Ergonomyx Smart Standing Desk Review
- Lab tested
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While the Ergonomyx Smart Standing Desk certainly has a few faults, it is one of the few standing desks on the market that has integrated Bluetooth into the design, and has the best app for using the desk (and bike) that we have seen so far. On top of that, the desk has impressive stability as a result of quality engineering. On the other hand, it does have a weak motor with slow movement and low weight lifting capacity, so it’s really for light-duty applications. And with a short warranty of 2 years, we are a little worried that some parts might not be built to last. But with the pretty reasonable price point, we see it as a viable option for someone who wants a truly tech forward desk.
|MSRP / List Price
Prices are converted from CAD, which fluctuates daily. These are estimated prices.
0.9″ per second
Use your smartphone app or place your hand in proximity to the controller that is embedded in the desk surface
Top: Natural bamboo, black bamboo
Height range: 29″-49.5″
Medium: 48″ x 30″
Bluetooth with smartphone app
Power Input 100 – 240V AC
|Typical Assembly Time
|NEAT™ Certified by Mayo Clinic
|Where to buy
Buy on Ergonomyx
|Ease of Assembly
|Quality and Aesthetics
|The Smart Standing Desk has a bunch of tech features that really make it stand apart from the competition, especially the robust smartphone app. A number of standing desks have Bluetooth these days but the apps that come with them can be somewhat simplistic. We love that you can control the desk either from your phone or just by touching the work surface with your hand. There is no protruding handset as you’ll find on every single other standing desk out there—it’s flatly invisible. With surprising stability for the construction of the standing desk base, this standing desk will support some pretty rough jostling, even at full standing height. All in all, for everything that you get, the price of this desk is pretty reasonable.
|The weak motor results in slow movement and low weight lifting capacity. For all its tech features it doesn’t have collision or tilt detection.. The bamboo desktop could use some love to improve its ergonomics and rough edges, in addition to being our least favorite desktop material, environmentally speaking. The short 2-year warranty calls into question the durability and overall quality of the key components like the motors and glides.
Smart Designers Making a Smart Desk
Ergonomyx calls their electric height-adjustable desk the “Smart Desk”, and it certainly seems like it fits that description more than most of the other standing desks we see out there these days. The desk incorporates Bluetooth and comes with its own smartphone app. Bluetooth capability and smartphone apps are only found in a few other standing desk models so far, in particular all the standing desks sold by iMovR.
With hybrid work and “hot desks” becoming increasingly popular in the post-pandemic era, being able to keep your own height settings and usage activity in your phone is brilliant. It means that every time you walk up to one of these desks, regardless of what other itinerant users have done with it, your own settings and data automatically sync with that desk.
Bluetooth is just a smart thing to include in almost any electronic device these days, and we don’t understand why more people don’t do it with their standing desks.
When Ergonomyx has 16 developers on their team, you know that the product will feature some smart technological development like its Bluetooth and app, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to the entire desk. While the smartphone app is probably the best we’ve seen so far, there are some issues with the rest of the hardware which we will address below. Overall, this Smart Sit-Stand Desk is evidence that it is difficult to get absolutely everything right in any endeavor.
A Unique User Interface We’ve Never Seen Before For Controlling Desk Height
Probably the first thing that anyone will notice when opening or approaching this standing desk is that it has no handset or control panel. What? They forgot to give us anything to make the desk go up and down? On the contrary, you have multiple options on how to control the desk.
Since we already mentioned the app, we will address those controls first. Once you download the Ergonomyx app from Google Play or the Apple App Store, it is easy to link your phone to the desk. Just find it in your list of nearby devices and tap “connect” to be on your way. Through the app, you can of course adjust the height up and down by hitting the big “+” or “-” buttons, but you can also adjust the preset heights for sitting, standing, or bike-desking (which is another of their Bluetooth enabled products), or even add your own custom height. The app also lets you toggle on or off the vibration in the desk that tells you when it has reached your desired height, locks, or unlocks.
In addition to the desk controls, the app also tracks the use of your desk, showing when your desk was at what heights. It has goals and challenges you can try to meet, routines you can set to remind you to get up and move, and if you connect it to an account, you can compare how you are doing to others that use the app. And aside from the other stuff you can see with the bike, it is a really useful tool to help motivate you to keep moving throughout the workday.
But if you don’t want to pull out your phone to control the desk, you don’t have to. You can tell the desk directly what you want it to do. But with no handset, how is that possible? In just about the place you would find most handset controllers, Ergonomyx has embedded a sensor into the desktop itself. To unlock the controls, touch the desktop in that area on the top and bottom at the same time for several seconds. Then you are able to just put your hand on top to “push” the desk down, or underneath to “lift” it up. You can even double-tap the area to make it move to the next saved height. With the sensor and app combined, you get a lot of utility in the desk functions without having a possibly unsightly handset controller that throws off the rhythm of your office.
This is an incredibly clever way to control desk height without the classic handset attached to the front of the desk. We like it, especially for a single-user situation. There is no way that an itinerant desk user will ever figure this out on their own unless shown how. In such cases, they’d be better off using the app to sync up to and control the desk—again, having been told how.
