Eureka Sit-Stand Desk New Generation (31B) Review
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.
3 year warranty
X-Lift, unlimited height stops
5-13/16" when in the sitting position
18" in the highest position setting
Depends on configuration
Main Work Surface: 31.50 W × 18.50 H × 29.94 L
Keyboard Tray: 29 7/16" W x 10 3/16" D
Base: 29 7/16" W x 18 3/16" D
Great value, silent lift mechanism (as opposed to models that make loud latching noises), space-saving X-Lift design, infinite height stops in its range, unique buffering system for smoothly lowering unit, solid height range, monitor arm compatible (with a minor caveat), deep work surface is better for viewing a larger monitor or dual monitors.
Low weight capacity (25 lbs.), 2.4” distance between the back edge of work surface and frame member means larger monitor arms will not fit, no tilt adjustment on the keyboard tray.
Before we dive into the review, we should note that the manufacturer Eureka stands apart as being uniquely capable of quickly designing and manufacturing office products. This is because 1) they own a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in China, and 2) they have a large staff of talented, innovative engineers pioneering new production methods. They move from product conception to production at a rapid pace—faster than perhaps anyone else in the industry. In short time they have become a major player in the world of office fitness, producing standing desks, sit-stand converters, and gaming desks at every price level, with a plethora of exclusive features and ergonomic accessories.
The Eureka Sit-Stand New Generation Standing Desk Converter in this review is one of nine standing desk converter models Eureka produces. Along the price spectrum, at $199, it falls right above the entry-level Ultra-Slim Portable ($149) and below the Corner Sit-Stand ($299) and the Electric Sit-Stand Desk Converter ($299). You can see our round-up of all the Eureka standing desk converters to see how each model in the line-up compares to its peers.
Because Eureka makes so many models of converters and standing desks it's sometimes hard to tell the units apart with their famously minimal branding. This review is of the "New Generation" sit-stand converter, also known as the "Eureka Next Generation", the "Model 31B" or simply as the "$199 unit."
Note that our expert reviewers selected the Eureka New Gen Converter as one of its most recommended products in our round-up of the Top Stand Up Desk Converters Under $350.
Super-Quiet, Space-Saving X-Lift Mechanism
The first thing we noticed is that this model has a similar look and feel to the Eureka Ergonomic Electric Sit-Stand Desk, only with a manual mechanism instead of an electric motor. Both are X-Lift frames with lowered keyboard trays, and they have nearly the same work surface dimensions. The price difference is reasonable; the manual unit is $199 compared to $299 for its electric counterpart. But if you’re set on getting a manual sit-stand converter, we think the New Generation has a lot to offer in terms of value, especially for its advanced lift mechanism that really stands out from all the other competition in the <$200 price category.
Like you’ll find on the most advanced Z-Lift and X-Lift standing desk converters, the New Generation’s lift mechanism is silent during operation and can stop at literally any point within its adjustment range. There are no mechanically-preset height stops (like you’ll see on the Varidesks), and there isn’t any clicking, clanging or squeaking during the lifting process. When you engage the handle to lift the unit, the Bowden cable braking system (similar to a bicycle brake) releases, allowing the unit to move up and down. When you release the handle, the braking system re-engages, and the unit secures firmly into place. Because the lifting process is noiseless, you can switch between standing and sitting all day without disturbing your coworkers (again, something Varidesk models are notorious for). We normally only see this kind of silenced mechanism on higher end standing desk converters like the ZipLift and Flexispot—it’s unprecedented territory for a $199 standing desk converter.
Because the unit is an X-Lift, it raises straight up-and-down. This is generally a benefit over Z-Lift standing desk converters, which tend to arc forward as they lift, forcing you to take a step back into your desk area while you're working in the standing position. In contrast, this Eureka X-Lift allows the user to stay the same distance away from their desk while standing or sitting, better optimizing space in a small office area.
With a $199 price tag we expect some compromises, and we found that to be the case with the unit’s weight capacity; at 25 lbs, it’s about 10-20 lbs below the average for an X-Lift standing desk converter. That being said, we loaded the unit up with a dual monitor arm and two monitors, and while it required more effort to handle there were no serious stability problems we encountered. A single monitor arm and one monitor would be well within its weight capacity. As for the height range, at 18” maximum height, the Eureka New Generation will accommodate users up to about 6’ 5” tall with ease.
Unique Buffer System Makes Smooth Transition to Sitting
An issue inherent in all Z-Lift and X-Lift models is that gravity gets more leverage during the last inch or so of lowering—this is simple physics given how the X structure behaves as it gets closer to the completely collapsed state. On manual lift models this means that the user has to expend a little more effort to slow the descent. Otherwise, the work surface will drop suddenly downwards during its final stage of descent, making a fairly violent collision with the desk surface.
