Beflo Tenon Standing Desk Review
- Lab tested
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The Beflo Tenon is a high quality, luxury standing desk that features tech geeks would love to own, assuming their wallets are thick enough. Its 4-legged design adds an aesthetically pleasing touch to an office or home, especially if you opt for the solid wood top. With a bunch of technology and connectivity features, like Bluetooth, presence sensing, touchscreen control, and more, there is a lot to like about this desk. The main concern some people will have is that the design makes it incompatible with almost every other edge clamped or grommet mounted accessory out there. However, Beflo does make their own accessories to make the Tenon a very modular and customizable desk to make your workstation very much your own. The Bluetooth app is the most advanced we’ve seen so far on a standing desk, with many unique capabilities. You can even set it up to control your desk height, color bar, speaker volume, health coach settings and more by voice command through Siri. At the end of the day, this is a high-end standing desk that well deserves its place in the high-end standing desk category.
|MSRP / List Price||
Tenon with gray plywood top: $2,499
Fees based on location
4 electric, 2-stage lifting columns
1.3 inches per second
Touch-screen interface or through smartphone app
59” wide x 31.5” deep
Gray paint, Red Oak, Walnut
|Monitor Arm Mounting Options||
No edge-clamp accessories can be used
29” to 47”
Bluetooth available to connect to Smartphone
Nominal voltage: 110 V AC ± 10%
|Typical Assembly Time||
ANSI/BIFMA X5.5 certified
|NEAT™ Certified by Mayo Clinic||
|Where to buy||
Buy on Beflo
|Ease of Assembly|
|Quality and Aesthetics|
|Positives||This adjustable height desk has a lot to offer beyond its 4-leg design. The high quality construction, decent stability, adequate lifting performance and height range, are what we expect from most standing desks in general, and the Tenon meets these requirements and goes further. The modular design is highly customizable, and ergonomic features like the beveled edge make it more comfortable to use, and a lot of useful technology and features all come together to make the Tenon an adjustable height desk that sits right up there with the best in the industry. With a great touch screen interface and Bluetooth capability, you’ll be able to create your ideal settings to get the most health benefits possible out of this desk. And all of it comes on an aesthetically pleasing surface that even has an built-in ambient light bar that can change colors, among its many unique and fanciful features. A decent warranty of 15 years seems very appropriate for the amount of work and design that went into this desk.|
|Negatives||However, there are a few aspects that aren’t the best. The price might be a little high for many shoppers, but that is natural on a desk with this kind of design and technology. Compatibility with your existing ergonomic accessories may be the biggest problem that some shoppers will have, as they won’t be able to use most of the edge-clamped accessories they might already own. When it comes to the long grommet slot, many grommet-mounted products from other manufacturers will be too large to fit, so you'll have to make sure of compatibility if you want to use other accessories. Beflo’s own accessories made specifically for this standing desk are necessary for creating a fully ergonomic workstation. There aren’t many options when it comes to sizes and finishes either, so make sure that what they do have matches the space and decor you have.|
And Now For Something Completely Different
We’ve been excited to watch the development of the luxury standing desk market, as a handful of manufacturers move to evade the “race to the bottom” of commodity grade, Chinese-made standing desks to more beautiful, capable and durable options.
One new player in this category is Taiwan-based Tenon, who has come out of the gate with something truly differentiated, highly technologically advanced, aesthetically refined and, naturally, expensive.
Why A 4-Legged Standing Desk?
We have seen several 4-legged standing desk prototypes from several manufacturers over the years, but they rarely made it to the point of actually selling. Beflo has made it to market with the Tenon standing desk, but with a different approach that also combines high design and very tech-forward features, that to our minds, stand a much better chance of making the standing desk successful. But before we get into the specifics of this desk, it might be helpful to discuss the rationale for a standing desk with 4 legs.
The primary reason someone would add the extra expense of more legs is to get more stability. While most standing desks feature a 2-leg design that is constructed as solidly as possible to reduce any shaking, adding two more legs makes it much easier to establish a solid base, especially if those legs are positioned at each of the 4 corners of the desk.
