Humanscale Float Table Stand Up Desk Review
There's something almost seductive about a Float table. Innovative counterbalance technology makes these desks fast, easy adjusters.
Free Shipping. Ships 4 weeks from order.
As fast as you can lift it
24" x 48"
24" x 54"
24" x 60"
24" x 66"
24" x 72"
30" x 48"
30" x 54"
30" x 60"
30" x 66"
30" x 72"
No plodding electric motors or crank handles – a counterbalance system gives the Float Table as seductively quiet and smooth gliding adjustment in the blink of an eye. Extremely well designed; users have praised the wide desktops (customizable) and uncluttered foot space. Made with sustainable practices for the green-conscious consumer. Very popular with the high-decor lot like law offices and financial firms.
High quality, high cost. The Float Table is brilliant piece of work, but standing and treadmill deskers on a budget may balk at the price tag. The "removable crank" option is a pain to adjust - we strongly recommend the built-in crank option for resetting the weight settings on the counterbalance mechanism. The Humanscale aesthetic, while beautiful, can be tough to match unless your office has modern solid-color decor. If you're looking for woodgrain colors in the same league of a adjustable height desks check out iMovR's Thermodesk line.
Manual-adjustable stand up desks, like the ThermoDesk Ellure and ModTable, are a cost-effective alternative to electric standing desks. They don't require expensive motors and electronics, and don't need to be plugged in to work. Position them anywhere in the office and you've got yourself a sit-stand solution. However, crank desks suffer from some serious deficiencies. They're hopelessly slow compared to the motorized efficiency of most electric models: Even at a height adjustment rate of three turns per inch, you're looking at spending 30 seconds every time you switch between sitting and standing, compared to 10 or less with an electric model. That much cranking can be a real deal breaker for less-patient users who weren't exactly looking for a workout today. That's what makes Humanscale's Float Table stand up desk so alluring. It forgoes the crank for a speedy adjustment method, without motors.
A Floating Desk? You Gotta Be Kidding
Here at WorkWhileWalking, we’re used to seeing standing desks operate with the aid of an electric motor or hand operated crank. The Float Table stands apart with its unique crank-free counterbalance system, which relies on a tension system to act against a load. Simply depress a small paddle to release the brake, then effortlessly lift or lower the desk top. You can adjust the desk one-handed—a nifty office trick if you’re trying to impress your colleagues. It's an adjustment mechanism we've seen on some desktop risers, like the Ergotron Workfit-S, though this is the first time we've seen it adapted to a complete sit-to-stand desk.
For something that's such a departure from the standing desk norm, the Float Table has a surprisingly familiar installation process. Aside from the spring tension adjuster and the release paddle, you're basically attaching a metal base to a wooden top. Assembly is actually easier than on standard desks, thanks to insert nuts embedded into the underside of the Float desk top. These insert nuts, which are also featured on the Elite, Everest, and Ellure, make attaching the base easy and mess free.
A Stand Up Desk with Humanscale's Signature Sheen
Humanscale is a company that specializes in good-looking furniture and equipment. Their M2 and M8 monitor arms are stylish assemblies of steel and aluminum, and their Quickstand Sit-Stand Workstation takes a page from the Apple School of Design, with its white-and-gray minimalist aesthetic. It even has an elegant way to hide unsightly cables.
The Float Table takes Humanscale's design principles and applies it to the larger arena of stand up desks. The base is thin and sleek, made from steel and aluminum. Its table top is a basic affair with a thin beveled edge that makes it easier to grip the height-adjustment paddle.
Glide Your Desk to Standing Height
Once you've finished putting your Float stand up desk together, the next step is to tune the counterbalance system to the right tension. To do this, set up your workstation as normal—placing your monitors, computer, and whatever else you need on top of your desk. Turn the tension crank until you're able to lift and lower the desktop easily with one hand. Once set, you will only need to readjust the tension if you add or subtract a significant amount of weight. Humanscale offers both removable and mounted crank versions of the Float Table (the mounted option costs $80 more but we highly recommend as it is far, far easier to use).
The Float Table glides up and down smoothly, without any of the coffee sloshing you get from trying to rapidly adjust a crank desk. It's also a quiet affair, without any of the noise that comes from grinding gears. It has a relatively low adjustment range of about 28" - 48" which, while within the ANSI/BIFMA standard for adjustable height desks, may not be suitable for taller users of around 6'2" or higher, or of average-height users on a treadmill. Many desk manufacturers are already seeing the value of exceeding the ANSI/BIFMA standard, and desks like the Elite, Everest, Uptown, and Olympus can reach heights up to 54". So we're a little disappointed at the Float's rather banal height range.
Also disappointing is the exceedingly low weight capacity of 130 lbs. We're used to seeing crank and electric-operated desks that can lift upwards of 400 lbs., and the Float seems like a weakling by comparison. That kind of lifting deficiency is to be expected with a counterbalance system, so it's the price you pay for this gliding table—well, that and $1,499.
Solid Design, Modern Aesthetic
Function comes first, but form isn’t far behind. The Float Table’s polished aluminum and steel body would do any office proud. Humanscale offers five colors for table top finish, which all speak to their modern aesthetic. Select from White, Gray, Platinum, Tan, or Black. A range of desktop size options are also available, between 48" and 72" in width and 24" and 30" in depth. The Float Table contends well with the other most-popular desk in those environments - the ThermoDesk Elite - although the base legs cannot spread wide enough to accommodate both a treadmill and chair. Because of that, the Float Table can't be used as a true sit-stand-walk desk.
A Few Bumps in the Road
The Humanscale Float Table looks great on paper, and the first time we tried one at a trade show was magical. Which was why we were disappointed when some forensic analysis of customer comments online informed us that units were arriving damaged due to shoddy packaging. But, we really liked the concept of the Float, and there really is something magical about them once they're set up and working properly. So we kept an eye on the product to see if Humanscale could turn things around. After some careful review of the evidence, we can once again highly recommend the Float Table to our readers. Humanscale appears to have improved the manufacturing quality control and delivery process of this adjustable height desk, bringing it in line with Humanscale's otherwise stellar decades-long reputation for quality and service.
The Float Table comes with a very solid 5-year warranty and 24/7 support from Humanscale.
Free shipping to the continental US from SitLess. Lead times of four weeks is typical for Float Table shipment. This is a product that tends to generate large fleet sales for Humanscale on occasion, so delivery times tend to be unpredictable as their production line copes. If you're thinking of placing an order, we recommend calling first to find out how delivery times are at that point in time. They can range from two to eight weeks.
Humanscale offers numerous options for customizing your Float Table, from different colors of bases and tops to four different base sizes and eight different top sizes. Build your own at the WorkWhileWalking online store to calculate built cost on the fly.
To compare the Float Table to the competition, take a look at our Comparison Review of Electric Stand Up Desks.