Sure, buying a cheap monitor arm on Amazon may be quick, and returns are relatively painless as far as Amazon goes, but why expend so much energy assembling an arm only to figure out it won’t work well for you, then disassemble it and ship it back, only to rinse and repeat? Time is money, too.
While the ZipView monitor mounts are technically iMovR’s “bottom of the line,” the apt comparison would be to BMW’s X1. While being the least expensive in the line ($119 for the single, $249 for the dual, and $229 for this Unison), it’s still a “BMW” among monitor arms. As far as iMovR’s own ZipLift standing desk converters go, the ZipView Single and ZipView Dual are the ones you’ll see featured in their list of add-on monitor arm options. The 7 lbs.-heavier ZipView Unison is distinctly intended for use with regular standing desks, however.
Quality Construction and Componentry
Beneath the ZipView’s minimal design is a reliable and smooth gas counterbalance adjustment control that provides a 12.25″ dynamic height adjustment range (“stroke”). As we explore in our article on The Differences between Gas Piston and Metal Spring Counterbalance Mechanisms in Monitor Arms, we prefer gas struts for their smooth and precise action, but we also caution against cheaply made ones that’ll lose their pressure in short order.
The ZipView’s 10-year warranty, uncommonly long for a monitor mount in this price range, is one indicator that this arm will perform well for many years to come. Most arms in this price range come with only a 1-5 year warranty if they advertise any warranty coverage at all. And most of them are made with steel spring counterbalances, not the nicer gas piston mechanisms.
The fact that this arm meets or exceeds ANSI/BIFMA x5.5 and CSA CAN/CGSB44.227 is another indication of quality, ensuring the consumer that it has been exercised by robotic testing machines through thousands of test cycles to ensure that its quality stands up to “commercial contract furniture” standards.
The ZipView’s crossbar has a weight range of 4.4 lbs to 35.2 lbs (2.2 lbs to 17.6 lbs. per monitor). If your monitor weighs more than that you’ll want to check out other, heavier-duty arms in iMovR’s extensive line-up—or hop directly to our comprehensive round-up of all our ergonomic monitor arm reviews.
Like all quality monitor arms, the ZipView and most of iMovR’s monitor arm options come with the hardware to install using either the edge clamp or through a grommet hole. These days grommet mounting probably represents less than 1% of monitor arm installations but it’s nice to know the hardware is included just in case.
One minor pet peeve with this arm is that, like other ZipView arms, it only comes in silver. iMovR has a wide selection of other monitor arms that come in black or white in addition to silver if this is a deal-breaker for you.
Some monitor arms come in so many parts and such hard-to-follow instructions that you need to set aside a significant chunk of time to assemble them. The ZipView’s assembly is a relative breeze as it arrives mostly pre-assembled.
While many monitor arms will leave a slight indentation in your desk if clamped down too hard, the ZipView arms come with an adhesive-backed 3M protection pad to protect your work surface. The ZipView also has a clip-on holder for the Allen key that you’ll want to keep handy to make finer adjustments to the counterbalance and other settings—a thoughtful feature typically found only on higher-end commercial-grade monitor mounts.
Lastly, the cable routing features of the ZipView arms are excellent. They’re easy, clean-looking, and durable. Very often we find the shrouds that you route your cables through are made of thin plastic that easily breaks if you don’t pop them out of their detents just right. The ZipView’s are really well made and add to the professional aesthetic of the arm rather than detract from it with a cheap, plasticky look.
The ZipView Unison also separates itself from the ZipView Dual when it comes to maximum height. The ZipView Dual tops out at 16”, meaning that taller users at a standing desk or walking desk may be wanting for more top-end height. The ZipView Unison will reach up to 23”, which should accommodate just about any situation. If you’re unsure about monitor arm dimensions, check here for a more in-depth look at how a monitor arm will fit you, your desk and your monitors before you purchase.
The ZipView Unison has a solid arm retraction (how far the back of your monitor will sit relative to the back edge of your work surface) of 5.5” and an excellent arm extension of 23.25”, meaning there’s no issue using it on a deep L-desk corner, or pulling your monitor forward and aside for collaborating with a colleague. The ZipViews have a great 180º lockout feature—also not commonly found except on high-end commercial arms—to protect the wall behind your desk from accidental banging and scraping.
The only shortcoming for the Unison’s adjustment is limited tilt. While other monitor arms can tilt as much as +90°and -45°, the Unison can only do +/- 10° because of the crossbar structure. Most applications won’t use more than 3° of tilt for glare avoidance, but it’s something to know and a tradeoff for the design of having both monitor arms mounted together on a crossbar.
The ZipView Unison provides a unique feature (both monitors moving in unison) without any huge drawbacks. There are rare situations where it doesn’t make sense, like if you value moving your monitors independently or if you have even larger monitors than 32” in width. For most, the Unison makes switching between sitting and standing way easier, meaning you’ll probably do it more often.
Aside from that unique feature, the Unison also provides excellent features, quality and assembly, plus a 10-year warranty and finger-touch adjustment made possible by a high-performance gas piston counterbalance. Like all iMovR products, it is backed by a 100-day satisfaction guarantee.
If you are using a heavier monitor, another consideration is the compatibility with the materials of the tabletop itself. With weaker materials on low quality desktops there is a danger of warping and weakening the wood, possibly cracking it completely after repeated bumps and shakes over time. To help prevent that, you could install a heavy-duty reinforcement plate that will help stabilize the connection of the monitor arms to the desktop. iMovR makes a quality steel reinforcement plate that will do exactly that.