So, as with a lot of novel new features, this one has a learning curve as compared to every other desk out there that also has a clearly visible up/down controller attached in front. The bottom line is that if this workstation is to be shared by multiple users, they’d each be shown how to make the desk go up and down and/or how to download that app and use it to command the desk.
Is the Desktop that Smart?
Here is where the Smart Sit-Stand desk begins to get less than top marks. The model we received from Ergonomyx was the medium bamboo desktop. We have made our stance on bamboo desktops pretty clear in our article on the inconvenient facts about bamboo materials used in the furniture industry. But in general, if it isn’t grown and processed in truly environmentally friendly facilities (which most aren’t when they come from China), they can actually be terribly harmful to the environment. Most companies that sell these products just use marketing jargon about how quickly bamboo grows to claim it is environmentally friendly. While we don’t know exactly where Ergonomyx gets their bamboo tops, they do claim their suppliers use “100% Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified bamboo.” This is more than most say about their bamboo, but when they don’t state anything about the chemical process of turning bamboo into a wood-like product, we question how good for the environment it actually is.
As for the ergonomics of the desktop itself, it has pretty sharp 90-degree edges all the way around the desk, which can be painful when you rest your wrist or forearms on the corners as you type or mouse. And those edges, at least on the desk we got, weren’t all that smooth either, with rough patches that didn’t seem sanded enough. On the other hand, it does have that curve around the front edge that does have a kind of ergonomic benefit of letting you place your mouse and other devices a bit closer to you when they are to the side. Of all the bamboo tops we’ve tested over the years (and that’s quite a few), the one on the Ergonomyx Smart Desk has the least amount of contouring and lacquer. It’s just “a little rough around the edges,” to put it succinctly.
The Ups and Downs of the Standing Desk Base
The base of the Ergonomyx Smart Standing Desk went to both ends of the rating spectrum, which surprised us. Firstly, on the disappointing end, this desk has a single motor design that results in a weak weight capacity of 154 lbs and slow movement of 0.9” per second. Though it is worth mentioning that weaker motors are usually quieter for a hushed office environment. It also didn’t have any collision detection that we were able to trigger.
On the plus side, for a single-motor desk, it had a unique design that put the motor in the center of the desk with the motor as flat against the desktop as possible. When most single-motor desks have an awkward side placement that might bang into your knees since it points almost straight down, this is a welcome change. We recognize this base as being a Loctek model (the brand behind Flexispot desks, made in China).
Another interesting point is that the desk features single-stage legs. Normally, we don’t like single-stage designs because of how limited they are in the height range. But Ergonomyx decided to err on the side of the tall, which is great since average heights are on the rise and the old standards are a little out of date (many Chinese manufacturers also don’t recognize how much taller the average American is). However, this might not work for shorter users when seated in a normal office chair.
When it comes to the most important feature of a standing desk base, stability, the Smart was surprisingly good. The steel and materials they use aren’t particularly heavy, so we were surprised to find how stable the desk is. The way they have all the pieces fit together results in a pretty solid stability that we usually only see in much more expensive desks. They even showcase their ANSI/BIFMA certification on their website, another rare thing for a Chinese-made standing desk. Read more about why this certification is important here.
But you have another downer when it comes to the warranty, which is only 2-years long. While they don’t specify if that is for the top, frame, or both, that is a very short period of time for any component of a standing desk. Since warranties can help give you an idea of the durability and overall quality of a product, or at least the company’s belief in the quality of their product, this short warranty is a bit disheartening. Read more about how to read and compare standing desk warranties for more on why this is important.
Assembling the Ergonomy Smart Sit-Stand Desk
Now, the Ergonomyx headquarters is on Victoria Island, BC in Canada, which is only a ferry ride away from our Bellevue, WA labs, so they brought the test desk to us in person. Unfortunately for those who like our unboxing videos, they brought one that had already been built and then repackaged, so the unboxing and assembly process wasn’t quite as natural as some of our others, but you can see it for yourself here.
This process isn’t significantly easier or harder than most desks we see, but have an electric screwdriver ready so you don’t have to screw by hand. For most users, it will probably take around 15 minutes to assemble once all the parts are unpackaged.
For a desk that is this sturdy, and most importantly with the amount of forward thinking technology in the controls and app, the listed price is pretty reasonable, despite the weakness in the motor, pretty run-of-the-mill desktop, limited height range adjustability, and lacking warranty.
Our hope is that, over time, Ergonomyx will partner with other manufacturers and OEM suppliers to combine their exceptional control mechanisms and Bluetooth applications with truly high-performing lifting bases and high-quality desktops. For now, this first model is a really good bargain for its price tag.
One thing we should say about the Ergonomyx Smart Desk is that consumers should not be confused with the Autonomous Smart Desk (which we’ve reviewed through several generations) or the company SmartDesk. Unfortunately, using generic english words makes for poor trademark protectability. And who doesn’t think their desk is the smartest?
Compare the Ergonomyx Smart to other desks we have reviewed in our roundup of all types of standing desks. If you want more similar comparisons see our lists of Canadian standing desks or standing desks under $800.