In this XOOT System review, I’ll introduce you to a revolutionary stand for large display tablet like the Wacom Cintiq Pro 24 and 32. It’s an alternative to the Wacom Ergo Stand or an Ergotron Arm that makes it easy to switch from monitor mode to touch or drawing mode without interrupting your flow. This allows you to take full advantage of your touchscreen drawing tablet.
Chris Myerchin, the inventor of the XOOT System, lent me the device to use in my studio, so today I’ll be reviewing it in more detail while sharing the impact the XOOT System had on my workflow. Before we get started, I want to mention that this is not a sponsored review.
I attached the XOOT to my Wacom Cintiq 27 QHD Touch. This is the tablet I am currently using in my studio. The Cintiq was previously attached to an Ergotron Arm. For demonstration purposes, I have two Cintiq 27s side by side, so that we can compare each mounting option.
I use my Cintiq daily. It serves not only as a screen to draw on, but I also use it as my primary monitor for email, video editing, script writing, graphic design and lots of other tasks. Before we get into how I have been using the XOOT in my workflow, let’s dive a bit deeper into the appearance, features and specs of the XOOT System.
FEATURES & SPECS
As I mentioned earlier, the XOOT System allows you to easily change the position and angle of your screen. The angle changes as the tablet moves forward into your lap, and then it moves away from you in the opposite direction to a more vertical orientation. The angle is then fixed in whichever position you like, using electromagnetic brakes.
To disengage the braking system, all you need to do is place your finger on a touch strip. These touch strips can easily be customized. You can make them larger or smaller, and you can position them wherever you like on the back of the tablet.
The base of the XOOT system features Anti-Toppling Arms, which keeps the base from toppling forward. And they also declutter the cables on your desk. The base also features Grip Feet, which can be used to slide the monitor toward and away from the user or side to side to find an optimal position. The base is elevated up off the desk just a bit. The area underneath the base was designed to fit an average size laptop. The available height of the base will vary by the screen attached, but should be at least two inches (or 50 millimeters).
Now, if you have a keyboard and a mouse on your desk, no worries. The XOOT System glides right above your keyboard and mouse without knocking them over or pushing them off the table. This allows you to effortlessly go between monitor mode and touch or drawing mode.
The XOOT System is quite easy to install. — It basically just clamps onto your desk. — The clamp has an adjustable bracket, which will allow you to attach it to desks up to three inches (or 75 millimeters) thick. The XOOT is quite bulky, but it should fit an average-sized desk.
Now I will mention that setting up the XOOT may vary if you’re attaching it to something other than the Cintiq 27. For example, the Dell Canvas 27 requires some modification to accommodate the power cables.
I also want to emphasize that this is just a prototype and the actual production model is going to look a lot more polished.
Another thing worth mentioning is that the XOOT System requires an additional power cable to power the electromagnetic braking system. In other words, you need to plug in the XOOT System for the electromagnetic brakes to be able to operate. The brakes remain locked even when the power is disconnected.
The mostly steel construction of the stand is very durable. It’s a bit heavy at around 20 pounds, but that shouldn’t be a problem if you have a sturdy desk.
The XOOT System will come in kits. Kits are pre-configured to suit a specific model of tablet. You can order the XOOT with your preferred kit pre-installed and you have the option of swapping kits if you change to a different tablet.
Currently there are a handful of supported tablets, but more tablets will be added as the project progresses, the tablets that are currently supported are the Cintiq Pro 32, Cintiq Pro 24, Cintiq 27 QHD, Cintiq 24 HD and the Dell Canvas. [Coming soon: XP-Pen and Huion tablets as well.]
COMPARISON TO ERGOTRON LX
Next, I will compare the XOOT System to my Ergotron LX arm because that’s what I’m used to working with.
As you can see, I have one Cintiq attached to the XOOT System, and I have another attached to an Ergotron LX arm. Now, I do want to mention that the Ergotron LX arm is a bit different than the Wacom Ergo Flex arm, which goes with the new Cintiq Pro 24 and 32, but essentially they do the same thing.
So let’s start by comparing the bulk and the weight of the two devices. The XOOT is twice as heavy as the Ergotron LX arm and bulkier, but we’ll talk about why that’s a good thing in just a bit.
As far as rigidity goes, the Ergotron uses tension, which you have to adjust with a wrench, even at a high tension, it still wobbles quite a bit. The XOOT lies flat on the desk and was engineered to reduce wobble. The XOOT’s electromagnetic breaks lock the tablet in a fixed position as soon as you remove your finger from the touch strip.
