FEZiBO DIY Standing Desk Frame Review
- First Look
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This is about the cheapest electric lifting base desk we’ve ever found in the retail market, and you can count on getting what you pay for in the poor overall quality. If you’re a medium-height user on a super-low budget, this desk should allow you to get into a solid ergonomic position since you can add accessories like a keyboard tray or monitor arm. However, you’re taking a risk with this Chinese-made desk leg kit because it has a track record of poor verified user reviews and zero warranty support.
For building a DIY standing desk with a small, lightweight top that will minimize the impact of the inherent motor weakness and poor stability of the design. Only good for medium-height users.
|MSRP / List Price||$179.99|
FEZiBO has inconsistencies in their pricing between their own site and what they list on Amazon. Our advice is to check both sites for the best price on any given day. Prices are generally lower on FEZiBO’s site but returns are free on Amazon. Note that the return period is 60 days when purchased through FEZiBO but only 30 days when purchased through Amazon.
This product does not have a warranty. If it breaks after the 60-day money back guarantee period, you own it (or 30 days if purchased through Amazon).
Single-stage electric lift. Comes in two versions. A single-motor version with a mechanical transmission rod connecting the motor to both lifting columns, and a dual-motor version.
Digital controller with three programmable height favorites
Single motor can accommodate desktops from 46.1″-74.8″
Black and white
Extremely light weight steel.
Height adjustment ranges from 28.4″ inches to 46″ on the single-motor base and 27.6″ to 47.3 inches on the dual-motor unit.
Telescoping width range of the base ranges from 43.3″ inches to 59″ for both the single and dual-motor unit.
FEZiBO’s recommended desktop widths are 46.1″ to 74.8″ on the single-motor and 44.3″ to 66.9″ on the dual-motor.
Their recommended desktop depths are 23.7″ to 31.5″ on the single-motor, yet only 18.8″ to 27.5″ on the dual (note this less than the most common standard of 30″ of desktop depth)
In their marketing material, FEZiBO claims a 176 lbs maximum lift capacity, not including desktop (measly enough as it is); however, upon inspection of the installation manual, this is apparently the maximum “static load,” not the lift capacity. The maximum “dynamic load” is listed as 132 lbs, making this the singularly most underpowered desk frame we have ever seen.
Single motor: 41 lbs
Box dimensions: 31.5″ x 15″ x 8.3″
FEZiBO does not publish their power consumption specs.
|Typical Assembly Time||
Plan for an hour, assuming you have a cordless driver with the proper bits.
|NEAT™ Certified by Mayo Clinic||
|Competition||Compare to Other DIY Standing Desk Frames|
|Where to buy||
Buy on FEZiBO.com
|Ease of Assembly|
|Quality and Aesthetics|
|Positives||It's very cheap. It comes in two colors and has a digital handset with three height-favorite memories.|
|Negatives||It's poorly built, which leads to a difficult assembly, poor stability and frequent equipment failures. There's no real warranty. Its height range is very small, so it's only suited for medium-sized users. The infamously unreliable single motor and transmission rod design is outdated, yet reviews are even worse on the dual motor version. The motor is noisy and prone to early failure. No warranty means that when it inevitably fails you're likely going to wind up junking it and getting a proper lifting base that's actually going to last.|
When your only goal is to make the very cheapest standing desk lifting base possible
If you’ve searched around for standing desks on Amazon it is impossible to miss the FEZiBO brand popping in top listings, because Amazon sorts their search results by sales volume (once they get the sponsored ads for that search term out of the way). Empirically, cheaper products outsell more premium items, and so it should be no surprise at all that top listings in most categories—standing desks being no exception—are Chinese brands featuring the lowest prices, and commensurately the lowest-quality products.
As cheap as labor is in China it still costs money, so if you’re trying to get your retail price down by $5 to beat out your competitor you come up with ways to shave pennies. Most commonly using lighter weight components to cost less in raw materials and are cheaper to ship, and allowing “sloppy tolerances,” which pertains to the cost of the machinery and components as well as the training of their workforce. But first and foremost is shifting labor from the factory worker out to the American DIY builder.
After all, they’re into DIY because they like building things, right? So it’s not uncommon to receive a box with 60 – 90 parts that you’ll need to assemble. But you better pray that all the parts are there, they’re the correct parts, and that the bolt holes actually align and that the threads aren’t over sprayed with paint making the bolts impossible to insert.
Brands like Vivo, Flexispot, SHW and FEZiBO dominate these listings. And always with seemingly high average user ratings, which you should never ever rely on as they tend to be filled with fake reviews (even CBS’s 60 Minutes did an expose on Chinese “fake Amazon review factories“) or written by consumers who’ve never had a competing product to compare side-by-side against to actually understand their strengths and weaknesses. Many of the 5-star reviewers haven’t even received the product yet, just patting themselves on the back for taking action on improving their health, and declaring how much they look forward to building their new homemade standing desk. Always click on the 1-4 star reviews to learn what the real story is behind a product (see below).
