I am a big fan of monitor arms, especially when running multiple screens. They free up desk space by moving the mount to the very edge of the desk and provide a huge range of adjustability for your monitor. As a web developer by trade, I frequently switch my side screens from landscape to portrait if I am going to be coding for long periods of time.
I currently have a cheap one from Amazon and an older and quite expensive Ergotron. So, I was thrilled at the prospect of reviewing the dual monitor arm from Varidesk. Varidesk specialises in sit-stand desks normally, and I previously reviewed their excellent Varidesk Pro Plus 36.
Priced at £185 the dual monitor arm isn’t cheap but it is cheaper than other premium brands such as Ergotron and Humanscale.
The Varidesk arms each have a full 360-degree rotation and can support 9KG per arm. Each arm has a height adjustment of 30.38cm and an arm extension of 58.42cm. With Varidesk specialising in sit/stand desks this level of customisation in height and position is particularly important for people wanting to customise the position of their monitor for increased comfort/ergonomics.
A lot of manufacturers just state the maximum monitor size rather than the weight capacity, so knowing exactly what each arm can handle is useful. For reference the 32” Philips monitor I just reviewed comes in at under 9KG without its stand attached, so you should be able to accommodate most screens. If you are using a Varidesk with these you will obviously need to take into account the load carrying ability of the desk itself.
The packaged box was surprisingly small, and when I opened it I thought it was going to be a nightmare to build. Each section is separate, but once I had gotten everything out and looked at it, it was extremely easy to set up.
There is the base, and then each monitor arm is made up of 3 sections, the long longer bottom section can handle height adjustments as well as rotate, the middle section just rotates, then the monitor bracket section which can tilt you monitor and rotate it from landscape to portrait.
There is a small clip that pushes in then pops back out which secures each section of the arm to one another, this helps give it a more secure build, unlike my Ergotron where you just drop each section onto the correct post.
There are hex key screws on each section, which for the most part do not need to be touched, but they allow you to tighten or loosen the grip of each section. I just needed to loosen the mount for the arm to get it to face down properly.
All the mechanisms feel exceptionally well made, with smooth operation without being loose. I can move my 27” monitor into any position without it dropping of being wobbly. The build quality is far superior to the cheap Amazon one I have, and probably better than my Ergotron too (though that is about 10 years old).
However, there is a pretty big issue. I haven’t addressed the base of the unit yet. It is a large wide clamp that slides onto the edge of your desk and then you use one of the supplied hex keys to tighten 2 rubber clamps down. The wide thick metal with dual clamps is far superior to my Ergotron which uses one clamp. However, the metal clamp itself is a solid piece of metal, there is no height adjustment. I have a cheap Ikea Linnmon desk which is 34mm thick. The main desk clamp with its 2 rubber claims inside will not fit on my desk at all. I had to unscrew the rubber clamps then just tighten the bolts directly to my desk. If you have a desk much thicker than 34 mm it just won’t fit at all.
Looking back in hindsight, there is a reason for this. The Varidesk monitor arms are design for Varidesks only, the website doesn’t specifically state this though, but this is the only logical conclusion. So, in theory, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the arms, but I feel like Varidesk are missing a trick here. They have a monitor arm that is just as good if not better than competing premium brands while being a bit cheaper, but it is just not usable for a large number of potential users. If you root through their pictures and technical specification, it does state that the maximum desk width is 2.54cm, so again, I can’t really claim there is anything wrong with the arms.
Overall, if you have invested into a Varidesk sit/stand desk then this monitor arm is a no-brainer. It will free up a significant amount of room on your desk, and they are exceptionally well made so you have unlimited amounts of adjustments with no annoying wobbles or constant re-adjusting. For everyone else, while this product wasn’t designed for you, if you have a thin enough desk then the Varidesk monitor arm is a decent alternative to Humanscale and Ergotron.