Vivo Converters, Standing Desk Frames, and Accessories
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VIVO is another heavy player in the standing desk industry with its assortment of sit-stand desks, standing desk converters, and other “ergonomic” office accessories. However, like most other Asia-based manufacturers, VIVO focuses on selling cheaper products in higher volumes. As we have written VIVO reviews for their products, we have gotten some insight into their business as a whole.
As cheap as labor is in China it still costs money, so if you’re trying to get your retail price down by $5 to beat out your competitor you come up with ways to shave pennies. Most commonly, you might use lighter weight components to drive down the cost of raw materials and shipping, or allow “sloppy tolerances”, which pertains to the cost of the machinery and components as well as the training of their workforce. And if it is possible to shift labor from the factory worker in China to the American DIY builder, you’ll cut a lot of labor costs. After all, they’re into DIY because they like building things, right? So it’s not uncommon to receive a box with 60 – 90 parts that you’ll need to assemble. And pray that all the correct parts are there, and that the bolt holes actually align and the threads aren’t painted with overspray making the bolts difficult or impossible to insert.
If you’ve searched around for standing desks or converters on Amazon it is impossible to miss the VIVO brand popping in top listings, because Amazon sorts their search results by sales volume (once they get the sponsored ads for that search term out of the way). Empirically, cheaper products outsell more premium items, and so it should be no surprise at all that top listings in most categories—standing desks being no exception—are Chinese brands featuring the lowest prices, and commensurately the lowest-quality products.
Brands like FEZiBO, Flexispot, SHW, and VIVO dominate these listings. And always with seemingly high average user ratings, which you should never ever rely on as they tend to be filled with fake reviews (even CBS’s 60 Minutes did an expose on Chinese “fake review factories“). Other 5-star reviews are written by consumers who’ve never had a competing product to compare side-by-side against to actually understand their strengths and weaknesses. Many of them haven’t even received the product yet, just patting themselves on the back for taking action on improving their health, and declaring how much they look forward to standing while they work. Always click on the 1-4 star reviews to learn what the real story is behind a product (see below).
It’s important for the consumer evaluating these products to understand that these manufacturers are basically in a constant battle with each other; a “race to the bottom,” as it were, to see who can create the cheapest possible selling price and make it up in volume. Component quality is as low as it can go. Warranties tend to be weak if they even exist. And getting support in the USA can be incredibly frustrating. See our primer on how to compare standing desk warranties.
One way that VIVO does stand out from most of its Chinese peers is that it actually has a real office in Illinois, with at least a few support personnel answering the phones M-F in the US time zones (7am-7pm CT). Most of their competitors on Amazon do not even have an office in the US, making support a more tedious challenge.
While we have yet to complete our reviews of all their products, we have taken a deep look at a selection you can see below.
Check out our full collection of office fitness equipment brand roundups.
Vivo Standing Desk Converters
Check out our full round up of standing desk converters
Attractive due to its low price point, the VIVO Corner Standing Desk Converter is a classic example of ‘you get what you pay for’.
A low-cost entry into the growing field of electric standing desk converters, the VIVO Electric Corner Desk Riser combines value and ease of adjustability. But we’re not convinced going with a budget brand is worth the risk.
Price: $ 229.99
We’d caution users to do their research before choosing an electric converter—the biggest thing we can convey is that an electric sit-stand device at this cost makes us raise our eyebrows, and you’d be taking a risk in going with such a deeply discounted model with no warranty information.
Vivo’s manual standing desk converter is yet another affordable option in a sea of competitors attempting to undercut the Varidesk and the Ziplift. While it lacks an ergonomically tilting keyboard tray, it promises many of the other key features buyers would want in a converter. Its low cost, however, comes from the use of several cheap components, as well as design decisions that render the product difficult to use.
Vivo Standing Desk Frame
Read more about choosing the right DIY standing desk frame.
One of the cheapest standing desk frames available, we can only barely recommend this frame for a medium-sized user on a super-low budget. It will enable correct ergonomic positions because you can add a keyboard tray and monitor arm, but the experience won’t be pleasant because of persistent and infuriating controller errors and horrible wobbliness at standing height. Overall it is a flawed design with extraordinarily poor quality construction.
Find more standing desk accessories to improve your workspace.
The VIVO’s method for installing cables is nice in that you don’t need a special tool, but it otherwise falls short. You have to press cables into each link individually, taking a lot of time and potentially damaging larger cables. The mounting bracket is also inadequate.