TaoTronics Adjustable-Height Standing Desk
A plain, no frills standing desk converter. It’s great for folks who are looking to try out standing while working and/or gaming without dropping $500+ on a pricey standing desk.
Thanks for stopping by and checking out this TaoTronics Height-Adjustable Standing Desk review. Eva from TaoTronics’ marketing department hooked me up with this standing desk unit making this review possible. I haven’t used a standing desk before for work or gaming so this offer grabbed my curiosity.
What’s in the Box?
- Height Adjustable Standing Desk
- Keyboard Tray
- Left & Right Brackets
- Assembly Manual
The box is a somewhat cumbersome size and weighs a whopping 50 pounds. It isn’t fun getting the heavy unit to slide out of the box. Fortunately, there’s only the two main components: the desk itself and the keyboard tray. I made a pretty big mess with all the packaging in the office with those troublesome Styrofoam bits going everywhere. It’s a sturdy, heavy unit (it supports up to 80 pounds). If you do decide to give this standing desk a try, you’re probably going to want to keep moving it around to a minimum.
In the Trenches: A Week with the TaoTronics Standing Desk
TaoTronics is an office supply and electronics seller juggernaut on Amazon. If you’ve got a Prime Membership and do a decent amount of shopping on there you’ve probably come across one of their products. This conversion standing desk offer was interesting to me. I’ve seen plenty of complete standing desks out there that raise and lower manually or at a touch of a button. I’ve also found that typically these desks run over $500 and for real quality standing desks starting at upwards of $800-1000. With the TaoTronics Adjustable Standing Desk, it simply sits on top of an existing desk. At $170.00, it is much more feasible than going all-in on a standing desk — especially if for instance, like in my case, you have never tried a standing desk and aren’t sure how much you’d end up using it.
What I’ve learned from testing out this standing desk apparatus is that I much prefer sitting down while working. I haven’t done any gaming using it yet. As it is set up at the office, I doubt I will do any gaming on it any time soon. Productivity would surely take a nosedive for me. I am inclined to think that preference for sitting over standing would hold true in the gaming scenario as well but I think at some point I’ll move it home and give it a fair try.
All that being said, I still think there’s a place for it in my office. Being able to switch from sitting to standing is a welcome addition to my routine. Though I will favor and spend more time at my usual sitting desk, I can see myself using the new standing desk about 25% (about 1-3 hours a day). I am hoping that this variability will clear up some of my lower back pain which tends to rear its ugly head more often the longer hours I work or game — probably a result of fatigue and letting my posture slip into slouching which they say puts a lot of pressure on the ole’ neck and back.
Set Up (7/10)
While moving it to the office, up the stairs, and getting it out of the box and packaging was not a treat. It says “Team Lift” on the box but I am far too stubborn to heed such warnings. I am happy to report the rest of the set up process was really easy. All that was required for assembly was installing the two keyboard tray screws. We had an open desk at the office that we set up this new TaoTronics conversion desk on. Luckily, it was just wide enough to support the unit. In the interest of time, I didn’t move one of my desktop monitors over to the standing desk. I plopped my 13 inch Macbook Pro on the desk, raised it up, connected a wireless mouse and keyboard, and gave it a go.
I really like that both the desk and keyboard tray modules have a curved edge (what some in the industry have dubbed the “ergo-edge”). Even though I was working on a 13 inch display, this allowed me to get close enough where I didn’t have to strain to read text. It is nice to switch between sitting down and standing on the fly. When this unit is compressed all the way to the lowered position, it acts as a monitor stand in a way. The screen position being that high would take some getting used to, but I don’t think it would feel unnatural in the long term. I think the standing and working experience would be even better with a larger monitor that is adjustable. Between the height adjustment of the standing desk and the angle/height adjustment of a good monitor, I think that would allow the user to get the ideal, comfortable position. Preferably the keyboard tray would offer more mousing space. I found myself swiping over the edge when I first started using this desk. Nevertheless, this scores high in the ergonomics category because it is intrinsically helpful. Perpetually switching to a standing position has some potential for preventing an array of back and neck ailments.
Build Quality (7/10)
The pneumatic spring mechanism worked smoothly and made it easy to adjust the height of the desk. There’s a knob on either side and once both are activated, the desk can be slowly lowered or raised. The 32 x 24 inch dimensions are a good middle ground and make this standing desk converter unit compatible with most desks. At an 80 pound capacity, that’s more than enough support for two heavy monitors.
I didn’t have any trouble out of the box with this unit, though I’ve read some other reviews on it where folks have had issues. The big one I’ve read is that this TaoTronics Standing Desk Converter is arriving in poor condition — either the frame is bent or one of the wheels on either side of the bottom track system is broken (or both). In that condition, the desk would not raise or lower smoothly. I imagine this damage is taking place during shipping. This is certainly something to be aware of and one would hope TaoTronics has taken measures with their packaging to correct this issue. The sample desk that was sent to me was thoroughly packed with large pieces of Styrofoam acting as cushioning.
There’s nothing special about the TaoTronics Height Adjustable Standing Desk. It is a uniform black. The metal frame and manufactured wood and keyboard tray aren’t flashy but don’t appear to be cheaply made either. This unit is purely built for utility and sacrifices any extravagances in the interest of keeping cost low. There’s plenty of visual imperfections on the frame and underside of the wood but the table top and top surface keyboard/mouse holder appear uniform.
At the $170 price point it isn’t a steal but I wouldn’t call it overpriced either. Relative to standard height-adjustable desks the TaoTronics unit becomes an enticing option. If you’ve already got a sturdy desk you like, it can be a nice upgrade to put this converter on top and add some variety to your routine. It’s nothing pretty to look at but it is well-built and functional.
Zoom In: Technical Specifications
How does this height adjustable desk measure up?
Here’s the specs:
- 32 x 24 inches of tabletop space (81 x 61 cm)
- 31 x 8 inches of keyboard and mouse space (80 x 20 cm)
- Weighs about 50 pounds (~23 kg)
- 80 pound capacity (36 kg)
- Raises from 6.3 inches high to 17.3 inches high (16 cm to 44 cm)
- Curved “ergo” edge tray and desk
- No tools required for setup
- Pneumatic spring mechanism safely assists in raising and lowering desk
- Steel frame, wood table top and tray
Zoom Out: Summary
The TaoTronics Height-Adjustable Standing Desk is a reasonably priced option for those of us looking to try out a standing desk setup. If you’ve already got a desk you like, this is a good way to save yourself the $500+ you’d spend buying a new standing desk by converting your existing desk.