GeekDesk Stand Up Desk Review
A pioneer in electric adjustable height desks GeekDesk has not kept pace with the innovations and sheer spectrum of choices that newer manufacturers are bringing to the fore. Perpetual production delays have contributed to GeekDesk's significant loss of market share as Darwinian forces allowed other makers (many reviewed on this site) to take the lead.
Ships within 2 business days for $85
2 yr parts
5 yr steel
1.1" per second
Standard two-button controller
Digital Readout with 4 presets on premium-priced Max model
47.25" x 31.5"
63" x 31.5"
78.5" x 31.5"
Capable of very heavy desktop loads compared to some of the lighter variable-height desks. Decent amount of under-desk freeboard for mounting an adjustable ergonomic keyboard tray.
Frequent long lead times for delivery, quoted up to 5 weeks but reported as long as 60 days. Bases lack width-adjustability. Very limited choices of colors and tabletop sizes. Slowest lift speed of the pack while noisier than one would expect for a 1.1"/sec travel.
GeekDesk - despite the nerdy moniker - was a popular choice among do-it-yourself treadmill deskers for many years, with little competition from established furniture manufacturers. All that has changed now with the wave of new electric standing desks flooding the market and creating rough seas for this bijou company. As a lifestyle business for its founder, with no dealer distribution channel, no earth-shattering new product enhancements in years and persistent production delays, GeekDesk has ceded its place in the pecking order to other stand up desk makers we review on this site that have brought innovation, choice and strong financial backing to bear.
With the advent of products like iMovR's ThermoDesk Elite and UpTown desks, consumers are rightly expecting more capable desks with improved additional features. For the amount of money a new standing desk costs, "adequate" is no longer good enough, and at this stage of market maturation, attributes such as quick delivery, first-class customer support and extensive warranty coverage are more sought after. GeekDesk has seemed determined to hold down the bottom end of the range, lowering its prices every so often rather than updating its product line.
Short on Stand Up Desk Adjustability
The GeekDesk line comes down to two options. The GeekDesk v3 is their basic model, and has a similar feature set and price range (the desk starts at $749) as other mid-tier desks like the UpTown, Electra, Uprise, and Jarvis. It adjusts in height with a simple two-button controller. For $200 more, the GeekDesk Max comes with some performance improvements, and a more advanced LED controller with programmable presets. It can be compared to other top-tier desks like the Omega Everest, ThermoDesk Elite, and ISE RISE.
Regardless of which model you choose, GeekDesk has a garden-variety height range of 23” to 48.75”, within ANSI/BIFMA standards for sit-to-stand desks. ANSI/BIFMA is a decent starting point for desk height, but there is a case to be made for desks that have a higher max height. First, taller users who want to outfit their stand up desk with a treadmill—which adds about 6" of height to any user—will find the GeekDesk too short to accommodate their walking needs. A tall max height also contributes to greater desk stability. That's because at greater heights (not necessarily the max height, mind you) there is more overlap between the telescoping leg segments, mitigating the shakiness that occurs when a desk is raised to standing or walking height. New generations of desks can climb up to 54", which lets just about any user stand or walk in confidence.
Width adjustment is also another category that GeekDesk has thusfar ignored: Both Geekdesk models come in a small frame or large frame version (see table below), rather than the width-adjustable bases found on newer desks (e.g. Elite, Mod-E, RISE). The frames can be ordered in either silver or black. Plenty of users who become attached to their own desk tops want to take their hardwood or granite top to standnig height. Plenty more will find themselves wanting to swap their current top for one of a different size down the road. GeekDesk effectively denies users that option.
Slow and Loud
We also hope you're patient: Among electric standing desks, the GeekDesk is the slowest of the pack. Its 1.1 inch-per-second lift speed means that taking it from sitting to standing will take 25 agonizing seconds. A typical electric standing desk will have an adjustment speed of 1.5"/sec, so the GeekDesk's lethargic pace is a major disappointment. Despite its slowness, the GeekDesks can still rack up quite a din. While speed demon Mod-E (at 2.0"/sec) is much noisier at 75dB, other quick desks like the 1.7"/sec ThermoDesk Electra are whisper-quiet in comparison (only 42 dB, barely above typical office background noise). With the rule of thumb being the faster the desk, the noisier, GeekDesk delivers the lowest lift speeds while producing mid-range decibel counts around 69 dB.
