New Product: Monitor Document Holder

This is an item that caught my eye when in January when I was reviewing some of the new products that we're carrying this year.  

The Victor Monitor Document Holder attaches to the side of a flat panel monitor.  I really like the idea of having a document holder that isn't taking up surface space on my desk, so I was geeked to try it out.

You can attach this to either side of your monitor.  I have mine on the left side since I'm left eye dominant.  It's lightweight and unobtrusive.  I don't know if you can tell by the picture above, but it has two panels on it. The panel in the front has 6 individual plastic flaps that are designed to hold business cards or sticky notes.  The rear panel is solid and that's where you put your documents.  Both are demonstrated in the pic.  Application was a snap and the adhesive tape is strong.

Now for the test.  I put a single sheet of paper in it and then I put about a dozen sheets in it.  (It's supposed to be able to handle up to 20 sheets.)  Two major issues popped up right away.  First, the holder extends to the side of the monitor on a flat plane.  This is not a good viewing angle for someone who is trying to type off of that paper.  The holder needs to be tilted inward - perhaps a 25 or 30 degree angle -  so that the papers can be seen clearly. When I put only a single sheet of paper in it, the paper collapsed backward.  When I put a few more sheets in it, it didn't bow back quite as severely, but it still did.  You can see it in this picture:

The paper is in the rear panel in the picture above and the business card is in the front panel.  If I moved the paper to the front panel, it looked like this:

You can clearly see that the backward angle of the paper is not as drastic, but it's still not where it should be for someone trying to type from those papers.  Plus, with the papers in the front panel, the business card now covers a good portion of the document, which it doesn't do if the document is in the rear panel as the manufacturer intends it to be.

The second major issue is that when I had multiple papers in the holder and I removed the top one, all the rest of them fell out of the holder.  Hmmmm.......I must be missing something.  Why would a manufacturer make a document holder that can't hold documents?

Upon examining it a little more closely, I discovered a thin gripper on the inside edge of the panels.  If I carefully place my papers in the holder and wiggle them to get them to slide behind that gripper, they'll stay in place when I take one out, but I have to remove it gingerly.  Now I don't know about you, but when I'm working, I'm moving pretty quickly.  It doesn't seem very practical to me to have to baby my document holder.  I'm not going to like something that I have to fight with to get the papers in place and then have to pull gently to take them out.  There is no supporting backer for the documents, so when you try to remove a sheet, the papers fall backward away from your hands, which makes it doubly difficult to grab onto one of them.  If there was a stiff backer, it would also make it easier to read in the straight across position, although the angled position is still what it really needs to have.

If all you want is a convenient place to put your sticky notes and business cards that you need to keep out in plain sight and you don't want them hanging from the bottom edge of your monitor anymore, this is a great item.  I like its size, the fact that it doesn't take up a lot of space and the fact that  it can go on either side of the monitor.  But it fails miserably as a document holder.  

It needs a major redesign - I give it 2 paper clips.