We've seen a few monitor mounts at CES 2024, including a single-arm mount from Asus' ROG line, and single- and double-arm mounts from Thermaltake. But there are also some options for those of you who don't want to mount your monitor — such as Cooler Master's new Pro Station monitor riser, which is solidly-built and features a built-in soundbar, a touchscreen, RGB underglow, and enough plugs and ports to charge every device you've ever owned.
The Pro Station features a sturdy if not otherwise particularly inspired aluminum build — it's definitely not the first monitor riser/stand I've seen that looks like this. In fact, I've seen some that look almost identical design-wise... minus all the connectivity, speakers, touchscreen, and Cooler Master logo. Of course, the Pro Station is decked out with 20W speakers, a full color touchscreen, and what Cooler Master says is an industry-first design that uses SST mode USB, allowing you to easily switch between a laptop using USB-C and your PC.
You can use the touchscreen to switch between inputs, adjust the speaker's volume, and adjust the stand's lighting. The stand has a Qi-enabled wireless charging pad on the top. Along right there are two USB 3.0 Type-A ports and two USB-C ports (plus an SD card reader and a headphone jack).
The Pro Station has a line of I/O ports along the back right side: two HDMI 2,1 ports, USB-C, Ethernet and two USB 2.0 Type-A ports. It also has four outlets along the back left side for plugging in... your monitor? Your laptop? Whatever devices you can't charge via the riser's side ports?
Despite its width, Cooler Master told us the Pro Station isn't really designed to hold more than one monitor — multiple monitors would likely cover the stand's charging pad, and wouldn't really work with the stand's input switching. And if you're thinking it might be perfect for a single ultra-wide monitor, the stand is currently only rated for monitors weighing up to 26.45 pounds (12kg), meaning something like the 49-inch Samsung Odyssey OLED G9 is a little too heavy (28.4 pounds).
Cooler Master says the Pro Station is the world's first riser with a built-in soundbar. While this might make sense for someone trying to streamline their desk setup, speaker quality is definitely going to make a difference. It's too difficult to judge this kind of audio at a CES booth, but the Pro Station's speakers sounded fine, if a little quiet for the space — however, I'll have to wait and see how they sound in testing.
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Sarah Jacobsson Purewal is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware covering peripherals, software, and custom builds. You can find more of her work in PCWorld, Macworld, TechHive, CNET, Gizmodo, Tom's Guide, PC Gamer, Men's Health, Men's Fitness, SHAPE, Cosmopolitan, and just about everywhere else.
I think the touchscreen is a bit too much, but this device itself deserves an award for home offices, it's basically perfect.Reply