When I think about improving the Quality of Life for my PC experience, the usual areas of input, audio and visual come to mind. The thing is, the more I think about it, the more that list has expanded in recent years – laptop stands, iPod/iPad docks, and mouse mats with ridiculous names. That said, there’s one peripheral that up until now I would have only associated with offices – monitor mounts.

It’s a fact that Colebrook Bosson Saunders know well, having supplied many award-winning designs to companies for years. Its Flo series is the backbone of this, but now CBS is looking to extend its consumer base to the general public. As someone who appreciates a good PC setup – both from a home office and a gaming standpoint – I was invited by CBS to get hands-on with the Flo Monitor Arm Mount over the course of a few weeks, to put it through its paces and see if it was worth the investment.

To begin with, let’s talk about how the Flo actually works. Utilising what CBS calls the Geometric Spring System, the Flo is a desk-based stand that allows any mountable screen to be attached. Handling monitors that weigh between 3-9kg, the end result is a counterbalance system that allows for precise placement of a monitor. It all sounds impressive on paper, but over the course of my time with the Flo I realised that the reality really does matches the marketing blurb.

The setup was a straightforward affair, with the Flo consisting of three pieces – the main arm itself, the clamp unit for the desk, and the monitor mount plate. The latter two parts require some assembly, but the supplied instruction booklets give clear descriptions and illustrations on how to do so (and there’s even a video hosted on the CBS website if you need additional help.) With the included hex key I was able to ensure the clamp was secured tightly in place and had I needed to I could have adjusted the clamp for a thicker desk.

From there, the main arm was firmly slotted into place, the final piece was attaching the monitor mount plate to my monitor. With CBS supplying two sets of four screws of different length, it allowed me to use the best set for my monitor (with a very handy blue colour on the screws themselves to indicate how far they should ideally go in.) Considering the different types of monitors available, I found it a small yet welcome addition, especially as my second monitor required a different length of screw to feel completely secure.

My most nervous moment of the whole process came as I prepared to slide the monitor onto the connection at the top of the Flo’s arm, but I shouldn’t have been. The slide-in process was not only easy to do but felt very secure once in place. Upon completion, the Flo looked stylish with its minimalist design – tidy, unobtrusive, and (as I’ll explain) very functional. The accompanying plastic cable management fixtures on both main parts of the Flo were a godsend as well, enabling me to not only keep things organised behind the monitor, but ensured that when the monitor moved the cables moved unhindered with it.

And that’s where the Flo really shines – the freedom and flexibility to set your monitor however you like.

Over the course of my two weeks with the Flo I was shifting the monitor into different positions, and each time it held there flawlessly. Raising it up to high above eye level, bringing it down low at a slight angle, and even turning it 90 degrees to a portrait view – the Flo was able to go between them with ease. The lightweight minimalistic design of the arm also meant that it felt like nothing was getting in the way as I moved the monitor around, which was great when I decided to bring the monitor out to the front of my desk instead of its usual place at the back. In commercial use its advantages are clear, but from a personal perspective, it meant that I could turn the monitor to avoid light from outside, or swing it forward to show something I had just found.

While I have gone on about flexibility, it should be noted that the Flo can also be set to a fixed position if desired. Again, the instructions for this are clearly presented in the leaflet provided, and my experimentations with it worked perfectly. The monitor and the arm remained where I set it despite some light resistance on my part, but it should also be noted that even when mobility was still enabled the Flo remained in any position I put it in. I even shook the desk for a good thirty seconds, and the Flo shrugged it off like it was nothing.

The advantages are not just restricted to the positioning of the monitor, though. Because my screen was no longer taking room up on my desk, it meant that I actually had more workspace for other things instead. Another example was how my wireless phone would slightly obstruct the view when in its dock, but that was no longer a problem with the screen now hoisted above any clutter below. The other advantage is actually to do with personal health thanks to the ergonomics the Flo provides. With the monitor risen to actual eye level it meant I was sitting in my chair with improved posture. No longer was I hunched over my keyboard, but instead looking like a (relatively) normal human being.

Of course, the final sticking point is the topic of value for money, and it’s fair to say that getting a monitor mount of this calibre requires substantial investment. There are many cheaper alternatives out there that might come with USB ports or other gimmicks, but here’s the thing – at just over £150 per arm, the Flo isn’t the dearest option out there, either. Pound for pound, the quality of life improvements it provides are worth it thanks to its ease of use and exceptional mobility, but it’s still a £150 price for an optional piece of kit. I don’t need to tell you all that money could be put towards a new graphics card, or a set of speakers, or the ultimate gaming mouse – all things that gamers would probably find more important to their setup.

However, CBS are so confident of its quality and worth that they are doing a 30-day free trial for the Flo, so you can decide for yourself if it is worth the money. I won’t lie – I really didn’t think I would be able to argue the cost when I first started using it, but the Flo won me over fairly quickly. Raising the monitors off of my desk opens up so much more space that I honestly would find it hard to go back to the way things were. It’s not the game-changer I was looking for or expecting, but from now on I’m going with the Flo.

No, I won’t apologise for that pun. Ever.

Pros:

  • Lightweight, minimalist design that’s sturdy and durable.
  • Exceptional flexibility to organise monitors as you wish.
  • 30-day free trial means you can make up your own mind…

Cons:

  • … but it’s still a quality-of-life improvement that costs a fair amount.

The Short Version:

The argument on whether you can justify the cost will vary from person to person, but there is no denying that the Flo is an exceptional piece of kit. Easy to set up, flexible in its use, and incredibly stylish, the Flo can lift your monitor from your desk to provide a more spacious and ergonomic workspace or gaming setup.

We do not score hardware reviews.