One good thing we can say about GeekDesk is that it has a decent lift capacity. The v3 can lift 275 lbs., and the Max can lift 335 lbs. Anyone looking for more of a heavy-duty will prefer the 490lb. lifting power of the ThermoDesk Electra, but the GeekDesk should be suitable for the typical workloads. (Here's our article on how much lifting capacity really matters.)
Desk Top Options
Each GeekDesk model can be purchased base-only or with one of GeekDesk's own table tops, which come in two flavors. The black laminate desktop comes with black vinyl edging. The beech veneer desktop is finished with a UV hardened lacquer and profiled edges. A carbonized bamboo option is also available, though that would take the price of the desk up by at least another $150. You can choose from two desktop sizes for the large frame and one size for the small frame. We're unimpressed with typical laminate desks, which lack the durability and aesthetics of more modern finishes. Vinyl edge banding, for example, has a tendency to delaminate and peel off after a few years. For the most durable and cost-efficient table tops, we like to turn to 3D lamination, which hermetically seals the desk in a moisture-impervious finish that lasts years and looks great. Currently, this advanced lamination style can only be found on iMovR's and Anthro's stand up desk options. Again, compared to the extensive catalogs of competing products, GeekDesk's offering is a bit reminiscent of the Ford Model-T.
Underwhelming Desk Warranty
A desk's warranty is an indicator of the quality of its componentry. Frankly, the GeekDesk's is rather disappointing: just 5 years on the steel frame, 2 years on moving parts, and no warranty on the desk top. This is especially bad for the GeekDesk Max, which shares the top shelf with long-lived products that feature a longer and more robust warranty. The Omega Everest and ThermoDesk Elite, for example, feature a Lifetime warranty on the steel frame, 5 years on moving parts and electronics, and 5 years on the desk top.
Desk manufacturers run the gamut from "boutique lifestyle businesses" like GeekDesk to mega-corporations Steelcase, Herman Miller and Humanscale. In between are companies like MultiTable and iMovR that are big enough to have deep inventories and rapid delivery but are still small enough to cater to individual customers.
One serious concern we must share about GeekDesk is that every time we've checked their website the maker seemed to be perpetually back-ordered up to 5 weeks “due to current demand.” In several years that we've been buying GeekDesks for our own use (before all the new competition appeared on the market) this has rarely been revised, and whenever it has been revised more GeekDesks invariably get sold, quickly leading to yet another backlog situation.
Since the company only sells its products direct to the consumer it does not have dealer inventory caches to help smooth the supply availability. What is slightly troubling is reports we've read online of customers waiting a long time to receive their GeekDesk V3 only to get a call from the company to let them know that there would be a further delay of "many weeks" and suggesting that if they switched their order to the more expensive Max product they could have it in only two weeks.
The norm to expect from a medium-sized manufacturer is delivery in 3 to 10 days, including transit time, depending on distance from the plant. If your need is more immediate than five weeks you may want to move on to other comparable products.
The warranty on the GeekDesk frame is 5 years, and the motors and electronics are covered for two years. This is comparable to the warranty on the ModTable Mod-E, albeit far shorter than premium brands like iMovR's Elite (which have a lifetime warranty on the steel frame) and Humanscale Float Table (15 yr).
GeekDesk charges $125 for standard shipping to the continental United States.
|GeekDesk Electric Stand Up Desk||V3||Max|
|Price including Desktop||Large Frame $799.00||Large Frame $985.00|
|Small Frame $749.00||Small Frame $949.00|
|Price with Frame Only||Large Frame $549.00||Large Frame $745.00|
|Small Frame $525.00||Small Frame $725.00|
|Drive Mechanism||Single Motor||Dual Motor|
|Max. Lift Capacity||275 lbs.||335 lbs.|
|Programmable Height Presets with LED Display||N/A||4 Presets|
|Frame Dimensions||Large Frame 55.1"
Small Frame 39.4"
|Large Frame 55.1"
Small Frame 39.4"
|Desktop Sizes||Large Frame
78.75" W X 31.5" Dor 63" W X 31.5" D
41.25" W X 31.5" D
78.75" W X 31.5" D or 63" W X 31.5" D
41.25" W X 31.5" D
|Lift Speed||1.1" Per Second||1.1" Per Second|