Date Posted: April 22, 2002
LAN parties exist for a few reasons. For one thing, it allows gamers to showcase their talents in a competitive, or simply for fun, environment. LAN partys, like street car conventions, allow PC enthusiasts to show off their modded rigs. Of course, as anyone can tell you, getting your PC to the party is the least enjoyable part of the experience. Computers, as well as monitors, aren't always lightweight, but even more of an issue, they tend to be cumbersome. Trying to open a door, or walking up stairs can be an adventure in itself. If you're not careful, well, this could happen...
is one company that produces a series of products that cater to the LAN junkie. We're going to take a look at one of their products, the GearGrip - CRT, which, you guessed it, allows for easier transport of your monitor.
Fits most monitors up to 21"
Heavy duty 2" hardware
Premium soft-grip handle
CableGrip easily manages loose cables.
Quick disconnect front strap for fast setup.
When we received the package, it couldn't have come at a better time. You see, I actually have a full-time job, and the device I have for moving our equipment around is called a chair. It happens that our company finished renovations, and I needed to move PCs and monitors back to their old spots. I immediately tore the bag open, and took out my
thong, uh, GearGrip.
Although installation is straightforward, CaseAce does include printed instructions for those of you who need the help.
One of the first things I noticed was the thickness of the straps and buckles. This is obviously a good idea, as monitors can weigh in excess of 70 lbs.
I was a little concerned the material would scratch the screen, but through normal use, I don't think this is going to happen. The buckles themselves don't ever make contact with the screen.
Now, the whole point of the GearGrip series, is to be able to transport your entire PC setup by yourself. CaseAce has shoulder straps available for the GearGrip - CRT, but you'll have to order that separately. The rubber handle is pretty solid though, and soft enough to not hurt the hands.
Installation is fairly easy, as all you have to do is slip the straps around the monitor. The easiest way to do this is to place the main webbing on top, and shimmy the straps around the sides, and the monitor pedestal. This is locked into place, and tightened.
The GearGrip - CRT will work with most monitors up to 21" in size, and with a tapered back. Also, if your monitor has a flip out door concealing your monitor controls, this isn't for you, as the GearGrip will press up against that area, likly breaking the door off from the weight of your monitor.
Lest we forget, you have some velcro cable management. This will work a lot better than slinging it around your neck.
After setting all this up, I gave it a test drive of carrying a 19" Trinitron from one floor to another. To be honest, I had a lot of trouble doing this. I didn't have many obstacles in my way, but the strain of the monitor was tough on one arm. I managed to do it anyways, and it did save me some time, as I was able to carry a box in my other arm. I tried the same with a 21" monitor, but this time I couldn't get more than 5 feet, before giving up. We finally tested with a 17" monitor, and moving that was a snap. CaseAce never claimed the monitor will get lighter, but it does do as advertised, and allow for you to carry it with one arm. Actually being able to lift it, well, that'll depend on how strong you are.
Despite my problems lifting the monitor, this method is actually safer than using two hands to carry it. When I got tired, I simply lowered it. When using two hands, you'll have to bend over lower to put it down, and search for a table. Also, if your hands are prone to sweating, you might let the monitor slip out of your hands. The rubber handle on the geargrip prevents this.
The GearGrip - CRT does exactly what CaseAce says it will do. It will fit most monitors up to 21", managing the cables on the back of it, and will provide a method of using just one hand to carry the monitor. Not once during testing did the straps loosen on their own, and it felt very secure,
In practice, this all works well for 17" monitors. 19" and 21" monitors will be a lot harder to carry. Quite simply, it's just too heavy. I do think the shoulder straps would make a worthwhile purchase if your monitor falls in this size range.
For any LAN junkie, or even IT staffers, you'll find this a useful product. If you only move your monitor once a year, you can probably get away with using your chair.
Pros: Well constructed, and strong. Very secure, and works as advertised.
Cons: Doesn't do much about the weight. Not useful if you rarely move your monitor.
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