Using a laptop is great if you need a portable machine. However, many people are using laptops as desktop replacements and while they perform well, they are not the most ergonomic. This is where ergotron comes into place, they make lifts and stands for laptops.
- Get the comfort of a full desktop computer system with notebook portability
- Adjust the height of your notebook and external LCD for maximum productivity and ergonomic comfort
- Superior technical design enables use with or without a docking station
- Integrated base rollers enable 360° pan rotation of the stand
- Create a productive dual-display configuration by placing your notebook’s screen alongside an LCD
Adjustability is the reason you would get a laptop stand and the Ergotron Neo-Flex Combo Lift Stand has all the adjustability you need. The combo lift is unique because it can hold both a laptop and an LCD monitor, or it can hold two LCD
The legs of the stand are in a T-shape. The longer arms are in the front. This provides a great deal of support especially since all the weight of the laptop and screen are in the front.
The stem that extends up from the base is made of metal, but covered in plastic. This allows it to have a great deal of strength, while still looking good. The plastic covers all the internal workings. On the top of the stem is a small hex screw that adjusts the tension on the stem. This keeps the height at a level that is comfortable for you. The stand comes with a special key to turn the hex screw.
There are two arms that come out of the stem. The one on the right is for a LCD monitor and the one on the left is for a laptop. The reason the one on the right is lower is because the laptop is held from the bottom and the LCD screen is held from the middle. As I mentioned above, the arms move up and down to adjust the height of the LCD, and laptop so that it is at a more comfortable eye level. The arms move together, and the tension for the arms is adjusted with the screw at the top of the stem.
The laptop stand is nothing more than a flat piece of metal that the laptop rests on. The laptop stand has several holes in it that allow for ventilation from the bottom. There is also an adjustable rest at the front of the stand that allows for the laptop to move forward. This lets you line up the screen on the laptop with the LCD screen, this is especially nice for me because I have such a large laptop. The base also rotates up and down so you can choose to have the keyboard angled up or down, I like to keep mine down in case I need to access the keyboard.
The LCD arm uses a small universal bracket to attach to the back of the monitor, then you attach the LCD bracket to that and to the stand.
When I first put this stand together I was afraid that it would not be big enough to support my setup. I have a 17 inch laptop and a 20 inch widescreen LCD. As you can see from the pictures, my setup fit perfectly with the stand. I did have to put the laptop and LCD stands as far as part as possible to get it to fit. This means you probably won’t be able to fit anything bigger on this stand.
It takes a little bit of effort to get this all put together. You must remove the stand that your LCD is already using, if necessary attach the included universal bracket to the back of the monitor and then attach the stand bracket. The laptop is easier to setup because you don’t have to attach anything to the laptop. The laptop bracket slides on and the laptop rests on it. Once both items are on the stand they need to be adjusted. The laptops height needs to be adjusted to the height of the LCD, and if necessary the laptop can be moved forward to get a better alignment.
Now that I have had this stand for a while I am very happy with it. I don’t have anymore kinks in my neck at the end of the day. However, there is one feature that I would really like. This would be the ability to switch the laptop onto the left and the LCD on the right. This is the way I am used to, but with this stand you don’t have the option.
The laptop stand is very adjustable. It can be moved up and down, front and back, and the base can be tilted up and down. Even though you are not suppose to use the laptop while it is on a stand, you may need to access the function keys like screen dimming or multimedia controls. I keep the keyboard tilted down so it is easy to access those buttons.
My biggest complaint is that I am forced to have the laptop on the right side of the stand. I have thought about this a little and I think I know how they could do it. If they make the arms like the shelving below, then the center column could have many holes and you could put the arms in wherever you want.
There is some cable management built into the stand. It consists of loops in the metal arms and zip ties. You are suppose to use the zip ties in the loops and then put your cables in them. You have to be careful though, because if you get the zip ties too tight you will not be able to get your cables back out, and with a laptop you are going to want to get the cables out when you take the laptop with you. This cable management system is not well thought out and seems like more of an after thought. I would have preferred something more flexible like Velcro strips rather than zip ties, or even built-in clamps.
The last problem I had was with the small laptop rest. This rest blocks access to the media controls that are built into the front of my laptop. This isn’t that big of a deal to me because my keyboard has some of the same controls, so I can use those instead. However, it would be nice if the stand came with a different bracket that had a wider opening so I could access those controls. Since other laptops could have the controls in different locations, I would recommend including a couple of brackets and then the user could choose the best one for them.
Warranty and Support
As I checked the Ergotron website for information on the warranty, I was surprised to find that they provide a 5 year warranty on almost all of their products. This is actually quite exceptional when you compare it to most other companies who only provide a 90 day or 1 year warranty. Unfortunately, after reading further I found that the Neo-Flex products only get a three year warranty. This makes me wonder why they would lower the warranty on this product. Is it more prone to breaking because of the moving parts? Is it more cheaply made? Only time will tell.
With a little more work Ergotron could make this a much better product. The stand needs the ability to swap the LCD and laptop. It could also use better cable management. Because I use this laptop mainly while at a desk, and with an external keyboard and mouse, this stand works great. I appreciate having the laptop and LCD at eye level or level. The MSRP for this is $179.00. As always compare prices before purchasing.
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