It’s important for the consumer evaluating these products to understand that these manufacturers are basically in a constant battle with each other; a “race to the bottom,” as it were, to see who can create the cheapest possible selling price and make it up in volume. Component quality is as low as it can go. Warranties tend to be weak if they even exist. And getting support in the USA can be incredibly frustrating.
In the case of FEZiBO that support will come from China, via email with a noted “24 hr response time” expectation. While they appear to have a US mailing address it is nothing more than a mailbox in an all-Chinese commercial building in Las Vegas.
Hence this is a category where you definitely want to check the return policy carefully. And possibly pay a little more to buy through Amazon Prime if free returns are guaranteed, versus off the manufacturers’ websites where return periods may be twice as long but shipping is on the customer (as is the case with FEZiBO).
First look review
This is a “first look” synopsis on the FEZiBO Stand Up Desk Frame. The product is in the queue for full lab testing but we are sharing known information here in advance of the final published review. (Stay abreast of all our new reviews and pro tips by becoming signing up for a free membership in the Office Fitness Club.)
The most notable part of the FEZiBO is undoubtedly its price. Coming in at $179.99 for the single-motor version and $239.99 for dual-motor, it is the cheapest DIY base frame we’ve ever reviewed, with its nearest competitor being the very similarly featured VIVO standing desk frame at $249.99. But as we usually find with standing desks in the cheapest possible price range, there are downsides. (See all our electric lifting base frame reviews to see how pricier alternatives compare.)
We normally don’t review products that are only sold on Amazon, which was the case with FEZiBO and several of its competitors until recently. Amazon customers tend not to search outside of the platform, unwittingly relying on “verified user reviews” and not bothering to search for independent reviews like ours via a Google search. However, two things have changed. When a product is sold on Amazon the seller must fork over a 15% marketplace fee to Bezos. When competition is this stiff a lot of sellers have chosen to either raise their prices commensurately on Amazon, advertise to attract users directly to their own website, or as in the case of FEZiBO, both.
There are fundamentally two reasons that users add the word “review” to their search terms. Savvy ones (like you, perhaps?) are doing their research ahead of a planned purchase. Unlucky ones have already made a bad purchase and are looking for places to leave as many bad reviews as they can to vent their frustration. So sure enough, as these low-quality products started getting sold outside the Amazon platform with its game-able and unreliable reviews, searches for “[brand] reviews” have been on the rise in this budget standing desk base category. And so, we are now reviewing more of these low-end bases that previously were not commonly sold outside of marketplaces like Amazon (with obvious exceptions like Autonomous’ SmartDesk base frames that sell primarily outside of Amazon’s platform).
‘Great legs’ she ain’t got
The lifting legs for both versions of the FEZiBO standing desk base are single-stage, meaning they are made with only two tube segments instead of the usual three that you find on higher-cost bases. This design reduces stability when the desk is raised and limits the total height adjustment range, a.k.a. stroke, to a little less than 19 inches. Translation: this means that these bases aren’t suited for shorter and taller users and definitely won’t work for a treadmill desk user. For comparison, other frames we’ve reviewed from IKEA, UpLift, iMovR, etc. that have dual-stage bases generally have a stroke of 25″ – 26”.
The height adjustment range is 28.4″ inches to 46″ on the single-motor base and 27.6″ to 47.3 inches on the dual-motor unit, somewhat typical of single-stage bases.
DIY desk builders should be aware, however, that the 28.4″ minimum height on the single-motor base, after adding an inch-thick desktop, will bring the bottom of the desk no lower than about 29.5″. Shorter users will detest this from an ergonomic comfort standpoint. The workaround is to install an under-counter keyboard tray with its own height adjustment feature, but good ones will run you more than this entire desk base costs.
It’s worth noting that the height range, desktop length, product return window and even their own company name (“FEZiBO” in some places and “FEZIBO” in others) are not consistent across the product pages. The numbers are all so close that it shouldn’t make a big difference for your fit to the desk, but it does give a glimpse into the type of attention to detail you should expect with this product.
The single motor version is an outdated and super-cheap design that incorporates a “sync rod” between the motor and the two lifting columns. This entails installing a hex-shaped transmission rod between the motor and the legs. With such low machining tolerance on the metal and plastic parts of this base, it is easy to do everything correctly and still have a slightly misaligned transmission rod. Plus these rods have a tendency to gather dust and dirt over time and get gunked up, just like on manual crank standing desks that were more common years ago, before electric became the predominant technology.
