We review the “world’s best standing desk” – the Autonomous SmartDesk 2

Intro

Six weeks ago BTR received a couple of heavy packages with parts for the sitting/standing SmartDesk 2 by λutonomous.  After completely rearranging our room to accommodate it, we built it the following week and we have been using it ever since.  The 53″x30″ SmartDesk2 that we are evaluating today starts at $299 for the home edition which uses a single motor with a shorter lift, to $449 as reviewed for the business edition with dual electric motors and upgraded white oak wood surface ($50 extra), that came directly from Autonomous as a review sample.

The basic business edition starts at $399 but we added Light Oak as an extra $50 option to match our other oak furniture.

 

The Autonomous SmartDesk is available with many options including a larger desk surface to 70″x30″, to a custom desk platform with a solid plank of real wood for just about as much as you could want to spend, and you can even order an accessory kit and an AI box. Here is our review sample SmartDesk 2 that was customized from the Autonomous website.

A desk is very important to desktop PC users including gamers.  It has to be sturdy and it has to be large enough to hold at least one display and the other accessories a PC user/gamer needs including a keyboard, mouse, mouse pad, and speakers.  If the PC doubles as a workstation, there are plenty of other accessories that may be useful including adding a second notebook PC.  And since many gamers sit at their PC for many hours at a time, it may be time to think of getting a standing desk simply for health reasons.

Health Risks of Sitting

There are many serious disadvantages to sitting for long periods of time that are well documented.  According to the Washington Post, sitting for prolonged periods can increase risks for heart disease, diabetes, cancers, muscle degeneration, leg and back disorders, and slowed brain function.  In fact, people who sit for prolonged periods of 7+ hours a day watching TV have a 61% greater chance of dying than those who sit for less than 1 hour a day.

 

Source – The Washington Post

 

It isn’t likely that watching TV is the cause of this much higher mortality rate, but rather sitting for prolonged periods is a killer.  Any extended sitting – such as behind a desk at work or as a driver behind the wheel – can be harmful. Worst of all, spending a few hours a week at the gym or otherwise engaged in activity doesn’t appear to offset the risk of sitting.  And for those of us who work at a desk, this news is quite troubling.  According to the experts, the solution is to alternate between sitting and standing at your work station.  And the point is not to just stand, but to move about while standing.

According to Dr. James Levine, author of the book Get Up!: Why Your Chair Is Killing You and What You Can Do About It:

“When somebody gets a standing desk, they generally stand for several hours a day. But they don’t stand still. A couple of things happen. The first thing that happens is, they generally move from leg to leg and generally change their body posture quite a lot.

That weight-bearing and adjustment of weight-bearing has a whole series of physiological benefits …”

Research by Dr. Levine indicated that the installation of sit-stand desks reduced sitting time by eight hours during a 40-hour workweek . In addition, the study participants evidently enjoyed having the option of a sit-stand desk, which was also associated with an increased sense of well-being and energy and decreased fatigue.

The evidence against prolonged sitting is overwhelming as there are over 10,000 studies showing that it will reduce your lifespan by promoting dozens of chronic diseases, even if you exercise regularly.

Unfortunately, moving your entire desk from a sitting to a standing position is not an easy thing to do – at least not until recently when motorized standing desks were introduced.  Of course, you don’t just want a fixed height desk to stand at as it is extremely tiring and hard on the feet, but rather you want an easily adjustable desk – one that will easily and quickly move up and down to accommodate both a sitting and a standing position. The SmartDesk 2, by λutonomous, is a desk that remembers four of your sit versus stand positions and allows you to effortlessly and quickly change its position automatically.  And with the addition of the optional $100 voice-operated AI Box (not tested), the SmartDesk 2 can become a personal assistant similar to Amazon’s Alexa.

Most of the competing automatically adjustable electrically-powered desks are quite expensive – that is until the SmartDesk arrived.  The SmartDesk started out as Kickstarter and Indegogo campaigns in 2015, and Autonomous has evidently had its growing pains with the original SmartDesk.  Recently, it appears that Autonomous has changed their suppliers and they have improved their product and delivery to what is now the SmartDesk 2, and we are reviewing the desk with the direct-drive synchronized dual-electric motor option.  It seems to us that it is worthwhile to get the business edition’s dual electric motors as it not only lifts 300 pounds, but includes a 5-year warranty.  The single motor home edition option may save you $100 in the short run, but it is a gear-driven affair that can only lift 220 pounds and it is covered by a 1-year warranty.

Before we get to our impressions of this desk, let’s unbox it and put it together.