In addition to the practical stability, 4-leg desks in general look more like home furniture as opposed to office furniture. Lots of remote workers are opposed to the idea of the classic 2-leg desk of offices in their home space on a purely aesthetic basis. But a 4-legged table looks more natural in a home, especially if the columns of the legs are round or have chamfered corners, like the iMovr Jaxson. The Tenon certainly fits the bill in this regard, especially if you get it with one of the elegant solid wood desktops.
While these are certainly some pros of the 4-leg design in a standing office desk, it does come with some cons that shoppers will need to keep in mind. The first problem comes from the metal “skirt” that rings the entire edge of the desk and connects the four legs to the desktop. This design limits the desk’s compatibility with many office accessories that people may want to use, since most of them clamp to the edge. Edge clamps require more purchase underneath the desktop than the frame provides and generally don’t open enough to get around both the desktop and the frame. Beflo sidesteps this problem by providing proprietary versions of these common ergonomic accessories that are specifically designed to work on their desks. Just know that many accessories from other manufacturers won’t work on the Tenon.
The other main issue to consider with 4-legged desks is price. Twice as many legs usually translates to nearly double the cost for the lifting base.
Beflo’s Tenon Standing Desk comes with a variety of design elements that we rarely, if ever, see in the hundreds of adjustable height desks that we have reviewed over the past decade. Whether those features are enough for the kind of investment the Tenon requires will depend on what the shopper values in their ergonomic office equipment.
Ergonomic Pros and Cons
Speaking of ergonomics, the Tenon is a bit of a mixed bag.
As something that is rather uncommon to see in a residential standing desk, the Tenon is ANSI/BIFMA X5.5 certified. This is something that is usually only important to large institutional government and corporate buyers that may require it (consumers generally have no idea what this is, but you can read our primer on ANSI/BIFMA certifications and standards if you’re curious).
Since the Tenon is clearly designed for the home office we’re not sure why Beflo bothered with the expense of certification, but it’s a feather in their cap nonetheless. Of the popular ecommerce standing desk brands only iMovR (on all their desks) and UpLift (on their V2 Commercial) bother to go through ANSI/BIFMA testing. When we lab test a product we generally run through an even more robust set of tests than ANSI/BIFMA X5.5, so we well understood that a 4-legged desk would inherently pass all the tipping stability tests with flying colors.
When it comes to the more commonly thought of stability measure—i.e. how shaky the desk is (which ANSI/BIFMA doesn’t bother to test) as opposed to its propensity for tipping over—the Tenon is a little shakier than we expected at top heights. We’ve seen worse in a 4-legged table, such as the very pricey Watson C9, but we’ve also seen a lot better, like the (now defunct, unfortunately) Fully Nolan. Despite having “four on the floor” the thin round tubes of the single-stage lifting legs have a fair amount of flex to them. Learn more about What Makes Some Standing Desks Shakier Than Others.
Height Adjustment Range
The very nature of it being a standing desk is good for ergonomics, and its height range of 29” to 47” in a single-stage design will work for most average-sized users. But if you are on the extremes of height, tall or short, you may need to get creative if you want to use the desk comfortably in both sitting and standing positions. It is important to note, however, that because of the limited height adjustment range, the Tenon does not meet the ANSI/BIFMA G1-2013 Ergonomic Guidelines, in particular for shorter users.
Another ergonomic feature, which we don’t always find on standing desks, is a beveled edge. The gradual slope on the user edge of the desk helps avoid painful marks on wrists and forearms that many desks with 90-degree edges will leave.
All the Power
You won’t have to find another outlet or power strip once this standing desk gets plugged in. Underneath the desktop, you’ll find 4 built-in power plugs for your computer, monitor, and more. There are also USB-A and USB-C ports under the desk for charging your mobile devices or wireless headphones. And there is also an audio connection to plug into your computer and create a more ideal listening setup for you. These ports, along with some built in cable management, allows you to consolidate the cords at your desk in convenient, out of the way locations and avoid an unsightly rat’s nest of wires on or under your desk. Where most other standing desks require a good cable management kit to tame all the jungle vines as your desk moves up and down, the Tenon desk’s design incorporates this essential feature.
