It seems like everyone I know is switching over to a standing desk. Not only is it trendy, but there are health benefits, too. Standing desk users have reported better posture, weight loss, and higher energy levels. Apparently, some doctors even think standing desks can reduce the risk of cancer. All of that sounds great, and I’d really love to make the switch to a standing desk, but I have a few reservations. Personally, I can’t get used to the idea of standing for 8 hours straight, and I paid far too much money for my desk chair to just toss it away.
Luckily, ApexDesk has designed a standing desk for people like me, who want to dip their toes into the standing desk world but are not ready to go all the way. Their Flex Pro standing desk has a built-in motor, allowing you to electronically adjust the height. That’s right – this desk goes up and down, switching from sitting to standing position at the push of a button.
The model we received is the 66" wide version with a brown top and gray legs that retails for $599.
Design and Comfort
Not willing to settle for just a fancy motorized standing desk, ApexDesk has put a premium on having an eye-catching tabletop. The desk itself is, simply put, beautiful. The textured wood grain finish looks fantastic, and it caught the eye of everyone around the office. It looks like a much more expensive desk than it actually is. It looks so good, in fact, that I felt bad using it as a desk because I didn’t want to ruin it. The only downside is that it’s made of particleboard. I’m not calling the Flex Pro flimsy by any means – it had no problems supporting the weight of our test rig and, thanks to the well-built steel frame base, it can hold up to 250lbs. Still, I would have really loved to see ApexDesk go with an actual hardwood desktop.
The Flex Pro also comes with two cable management trays that screw on to the underside of the desk. They’re unobtrusive and really help with hiding the cables from the desk motor, giving even the most cable-heavy setups a clean, minimalist look.
Naturally, you’ll have to assemble the Flex Pro yourself. The actual construction is easy enough, no harder than any other desk I’ve built over the years. I’d recommend carving out a solid 45 minutes to an hour, and it’s a lot easier with someone helping you out. You won’t need more than a Phillips head screwdriver and an included Allen wrench. While the build was mostly painless, the manual wasn’t as clear as I’d like it to be – diagrams could have been drawn larger, for example, and the step to add the feet to the desk legs made more sense to do first, contrary to what the manual suggests.
Features and Performance
The biggest (and only) feature here is the adjustable height. The Flex Pro goes from 28 inches to 48.5 inches at its maximum, and moves at a speed of 1 inch per second. If you’re tall like I am, you’ll appreciate just how high the Flex Pro goes – at 6’5”, I need the desk all the way up. The motor does its thing quietly – ApexDesk claims noise levels less than 50 dB. In the real world, while it’s not exactly silent, you’re not going to be disrupting anybody if you occasionally have to raise or lower the Flex Pro.
ApexDesk has also designed an app for your Android or iPhone to control the desk remotely. While the UI isn’t my favorite (some settings weren’t labeled, and the color scheme is garish) controlling the height of the Flex Pro was a dream. From pairing the desk, raising and lowering it, and setting three preset heights, the app was simple and responsive. I actually found it easier to use than the desk’s built-in controller that sits just under the right hand side corner. Plus, who doesn’t love the novelty of adjusting the height as you’re walking back to your desk from the bathroom?
The only real problem I found with the Flex Pro is re-initializing the motor. If you unplug the desk (now that’s a weird sentence to write), you’ll need to re-initialize the motor when you plug it back in before it will adjust again. This process takes about a minute, and the desk has to go all the way down to recalibrate itself. I found this process to be rather finicky – it was hard to get the initialization to work using the built-in controller. Using the app, however, worked great. This isn’t the biggest problem since you’re most likely not going to be unplugging your desk very often, but if you’re in an area with a lot of power outages, for example, it can become a hassle. Compounding the problem is that sometimes the desk will just stop working, and you’ll need to manually unplug it and re-initialize to get it going again.
Bottom line – the Flex Pro just might be the standing desk that makes me give this new trend a try. If you’re curious about the benefits of a standing desk but don’t want to bid sitting farewell forever, you might want to take the plunge.
Note: All prices and products are accurate at the time of article publication, although some may have changed or are no longer available.