By: Aaron Lai
December 30, 2016
Last month, I was telling one of my friends how I would be going to see a play with my compadre. She asked how much it cost, so I told her the price, including the fact my ticket was more expensive than my compadre's. Due to her curiosity, she asked why. At this point, I could have told her the true answer, as the theater had discounts for student pricing compared to non-student pricing. However, considering how gullible this friend is, I first told her the theater was involved in a feminist movement, and so male attendees would have to pay more. This friend was shocked for a second, but before I let her respond, I quickly told her I was kidding. I then made up the fact the theater required us to report our personal income, and so my ticket would be pricier since I was working. By now, I thought she would have seen through all the complexities and called me out on my lies, but again rather than objecting, she just commented on how weird it was. If there is anything I learned from this, other than confirming her gullibility, is the fact sometimes the simplest answer is not always the most obvious or accepted solution. A lot of different venues charge based on either age or employment status, but to her, it was not the most immediate answer. On an aside, it could also just be a specific issue with this particular friend. Today, we have a pretty simple looking way to mount two monitors on a single stand in the SilverStone ARM23BS. Taking a look at the manufacturer's website, this may look like a pretty normal way to solve such a problem, but is it actually the case? Hopefully this review will answer your questions and more about the SilverStone ARM23BS!
Arriving in a brown SilverStone branded box, the ARM23BS arrived from the manufacturer's USA offices in Chino, California. Traveling with UPS Standard, this box arrived in average condition. There were some smudging on the sides and a few small dents on the top side, but otherwise nothing to really be worried about. Inside, the retail container is held between layers of white packing peanuts, which did a good job in preventing any further damage to the contents. However, it also makes a mess, especially if the foam breaks apart.
As you can see, the SilverStone ARM23BS' retail container is pretty standard for SilverStone, with a black and brown color scheme. The front shows a product description, with some feature points underneath. There are two drawings of two different mounts on the front, so you might wonder which is contained. However, the bottom right corner shows two models indicated by the model numbers. The ARM23BS is what we have today, and this holds two monitors in a horizontal configuration. The ARM24BS is made to stack monitors vertically. I should also note, SilverStone announced their ARM23BS-L, which horizontally holds monitors 24" and larger. Otherwise, a plastic handle can also be found at the top of the box to make carrying the box easier.
Before we get into the product itself, I have pulled out some specifications from the manufacturer's website for your perusal:
Model No.: SST-ARM23BS
Material: Steel / Aluminum alloy / Plastic
Max. wall mount hole pitch: 100 x 100mm / 75 x 75mm
Screw Type: M4
Rotate (Pivot): 360°
Support max. weight: 8 kg (17.6 lbs)/ per monitor
Torque adjust: Available
Height adjustment range (POLE): 343mm (13.5")
Net weight: 2.61 kg (5.74 Ibs)
Dimension: 715mm (W) x 401mm (H) x 246mm (D)
Out of the box, we have several things, most of which are for building the SilverStone ARM23BS. From the top, you can see the single X stand. Next to it is a pole and two horizontal arms. In the middle is a plastic clip, silver metal ring, and several plastic bags holding screws, tools, washers and more small pieces. Finally, the bottom two parts are the two monitor mounts, and you will see how they fit later on. All of these parts are held in the box with a huge Styrofoam bracket to prevent any surface scratches on the different parts. Styrofoam is adequate in this regards, but it can be annoying to deal with once it starts disintegrating in your hands. A manual is also included to help in putting all of this together.
Before we do begin, above is an image of what my current setup looks like. As you can see, I have a Dell UltraSharp U2414H monitor on the left side, an LG 24EA53 on the right. From the photo, you can infer the LG monitor cannot be adjusted in height, as I have propped it up with a thick book. Personally, I have been looking for a monitor mount to clean up my desk and raise the heights of both monitors, but it has partially been my table that has held me back. As we have seen with desk-mounted arms, such as the ARCTIC Z2 Pro or SilverStone's own ARM Two SST-ARM22SC, particle board tables like mine are not strong enough to support a great deal of forces on a single point. As the SilverStone ARM23BS is not clamped to the table, but rather sits on the surface, this is not an issue.
Starting from the bottom, you can begin by taking the black pole and screwing it into the bottom base. The X bottom has a hole with threads to screw the whole thing in. There was a bit of difficulty at first, as lining up the threads was not the easiest, but this predicament was solved by placing the base on a flat surface prior to mounting. The base has four rubber pads underneath. This should help prevent the base from scratching the surface it sits upon, while providing enough grip to prevent the base from sliding around. Obviously, the weight of the monitors will do this too. The base, as well as most of the other components, are black in color. It is covered in a gritty like surface, making it feel a bit more industrial. Next, you can slide the plastic holder around the vertical bar. This is actually used to help with cable management, as you can feed your connection and power cables through this loop to make for a cleaner finished product.
The next step in assembling this stand is to slide a metal ring down to my preferred height. This silver ring is helpful as it keeps the two arms at this level during installation. However, I doubt it plays too much of a role in actually supporting the arms. Once you find the right height for your setup, you can lock this in place with a tiny screw and an included tool. The pole allows for a total of 34.3cm of space to adjust the height, although it will vary based on the size of your monitor. Afterwards, take the two wing arms and place them in. These pieces are fully metal, with exception of a plastic ring, which makes contact with the vertical cylindrical pole. The arms are very sturdy, but they are also kind of heavy. That being said, if the extra weight means stronger arms, then I am all for it. On the other hand, this does make height adjustment after the fact a bit more difficult, as you will need to pull out some tools to raise or lower your stand. As you can see, both of these pieces are identical, so it does not matter which arm you put on each side. However, these two pieces must be put together, meaning each monitor cannot be independently height adjusted. While it may not be a huge deal to some people, others may have slightly different VESA mount locations on their monitors in relation to the display, causing for slight differences in height between different models of monitors. Your mileage may vary, and I will see how this affects me later on when I mount my own two monitors.
