Top X-Lift Standing Desk Converters
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X-Lifts may be the second most popular type of stand up desk converters in the market. They lift straight up and down, eliminating a slight weakness of their (more popular) Z-Lift cousins, which lift up and out. Lifting straight up and down saves space and eliminates the ‘teeter totter’ effect that comes from a device that arcs out into the standing position. However, we haven’t yet seen a model with a tilting ergonomic keyboard tray, and you’ll want to be careful not to pinch your fingers in the frame.
X-Lifts are usually a bit less expensive than Z-Lifts (at least upper end Z-Lifts), but keep in mind you’ll have no built-in way to adjust your monitor height for when you stand. Without a monitor arm or monitor post, you’ll be craning your neck down to see your monitor(s) while you stand. Adding a monitor arm of some kind will add to the cost, and make an X-Lift more comparable in price to a Post & Base model (which come with a built-in monitor post), for instance.
One more point on X-Lifts before we get into the reviews. Unlike some Z-Lifts, the X-Lifts we’ve reviewed do not have lift mechanisms with brakes for stopping at precise heights. They have spring-aided lift mechanisms with gas struts, and limited height settings. They latch into place when you adjust the height, and depending on the model, this makes some noise. Enough to bug your coworkers? Depends on the product. Our reviews discuss this and more in detail.
Best Stand Up Desk Converters (X-Lifts, Single Arm) by Ranking
Instead of dual lifting arms on either side of the unit, these models have a single x-frame lift in the center. They span a wide spectrum in terms of quality and ergonomic soundness.
Eureka’s $199 X-Lift standing desk converter offers the best feature set in this price range. Silent lift, space-saving X-Lift design, unlimited stops within its height range (instead of limited preset options), and even a unique buffering system for smoothly lowering the unit to the sitting position.
Eureka’s Ultra Slim Portable Standing Desk Converter packs a sturdy X-Lift frame and silent lift mechanism into an easy-to-move device designed for laptops.
Flexispot’s budget line of standing desk converters, the AlcoveRiser M7 series, feature lowered keyboard trays and a space-saving X-Lift design. This corner version has three more inches of work surface depth and is shaped to fit snugly in corner spaces.
Ergotron deviates from their traditional Z-Lift frame architecture to offer a highly-stable, spacious desk converter based on an X-Lift frame. This model saves space at your desk and features the widest keyboard tray of all Ergotron WorkFit models, ideal for users with large keyboards models such as the Microsoft Natural.
Fitueyes has produced several non-electric standing-desk converters, and the 32-inch two-tier converter checks the box for a workstation that is pretty compact but large enough for two smaller monitors. It requires just a little assembly, attaching the second tier to the main frame, and is relatively easy to operate. The design might appear sleek, but cheap thin-gauge metal and particleboard construction in China likely won’t last all that long for most users. Its height range is suitable for pretty tall individuals. But if you want to make a truly ergonomic workstation with a monitor arm, you might not find it compatible with most arms out there.
The X-Elite Pro presents itself as a simple solution for those seeking a height-adjustable work surface. Its woodgrain laminate top and lightweight body make it appealing to home markets and first-time buyers. Unfortunately, it lacks both a keyboard tray and the ability to support monitor arms, meaning we can’t recommend it for any kind of frequent computer use.
This standing desk converter is as cheap as it gets, in every sense of the word. While it does provide decent size options, and limited colors as well, it shares the concerns of other commodity-grade sit-stand workstation converters manufactured in Asia that are popular on Amazon solely because of their price – quality. “You get what you pay for” is the name of the game when keeping the price this low for ergonomic office equipment.
The FlexiSpot ML2 GoRiser Standing Desk Converter is a compact and highly portable standing desk converter, and is great for that purpose, especially with the low price. But being that, it is very limited in its other capacities, such as supporting monitors and other ergonomic accessories that help make an ideal sit-stand workstation. It’s biggest problems are that it can’t be ergonomically used at sitting height (so you’ll be taking the 18 lb unit off your desk every time you want to sit) and only has a couple of fixed height settings (out of 5) that are in the standing height range for most people. And not very tall people, because its max height is only 15.9″. So it’s really a portable standing desk, not a sit-to-stand converter. Might be good for other home applications like raising a sewing machine to a more comfortable height, but for long-term use with a laptop computer, its ergonomic limitations leave a lot to be desired. The price is great, though, so if you need something portable to use once in a while for short stints it might be worth the small investment.
The Leband Electric Standing Desk Converter is the cheapest electric standing desk converter we’ve ever tested. The USB and wireless charging options are great. As is the memory preset and child lock. However, the minimal frame looks nice but is woefully weak and flexible. The motor feels and sounds weak, plus it is very slow, which may make it annoying to adjust your height throughout the day. The biggest problem is ergonomics. Unlike most every other standing desk converter that may add a half-inch to an inch of height to your desktop when in the seated position, the Leband adds a whopping 2.75” of height at its lowest setting. Without a descending keyboard tray, or for that matter the ability to even add an adjustable monitor arm, we can’t recommend spending much time typing on this converter either in the sitting or standing posture.
