Burotic Solid Wood Standing Desk Review
- Forensic Review
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The solid wood standing desks by Burotic feature premium quality solid-wood maple, walnut, or cherrywood desktops mated with not-so-premium basic electric lifting base made in China. The company promotes its five business-day ship time (limited to the Quebec area) as its main differentiator from long-established competitor Ergonofis, who also provides very aesthetically pleasing solid wood tops out of Canada paired with a premium-grade, American-made lifting base. A more impressive differentiator, however, is the option of easily configuring and pricing out a custom-sized solid wood standing desk, albeit with a 4-7 week wait. This is not something we’ve seen from any other desk maker anywhere.
|MSRP / List Price||
Free within Canada
10 years on the frame
Electric, dual motor
Touch keypad with four memory presets
“Off the shelf” sizes are 24″ x 48″, 30″ x 60″, and 30″ x 72″
Desktops: Pioneer is Maple, Achiever is Walnut, Visionary is Cherry
100 percent maple wood locally sourced in Canada with a lacquer matte acrylic finish
280 lbs (minus weight of desktop)
24″ x 48″ x 1-1/4″
Burotic claims < 45dB
24″ x 48″ desktop weighs 39 lbs
Base frame box dimensions: 42” x 11” x 8”
|Typical Assembly Time||
45 minutes with proper tools (electric screwdriver recommended)
Burotic claims that the desk is BIFMA certified but as of the publishing date of this review have not been able to provide a copy of the certification report.
|NEAT™ Certified by Mayo Clinic||
Compare to Other Canadian Standing Desks
|Where to buy||
Buy on Burotic
|Ease of Assembly|
|Quality and Aesthetics|
|Suitability for Treadmill Desking|
|Positives||Premium solid-wood desktops from one of very few Canadian companies that sells hardwood topped standing desks. Dual-stage lifting base has a height-adjustment range of 24"-50" with top mounted. Ships in only five business days to the Quebec area. While limited to only three desktop sizes, they do offer the option of custom sizes (at a significant upcharge and a 4-7 week production time), which is unique in the standing desk industry. Note that these custom desks are available only to customers in Canada.|
|Negatives||A premium desktop, but a relatively low-quality Chinese-made lifting base makes this sort of a mish-mash standing desk, and not premium all the way. Three-year warranty on the top is relatively short compared to US-made premium standing desks, for which 5 years is the norm on a solid wood tabletop, but is the same as Canadian competitor Ergonofis. The company is not yet set up to ship efficiently to the rest of Canada or the USA.|
A Rose By Any Other Name
We should just clarify up front that Burotic basically makes one solid wood standing desk model, with a Chinese-sourced lifting base and a Canadian-sourced hardwood top. The only difference between the Pioneer, Achiever, and Visionary is the species of hardwood being sold with their Aspire lifting base. Respectively: the three ‘brands’ are offered with a maple, walnut, or cherry desktop.
This is a bit odd since every other solid wood standing desk manufacturer (we’ve reviewed them all) keeps the same brand name for the desk regardless of how many species the customer can select from when placing their order. So for the sake of reducing potential confusion for consumers, we are reviewing all three ‘brands’ of the Burotic Solid Wood Standing Desk at the same time here.
Editors Note: We should say upfront that unlike most WorkWhileWalking standing desk reviews, this one is based primarily on what we’ve learned from interviewing the company founders at length, information gleaned from their website, reviewing the assembly instructions, and our prior familiarity with the OEM subcomponents of their desks. Unlike most of the Canadian standing desk vendors whose products we’ve reviewed, Burotic has not at this time shipped us one of their desks for a full fledged lab test, but said they would like to do so in the future. Once that happens we’ll update our comments and scores based on more empirical first hand knowledge of the product.
Yet Another Canadian Standing Desk Upstart Scrambled Up In Response to the Pandemic Opportunity
Not since the gold rush stampede through Dawson City have so many Canadian startup entrepreneurs apparently decided that they, too, must take up the newly popular business model. Today, it is launching a standing-desk company — because, apparently not enough of them already exist? As we’ve gone about cataloging all of the entrants in our new roundup of Canadian-standing-desk companies, Burotic was the most recently added, having launched their website mid-2021. Not long after RiseDesk and EffyDesk launched.
The two things these companies all have in common are a) they were founded by very young entrepreneurs with no prior experience in the furniture industry, and b) they chose low-quality Chinese-made lifting bases to build their desks on. In the case of Effydesk the desktops are made in Asia as well (even their faux solid wood Effydesk Wildwood we recently reviewed incorporates a Vietnamese-made tabletop).
