Today we’re looking at the GeekDesk Max by GeekDesk.
Standing desks are the future of work. The studies are published and a consensus has been reached – the human body simply isn’t designed to sit sedentary for 8 hours a day. Instead of spending thousands on the latest ergonomic office chair, people seem to be ready to cure the whole problem. A nicely designed office chair is a band aid; an adjustable height desk is a cure. Read on…
Main advantage: Adjustable heights to relieve back pain and add productivity to your day, programmable presets, simple assembly
Main concern: Costs much more than a typical desk, desk does not sense obstructions in my testing
Unique features: 335 lb. lifting capacity, available in different finishes and desktop sizes, ability to add your own desktop if you purchase only the frame, basic cable management within the frame
Sticker shock! This is a desk that costs nearly one thousand dollars. Think of all the things you could buy with that money? A computer or tablet that will be obsolete in a year, two weeks at the Motel 6 by the airport… the possibilities are endless! Decide to save your money and work from a traditional desk and you’ll learn too late that you won’t be able to buy a new back with that money. As an added bonus, the maintenence fees on the back you’re left with will skyrocket. Gadgets and gizmos, chiropractic therapy, acupuncture, etc. Picture yourself broken, desperate for relief, and regretting the time you saved $1000 only to spend $1000 a month later in life.
The GeekDesk Max is an adjustable height desk (don’t you love when a product’s name is also an accurate description?). Too much sitting or standing is bad. Use a dedicated standing desk and you’ll learn that your body wants a balance of the two. The results of the switch to an adjustable workstation are comfort, increased focus, and a measurable gain in productivity. Who can argue with more quality and quantity from the same work day? A proper adjustable height desk needs to allow you to maintain focus on working. When your legs get restless, you’ll need to transition to a stand without interrupting your thought. GeekDesk makes different models of its desk but the Max is different because of the programmable preset heights. Preset height programming allows you to more easily control the desk without breaking your pace. Underneath the desk (on either side depending on your preference) you’ll find a small control panel with 4 programmable height settings and a very basic 3 digit display. There are also manual up and down buttons for finer adjustments and programming. Programming that's as simple as adjusting the desk to your desired height and pressing the “S” button to save and any of the 4 numbered keys to program that selection.
The 2 legs each contain their own actuator or motor. Two separate motors allow for an even motion and increased weight capacity. The GeekDesk max boasts an impressive 335lbs. of support without a desktop (typically 30 to 60 lbs.) GeekDesk does offer their desktop in either a black laminate or beech wood veneer. Either is nice enough, but both options had a very bland office feel in my opinion. If you’re going for utility over design though, they are perfect. Lightweight and strong with integrated cable management cups built into the far edge of the desk. Luckily for the consumer, GeekDesk is smart enough to not force you to use their tops. You have an option to buy the steel frame alone and attach just about any desktop you’d like to it. This is such a beautiful gesture that is rare from a modern company. Choice means potential lost revenue. The fact that GeekDesk allows sale without a top is enough to tell me that they are a company moving in the right direction. If you’re spending this much on a desk, be sure it’s from a company that wants you to have a great desk more than they want an extra $100 from you. Gestures like this should inspire confidence that any potential issues with your desk will be addressed quickly and easily should the need arise.
More than just a feeling of security from a customer minded company, GeekDesk offers a full 2 year warranty on all moving parts of the desk as well as a 5 year warranty on the steel frame. Even better still, the company promises to ship any necessary replacement parts free of charge. You’ll be hard pressed to find a better warranty anywhere, especially on a product costing upwards of $1000.
Tops are available in the two finishes I’ve mentioned as well as three sizes. Each top is 31.5” deep with the 3 available lengths of 47.25”, 63”, and 78.75”. GeekDesk sent me the 63” top which feels spacious and substantial without being ridiculously long. I couldn’t imagine using the 78” top unless I was sharing it with someone else. As a shared workstation though, the question of adjustability politics are a potential downside. Can we stand? Which height? How long? There are just too many questions to ask without breaking your focus on work. Do yourself a favor and get your own desk.
The final thing to mention is focus. There are adjustable height desks that operate with cranks and levers and they are fine for some. You’ll find that you adjust positions less with a desk like that though. The goal is a simplicity that leads to increased use. The only problem with the GeekDesk in that respect is that you’ll need to remember to actually use it. The sad fact is that many early adopters of adjustable desks bought them for the idea and allow them to stay fixed at sitting height indefinitely. That’s the only way I can see this desk being a waste of money. If you’ll be dedicated enough to remember to use the desk, it’s time to upgrade your workspace now. If you are the type of person that gets lost in your work while the hours pass, there are other adjustable height desks that remind you to change positions without breaking your focus.
Warning: DO NOT buy this desk if you have small children. The desk does not stop rising or falling when obstructions are in the way. The potential for an accident becomes very high when rising and lowering the desk is as simple as pressing one pre-programmed button. We keep plenty of potentially dangerous things in our homes - knives, stoves, and chemical cleaners to name a few. Stoves take some work to operate and the other things mentioned can be easily hidden in a locked drawer. Aside from unplugging the desk every single time you are done using it, there is not a safe way to leave this desk unmanned with small children in the home.
Thank you again to GeekDesk for supplying their product for review.
GeekDesk Max by GeekDesk
• Manufacturer – $985.00
• Frame only - $745.00
Is it worth buying: If you live in an adult only household or plan to use this in your office, then consider this desk as a strong option. The fact that you can buy just the frame means you can take any desktop (even the one off of the top of your current traditional desk) and adapt it to the GeekDesk. The price point is high compared to a traditional desk, but it’s actually not very expensive in the world of electronically controlled height adjustable desks. A height adjustable desk is a smart investment in you. You might be hesitant when you see the initial cost, but seriously consider the future costs before you sit back down for another days work.
DISCLAIMER: My interest in this emerging category is very genuine. So much so in fact, that during my research I actually started a conversation and took a job with one of the rising stars in adjustable height desks. As I initiated this specific review before taking the job, I decided to go through with it. As with any review I’ve ever written, this article was researched and assembled without any bias or preference. The opinions I’ve expressed above are my honest thoughts. To preserve integrity going forward and avoid claims of favoritism, this will be my last article in this category.
ENJOY YOUR GADGETS!