As we mentioned earlier, most ergonomic add–on accessories (e.g. monitor arms, keyboard trays and power modules) from other manufacturers won’t work on most 4-leg desks like the Tenon because of the metal skirt that sits beneath the desktop. Beflo’s solution is a unique modular system that lets you connect a wide variety of add-ons accessories to your desk in a wide range of configurations to personalize your workstation to your exact needs.
For example, their modesty panel that hangs on the back edge of the desk also doubles as an accessory management board. The Pebble Pro laptop docking station and the Syncline laptop holder help you connect your computer quickly and easily to your desk and accessories. The Argil cable holder can be placed in the long grommet hole wherever is most convenient for you, as can the Basalt monitor stand. They also have a compatible pegboard that can hold more of your office essentials organized and off the desktop. And there are a bunch of other accessories available for different needs.
However, if you get the Tenon Premium, with either the Red Oak or Walnut top, it comes with the Flow Kit, which includes a bunch of the most useful accessories people use, including the modesty panel/accessory attachment board, laptop docking station, laptop holder, cable holder, under-desk accessory mount, and power cord cover. Doing this saves you about $100 over buying the regular Tenon and then adding all those accessories a la carte, not to mention a nice solid wood top. You can look at all their accessories with videos on how to use and install them here.
Even More Features
But the desk comes with even more built-in features that might be valuable to users. One of the most visible is an ambient light strip along the back edge of the desk. This might not be essential for some, but it is a nice aesthetic touch that can even change color for extra personalization of your workspace.
The touch screen control panel on the desk lets you enter a variety of settings to let you specify how you want to use the desk. Just get used to waking up the screen with swipes. This does allow for a lot of control options for the standing desk, but simple adjustments of the height of the desk become a little more involved than for desks with more basic controllers.
The smart sensors in the desk know if you are at your desk or not, so that your settings and height won’t change with accidental bumps from a coworker or curious fingers of a child searching a desktop they can’t see. This, along with collision sensors, helps ensure a safer use of the standing desk.
There is also Bluetooth compatibility in this technology packed desk, which we rarely see enabled to this degree in standing desks. However, you’ll want to be aware of a few things about Beflo’s smartphone app that connects to the Tenon’s bluetooth. First, it is only available on Apple devices, so Android users are out of luck with this feature, at least at this time.
Of course you can control the height of your desk and program your height favorites for sitting, standing and other custom presets like pretty much all standing desk Bluetooth apps provide, but it does a lot more than that. Once you register your login, you can do things like track your sitting versus standing time when present at your desk, change the intensity and frequency of the light bar, change the volume on the speakers, and set interval reminders to change postures from sitting to standing. You can even set it up to control your desk by voice command through Siri. The app even has the ability to update the firmware in your desk, which means that even more advanced features will likely keep coming and coming from Beflo.
Standing Desk Construction Quality
While all those features might sound great for you, don’t underestimate the need for the desk to have a sound construction so that you can continue to enjoy those features as long as possible. We will analyze the quality of the two basic parts of the standing desk: the base and the desktop.
As for the base, while most standing desk bases are made in China, the Beflo Tenon is built in Taiwan, which is known for its excellence in engineering and high-tech manufacturing capabilities. Since we review treadmill desks as well, we know that professional gyms buy their treadmills from Taiwanese factories since they have a higher standard for quality in what they make. On the other hand, China is known more for sweatshop factories with cheap quality and often dismal reliability. In this regard, the Tenon standing desk base stands out as a top tier product. For one, the shapely flared castings help provide a clean and smooth look that we don’t see on other desks. Making parts like these requires a large up-front investment in tooling, so it’s quite atypical in the world of sit-stand furniture. It is highly evident that Beflo invested more significantly in the development of the Tenon as a platform than we’ve ever seen a Chinese manufacturer come close to.
