As part of working more hours at my desk in my home office, I’ve been considering ways to improve my productivity and comfort. To this end I now have a 27" and 24" Apple displays since some studies suggest that additional screen space allows for the more productivity. Disregarding the opportunities for distraction I’ve found two monitors better than one.
In the end and after much research I wanted to get the Kontour K1D200S as my preferred monitor arm. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t find any for sale in the UK. The Apple store appears to be the only outlet and is seriously overcharging with nearly 200% increase compared to US pricing at £360 (that’s USD$540 while US customers can buy Kontour for about USD$350). So I simply went with my second choice, the Ergotron MX. Although the Ergotron LX looks like a good choice, I liked the arm layout instead of the post layout and the extra weight capacity of the MX seemed like a better choice.
Quality and PurposeThe Ergotron MX product is well made, heavy duty and looks good. The installation is simple enough and all the tools are included plus mounting brackets for the three different sizes of VESA mounts. No complaints with th product itself.
Note: I’m using the Apple VESA bracket that must be purchased separately.
PositioningThe arm can certainly hold the 24" Apple display I'm using. I did need to tighten the spring according to the instructions to get it to "stay" but it doesn't move.
I can rotate the monitor nicely as well.This is my Apple 24" LED Cinema Display in portait mode after rotation through 90 degrees.
ProblemsI have one major problem. This arm has only five inches of vertical travel or movement and this means I cannot get the sort of height that I need. As you can see in the previous photo, that I get very little vertical height above the desk with the monitor rotated into portrait mode. I'm getting about 4 cm at max.
This wouldn’t be a major problem, of course, if the monitor is in landscape mode. The height is “OK” - ( iPhone 4 for scale, and ignore my desk clutter please)
Here is a closeup of the height off the desk. (iPhone 4 for scale)
The other problem I have is cable handling. This isn’t a problem with the Ergotron MX, but the cables that Apple provides. I have a MacBook Pro that sits in a TweleveSouth Book Arc (review here ) and my MBPr must very close to the screens to be able to connect. I’d like to have my MBPr over the left hand side of the desk but the cables aren’t long enough. Not a huge problem, but annoying nonetheless.
SummaryThe Ergotron MX works is you don't want portrait mode. There isn't enough height to be useful for me, even when in landscape mode. The purpose of having a monitor arm is to be able to move my monitor into non-standard locations and the Ergotron MX isn't doing this well at all. I guess a smaller monitor might make it easier but who has small screens these days.
So I wish that I had a Kontour HD200S, but until they start selling them in the UK (excepting the overpricing at the Apple Store) I’ll be thinking about purchasing an Ergotron LX with the long post for my Apple 27" Thunderbolt display. I’m not convinced that this is the correct monitor arm so I’m reluctant to make the purchase.