📅 2022-Jan-15 ⬩ ✍️ Ashwin Nanjappa ⬩ 🏷️ standing desk ⬩ 📚 Archive
In 2020, when I started working from home (due to COVID) one of the nice things I missed from office was my standing desk. I looked at the various desks available at that time and ordered the Autonomous SmartDesk 2. (This particular model seems to have been updated as the SmartDesk Pro now.) I have been using it all day, every day for the past 2 years and I am quite happy with it.
Here is some info about the desk:
Requirements: To fit my ergonomic needs, I wanted a desk that went down to a height of 25.5 inches or lower. Every other desk in the market at that time lowered down only to 27 inches.
Cost: Autonomous had a big discount going at that time, and I was able to order this for about $500. The price was higher than other desks, but it was worth it due to the build quality and fit to my requirements. The desk is really well designed and is a beast - real-wood surface and sturdy legs and base.
Delivery: It turns out that Autonomous was based in CA, so the desk was delivered within a week. The heavy package took some huffing and puffing to move into the bedroom.
Assembly and disassembly: Putting together the desk took close to 2 hours. The parts were quite heavy and I needed to be careful to not hurt myself or damage the floor or walls. I have moved twice with this desk and thankfully I was able to avoid disassembling this desk. The doors at my homes just about fit the width of this desk and the movers helped move it. If you need to move in the future without help of movers, it might be better to get a lighter, smaller desk that is easier to disassemble.
Top and frame: All the tops in this particular model were solid wood, 1-inch thick. (The company now has lighter particle board options.) I chose walnut, which turned out to be an exceptionally heavy and sturdy top. The legs had 3 telescoping parts - other models and desks which don’t have the height range of this one use 2 telescoping parts. All the legs and base were heavy and have been tough.
Height and size: This is a large desk - big enough to handle two displays, one laptop, keyboard, trackball, desk lamp, coffee mugs, books, pads and stationery. This model has a large height range of 25.2-51 inches - so it can accomodate both short and tall users. There are 4 height buttons that can be programmed and the Up/Down buttons can also be used to customize the height at any time. I like this because this enables 2 people (or even 3) in the home to use the desk with their own personal height settings.
Cables: I hate cables and this desk comes with quite a few of them to connect the motors, the display-buttons panel and contol unit. And these cables have to be managed underneath the desk so they do not hang down - I used cable ties and duck tape for this. The desk came with glued plastic ties - these were not of a good quality and barely stuck to the wood.
Experience: In 2 years, I have found that this desk has served as my daily companion without any complaints. The motors have worked flawlessly and the 1-inch real-wood surface takes any beating. The heavy base and legs have never wobbled even a bit. The walnut surface is dark brown in color - which is good for a room with good sunlight. For a room with less sunlight, I think a white or light brown surface is better. The lighter colors also shows dust less.
Setting the buttons: Set the height you want, keep
M pressed until the LED flashes, then press one of 1-4 buttons to set it to that height.
Reset: About twice in the past 2 years, the LED display has switched to
00.0 and pressing the buttons did nothing. I used the manual’s instructions to restore it back: press and hold both the ↑ and ↓ buttons until you hear a beep. This reset brought back the desk to life and it even preserved my height settings.
All in all, I think this desk really feels like a modern luxury standing desk, worth the money if you work from home. It is one of the few desks that comes down to a low height - a must-have feature for folks who are of modest height (like me).
I usually stand while I conduct or participate in meetings and sit down the rest of the time. Whether this actually aids my health or not, I find the sitting/standing change to be refreshing.
Standing desks are not just about standing, they are height-adjustable so even while sitting, you can set them to just the right height for you (which you cannot do with any normal desk). This is what I believe is their best feature.
I have few complaints about this particular desk. Note that if you need to move occasionally, I recommend getting a lighter and smaller desk, made of particle board top and that is easier to disassemble.