Canadian Solid Wood Desktop
Looking at the Pioneer, Achiever, and Visionary solid wood desktop options that Burotic offers, they do provide an attractive aesthetic with their comforting natural look and warm colors. And seeing that they source their wood from North American forests, where regulations prevent deforestation and help preserve quality, you know that it will be a desktop that can shine a prideful light on your workstation.
The light colored maple in the Pioneer standing desk can particularly brighten up your workspace, especially if it is in a dark basement home office with poor lighting. The darker walnut on the Achiever could easily fit with lots of classic office decor. The Visionary desk comes in cherrywood and a natural hue that is middling between light and dark.
Like all natural wood tabletops, you’ll want to be careful with it during setup so it doesn’t get scratched up right off the bat, and watch what you set on top so you can avoid discoloration and warping as much as possible. Unlike conventional laminated desktops found on most office furniture, solid wood tops are more elegant but definitely subject to “building character.” Drop a stapler on the desktop and there’ll be a mark forever more. That just goes with the territory.
That said, Burotic does pour a relatively thick acrylic coating onto their desktops, creating a matte finish. This increases the durability of the tabletop but at the expense of having the “hand” of a handcrafted hardwood surface and the environmental considerations. More premium solid wood desktops will tend to utilize more expensive but thinner “low VOC” finishes, for the sake of both their customers’ and their woodworkers’ health (they cost more because they typically require more labor to apply). Some even offer “zero VOC” finish options for people who are particularly sensitive to the outgassing of volatile organic compounds that are found in almost all shellacs and sealants. As with so many things in life, you get what you pay for.
The Burotic tops are simple rectangles. The hard 90-degree angles can leave painful red marks on your arms if you rest them there too long while typing or leaning against your desk. Higher quality solid wood tops will be ‘ergo-contoured’ all the way around, or at least on the edge facing the user, but this takes more labor and routing equipment that lower-priced producers won’t invest in. Luckily this can be partially addressed with ergonomic keyboard trays specifically designed for standing desk use.
Another tick on the plus side for the top is the grommet hole situation. While we haven’t seen a Burotic standing desk in our test lab yet (the company says they’ll send us one soon)—so we can’t attest to any finish process on the exposed wood in the hole, it is nice that there are a number of options for the hole when placing your order. This is not the case with most sit-stand desk manufacturers, who either don’t have a grommet option at all, or have a defaulted configuration that you can’t customize. Burotic lets you choose whether to have a hole on the left side, right side, or both, with plastic covers in black or white. Granted, this naturally increases the price of the desk slightly, but it is nice to have that choice in customizing your workstation.
Check out our dedicated primer on grommet holes in computer desks, with everything you need to know about the different ways to use them to enhance your sit-stand workstation, what to look for in your grommet holes, and where to find the desks with the best ones.
On the other hand, the warranty for the wood tops is a little lacking in our view. While 3 years is better than some warranties you’ll find on very cheap desktops, it isn’t at the 5 years of other luxury solid wood desktops we have reviewed. Even some of the cheaply-made faux solid wood tops that come from Asia offer a 5 year warranty on their solid wood table tops (e.g. in the case of fellow Canadian competitor Effydesk’s Wildwood standing desk).
Generic Standing Desk Frame
Unlike the top, which exudes a sense of luxury being sourced from North America, the base frame of the Burotic solid wood standing desk comes out of China. In general, the bases that come from there are mediocre at best. Those manufacturers don’t hold their products to as high of a standard in stability and precision machining as those made in North America or Europe. See our articles on why some desks shake more than others and the differences between Chinese, European and American-made lifting bases for more information on what goes into quality standing base frames.
However, the nature of the frame Burotic chose has some very good aspects that help mitigate some of the quality issues that could come from the manufacturing. Being a dual motor, it will be more able to handle the heavy wood top with your workstation setup. It will also help the longevity of the frame as dual motors are less likely to burn out from strain as fast as single motor desks. The frame does come with a 10-year warranty, which is respectable, though not like the 15 years of the highest quality standing desks. Our primer on understanding standing desk warranties will help clarify what you want to look for in these policies.
They also feature a dual-stage design (three separate tubes in the leg with two separation that move) which helps them reach both higher and lower elevations, 24″- 50″. This helps ensure that the desk is accessible to both shorter and taller users, even more likely compatible with using an office treadmill base beneath the desk. This can also help the stability by creating more contact between the tubes at any given height than between just two tubes.
While we haven’t gotten one of these Burotic desks into our labs to assemble ourselves. From the videos we have watched of people doing just that, it does seem like a typical assembly of a standing desk that has a base sourced from Asia. This puts pretty much all of the assembly labor on the customer, which they estimate taking 25-45 minutes. If you aren’t experienced at doing this kind of work or interpreting these kinds of instructions, we would put it closer to the 45 minute mark.