On the performance side, the base isn’t on the top end of strength, stability and speed, but it will be more than sufficient for most people’s use cases. A weight lifting capacity of 225 lbs will hold everything but the most grandiose setups, and the 1.3” per second desk height transit speed will let you take a stretch between sitting and standing as the desk adjusts. Being about 20% slower than most luxury standing desks’ transit speed also helps keep the motors really quiet.
When it comes to the stability of the base, having 4 legs goes a long way to providing that. However, once we assembled our desk, it wasn’t quite as stable as we had expected it to be, having almost the same amount of shaking at its highest height as we would see from the many 2-leg models we have tested. But with attractive, narrow legs that make the desk a bit top heavy, this can be expected as the desk reaches its higher elevations. The shaking won’t be so much that it causes problems during normal use, so it shouldn’t be anything to worry about for most users.
The desktop is a different issue. There are only three different top finishes to choose from, in only one size, which is a bit disappointing with all the other software and accessory customizability that the desk has. You can get a plywood top with a powder coat gray paint, which is the least expensive option. It has a very different feel than you get on most desktops, which seems very smooth to the touch, is non-toxic and doesn’t outgas any odor, though it is easily chippable in terms of durability. And while the other two wood options, red oak or walnut, have a scratch resistant coating, you will still want to be careful to avoid damage to the top. Listen to Beflo’s advice of having two people for assembly. We only had one reviewer do it by himself, and that resulted in a few dings in the paint around the edges of the desk.
The wood tops are more expensive, naturally, but they are much nicer looking and probably better fit an upscale home environment, not to mention that they come with the Flow Kit of accessories.
Most office desk grommet holes are circular, which makes sense considering the tools that are used to make them, but the hole through the top of the Tenon Standing Desk is more of a 48”-long slit than a “hole” through which you would pass cables or install accessories. But this grommet is much better for the modular type of desk that the Tenon is, allowing you to place whatever desired accessory or cables anywhere along that entire length.
Putting it all together once you take the desk parts out of the boxes is a pretty straightforward process. If you do it alone, it will likely take over 20 minutes just because of how much you have to turn the hex key to secure all the screws in place. We recommend having two people for assembly, not only because it will help protect the desktop as stated above, but because it will also cut the assembly time in half. They also include a second hex key for your helper to use. We liked that they labeled the screws for each step that they would be used in. While it was interesting that the only assembly instructions included in the box were printed on a large piece of cardboard, it would have been nice to have a bit more information in a pamphlet. Granted, you can get all that information on their website, but we know some people like to have that in hand.
One of the biggest things we look at when assessing the quality of ergonomic office furniture is the warranty provided by the manufacturer. The warranty provided for the Tenon is 15 years. Which matches or exceeds most standing desks of comparable prices. This also shows that Beflo has a lot of confidence in the quality of the desk. Learn more in our primer on How To Compare Standing Desk Warranties.
In the end, the Tenon standing desk from Taiwan-based Beflo is an aesthetically pleasing adjustable height office desk, and one of the few that rightly belongs in the luxury category of standing desks. With all the technology and convenience elements included in this desk, it is one that that feature geeks will absolutely love.
On the positive side the Beflo Tenon has a lot to offer, including a beautiful aesthetic design, quality construction, adequate stability and lifting performance, highly customizable ergonomic accessories configuration, ergocontoured user edge, and a phenomenal smartphone app (albeit only for iOS at this time). With a great touch screen interface that is also mirrored in the smartphone app, you’ll be able to create your ideal settings to get the maximum health benefits possible out of this desk.
But there are a few aspects that can be seen as negative as well. The price point will be above the average shopper’s budget. Compatibility with any existing edge-clamped accessories you may own is likely going to be problematic. You’ll have to buy Beflo’s accessories made specifically for this standing desk. There aren’t many options when it comes to colors either, so make sure that what they do have matches the decor you have.
The big question that most people will ask is if it is worth the price. That will depend largely on how much you like the modular aspect of the desk and whether you would use the accessories they offer. If you would use all the features and aspects of the standing desk system that are available, it is definitely worth considering. The Tenon is a major new entry in the luxury category of standing desks, and if you are going to invest that much in your workstation anyway, we would recommend getting one of the solid wood versions that also comes with the robust accessory kit.