The upshot is that the feeble motor has to work increasingly hard to move all the gears in the mechanism, and soon fails. At which point, with no warranty coverage, you are bound to toss this base entirely and just buy a good one to replace it.
Dual motor has become much more common because the factory-assembled legs are self-contained, with precise alignment between the motor’s drive shaft and the spiral rod inside the leg, making them far more reliable. Having said that, somehow the user reviews on Amazon for the dual-motor version of this FEZiBO standing desk frame are actually worse than the single-leg.
Spine chilling user reviews
Before laying your money down on a FEZiBO desk be sure to check out the 1-4 star reviews that blend into the overall 4.6 star reviews that FEZiBO boasts on Amazon. We don’t write horror novels around here but if we ever were so inclined we’d start by reading the 1-star experiences that verified customers submitted to Amazon. The same issues are consistently reported: The motor is noisy and often quits working. The desk wobbles. Assembly is difficult because holes don’t line up correctly. The transmission rod is nearly impossible to disassemble, meaning that when your motor ultimately fails you may not be able to replace it.
Don’t take our word for it, here is a tiny sampling of the carnage:
Warranty? Who needs a warranty with a product this great?
Under the Warranty section of the product page, FEZiBO simply states “60 Day Money Back Guarantee” so it’s safe to assume there is no actual warranty on these products. Check our primer on How To Compare Warranty Policies Between Standing Desk Manufacturers for more information, but the best standing desk manufacturers are now providing 15-year warranties on motors and electronics.
FEZiBO says these frames have a lifting capacity of 176 lbs. But after a closer look at the installation manual, this is apparently the “static” maximum load, not the lift capacity. The maximum “dynamic” load is listed as 132 lbs, making these the singularly most underpowered desk frames we have ever seen. Once you add a top, there simply isn’t enough lifting capacity for much else on the desk.
At least its head-to-head competitor, the VIVO standing desk frame—no Brutus, with its identical 176 lbs lift capacity—does not caveat the spec with “static” versus “dynamic” buried in its documentation. But we’ll see how they actually perform once we get them both in the test lab. To VIVO’s credit, they do offer a three-year warranty, and customer service is based in Illinois during American M-F hours of operation.
What to expect when assembling a FEZiBO lifting base
FEZiBO says the single motor version will work for desktops from 46.1” to 74.8” long and the dual motor version will work for desktops from 44.3″ to 66.9″ long. This is surprising; no explanation is given for why the heftier dual-motor base can’t handle even a standard 6′-long desktop while the single-motor version can, but the next spec explains why…
On recommended depths, FEZiBO states 23.7″ to 31.5″ on the single-motor (a good range for the most common desktop configurations), yet only 18.8″ to 27.5″ on the dual-motor. This is due to the much shorter feet on the dual-motor unit. Shorter feet means less longitudinal stability (i.e. if you’re a heavy-fisted typist you can really make your monitors shake) but also impacts longitudinal stability. Boiling it all down, use the single-motor base for a more standard desktop size, such as 30″ x 72″, but only use the dual-motor unit for more compact standing desk sizes like 24″ x 48″.
Check out the assembly manuals and the installation videos on the FEZiBO site for an idea of what assembly might be like. These assets, plus the reviews, paint a fairly typical picture of Chinese standing desk base assembly. Expect the holes to not line up quite right, paint to be in the threads and a lack of clarity on what you’re supposed to be doing.
These frames are very likely to prematurely fail on you for all the reasons discussed above. Since there’s no warranty, you’ll be stuck. If you do want to take the risk, we’re inclined to recommend the dual motor version because its design isn’t quite as antiquated, but those reviews are somehow even worse on Amazon. One reason may be the smaller feet on the dual-motor unit that mean you can’t really use it to build anything remotely stable but a compact standing desk, like a 2’x4′ or 2’x5′ desktop.
Weighing in at only 41 lbs, the FEZiBO single-motor desk base is the lightest we’ve ever seen, and half the weight of top-rated, ultra-stable American-made standing desk frames. Even direct competitor VIVO’s standup desk base kit weighs in at 55.7 lbs. There is just no way to get around basic physics here. With such a fluffy frame and high center of gravity, any desk built on this base with a typical size and thickness of desktop will likely be a shaky affair at standing height. This could be somewhat mitigated with a thicker desktop that could add some rigidity to the desk, but with only 132 lbs of total lift capacity including the desktop that’s just going to lead to even earlier motor failure.
OK, so that’s a lot of negative comments. Are there any good things to say about the FEZiBO bases? Well, they’re very cheap. And they have three memory presets and anti-collision technology. We’ll find out how good that anti-collision sensor works once we get these frames into our test labs.