The Fitueyes Basic Series 30″ standing desk converter is the cheapest option in the market for average-height individuals looking to get on their feet while working. The only thing going for it is that it is technically portable, but that also means it can’t handle a lot of weight, has a minimal height adjustment range, and isn’t a very stable mechanism.
Best Stand Up Desk Converters (X-Lifts, Dual Arms)
Pros: Four models—27″, 35″, 42″(corner), or 48″ wide work surfaces, extra deep work surfaces ensure proper viewing distance from monitors, solid stability at all heights, straight up-and-down motion saves office space
Cons: No tilting keyboard tray; some assembly required
Bottom Line: Not the most ergonomically sound given the lack of adjustability on the keyboard tray. But if you’re looking for “second-to-none” stability and spacious work surfaces, the FlexiSpots are some of the best standing desk converters on the market. Read Our Full Review
Pros: Wood grain HPL work surfaces are a nice alternative to solid-color competitors, arrives fully assembled, so you can use it right out of the box
Cons: While the converter has an advertised weight capacity of 44.1 lbs, we found that it could not even hold 40 lbs., a combination of weak counterbalance pistons and cheap handles makes the ED-258 very difficult to lift, the handles were of exceptionally poor quality—unfinished, and attached to the frame by a single (bent) screw with no nut
Bottom Line: The Halter ED-258 is a perfect example of a product that looks good on paper, but simply does not work as advertised. Our model collapsed under the weight of 40 lbs. Additionally, the handles are the worst we’ve ever seen, requiring a very tight grip to unlock the height-adjust feature. Its redeeming factor is an extra-deep keyboard tray that can fit your laptop, but we’d caution any potential buyers not to put too much weight on this converter. Read Our Full Review
Pros: Miniscule footprint makes it better suited for compact workstations than other Varidesks, improves upon original Varidesk models by adding ‘lowered’ keyboard tray
Cons: Ill-equipped for long-term use, thanks to its lack of ergonomic customizability, extremely low 10 lb. weight capacity, very few height settings, making it difficult to find your ideal position
Bottom Line: Dubbed the “ironing board” by our reviews team, the Laptop 30 is so-so. Its compact design lends itself well to workers with limited desk top space, or limited space behind them. It’s the first Varidesk model that you can easily move around the office, and it comes with a very low price point. But this mobile construction forces a few concessions that make it ill-equipped for long-term use. Its condensed work surface is designed only for small laptops, and has very little room for an ergonomic keyboard. And, just like the rest of its Varidesk siblings, its height adjustment mechanism doesn’t permit the precise tuning we’ve come to expect from modern desktop converters. Less precise tuning means less chance you’ll find the right ergonomic height to stand at. Read Our Full Review
For all our standing desk converter reviews, see our sit-stand converter comparison review page.
Top 3 Factors to Consider When Buying X-Lift Stand Up Desk Converters
Keep these points in mind as you’re comparing X-Lifts.
Do You Use Dual Monitors?
Like Z-Lifts, some X-Lifts are better able to accommodate multiple monitor setups than others. Here’s a quick list of specs to consider if you want an X-Lift to hold more than one monitor:
- Work Surface Width
- Weight Capacity
- Counterbalance Force
You’ll see each one of our detailed reviews tackle these aspects one by one, but here we’ll make a quick note on “Counterbalance Force”. X-Lifts come equipped with an air piston that aids in lifting the device up and lowering it down. Without these you’d be stuck lifting the whole weight of your device (monitors and all) up and down, which would put a hefty strain on your back (and be simply too much to lift for some people).
On cheaper X-Lifts, you’ll see tiny, inexpensive air pistons that aid little in the lifting process and basically put the burden of lifting on you alone. These will likely break sooner than larger, high quality pistons, and the issue is exacerbated when you’re adding multiple monitors. That’s why it’s so important to choose a unit with strong counterbalance force if you’re planning to put a lot of weight on your converter. We’ll assess each unit’s counterbalance force in our detailed reviews (as it’s not usually an advertised spec).
How Noisy is the Unit?
Unfortunately, noise is a concession you’ll have to make if you choose to go with an X-Lift. These units use spring lift mechanisms with gas struts as aids, but none of them have the braking system you’ll see on a high quality Z-Lift. This means X-Lifts will make some kind of noise (some worse than others) when latching into place at their predetermined height settings.
Is it Ergonomically-sound?
We’ve already mentioned monitor arms are not included with most X-Lifts. They will be an extra cost. As for tilting ergonomic keyboard trays, we haven’t seen any X-Lifts to date with this key feature. A tilting keyboard tray correctly emulates a proper ‘neutral’ position for your arms and wrists to rest at while you type and stand.
If you want more items to consider when purchasing a desktop riser, see our article Top 8 Factors to Consider When Buying a Standing Desk Converter.
And to make sure you’re getting the most out of your converter, check out the iMovR Tucker Pro Cable Management Kit for standing desk converters. It’s the first kit on the market designed specifically for standing desk converters.
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