If you’re someone who sits at a desk all day, I don’t have to tell you how uncomfortable this can be (back and tailbone pain, stiff knees, poor circulation, bad posture, etc.). If you’re looking for a change and improved health, a sit stand desk by Autonomous should definitely be considered.
Standing desks come in all shapes and sizes. Some raise and lower manually while others can do so on their own via a built-in motor. Some have an entire desktop surface that can raise and lower, while others are an individual unit (like a previous workstation we reviewed) that sits on top of your desk.
The SmartDesk 2 is an electric standing desk that can be raised or lowered at the touch of a button. The entire desktop surface can be adjusted by using one of the four programmable buttons on the Smart Keypad. It uses an advanced Electric Motor System to move the desk up and down.
Autonomous prides themselves on having “the most affordable high-quality standing desk, period.” After using it daily for 3 weeks, I agree. I’m sure that I’m really close to the weight limit considering the heavy dual mount I’m using along with my other desk items. Yet, even with a full plate, the motors of the SmartDesk 2 continue to work smoothly and efficiently.
Here’s a look at all that this desk has to offer.
Options and Customization
Autonomous ships to over sixty countries, so this desk isn’t just restricted to U.S. residents. It’s shipped in two separate packages: one for the frame and one for the desktop. If you add accessories or an AI box, those will all come in their own separate package.
One of the great things about the SmartDesk 2 is the ability to customize it as you see fit. You can select your preferred surface material (wood, walnut, oak, bamboo), surface design (classic, curve, ergonomic, wave), platform color (white, black, grey), and platform design.
The heavy-duty frame is made with industrial-grade steel which makes it extremely sturdy and durable. It doesn’t move at all when in use – no wobbling and only a gentle shake if you happen to bump into it by accident (I’m a bit clumsy).
For the testing unit we received the following: the classic 53″ x 30″ desktop surface in bamboo with a white frame and dual motors (Business Edition).
Home Edition vs. Business Edition
I want to point out the differences between the two Platform Design options: Home Edition and Business Edition.
With the Home Edition you only get one motor which means that the desk cannot handle as much weight; its max capacity is 220 lbs. (99kg). Additionally, the lowest position is 29″, and the highest position is 47″. If you’re really short or tall, this may not be the best option for you. I’m 5’2″ and my sitting level is 27″, so this wouldn’t be the best option for someone my height.
With the Business Edition you get two motors which allow the desk to handle more weight; its max capacity is 300 lbs. (136kg). The lowest position goes all the way down to 24″, and the highest position goes up to 51″. With this one you get those extra inches to accommodate shorter and taller heights.
There are even more features that you can add to your desk for an additional fee. You can add a wireless charger, USB charger, bag organizer, speaker, AI personal assistant, smart home control, developer SDK, and iOS and Android apps. These add-ons truly help to elevate the “smartness” of the desk.
Even though the desk is fairly easy for a handy person to set up (my husband did it alone in forty-five minutes), you can also add assembly service. Doing this will get you professional assembly in the comfort of your own home. Sadly, it’s only available in New York City, San Francisco, and Los Angeles at this time.
Setting Up the SmartDesk 2
The surface of the SmartDesk 2 comes with pre-drilled holes and screws, making it easy to attach everything to it and in the proper location. You also get adhesive cable clips to help organize and hide the cables that power it.
The two pre-drilled cup-size holes in both back corners are also great for neatly feeding your desktop cables through. It all makes for a very clean setup.
There is a control box that needs to be attached underneath the desktop. It connects to the keypad to control the height of the desk and with the power to get electricity to move it up and down. It’s attached to a 75-inch cable; however, it’s barely visible once you get everything organized underneath.
Even though the control box has to be plugged in (compatible with standard 110-120 volt outlets), it doesn’t use much power at all. According to Autonomous, it’s “the most energy efficient sit-to-stand frame – only 0.06-watt standby power consumption.“
Using the SmartDesk 2
With the SmartDesk 2 you’re getting a ton of space to work with which is great if there are a lot of items that you want within easy reach on your desktop.
If the classic size isn’t enough, there’s also the “XL Top” with even more space (70″ x 30″). It would be perfect for artists or graphic designers who do a lot of drawing and sketching. Anyone who needs a whole lot of surface area to work with will appreciate the extra large desktop.
You can also get the “Ergo Top” (pictured above) which is the same size as the classic desktop but has a cutout (17″ x 8″) in the front so that the desk conforms to your body while your arms fully rest on it. This is said to reduce pressure and encouragement movement. However, it also takes away some of that valuable desktop real estate.
I wouldn’t say that the desk is completely silent when raising and lowering since you can hear it. However, it’s a very soft motor noise that you only hear for a few seconds. The desk uses advanced Noise Cancellation Engineering to help keep the sound at an all-time low – the sound level is only 39 dB during movement.
The Power of the Smart Keypad
The Smart Keypad is the control center of the desk. There is an LED screen that displays the current height in inches. Next to that are arrows that allow you to move the desk up and down freely. These are used to find your preferred sitting and standing heights, after which you can program each one to a memory button.
Programming a button is done by pressing and holding the desired button until the LED screen flashes and you’re all set; that button will now automatically move your desk to that height when pressed.
What’s also great is that there are four buttons. Since you only need two for yourself, someone else like a significant other, family member, or co-worker can use the other two buttons.
I work from home, but I still do way too much sitting during the day, so I love that I don’t have to be sedentary anymore. Ever since using this desk, I’ve been doing a lot more standing, and dare I say that I’m actually enjoying it!
It’s also extremely convenient to have my sitting and standing levels pre-set so that I can switch back and forth without any effort (as opposed to my manual sit/stand workstation I’ve been using for the past few years).
If you decide to try one out, you can take advantage of their 30-day trial period. This allows you to try out a desk for thirty days, and if you’re not completely satisfied, you can return it and get a full refund (U.S. only).
How do you think Autonomous’ SmartDesk 2 compares to similar standing desks?
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