Stand (in the Place Where You Work): GeekDesk Max Review

For the past few months I’ve written about my move to a standing desk at work. In October I discussed my reasons for making the switch; in November I wrote about some of the benefits I’d seen since beginning to stand. At the end of nearly four months standing, I can report that it’s become a natural part of my day. My legs don’t often tire — so long as I do include some periods of sitting through the day, as further research on sitting/standing at work seems to indicate one should. I do feel considerably better after a day standing at work than I did after a day sitting.

For today’s post, however, I wanted to talk a bit about the specific desk I’ve been using: the GeekDesk Max. As I noted in my previous posts, GeekDesk generously sent me a review unit to use for this experiment. However, instead of returning the review unit at the end of the review period, I decided to purchase it. Here are a few reasons I like it:

  1. Its large work surface. The GeekDesk Max can be ordered in several sizes. Mine is the middle-size: 63″ long x 31.5″ wide. This gives me plenty of room for my computer, second monitor, books, a reading stand, papers, and other items that I need close at hand.
  2. Its attractive but minimalist design. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a sucker for the elegant, detailed woodwork one can find in many office desks, particularly vintage pieces. For standing at work, however, modern minimalism can be very effective. The GeekDesk feels like a surface for productive work.
  3. The automatic height adjustment, with presets (this is probably the most important reasons why I like it). Shifting the GeekDesk Max up or down — even when loaded with equipment — takes mere seconds. What’s more, you can preprogram up to four set heights into the desk and switch between them with the press of a single button. If I need to sit, I just press “2″ and the desk quickly adjusts itself to my preferred sitting height. My students have commented that it’s very scifi, which of course makes me love this feature even more.

With all this said, the GeekDesk Max isn’t perfect. There are a few features I wish were included, such as:

  1. Some kind of drawer for pencils, pens, sticky notes, and other office tools. This perhaps goes against my praise of the desk’s minimalist design, but I would appreciate some small storage space attached to the piece. I’ve had to keep my old sitting desk in my office for its drawers. I’m planning to invest in a smaller cabinet soon, which will allow me to get rid of the sitting desk.
  2. A built-in power strip. Because the desk can adjust height so frequently, it’s somewhat challenging to keep electronic devices plugged into a power strip on the ground. A cord that works when the desk is at sitting height might be stretched when the desk rises to standing height. What’s more, a mess of cables looks particularly bad behind this desk, as it is so minimalistic in design (i.e. there’s no panel along its back to hide the wires). I solved this problem through a simple hack: I used picture-hanging adhesive strips to attach a power strip to the bottom of the desk. The power strip plugs into the wall, and all the devices on the desk plug into the strip underneath. Given how easy it was to hack this solution, however, it would be trivial for GeekDesk to integrate power strips into the desks by default.

Again, I choose to purchase the GeekDesk because overall I found it an excellent solution for standing at work. I couldn’t imagine going back to sitting all day after four months standing. I do acknowledge that the GeekDesk Max is costly, however. I hope in the coming months to features some less expensive solutions as well.

What’s your favorite solution for standing at work? Tell us about it in the comments.

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