When drawing on the Cintiq, the XOOT is the most stable overall, but it does wobble a little bit in the vertical orientation, especially when you press near the far sides of the screen. The wobble isn’t as bad if you have the screen in your lap.
The Ergotron arm is kind of a mixed bag. If you have it floating in the air, then obviously it will wobble a lot. However, if you rest the edge of your display against the desk, then it barely moves at all.
Now let’s discuss how each of these stands can articulate. We’ll start with Rotation. The Ergotron arm, and the current Wacom Ergo stand and the XOOT System can all be rotated. The resistance of the rotation can be fine tuned on the XOOT to add more or less friction.
In terms of positions, the Ergotron arm has more axis of motion, so it can move side to side and up and down, as well as forward and backward. The XOOT can move side to side and forward and backward by sliding the base, but it can not move up and down in a vertical orientation. Both devices can be angled from vertical to nearly horizontal.
Next we’ll discuss fluidity of movement, which is a very important factor. The XOOT is much easier to move, it’s weighted so it glides into position. In contrast, you practically have to wrestle the Ergotron arm to get it into position.
Moving onto cable management, both devices allow you to tidy up your cables. Though I did a sloppy job with my Ergotron, you can actually route the cables through the Ergotron arm. The cables can be routed through the XOOT’s arm as well. I would say the two devices are about equal in that regard.
Next, we’ll talk about the consistency of the position. Because the Ergotron arm segments move around so much, it can be difficult to keep it in a consistent position. The XOOT is a lot more rigid, so it’s not going to shift out of position every time you angle the screen.
The weight limit of the devices is another important consideration. Both devices are capable of holding large displays, but the Ergotron has a weight limit, and a heavier device can reduce the range of motion and rigidity of the arm. The XOOT is pre-configured to be optimized for the exact weight of your display, which makes adjusting the screen feel light as a feather.
Now let’s compare how the two devices mount to a desk, both devices use a clamp. However, the Ergotron can also be mounted by drilling a hole into your desk as well, if you’re not able to use the clamp.
IMPACT ON MY WORKFLOW
Next, I’d like to share some impressions of how the XOOT impacted my workflow. Using the XOOT encouraged me to be less reliant on my keyboard and my mouse. I had to take advantage of my Express Key Remote, pen input and multi-touch to do a lot of the stuff that I was doing with the keyboard and mouse.
I also felt more inclined to change the position of the screen when moving between tasks. It’s buttery smooth to move the screen without a whole lot of effort. And because the screen locks into positions that are more consistent, I could spend less time adjusting my camera when recording over-the-shoulder shots of my paintings.
I also noticed that my posture and overall comfort improved while using the XOOT System. I was able to elevate my chair a bit, get rid of the keyboard tray, and scoot in close to my desk. With the XOOT at a low position, I could get the screen into my lap which allowed me to lean on the screen and draw in a more comfortable position. When I was done drawing, I could put it back into monitor mode to maintain an ergonomic position through my entire workday.
STILL ADJUSTING TO
Now, I want to talk about some elements of working with the XOOT System that took some adjusting to. First of all, it took some time to remember that I could move the position of the screen because I’m in the habit of using the Ergotron arm that stays vertical the whole time. Once I got used to the idea that I could move the screen, it became second nature.
Another thing that’s taking a little bit of adjusting to is that when I draw in a vertical orientation, the screen wobbles a bit. Not a lot, but it’s enough to bother me because I record myself drawing and I don’t like having the screen jitter around. The screen is much more stable at a lower angle, so if the wobble bothers you, that’s a good way to reduce it. My Ergotron LX wobbles too, but resting the Cintiq against the desk adds more stability.
After trying the XOOT System in my own studio for about two weeks, I have to say I’m very impressed with the positive changes that it’s introduced into my own personal workflow. I think it’ll probably take me more than a couple of weeks to really get used to working on this device, but I get the impression that the XOOT has the potential to revolutionize how artists, designers, and tablet users work with a touch screen device.
Honestly, the Ergotron LX is doing an acceptable job of holding my tablet up, but it feels like a nuisance to move it around to adjust the screen. The ease of use of the XOOT System felt refreshing to use, and I’m happy to recommend it as an alternative to the Wacom Ergo Stand or Ergo Flex Arm.
If you’re interested in learning more about the XOOT System and where you can order one, sign up for XOOT’s email list or visit xoot.pro for more info.
Check out my recent interview where I share my thoughts on the XOOT System.