Mounting a monitor above your desk

Have you considered mounting your monitor above your desk to make more space and position the monitor more favourably?

It’s not hard to find the item you need. Just search Google for “monitor arm”. I bought two some time over five years ago and they have been completely solid and reliable, fixed at the back of either end of my desk. I’ve never even had to tighten any bolts or make any other adjustments over that time. Although I didn’t get them from Amazon, I think they were these models from Duronic.

Monitor arm
Monitor arm, showing the VESA plate that screws to the monitor
What might have put you off pursuing this is wondering how you attach your monitor to the arm. Actually, it’s probably a lot easier than you might imagine, thanks to an industry standard called “Vesa” (Video Electronics Standards Association).  According to this standard, your monitor probably has four holes on the back in a square, where the holes are 75mm or 100mm apart. These holes have a standard thread. When you buy a monitor arm, it will come with a plate with holes at the same distance and screws that fit the thread of the holes in the monitor.

You just screw the plate to the monitor. These plates usually have holes at both the 75mm and 100mm distances and you just use the ones appropriate to your monitor, but you would be advised to check compatibility with your monitor before buying the arm. If push comes to shove, you can buy an adaptor plate (google for “vesa adaptor plate”) that will allow you to use a 100mm plate with 75mm holes on the monitor (or vice versa).

I’ve been discussing attaching monitors to desks, but all of this also applies to fixing smart TVs to wall arms as well.

Non-VESA Brackets
Non-VESA brackets
So far so good, but what happens if your monitor doesn’t have the VESA holes? In this case, you can buy a kit with brackets that grip your monitor and which includes the needed VESA attachment. The result isn’t quite as elegant because the brackets are visible at the top and bottom of the monitor, but the result is still sturdy. I recently replaced one of my external monitors with a non-VESA monitor kindly donated by a client. I bought the adaptor kit from Amazon for £16.99. It took about 15 minutes to put the kit together and fix the monitor to it.

There may be a dimension (apart from “time”) through which it is not possible to alter the angle of the monitor fixed to one of these monitor arms, but I have yet to find it.

My desk is only 100cm wide and I like to work with my laptop positioned between the two external monitors. This is perfectly doable with the external monitors connected to monitor arms. I really wouldn’t want to try going back to having two monitors, as well as the laptop, sitting on my desk.