Ergotron Lx arm for Cintiq

Published on

Update 2013: I removed the Ergotron; it was finally a bit woobly and the Cintiq was shaking too much... the loud 10 kilograms of the 21UX probably affected the stability of this arm after a couple of month... Also the switch of position between the two tablets and the USB switch were a pain, and made me kept one setting over the other one: the tablet mode and not Cintiq. So it was a bit useles. After that I started to use the normal stand delivered with the Cintiq on the side, with a dual screen setup. Too bad, I like watching how I went into a deep ergonomy research with this photos...

My quest to make the Cintiq21Ux usable reach to the end.. ( I hope ) . finally. Since I purchased the Cintiq21UX in June 2011, I must admit I didn't used it a lot ; this device have really serious ergonomic problems in my opinion or for my usage. As you probably already read ; I started to hack on it a gamepad to make more buttons on it to replace most of keyboard shortcut I use. But, it was really to difficult to adapt myself to this way to work, and the Cintiq just 'not works' for most of computer job I have to do in my daily freelance task.

So, my graphic tablet Intuos4 A5 get speedly connected back to my system and I could use Cintiq as a hight-quality screen. And most of my production since this summer was done like it. Too bad... because I must admit the Cintiq21UX is particulary pleasant with Mypaint ; mostly for detailing artworks with thin brush ; I also like it for sketching , draw thumbnails in production. But this 2 steps are or at start of a painting, or at the end, and changing the work positions is not easy... In fact , there is 2 major issue to do a switch between the two :

  1. Cintiq screen embeded tablet makes magnetic noise on all tablet I could use on the desktop ( I tested Intuos3/Bamboo/Intuos4 ) , it makes jittering on the cursor. My only solution, was to unplug the USB of the Cintiq ; this turn off the embeded tablet on the Cintiq and makes the Cintiq behaves as a simple LCD screen.
  2. The original Cintiq21UX footer is like a easel on wheel. The Cintiq get very high compare to the table level , and to bring it in front of your eyes you have to remove all on your desktop. Also this footer and the 9 Kg of the Cintiq hurted the wood of my desktop a lot.

With this 2 issue, here is what you have to do to switch the 2 working positions : - crouch under the desktop to unconnect the other tablet USB - clean desktop - organise the new position - relaunch driver ( here a xsetwacom script )

Of course, easy to do it the first week 2 or 3 time by day; but then usage and lasyness dictature choose the position witch fill the more task : the normal tablet position.

I started few weeks ago, back from Viewconference , to discover several Youtube videos about user who connected ergonomic arm to their Cintiq. So, I decided to give it a try, and it works pretty fine. Here are the photos :

Here is my normal working position, the one who fill 90% of my needs with Intuos4 A5 mapped only to the Cintiq21UX screen. Too bad the Cintiq is 3:4 screen and my Intuos4 16:10 ; with my mapping I loose a little part of the active surface.

The Ergotron LX arms ( + an extension ) when folded

The Ergotron LX + Extension unfolded. Surprising to see the screen is stable and don't move. This Cintiq is almost 9Kg.

So now I can just grab the screen and put it in a comfortable position to work. It flies over what is on desktop.

To unactivate or desactivate the Cintiq/Intuos USB, I found this type of device ; a USB hub with on/off buttons. This make me solve the problems of conflicting jittering between the 2 tablets.

The Ergotron arms is also able to rotate fully the tablet in portrait mode. I don't really use it, but I think I will play with Xrandr and build soon a script to have a Mypaint big portrait workspace.

Cintiq and Ergonomic : a future ?

Me demoing on the new Cintiq24HD in Viewconference 2011 ( Turin / Italy ) on Wacom booth

After testing the Cintiq24HD ( external link to Wacom product page ) , I observed many improvements ; the surface is not warm at all, the screen is bigger and offer a total immersion with an amazing rendering of colors, and the huge footer of the tablet allow to set the tablet to a comfortable angle. Also, with my experience, I know this device would not fit into my needings, because of lake of flexibility ; as you can see on the photo I have to take the keyboard on my leg for keyboard shortcuts ( or if I need to answer a Chat/email ). This Cintiq is a real drawing table, but I'm affraid you can do only one task with it : draw. A bit too restrictive compare to my computer usage, where I write, play game, watch movies , do 3D ...etc...

So, just my opinion , but a 21UX + a Ergotron arm is much more better.

And more than all ; a classic tablet in front of a screen with a keyboard is still my choice n°1 !

License: "Ergotron Lx arm for Cintiq" by David Revoy − CC-BY 4.0
Tags:  #article  #Wacom  #hardware  #ergonomy  #review   | Download: Markdown