Not all office workers are lucky enough to score fancy motorized standing desks. Those who are self-employed often do without, since these desks run from the high hundreds into the thousands of dollars. Fortunately, lower-cost alternatives exist. A better option is a work platform that sits atop a regular desk or table to replicate the functionality of full standing desks.
A traditional fixed surface becomes, in effect, height-adjustable. In the past year, I have tried a half-dozen such products with a range of designs. The company recently unveiled an Ergotron Home line aimed at making adjustable work gear more appealing and accessible to the masses. The apparatus can be set up at a desk, table, or counter for standing use, and then collapsed and transferred via a carrying handle to another location.
Wobble is one. People requiring a rock-solid laptop surface might dislike this stand because the shelf has some give and jiggle. I did not mind this too much after using the unit for a while, however. At 12 inches deep and 23 inches wide 30 by 58 cm , the shelf is also a tad too cramped as a workspace when using a laptop with a mouse. Much of the time, I was using an iPad Pro with an add-on keyboard, which was fine. It keeps them straighter, which helps prevent carpal tunnel.
Such a feature would be pointless, though, since you can just take the computer off the shelf when you want to sit down. Collapsing the Lift24 for storage or transport is a bit of a process, but it becomes a tight bundle, and it can be lifted and toted around like a small suitcase. The laptop shelf also can be used by itself as a lap desk for working with a laptop on the couch. Having a big slab of metal across my lap was a bit odd at first, but I came to appreciate the flexibility it offered.
The Lift24, though serviceable, is too compact to qualify as a full standing desk and is unsuitable for use with desktop computers. But for notebook users who need mobility and do not mind cozy conditions and a bit of give, it could do nicely.
The other Ergotron product I tried, dubbed the Lift35 , is a more conventional standing-desk apparatus. It consists of a large platform for one or more monitors or all-in-one computers like an iMac , along with a smaller and slightly recessed platform in the front for a keyboard and mouse.
The unit has an ample 35 inch by 25 inch 89 by 63 cm footprint and can hold up to 35 pounds 16 kg. On the left and right of the Lift35, two mechanical levers can be flipped upward to lift and lower the rig.
This is mostly effortless thanks to a counterbalancing mechanism that makes the raising and dropping super smooth. The Lift35 is a beast, which is one of its strengths. It feels sturdy and solid, with virtually no give. Even the keyboard platform is a rock, though it is a bit on the cramped and narrow side for those using a bigger keyboard with a numerical keypad, along with a mouse.
The Lift35 lacks particular features found in its WorkFit-T cousin, including pre-drilled holes for use with specialized expansion kits, but Ergotron said these would be of minimal interest to average consumers. Ergotron Alternatives -- The Lift35 has competition, which is to be expected since this kind of standing desk is quite popular. Their standing desks work in much the same way, but with a number of design variations. The rest of this rig is shiny, curvy metal that looks quite stylish.
The desk as a whole is lovely, in fact. As with the Lift35, levers on the left and right allow for smooth rig raising with a counterbalancing mechanism.
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