Autonomous File Cabinet Review
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To pair with an Autonomous SmartDesk Standing Desk, if that’s what you own.
|MSRP / List Price||$169|
The cabinet itself comes in only one color, a grayish white. You can choose one color accent for inside the drawer pulls: Red Apple, Evergreen, Cool Gray, Baby Blue
15.6″ W × 19.7″ D × 23.5″ H
|Where to buy||
Buy on Autonomous
Buy on Amazon
|Ease of Assembly|
|Quality and Aesthetics|
|Positives||Like all Autonomous office furniture products you can count on their File Cabinet to be virtually the cheapest thing you can buy to bring storage space to your standing desk. At $169 it is significantly cheaper than all other competitors except StandDesk ($157.45).|
|Negatives||Cheap components and lack of color options make it a very basic product that's functionally adequate but without the fine touches found on better office furniture products.|
As Basic As They Come
Like virtually all products sold by Autonomous.ai, the generically-named “File Cabinet” is the cheapest thing you can buy online to create a storage solution for your standing desk. Like all their other products it is manufactured in China.
Almost all the mobile pedestals marketed for pairing with standing desks come from China these days (including Fully’s, UpLift’s, StandDesk’s, Autonomous‘ and Vari’s) with the one exception of iMovR’s American-made, premium file cabinets. You can see how they all compare in our comprehensive round-up of File Cabinets for Standing Desks Review.
A three-drawer, lockable, all-steel storage cabinet, it features movable dividers within the drawers as one of its primary features. We’re talking simple. The overall dimensions of this cabinet are in the standard range for standing desk accompaniment. You don’t want to use a cabinet any taller than that lest you crash your standing desk into it while lowering it to a seated position.
Note that only standard letter-sized hanging folders can be used; there is no rail system or sufficient depth in the bottom drawer for legal-sized file folders.
From a color selection standpoint Autonomous only offers one color for the cabinet itself, a cool white with grayish tone (which some people seem to perceive a beige; but it’s definitely not a “cool white”), with a color accent feature inside the shallow plastic drawer pull. Users can choose from Red, Green, Gray or Blue for the accent color. That’s it. No other cabinet colors are offered, and matching the actual Autonomous SmartDesk frames or desktops is not something you’re going to find from this vendor.
Ease of Assembly and Quality
The good news is that the cabinet no longer entails a 1 to 3 hour, 2-person assembly task. After numerous customer complaints Autonomous has started to completely pre-assemble the cabinet in China, so it arrives ready-to-go out of the box. While most storage cabinets for standing desks do arrive complete, some like the Jarvis Sidekick from Fully still require you to install the caster wheels yourself.
While the cabinet feels solid, the tell tale sign of quality is its one year warranty, compared to 5 to 10 years for virtually all of its competitors. There is a 30 day trial on any Autonomous purchase these days, though that’s nothing unique to Autonomous; pretty much all their competitors offer a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, with iMovR offering 100 days.
Product weight is similar to the light steel competition at 46 lbs, a few pounds less than the UpLift and Fully models, but far shy of the heft of iMovR’s (75 lbs) and Vari’s (62 lbs) cabinets. Unlike the more premium iMovR and Vari models the front caster wheels on the Autonomous file cabinet are not lockable.
While most of the competitors position their mobile file pedestals as having the dual purpose of being a desk-side, roll-out seat for office visitors, and some even offer seat cushions, Autonomous does not promote this potential of its storage pedestal. While a weight rating of 275 lbs is advertised for this cabinet, it doesn’t look like the wheels can really support that kind of weight without risking damage, and the squared-off edges of the cabinet would indeed be quite uncomfortable to sit on.
Like several of its competitors, the Autonomous filing cabinet has a fifth caster wheel attached to the front of the bottom drawer to reduce the chance of tipping over when opening a heavily-laden drawer all the way. This is to make up for the lack of ballast weight in the rear of the cabinet, such as you’ll find on premium, fine office furniture products like iMovR’s.
The 5th caster wheel is an inexpensive workaround that keeps the shipping weight down and thus retail price as low as possible, though it won’t do anything to keep the cabinet from tipping over except when the bottom drawer is pulled out. Just avoid storing your reams of paper in the upper drawers and you’ll probably be ok.
This cabinet is as basic at it comes, and if you’re looking to save some dough, it is $100 cheaper than its nearest competitors, and less than half the cost of a premium wood file cabinet. It pairs well with Autonomous’ own standing desk offerings, which are built to the same quality standard as this one-year warrantied product. The lack of substantive color selections make it the most spartan of choices in this category. and the odd way of adding an accent color inside the drawer pulls actually makes them so shallow that it’s more comfortable to open the drawers from the side than to use the provided handles.
One thing that puts us off of Autonomous in general is the obviously faked 5-star reviews written by their marketing department. Truly critical user reviews are curated out. The file cabinet’s user reviews are no exception. And that tells you all you need to know about doing business with this company.