Ergotron Neo-Flex Dual LCD Stand Review

by Reads (5,929)
  • Pros

    • Lets monitors tilt and swivel
    • Good build quality
    • Saves on desk space 

     

  • Cons

    • Requires large turning circle
    • Messy instructions

     


The display is one of the most important parts of any computer, whether desktop or notebook. Sadly, it’s always overlooked. Even when users take a moment to consider it before purchase, their thought rarely travels past the screen itself to ponder the stand, which has a decidedly large impact on the monitor’s usability. Today we look at the Ergotron Neo-Flex, a dual-display stand that keeps those of you clued into just how useful two displays can be from going crazy trying to adjust them.

Specifications

  • Designed for use with two displays up to 22 inches, diagonally
  • Laptop, monitor, keyboard and mouse not included
  • Everything is included to neatly route cables behind the stand, out of the way
  • Weight Capacity: 14-34 lbs total. Note: Monitors must be equal in weight or +/-1 pound 
  • Monitor up/down tilt = +25°/-5°
  • Includes stand, crossbar, two (2) sliding monitor brackets, manual, VESA-monitor mounting kit, cable ties
  • Shipping Dimensions: 24.4″ x 16.8″ x 8.8″ (620 x 426 x 224 mm)
  • Shipping Weight: 18.3 lbs (8.3 kg)
  • Warranty: Three years

The manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the Ergotron Neo-Flex Dual LCD Lift Stand at the time of this writing is $149.99.

Build and Design
Microsoft has done studies showing that adding a second monitor can increase users’ productivity anywhere from nine to fifty percent, which makes them an attractive and worthwhile purchase whether you run a home office or manage a business one. Fortunately not every company forgets to make the stand useful; most notably, some of HP’s and Lenovo’s recent efforts are quite the opposite.
Nonetheless, we’ve reviewed several monitors here that have provided otherwise outstanding performance, but are completely let down by their stands. Many manufacturers put a lot of effort into making their displays look fantastic and have great image quality, but then drop the ball when the time comes to the monitor’s actual usability. It gets worse, unsurprisingly, as you go down in price, bottoming out with a screen permanently affixed to an unmoving stand. Really, what’s the point? The company may as well just save money and tell people to glue it to a stick * since the stick would provide equivalent functionality while letting them discuss being eco-friendly business ventures.

This may have even happened to you or a loved one, accidentally buying a monitor whose stand was built without emotion, without passion. Fortunately, there is a solution: enter ErgoTron. ErgoTron is a company started by one of the authors of the VESA standard for mounting flat panels — so it stands to reason that they might know a thing or three about how to mount monitors. It’s a little funny; the vast majority of consumers are generally totally unaware that their monitor can be removed from its stand, let alone buying a new one to attach. While there are any number of stands designed for single and multiple displays, the Ergotron Neo-Flex is designed to hold up two. It actually can’t be used with a single monitor; the design would make it too heavy on one side, offering up potential tip overs.

The stand has a wide, flared base in the front, offering support for heavy monitors. The bottom of the stand has little wheels on it, allowing the entire unit to be physically rotated in a circle — a full 360 degrees, if necessary. The only issue with doing such a thing is that it requires a large amount of free space to do so.  A heavy column, the heaviest part of the stand by far, attaches to the flared base.  It contains an intricate tensioning system with ropes and pulleys et al., controlled by a bolt at the top of the column.  Turning this bolt clockwise lets users determine how much give they want to have in the vertical lift of the stand.

Putting the stand together is fairly easy, though it’s more common sense than following the less-than-entirely-detailed set of included instructions.  Ergotron actually includes a number of connector bolts and fasteners that are never used; while you might put the stand together completely accurately, a number of bolts and screws will be left over.  It lets users decide how they want to affix the monitors and parts as they wish.  Handy, if confusing.

A horizontal crossbar is mounted to the vertical stand, and doesn’t move.  The little holes in the crossbar, visible near the center, are to be used with the included zip ties for cable management, letting users keep the cords from both monitors from getting tangled up as they turn, tilt and swivel around their desks.  The little square plates are screwed to the back of the displays, right in the VESA-standard holes.  For displays with inset mounting platforms, Ergotron includes a star-shaped plastic widget that is screwed in-between the mounting plate and the display, maximizing compatibility.  

What’s fantastic about the mounting brackets is their versatility.  Users can install them two ways, depending on how much average tilt at which they wish to mount the displays.  Once installed, the monitors can swivel a full 360 degrees, which is really helpful when viewing long documents, especially on widescreen monitors.  They also add a full thirty degrees of tilt functionality to whatever display to which they’re mounted.  After the plates are mounted, the displays are slotted onto the crossbar.  Obviously, it’s only possible to install one monitor at a time, meaning the stand is at risk for falling over.  Fortunately, Ergotron is smart enough to consider this and included a solution of sorts.

The two pieces of cardboard slot together, holding up the weight of the first display so that users can install the second without damage.  It’s a good idea, in principle, but it didn’t work all that well, and the first monitor fell off the stand when I installed the second.  Fortunately, there wasn’t any damage.  Users need to be careful when actually putting the displays onto the stand.  There are two screw holes at the end of each side of the stand, giving users the option of blocking the stand from sliding back off the end of the crossbar.

Still, despite that minor setback, the stand works out fantastically well.  After mounting, the displays tilt slightly toward each other, letting users take in all of the resolution at once without having to turn their head back and forth.  Frankly, it works great.  I was a little surprised, honestly, never having used a third party stand before.  We did do a review a few months ago of one of Ergotron’s similar stands, the Neo-Flex Combo, which lets users mount a display as well as a notebook at a similar height.  It garnered high praise, too, but I think the dual display stand is a nicer, more elegant solution.

As the pictures show, users don’t need to keep both displays at the same orientation; both can be horizontal, one can be horizontal while the other is vertical, or both can be oriented vertically.  This way, you can be working as usual on one display, while reading a long webpage or other document on the vertical monitor.

Conclusion
In all, the Ergotron is a fantastic way to update an older monitor that might have a nicer display, but cheap or non-functional stand.  It’s also a great fix for stands that break or otherwise suffer from impeded functionality.  It’s true that the Neo-Flex Dual LCD stand will run users an additional $149.99 in addition to the two monitors they’ve already owned, but it’s actually a nice upgrade.  The Neo-Flex lets users mount two displays cleanly, easily and quickly, and in the end saves a lot of desk space while keeping cables out of the way.  With a great reputation and excellent build quality, if you need a new stand for your monitor, Ergotron should definitely be on your list.

Pros

  • Lets monitors tilt and swivel
  • Good build quality
  • Saves on desk space 
Cons
  • Requires large turning circle
  • Messy instructions

 

 

*STICK SOLD SEPARATELY


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