In need of some support

By Sol in Blog

Though it wasn’t a computing powerhouse, the iMac G4 definitely had one thing going for it– an LCD screen that could easily be repositioned with just one finger. Ever since I first played around with one of those years ago (way back in 2002), I’ve always wanted to experience such an ease of use on my own system. With all the software development and graphic work that I’ve doing as of late, I’ve been ending most days with a sore back/neck/shoulders/you name it. As a result, I am now seriously looking into acquiring a monitor arm that will allow me to easily position my 20.1 in widescreen LCD (Dell 2007WFP) at the optimum height and distance.

I’ve done a fair amount of research and am as of yet undecided as to which monitor arm is the best.

The candidates are:

  1. Ergotron LX Desk Mount LCD Arm – $170
  2. Innovative Office Products 7500 – Deluxe Flat Panel Radial Arm – Website says $338, but I’ve seen regularly for $140

I have a couple more models that I’m still looking at, but I really think it comes down to these two arms. Both are desk-mounted LCD arms. Both come in black. Both are in the same price range. Both claim to support LCD monitors weighing up to 20lbs. (my LCD is 11lbs.). Perhaps most importantly, both claim to be able to be repositioned with the touch of a finger.

So what’s the difference?

Well for one, the Ergotron LX only has a 24″ horizontal range while the IOP 7500 has 27″ of horizontal movement. While it’s only 3 inches different, anything that helps the monitor come closer to me as opposed to me having to lean forward to look at details on the monitor is a good thing.
Also, while the Ergotron LX has a 13″ vertical range, the IOP 7500 has a 18″ vertical range– a sizable difference. Vertical range is probably one of the more important features for me. I’m 6′ and I sit high so that my wrists are properly aligned with the keyboard, so making sure the monitor is at my eyeline is very important. I don’t want to end up buying a monitor arm only to find out that it doesn’t extend high enough, so I have to look down at the monitor, or worse, slouch just so that I’m looking at the monitor head-on.

Well, it sort of seems that the Ergotron LX already has 2 strikes against it compared to the IOP 7500, so why don’t I just go with the IOP 7500?

A few reasons:

  1. Both are unproven – I haven’t actually used either of these arms myself (neither seem to be stocked anywhere locally). So while one may look better on paper, it may be the case in actual use. At the same time, both have good user reviews.
  2. Price – I’ve seen the Ergotron LX for about $120 (here and here), while I’ve only seen the IOP 7500 for $140 (here).
  3. Aesthetics – I can’t lie, aesthetics plays a big part for me. Personally, the Ergotron LX definitely looks more svelte and sophisticated.

So here I stand at a crossroads. Do I get the sexy Ergotron or the more understated yet possibly more versatile IOP 7500? I’ll need to make a decision soon, because once I decided that I was getting a monitor arm, my sore neck and shoulders just got a bit more unbearable in anticipation. For anyone interested, I’ll post a review of whichever I ultimately get.