By September 27, 2011

Tyke Supply Dual LCD Monitor Stand Desk Clamp Review

I love my standing desk at home. I bought a coffee table from IKEA and put it on top of the folding table I had used been using as my desk. I used a foot rest and a foam mat to help manage pressure on my feet, and everything was at a good height. Except for my monitors.

They were entirely too low, and I wound up looking down at them for most of the day. I was concerned that this would lead to neck pain down the road. I knew I had to raise the monitors, but my Acer S231HL 23-inch widescreen monitors have a terrible stand that only allows for tilting the monitor up and down, not adjusting the height.

Luckily, the monitors have VESA wall mounts on the back, and the vestigial stand is removable. I needed a clamp that would mount to my desk. The mount needed to enable me to adjust the height and distance of my two Acer S231HL monitors. Oh yeah, and I wanted something that didn’t cost $200 or more like most of the stands out there.

I found a basic dual monitor mount system made by Tyke Supply on Amazon.com for less than $60 shipped. I figured it was worth a try.

The Tyke Supply dual monitor mount attaches via a very robust-looking C clamp to your desk. The first thing you have to do is assemble the clamp. The clamp has three height settings. It’s super easy to do, but it is hard to adjust once the mount is fully assembled. I recommend setting it to the highest setting, as it’s easier to move the crossarms up and down instead of redoing the clamp.

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There are two bolts with metal “feet” that hold the stand to your desk. They screw up through the bottom of the clamp and squeeze the bottom of your desk.

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Once you have the clamp installed you can start adjusting the height of the crossarms, and then the arms themselves. The arms have four joints each: three adjust horizontally and the last adjusts the tilt of the monitor. Tension is kept via a bolt, which is hidden underneath a black plastic cap.

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I got the arms in a general position, then went to work on mounting my Acer monitors. It’s probably easier to do this with help, but the monitors were light enough that I could do it myself.

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The VESA mounting points on the back of one of my Acer monitors. Good monitors will follow this standardized pattern for attaching monitors to walls or mounts.

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Attaching the second monitor before doing a final position adjustment.

My monitors are now touching, and centered in the middle of my work area. I am drawn to the symmetry of putting two monitors together, but it sparks an ergonomics issue. I wind up using the left monitor most of the time, which means I turn my neck about 15° or so to the left for most of the day. I unconsciously manage this by turning my entire body and facing the monitor. I could move the left monitor to the center of my desk, with the right monitor pushed out far to the right. Then that upsets the look of things, and possibly causes more strain on my neck should I spend significant time on the right monitor.

The answer to this, of course, was the same as when I had a multi-monitor display back home: buy three monitors.

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I wish I could raise the monitors another two or three inches. Then it would be perfect. As you can tell in the photo, my head is still tilted down slightly. It is not enough to cause acute discomfort, but I just wish the mount was a little taller.

Conclusion

For less than $60 delivered via Amazon Prime, the Tyke Supply dual monitor stand with desk clamp is a very good deal. I think it would be acceptable for most people, and is about 50% to 75% less money than equivalent mounts. It has been very stable, durable, and hassle-free once I finished putting it together. I wish it would telescope just a bit more, and if I were being super nitpicky it would be great if the swingarm joints would lock via a lever instead of a bolt. That would make it easier to fine-tune the position of the monitors, or allow for experimenting.

Overall, recommended.

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