This article will be the first in a series that explains why I have specific items in my desk area that affect my life at the desk and, in some cases, my life even when I am away from the desk.
To start the series, I want to begin with the Ergotron MX Desk Mount LCD Arm.
A while back, I had a 19 inch display as my main and only computer monitor. I decided that I wanted a larger display, but I wanted to keep the smaller display around as a second monitor. I have always favored having stereo bookshelf speakers on my desk and I wanted them to sit at a height that would provide decent sound quality. This meant that I couldn't push the monitors together on my desk because it would require me to put the speakers in a less optimal position. Also, my desk is large, but when you start filling it up with monitors, space gets limited quickly.
As a result, I decided to mount one of the monitors on an arm that could be moved next to my main monitor, but also have the benefit of being easily moved out of the way.
Enter the Ergotron LX Monitor Arm
The first monitor arm in my setup was the Ergotron LX. It could hold a monitor up to 20 pounds, so it was perfect for the light weight 19 inch Dell monitor that I was using at the time. Ergotron has several mounting options, but my desk has a little overhang in the back that made it easy to attach to the back corner of the desk (it pretty much just requires you to tighten one screw). Since I now had the monitor on an arm, I could move it up and down, side to side, and put it pretty much anywhere I wanted. The convenience was fabulous. Also, I have a closet door right next to the desk, so being able to move it out of the way when opening the door was an important consideration.
Bigger Monitor, Similar Solution
In 2011, I decided to buy an iMac. This gave me a 27 inch monitor to replace the 25.5 inch monitor I had as my main monitor at the time. I needed a mount that could handle the bigger size, so I decided to get the Ergotron MX. While the LX may have been able to handle the size, I felt better knowing that the arm would not be pushing the limits.
Even Bigger Monitor
The specs of the MX say that it can handle up to 30 inch monitors that weigh up to 30 pounds. My newest monitor is a bit outside those specs, at 32 inches, so I was going to put the iMac on the mount instead. That proved to be a MAJOR pain, thanks to the way Apple attaches the iMac to the stand (they put several torx screws in so tight that it broke the tool I was using to remove them, while at the same time, stripping the screws in the stand) , so I gave the MX a shot with the 32 inch monitor since it weighs less than 24 pounds. It worked perfectly. In fact, I preferred it there instead of on the desk because the size made it difficult to find a place for my bookshelf speakers on the desk. Also. it is so nice to be able to push the monitor up and down, pull it closer, and push it back. If I need desktop space, I can actually move it completely off the desk, which I couldn't do if I just put it against the back wall. If I want to see it pushed up next to the iMac, like using it with Lightroom, that is easy, too.
(Below is a pic of my desk, as you can see the back has a lip that allows easy setup for this mount.)
I would never have space for great bookshelf speakers, a 32 inch display, and a 27 inch iMac on my desk without the arm. This makes the arm one of the most important features in my entire office. I still have my old LX Ergotron Mount being used with the 19 inch Dell combined with an Appletv in the workout/gym area in my garage. I can swing it around to see it no matter which station I am using. In other words, I highly recommend these arms for two monitor setups, for people that have one monitor but want to move it around, etc.. Highly Recommended!
(Note: In the photo below, the wide angle perspective of my lens makes the monitor look as big as the desk. It is not. The monitor is 33.9 inches wide (including speakers) and the desk is actually 60 inches wide. However, I wanted a pic from the front to show how it can be placed so it has little effect on the audio coming from the bookshelf speakers.)