Monitor Arms 101

Maybe you just bought your first computer and you're wondering what kind of cool stuff you can get to go along with it.  One of the many accessories available is a monitor arm.  Here are the basics of computer monitor arms and why you might – or might not – need one.

Basically, your computer has three parts:  the monitor (that screen you look at), the keyboard (the thing you type on), and the CPU (if it's a PC, then it's the heavy box that sits on the floor – the new Apples don't have separate CPUs).

The monitor is what sits on your desktop.  Depending on the style and size of your computer desk or table, the monitor could be placed in several different places.  It's important that you put it in the correct place.  A correctly placed monitor should be about 18 – 21 inches away from you and the center of the monitor should be at eye-level.  You should never have to tilt your head up or down to look at the screen.

Okay, so if you have a computer desk that allows you to correctly place the monitor, you might not need a monitor arm, but I suggest you read on anyway.  If you can't put your monitor in the correct place, you should consider getting a monitor arm.  A monitor arm mounts to the back of your flat screen monitor and also mounts someplace on your desk, or the wall next to your desk.  The "arm" allows you to move the monitor up or down, left or right, and tilt the monitor forward or backward with the touch of a finger.  This allows you to minimize glare (even if there are windows in front or behind you) and also allows you to move your chair from side to side and still see the monitor (for example—if you help your child with homework, you can pull up an extra chair and slide the monitor over so one person can see it more clearly than the other.  If there are multiple family members using the same computer, it also allows each person to adjust the monitor according to their comfort level with a quick touch.

There are different types of monitor arms.  Besides the way they mount, the arms also do different things.  Some arms hold two monitors, some only support one.  Some arms rotate 180 degrees, some do not rotate at all. Some are longer, some are shorter.  We found an impressive variety of monitor arms at Versa Products, Inc.

One of the most valuable features of a monitor arm, aside from comfort and ergonomics, is that by attaching your monitor to a monitor arm, you won't have a large, bulky monitor taking up space on your computer table or desk.  When you aren't using the computer, you simply push the monitor aside and have 100% of your desktop for useable writing or organizing space.  This helps protect the monitor and prevents clutter from building up on the desktop.

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