Desktop Elevator Sit-Stand Workstation Review
The Desktop Elevator isn’t the most functional of its class – and it definitely isn’t the cheapest – and this perhaps summarizes why it failed to succeed against such stiff competition in the marketplace. This luxury riser offered the widest working space of any we had seen at the time (circa 2013), and with its wood construction, it might have been the only riser we’d seen that actually improved the look of a workplace. The lack of a second height-adjustable monitor platform made finding the right monitor height a little difficult.
A very roomy sit-stand workstation, the Desktop Elevator offers a large amount of working space, with two thirds of it fully adjustable. Aesthetically high-end, especially when compared to its industrial-looking competitors. Sits on top of a desk, with no need for installation.
Assembly can be a bear for the less-than-DIY-savvy stander. The lack of a second adjustable platform complicates monitor ergonomics. Smaller range of height adjustment than other risers.
[Editor’s Note: This product has been discontinued.]
A Desk for your Desk
Desktop riser or rising desk? A bit of both, actually. Desktop Elevators are huge, elegant creatures. Rather than adopt the platform-on-a-stick design that currently dominates the market (e.g. Kangaroo, WorkFit-S), Desktop Elevator made a full-size, adjustable height platform – and a hefty one at that. You’ll probably want a hand assembling this one, and you’ll definitely want help moving it. Unlike anything else we’ve seen, the Elevator acts as a complete desktop suite. The one height-adjustable platform can accommodate keyboard, mouse, coffee mugs, potted plants – what have you. At nearly four feet wide, the Elevator dwarfs the rest of the sit-stand workstation category. Nitrogen gas springs (rated for 30,000 cycles) give the desk some lift, allowing movement under load. Both they and the locking mechanism are wonderfully quiet, so your new purchase won’t alert too many coworkers – which is almost a shame because it’s a gorgeous piece of work. The Elevator’s scissor lift can raise the platform to over 17” off a table, counting the 3” that it adds in its lowest position.
A second shelf rests behind the adjustable platform. Although not necessarily adjustable, a user can change its height by moving the pegs it rests on. Desktop Elevator was considerate enough to include a cable-control grommet hole on this platform, a helpful feature, given how nightmarish cable control can be on other risers.
The only problem with this setup is that it still leaves you with only one adjustable platform. We’ve discussed this issue before with products like the Varidesk and the Wallaby, and it’s present in the Desktop Elevator. While the single adjustable surface does provide enough range for healthy hand positioning, failing to provide an adjustable monitor platform causes some ergonomic deficiencies. The ideal position for a monitor places the top of the screen at eye level. As a worker moves from sitting to standing the distance between keyboard and monitor needed to maintain that position changes. In other words, it’s vital to find some way to change monitor height independently of the keyboard height. Many risers, such as the Kangaroo and the Winston, solve this by including a completely separate, sliding monitor mount. Anyone buying a Desktop Elevator should find a way to replicate this functionality, so we’d heavily recommend grabbing a monitor arm to go along with your new riser.
Fit and Finish
The Desktop Elevator didn’t blow us away with functionality, but – and we don’t say this often – form made up an awful lot of the slack. Most of the desktop risers we see at WorkWhileWalking conform to a fairly simple design – a column with one or more sliding platforms. It’s popular for a reason; these risers are easy-use, and ergonomically sound. But are they attractive when sitting atop a beautiful hardwood desk? For the most part, not so much.
See, the main problem with these columns is that they’re, well, columns. They don’t collapse and they’re a pain to move, so you’d best be resigned to having a couple feet of metal between you and the rest of the office.
The Elevator, on the other hand, is designed to be low-profile. Not only that, but an all-wood look allows it to blend with just about any desk, not something we’ve been able to say about the relatively hulking Ergotrons or the matte-black Varidesk. Even the scissor lift is a joy to watch in action. It’s a craftsman’s product, and meant to appeal to other craftsmen. The joinery is precise, the mechanisms smooth. All in all, you’re looking at an elegant piece of work. But it doesn’t necessarily come easy…
We’ll preface this section by admitting that we’re not the handiest folks around. Still, assembling the Desktop Elevator took more time than we would have liked. There’s nothing incredibly complex about assembly, and all parts are included, but the instructions manual is a doozy. Extreme close-up shots of the Elevator are common, and it may take a minute to figure out exactly what you’re looking at. Resign yourself to squinting, and bring help if at all possible – particularly when lifting the finished product, not something we’d recommend doing alone.
An Elevator for Everyone
Several desktop elevator models are available. Those after a slice of true luxury should consider an upgrade to the executive version ($1,249.00). A deep, natural grain finish gives these high-class risers some extra glamor over their durable, cheaper laminate siblings ($829.00). Laminate models come in one of five colors – gray, two flavors of cherry, maple, and a light almond. Executives are currently available in Kensington Maple only.
Desktop Elevator also sells several optional accessories. While we have our own favorites in the keyboard tray, monitor arm, and anti-fatigue mat categories, they do offer an Elevator-specific side shelf ($79.00). Some users may find this option handy, as it adds a bit of extra workspace to the Elevator, just in case the acres you already had weren’t enough.
Desktop Elevators come protected by a 30-day unlimited warranty, as well as a year-long limited warranty.