VF-AT-NBC Setup and Build Quality
Atdec has invented a way to create yet more desk space with its new VF-AT-NBC Notebook/Monitor Arm Combo mount that is as elegant as it is practical. This mount works with nearly any desk and handles your laptop as well as a flat panel monitor up to 24-inches, getting both off of the desk and into the air and making them extremely maneuverable in the process. We took the system through its paces and really liked what we found. In fact, it was one of the more down-to-earth and innovative mounting solutions we've seen in some time.
Our first exposure to the Visidec VF-AT-NBC mount came with a press release announcing the new product. The ability to mount both a notebook and an LCD monitor to a desk, both with swing arms that offered a full range of motion was more than a little enticing. I've been working full-time on a computer, professionally, for over 16 years. In that time I've gone from a small CRT monitor to a large one. From that to a pair of small flat screen monitors. And finally, I rested on a single 24-inch LCD display - which really had the same screen real estate as a pair of moderately-sized monitors. With that said, this Visidec VF-AT-NBC mount made me realize that the folded MacBook Pro (which I kept "docked" in a convenient Twelve South stand) could once again be used to extend my desktop to another display. In fact, it could be used in this way and not take up valuable desk space. Sold.
The Atdec VF-AT-NBC is really two products in one. It takes the Visidec VF-AT ergonomic monitor arm and the Visidec VF-AT-NK notebook mounting accessory and combines them into a single mounting solution for what amounts to what I think should be a new trend in office computing. Since more and more people are using laptops today, it's no small thing to have a product like this that is elegant and also able to ergonomically position and even maneuver your laptop and display for clients. Both of the system's arms are independently controlled. You can set their height to perfectly match the screens with each other, and you can also adjust the displays so that you can bring them in and out, or rotate them around the central mounting post as desired - up to a full 360 degrees! While all of this is occurring, you are also removing both your laptop and your flat panel monitor from your desk, reclaiming valuable workspace and making for a more elegant look.
Setup, Build Quality and Positioning
The VF-AT-NBC comes in two boxes and, while we typically use the instructions to make sure we do everything correctly, we really didn't need them. The notebook tray installs via either the desk clamp mount, which can attach to the outside edge of a desk without any additional tools (the allen wrench is included). Alternatively, you can use the bolt-through system which entails drilling a hole anywhere on your desk to allow for a limitless placement of the mounting system directly through the desk's surface - allowing you to put the pole in a place that may not be at the edge (perfect for corner-oriented desks, for example). Once you've chosen one of these methods, you can then slide the VF-AT-NK notebook mounting system onto the post. There is a locking grip, which is a piece of plastic that, once it is cranked down by the locking ring, keeps the notebook arm from moving up or down. The tilt tension of the notebook tray is adjustable, and even the support tabs (which keep the notebook from sliding off the tray) can be adjusted left and right for a wider, or narrower, laptop (or to move them away from any important connectors.) The allen key even stores in the top of the pole - very convenient.
The notebook platform itself was very well made. It has a grippy surface, so you never feel as if your laptop is going to slide off on its own. The adjustable tabs provide the real support against downward movement, of course, and we liked that they were silver, like our MacBook Pro. The fact that the tray is ventilated also didn't go unnoticed - a feature that speaks volumes about how intelligent this system is and how much work went into thinking it through. There is also a cable clamp in the underside that can grab and hold loose cables to keep them out of sight and reduce cable strain. Beyond that, however, there are cable channels built right into the arm, with plastic clips and "locking balls" which tuck cables into the channel behind the primary silver mounting pole.
As far as flexibility and placement, this mount is nearly infinite. The accessory arms can be tilted by 70° in either direction and panned through 180 degrees. This allows applications in either landscape or portrait, independent of the desired position of the other screen. With the capability of holding monitors of up to 17.5lbs, the arm also accommodates two different VESA mounting hole patterns: 75mm x 75mm (3” x 3”) or 100mm x 100mm (4” x 4”). The vented notebook tray supports laptops all the way up to 17.5 pounds (and ~17 inches in width) and can still safely tilt up to 25 degrees up or down.