GeekDesk Max – A Standing Desk Review

As far back as I can remember, I’ve wanted a standing desk. There’s plenty of research out there which indicates that sitting in a chair all day isn’t good for you, but this has never really been much of an influence on me. I simply believe that with most things in life, the key is moderation – and sitting for 8-10 hours at my desk, continued by several hours of sitting whilst eating dinner, watching TV or reading, isn’t moderation.

Keeping this in mind, the main feature I wanted in such a desk is that it’s quick and easy to change the height. I like the idea of switching between standing and sitting throughout the day. I believe you are losing a lot of the benefits by using a desk that is intended to stay at one height, even if that height is standing. Similarly, the height needs to be easily adjustable. The more difficult it is to change height, the less likely you are to do so regularly.

I’d always heard good things about GeekDesk, who specialise in height adjustable desks. Unfortunately for me, they never had something that suited my needs – that is, until the GeekDesk Max came along. The Max has a range of 23-49 inches, but most importantly, it has programmable presets. It sounded perfect, so I decided to pull the trigger.

As I live in Australia, I needed to have it shipped internationally, as well as with a different power supply. All this really meant was that a few emails were exchanged to place the order, rather than buying directly on the GeekDesk website. Really, the process was simple. Unfortunately, when my GeekDesk arrived some parts had suffered damage in transit. I still don’t really know how this happened, as the parts were pretty well packaged, and the boxes themselves didn’t seem to have been damaged much. Regardless, the GeekDesk support was very helpful, and although it was annoying having to wait for replacement parts, the issue was handled perfectly. How a company handles things when they go wrong can speak volumes.

Once I had all the parts, it was time for construction! It took me roughly 3 hours from start to finish to put everything together, but if I’m being honest, most people would do it in half the time. It was the weekend and putting things together is part of the fun for me, so I took my time. The instructions are clear, and there’s some nice spots for hiding all the cables away. Once the desk is setup, you’d barely know it was anything but a regular desk.

Changing the height of the desk is super simple. Press the up button, desk goes up. Press the down button, desk goes sideways – just kidding, it goes down. Being able to key in presets though is the real power of the Max model. All I need to do is press the number 1 button, and the desk raises up to the perfect standing height for me. Press number 2, and roughly 20 seconds later I’m all ready for sitting. The operation is very smooth, and much quieter than I would have expected. The desk also has an acceleration/deceleration curve, so it doesn’t stop suddenly when it gets to the pre-programmed height.

If you’re still reading, you’ve probably got the point by now – the Max is a fantastic height adjustable desk. It’s solid, works very smoothly, and it couldn’t be easier to change heights. But what’s it like to actually use?

So far, it’s fantastic. I’ve spent the last 2 days switching between standing and sitting every half hour. The 20 seconds or so that it takes to change the height gives me a good chance to shake out my legs. It’s much easier than I expected to stand for a period of time, and I love being able to just walk in and out of the room as I please. I don’t know why, but it feels so much nicer to walk up to your computer, rather than plonking yourself down in a chair.

I’m quietly confident that I’ll never go back to sitting all day ever again.

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14 Comments

  1. Ivan
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    You can do it with usual table by standing on the knees. :)

    Also to not forget to relax I’m using http://www.dejal.com/timeout/
    I set micro-breaks to every 20m and big ones to every 80m.

    • Posted April 18, 2012 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      I’m not sure how comfortable knees would be :) I use the same app for my breaks – I have it set to a 10 second break every 30 mins, and a 5 minute break every 60.

  2. Posted April 18, 2012 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    I lol’d at the desk goes sideways because I actually did the double-take when reading.

    This automated desk sounds really fantastic! I think that not being able to switch back and forth quickly was one of the key reasons I’ve never even taken the idea of standing and working seriously; With that taken care of, the offer seems quite compelling. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Posted April 20, 2012 at 2:23 am | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing. Love Timeout. I’m on 20 seconds every 30 minutes, and 15 minutes every 90 minutes. Will definitely check out this desk. =)

  4. Farsonic
    Posted April 21, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    Care to comment what it costed to get this shipped to Australia…and was there any issues with power conversion from 110Volts? :)

    • Posted April 22, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      No issues at all. The power isn’t converted, you’re given a proper power supply for Australia which runs at 230V. Shipping was I think around $250 or so. Expensive, but I just factored it in as part of the overall cost of the desk. One thing to note is that I bought only the frame – I don’t even know if they’d offer the option to ship a table top internationally.

      • Posted May 9, 2012 at 6:35 am | Permalink

        Wow, I just received my GeekDesk V2 last week and live in Kentucky (only approx 500 miles from North Carolina where my desk shipped from) and I paid $250 shipping for mine! But I did get the top too so that probably makes up the difference. It was shipped on one large pallet with yellow flags and warnings about DO NOT STACK all over it so I’m sure international freight on that would have been very high.

        I didn’t get the Max, just the V2 but I love mine too!

        • Posted May 11, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

          Yeah, I didn’t even want to ask how much the top would cost to ship internationally. Several times more than it would cost just to buy one locally I bet!

  5. Brendan
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 1:30 am | Permalink

    Now two months in…how has it been going? Was it just great/different at the start or you still will never go back to a normal desk?

    I’m also from Australia and thinking of buying one.

    • Posted June 26, 2012 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      Still love it! I’m not standing quite as much as I want to, mainly because I stand for 30 mins, then sit for 30 mins, but then forget to stand back up again :)

      I could go back to a normal desk if I had to, but I really like having the option to stand if I want.

      No regrets whatsoever.

  6. Brendan
    Posted June 29, 2012 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    Thanks, have just ordered one :)

  7. Posted January 26, 2013 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    Great post. Do you still use this desk? I’m looking to get one, and seeing that you’ve had this for over a year, I would love to know about its durability.

    Thanks!

    • Posted January 28, 2013 at 6:25 am | Permalink

      Still using it, and still love it! In fact I’ve been planning to do a follow-up blog post on it soon. In the meantime though, durability is great, I haven’t had a single issue.

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