SmartDesk 2 makes it convenient make both standing and sitting a natural part of your day.
I have a bad back. It’s never been diagnosed as anything in particular, but I struggle with chronic back pain nearly every day. Sometimes moving around helps my aching back, but I work at a job where I end up being stationary 7 out of the 8 hours of my work day. There are a lot of people — office workers in particular — that suffer from this same type of problem and in the past few years, the concept of a ‘standing’ desk has become quite trendy. It is just what it sounds like — a working desk space where you stand. Many of these standing desk options are far too expensive for the average person to afford though ($1,000 or more) for a desk. When I started looking for a standing desk option for my office, I found the Autonomous Smart Desk 2.
Autonomous offers the SmartDesk 2 as a modular system of sorts. For starters, you select your surface material (Wood-Black Finish, Wood-White Finish, Walnut, Light Oak, or Bamboo) and then surface design (Classic, Curve, Ergonomic, Wave, Classic XL, and Wave XL). Next, you choose a black, white, or gray platform color. Finally, you make the decision between the Home or Business edition. For more home users, the Home edition will work just fine.
Here are the main difference between the home and business editions:
|Single Motor||Dual Motor|
|29″ – 47″ Sit-to-Stand||24″ – 51″ Sit-to-Stand|
|220 lbs Capacity||300 lbs Capacity|
|1-Year Warranty||5-Year Warranty|
There is also an accessory kit and AI box that are optional add-ons for the desk. The set-up I opted for was:
- Surface Material: Wood-White Finish
- Surface Design: Ergonomic
- Platform: Black
- Business Edition
- Accessory Kit (includes Wireless Charger, USB Charger, Bag Organizer, Speaker)
All of these options still cost less than $600, which is about half of what it’s closest competitor costs. That $600 price tag does include a $59 shipping charge. Now, this is something I really want to point out — the desk is shipped in pieces. The platform comes in one box and the surface comes in the other. Assembly is required. That said, don’t let it scare you. Autonomous really did make this a very user-friendly design. The only difficult thing is carrying it. The desk in its pre-assembled state and then again in it’s assembled form is very heavy. I highly recommend using two people to move any part of it. Once it’s assembled you can slide it across carpeted floor fairly easily if you have Furniture Sliders, but I wouldn’t recommend moving it any other way.
Assembly, as I mentioned, is not difficult, but it can take some time to do it right. I believe that I ended up taking nearly 2 hours because I carefully read and re-read the instructions. There are a lot of pieces when it comes to the hardware, but each screw and bolt is labeled in a handy plastic baggie. While you might be able to fumble your way through the assembly without looking at the instructions, I don’t recommend doing that. There is a very specific way that Autonomous recommends routing the cables for the motors and the last thing you want to worry about it replacing those. Speaking of cables, Autonomous included some very useful zip-ties for cable management purposes. They have 3M adhesive included on them so that you can just stick them to the bottom of your desktop and the only cable that dangles ends up being the power cable.
One very unique feature of this desk is the Smart Keypad. It’s programmable so that you can pick your ideal heights for different activities and keep the desk at those levels. You also have the option to move it up and down using the up/down arrows. I loved this feature because I found heights that I liked and wanted to make sure I hit that spot every time.
One small downside to the Smart Desk 2 is the fragility of the surface. I don’t know if all of them have this issue, but the Wood-White Finish got dinged up pretty easily. I was packing a bag for a conference I was attending and used the desk as my planning area. I laid out all the items I wanted to take with me — DSLR, lenses, monopod, laptop, cables, power bank, etc. — and then I started packing them away into my backpack. Nothing was dropped or set down with force and yet, small dings appeared on the desktop as a result of this activity. After that, I placed an oversized mousepad (or desk mat) onto the surface and everything has been fine since. This extra step bothers me a little bit just because I really like the clean look of the white surface. It’s been very strong otherwise. One nice thing about this desk set up is that if the surface you bought ends up getting messed up for one reason or another, you can pretty easily replace it with a standard counter top from a hardware store.
If you are in the market for a standing desk, I can recommend the Smart Desk 2 from Autonomous. It’s affordable and very sturdy. It works great for just about of your working needs.