To solve this dilemma, Eureka developed an innovative mechanical component to employ on both its New Generation model and its Electric standing desk converter. As the unit lowers, a rubber stopper or ‘buffer’ as they call it, makes contact with the frame an inch or so before final contact with the desk surface. The rubber stopper then gracefully lowers the unit until it comes to a rest. Slick.
Overall, we are impressed with this clever design solution, as it makes the whole transition to sitting more seamless. On a minor critical note, we did notice that it takes consistent increased pressure for a second or so to lower the keyboard tray to the desk surface. And, even while resting at its sitting position, the unit’s keyboard tray does not sit completely flush with the desk surface. This gap leads to a tiny bit of give on the keyboard tray when typing (very minimal). Eureka does have rubber bumpers installed on the underside of the keyboard tray; if these were slightly larger, the tray would make contact with the desk surface and the problem would be completely resolved. We tacked a couple of our own thin rubber spacers onto the ones installed by the factory and eliminated this tiny issue.
Deep Work Surface for Comfortable Screen-Viewing
With a deeper work surface than average (30”), we found viewing large screens to be more comfortable on the New Generation compared to narrower models. This is because there is more distance between the user and the screens, which can decrease blurry vision from standing too close. In ergonomic terms, it allows the user to maintain a proper focal depth and aspect ratio when using larger LCD monitors. The technical specifications say you can fit two 21” monitors or up to one 24” monitor resting directly on the work surface. However, we tested a single 27” monitor on the work surface and it fit perfectly fine—no worries exceeding the weight limit either. When you add a monitor arm, you’re able to hold up to two 24” monitors at a time.
It’s important to be aware that not all monitor arm models will fit on the back of the New Generation. There is a 2.4” gap between the back edge of the work surface and a steel frame member. The mounts of larger monitor arm models, like iMovR’s Tempo Dual-Screen Two Arm Monitor Arm will not fit. That being said, smaller monitor arms will; we tested Eureka’s monitor arms, the Tempo Light Monitor Arm, and the Xtend line—all of these fit just fine. Of course Eureka's own monitor arms work just great.
Do be aware of the unit’s weight capacity when you start to add on dual monitor arms—we noticed the closer you get to 25 lbs, the more quickly the unit will lower due to increased weight. As a rule of thumb take the weight capacity of a converter—in this case 25 lbs—and divide in half to estimate the counterbalance force provided by the piston cylinders—in this case ~12.5 lbs. If your monitors plus monitor arms weigh more than 12.5 lbs you'll be assisting the lift to some degree. If more than 25 lbs then you'll definitely want to move up the line to a bigger Eureka converter or even the electric unit (only $100 more).
Lowered Keyboard Tray and Additional Features
The New Generation’s keyboard tray is plenty large enough (29 7/16” wide x 10 3/16” deep) to accommodate average-sized keyboards and allow room for using your mouse. If you have a larger keyboard or prefer lots of space for using your mouse, you may have to slide your keyboard off to the side slightly. The keyboard tray can be lowered nearly all the way down to the fixed-height desk that it’s sitting on, but unfortunately there’s no option to tilt the tray for greater ergonomic benefit, like on the iMovR ZipLift+ Sit-Stand Converter. On the plus side, there is a convenient mobile device holder slot for phones and tablets, and a mouse ‘catcher’ so that you mouse doesn’t accidentally slide off the keyboard tray.
This Eureka model is also limited in color to black only, although it matches most office and home décor. Unlike the Ultra Slim Portable Sit-Stand Desk, which has a matte black finish that is mostly fingerprint-resistant, the finish on this model is more likely to require a routine wipe down, which may or may not be a deterrent for some users. Like most standing desk converters, the New Generation is ready straight out-of-the-box with zero tools or assembly required.
Compared to lower end models like the Halter ED-258 and the VIVO, which cost $199 and $180 respectively, the Eureka Sit Stand Desk New Generation shines. Operation is silent, its X-lift design is stable, and we really enjoyed having an unlimited number of stops within its height range (instead of limited preset options). A lower-than-average weight capacity and no tilting keyboard tray keep it from achieving a higher rating, but until now, no other manufacturer has released a standing desk converter with a solid performing lift mechanism like this for less than $299; its $199 price point is impressive.
Its three year warranty is appropriate for this price point, but comparing this unit side by side with its rivals in the $200 range it's likely to well outlast them given the quality of both engineering design and components used in the New Generation. Overall, this is a top choice if you’re looking for a solid performing manual converter at the lowest cost possible.
For more sit-stand converter comparisons, check out our Top Standing Desk Converter Comparison Review.
- Product Color: Black
- Product Size: 31.50 W × 18.50 H × 29.94 L
- Product Weight: 39.67 LBS
- Overall Weight Capacity: 25 LBS
- Supports dual monitors up to 21" with monitor arm attachment sold separately
This product is backed by a 3-year limited warranty.
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