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Hands On: ApexDesk Elite Standing Desk

Seems like everyone’s talking about standing desks.

There’s tons of articles out there about the health benefits, and how it’s just more comfortable. I wasn’t entirely sure I was on board, I’m a big fan of old fashioned sitting.

That’s what’s intriguing about the Elite from ApexDesk – it’s adjustable, allowing you to switch from a standing desk to a traditional sitting desk at the push of a button.

Are we looking at the best of both worlds here? Check out the ApexDesk Elite, available here for $600.

Sturdy Good Looks

ApexDesk has built their Elite series incredibly well. The legs and frame are solid metal, allowing the desk to hold up to 225 pounds. It’s highly sturdy, and I didn’t notice any wobbling when I was building or using it. This desk is not going to break, unless you subject it to some serious stress.

ApexDesk also put a premium on looks here. The Elite series desk has a beautiful American Walnut finish that feels smooth, and looks killer. The curved recession on the desk not only looks cool, but gives you a nice amount of both work and leg space. I wish the tabletop was made of solid wood as opposed to just the finish, but even so, it doesn’t feel cheap or flimsy.

The Elite series has two fairly large holes near the back of the desk for cable management. With all of the peripherals I use, in addition to all the wires that come out of the motor, it’s nice to have multiple cable management options to keep my desk looking as clean as possible.

It’s kinda cool using your brain AND your body, even if you’re just standing up.

Putting the Elite together was about as painless as you could reasonably expect. There’s a minimal amount of screws, and I was able to put it together in less than an hour with the included Allen wrench. The tabletop is heavy though, so you’re going to need two people to complete the process.

Powering the motors is a box that needs to be attached underneath the desk with a set of screws. Then you simply plug in the two motors and the controller, and that’s it. It’s a pretty smoothly designed construction process.

Sure, the manual could’ve been more clear at times – specifically, the images were a little small and hard to make out – but that’s par for the course when you’re assembling furniture.

Raise Me Up

So, the Elite is a desk. A nice desk, but a desk nonetheless. What sets it apart is that it’s adjustable.

That feature is powered by two separate motors, allowing you to adjust the height from 29 inches to 45 inches at a speed of 1.3 inches per second. That’s fast enough that you’re not twiddling your thumbs during the adjustment period, but not so fast that things on your desk shake or go flying all over the place. The hum of the motor isn’t exactly silent, but it’s not loud enough to disrupt your co-workers or your significant other.

Bottom line – the adjustable height motor is no gimmick. It works great, and I could definitely see using this as my desk either at home or at the office.  

The controller on the desk is straightforward, with just two buttons – one to raise the desk, and one to lower it. Here’s where I found the Elite series to be a little lacking; I wish you could program preset heights. It’s annoying to have found the right height for when I’m standing, only to have to futz around to find that same height later. It feels weird to ask for more features in a desk, but this quality of life option would really improve the overall experience.

All that being said, the Elite is one heck of a desk. The adjustable height really is a game changer, and being able to move from sitting to standing on the fly is freakin awesome. It’s going to be hard to go back to having to make that choice.

Who says you can’t have it all?

Second Opinion - Leo Parrill

Standing desks really do make a big difference when you’re working. Stand when you can, sit when you’re too tired to stand. You’re not going to get ripped from standing up, but keeping circulation flowing really helps keep your brain and body engaged.

But who cares about work, how is the ApexDesk Elite for gaming?

It certainly takes some getting used to, gaming for me has always been quite a sedentary activity. That’s part of the charm.

But after some experimentation, I have to say I like it. It’s probably all psychological, but I did feel as though my focus was improved while standing up. And guilt was less of a factor; I didn’t feel as bad about myself playing for a few hours when I was standing. Still bad, but slightly less racked with guilt.

It’s kinda cool using your brain AND your body, even if you’re just standing up.

It looks good too, and it’s big enough to store a rig and a nice monitor. I’m not quite sure I can give up my comfy chair just yet, but when I do finally take a stand, this desk will be a serious contender.