However, avoiding factory labor for assembly, which would also require more complex packaging, does help keep the cost of the product down (along with usually lower cost of manufacturing in Asia). So, there is that upside. You’ll just have to judge which is more valuable to you; your time and higher quality manufacturing or your money.
After building hundreds of standing desks ourselves, we always point out what should be obvious to most people, which is the more parts in the box, the more likely something will go wrong putting the product together the first time.
There are many rapid-build standing desks in the market that remove some of that risk but costing a little more because the labor (and final testing) is performed at the factory, not in your office. There are even ultra-premium solid wood desks that can be assembled in three minutes, with no tools, once components are removed from the box.
The Custom Option
We’ve reviewed over 120 standing desks at the time of this writing, and of course played with hundreds more at various trade shows and plant tours over the years, and yet we have never seen an e-commerce standing desk seller offer to-the-inch custom sizes. Available only to Canadian customers at this time, Burotic allows customers to specify desktop widths from 42″ to 75″ and depths of 22″ to 36″, with an instant pricing calculator right there in the shopping cart. Custom-ordered tops do take 4 to 7 weeks to produce as opposed to the standard 5 days, and cost substantially more, but if you really want to maximize every last inch of space in your office this is a unique capability.
Most standing desk makers offer widths on-the-foot (e.g. 48″, 60″, 72″). iMovR is the only manufacturer that offers 6″ increments on both their 3D-laminated tops and super-premium solid wood tops, as opposed to the 12″ most everyone else offers. But if you want to get something truly down to the specific inch, Burotic is the only vendor we’re aware of currently offering that. Alas, only to Canadian customers at this time, and only bundled together with the same commodity-grade Aspire lifting base they use on all their desks.
The tops are offered in the same maple, walnut and cherry species as their standard offerings, but with the addition of an Ambrosia Maple (limited edition). Like the standard top sizes, these custom ones do come pre-drilled for easier installation on an Aspire base.
Compared to Other Canadian Standing Desk Companies
Burotic, specifically, has been gunning for Ergonofis — the most mature and largest of the homegrown Canadian-standing-desk companies. As Burotic’s three founders like to point out, Ergonofis’ Achilles heel is that their desks take 20-25 business days to ship out. So Burotic’s main differentiation would be that they would ship out in only five business days, by keeping the solid-wood desktops in stock with a streamlined set of steps and processes, rather than having them made to order.
The big difficulty with that strategy is that unless you have very deep pockets it is very costly to keep any significant inventory depth in every species, every size, and with every configuration of grommet hole all of the time. This delivery time promise is only for the region of Canada surrounding Montreal. How long it would take to receive a Burotic desk in western Canada, much less the USA, is a lot less clear.
Despite difficulties with shipping and inventory during the pandemic, which almost everyone experienced to one extent or another, Burotic endured and has resumed offering this quick shipping, even for their solid wood desks. So it is a benefit that many shoppers look for, especially in this age of Amazon Prime delivery times.
Comparing the price of Burotic’s desks shows not a huge difference between their solid wood offerings and those similar models of other Canadian manufacturers like Ergonofis and Effydesk. The solid wood desktop is roughly equivalent to Ergonofis’s Sway, while the commodity-grade lifting base is roughly equivalent to those sold by Effydesk and Rise. But that lower price is a natural consequence of getting any parts from Asia.
Speaking of EffyDesk, they may be a Canadian company, but they get all the parts of their desk from parts of Asia. Check out our review of the Wildwood solid wood standing desk to see what we thought of their version.
As for Risedesk, another Canadian standing desk manufacturer, their only “solid wood” standing desk is the Live Edge Epoxy Desk, which naturally will take a lot more work, and ends up being much more expensive, so they aren’t really comparable products. Due to the labor involved in making these hybrid resin and wood desktop they’re also very expensive and hard to get.
So, if you are looking specifically for standing desks from Canadian companies, Burotic is a viable choice once again, after resolving their supply chain challenges earlier in the pandemic. Since it has luxury tops with wood sourced from North America that you can get pretty fast, there are certainly perks to getting this desk over others in this price range.
If you are looking to get a solid wood desk, be sure to read our roundup of solid wood standing desks to compare. But you can also just compare Canadian standing desks if you are looking to support the maple leave economy in particular.
Also, if you get this, or any other standing desk, you might also need to get rid of your old office furniture, make sure to read our primer on the best ways to get your old desk or treadmill hauled away.
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