After installing everything, the stand itself measures in at dimensions of 71.5cm in width, 40.1mm in height, and 24.6mm in depth. In addition, the SilverStone ARM23BS weighs approximately 2.61kg with no monitors installed. Most, if not all, of these numbers will change once you have installed the monitors.
Before you can mount the two monitors, you will need to put a pivoting head on each side. There are three pieces involved here, including the head, plastic knob at the back, and a plastic washer. This gets slotted through the horizontal slit on the arm, and can be slid along depending on your setup. The head here can tilt and swivel in a range of fifteen degrees each way, making for quite a bit of flexibility. In addition, the head can be rotated for a full 360 degrees, allowing for horizontal or vertical configurations on your monitors. As you can also see, my Dell UltraSharp U2414H is already mounted here, with the standard VESA mounting. Two different mount positions of 100mm and 75mm are available. Each monitor can weigh up to 8kg or 17.6lbs on each side, with a maximum monitor size of 24". The heads are also torque adjustable, meaning they can be loosened or tightened to make rotating, tilting, or swiveling easier or harder.
As for mounting, four standard VESA-compatible screws are provided for each side. SilverStone recommends you to first screw in two screws at the top, and place the monitor onto the head. However, before fully attaching the one monitor, I moved to the second monitor to place that on. This is because once one monitor is sitting on one side, the stand becomes out of balance, causing it to tip over. This would not be an issue with desk-mounted monitor mounts either, but as the ARM23BS sits merely on the surface, SilverStone recommends having a second person to help. This also means you will need to put two monitors on this stand, unless you can orient the single monitor in a way that still is balanced. Otherwise, once the stand is stable, you can finish the mounting process by screwing in the rest of the screws.
As everything is practically in place, the last steps in installation are quite minor. First, you will want to screw in the two knobs at the back, one for each arm. This tightens the arms so they do not swing so much and stay in place. It also ensures the arms stay at this height. The arms can be swung in and out to change the distance between each monitor, but majority of the adjustments will be done on the mount head itself. Finally, the last step is to cable manage everything into place. It would have been nice to see some cable routing paths instead of just a plastic bracket, but this is not a huge deal. I routed the Dell's DisplayPort, power cable, and the LG's HDMI cable through here. I would have done the same for the LG's power cable, but unfortunately, it was not long enough to take advantage of this path. I also threw on some Velcro straps around the cables to keep them together.
As you can see, this is the final image of the SilverStone ARM23BS, with my Dell UltraSharp U2414H and LG 24EA53 installed. The image may look a bit cluttered, but this is mostly because of the additional things I have sitting around on the desk, each with their own sentimental value. The one thing I really like is just how simple and unassuming the ARM23BS looks. It is also very stable, and keeps the monitors from shaking. This was more annoying during my school days, as just erasing on my table would cause shaking. Thankfully, this is much less of an issue with the SilverStone ARM23BS. The other thing I appreciate about the stand is more specific to my setup, and this is the fact there is no stand on the right side. This allows my peripherals, especially my mouse, to move freely without the cable getting caught on anything. Once again, the fact the SilverStone ARM23BS simplifies the aesthetics is awesome already.
Installation overall was quite straightforward. I should note the manual included with the SilverStone ARM23BS is the same manual as their other stands, including the ARM24BS. Thus, be careful you do not follow the wrong instructions, or you may think you are missing parts. Even so, the manual was easy to understand, and the overall installation time was less than half an hour.
If there is one acronym you may have heard before, it is "KISS", which stands for Keep It Simple,
Stupid Silly. In this case, I think we can swap the last S to "SilverStone", as keeping it simple is exactly what they have done. Their ARM23BS monitor stand includes all of the necessities to get the job done. Out of the box, the SilverStone uses premium materials, letting you build a solid and clean solution. The matte, gritty black finish is great here, and while it may not win any awards for most eye catching, it is functionally fine. Installation and build process is very straightforward, though it may require an extra pair of hands for some steps. In the end, the constructed ARM23BS is a very good result. The stand is sturdy, keeping the monitors in place by not allowing the monitors to shake much, especially compared to cheaper OEM plastic stands. On the other hand, simple solutions end up dropping some nice to have features. For example, while you can easily adjust the monitor by rotating, tilting, or swiveling, independent height adjustment is not possible, and height adjustment after installation requires a bit more effort. Secondly, there is only a plastic clip to organize the wires, which is not as hidden of a solution for cable management. Finally, installation is not a solo project to prevent it from falling over while putting on the monitors. This would be solved by some sort of desk clipping mechanism, but ironically this is the reason why I wanted the ARM23BS in my circumstances. Even so, SilverStone has listed this product at a very competitive price, with an MSRP of under $80 USD, and they undercut their competition by quite a bit. While the SilverStone ARM23BS may not offer the full flexibility found on pricier solutions, it meets majority of the needs found for the multiple monitor use case, making for a great choice at an easier-to-swallow cost.
SilverStone provided this product to APH Networks for the purpose of evaluation.
APH Review Focus Summary:
8/10 means Definitely a very good product with drawbacks that are not likely going to matter to the end user.
7/10 means Great product with many advantages and certain insignificant drawbacks; but should be considered before purchasing.
-- Final APH Numeric Rating is 7.3/10
Please note that the APH Numeric Rating system is based off our proprietary guidelines in the Review Focus, and should not be compared to other sites.
The SilverStone ARM23BS is an excellent wallet-friendly option for those looking to add a bit more flexibility to their multiple monitor setups.
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