FlexiSpot E1L L-Shaped Standing Desk Review
- First Look
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If you want an L-shaped standing desk but only want to spend about as much as you would on a regular rectangular desk, then the FlexiSpot E1L is definitely worthy of your consideration. It will be a little easier to assemble than regular L-shaped desks, but with only two legs, it certainly won’t be as stable. This FlexiSpot L-Shaped standing desk starts at $529.99, comes in one size, has a weight capacity of 177 pounds and features a chipboard top, which is near the bottom when it comes to quality. And there aren’t many style choices. Other height adjustable L-desks come in a multitude of configurations with color or size, and then they assembly with a fraction of the effort because they use far nicer components and more recent technology – but cost substantially more. (Technically, this product belongs in the 2-legged “corner standing desk” category, not with the other 3-legged standing desks that are categorized as “standing L-desks.”)
|MSRP / List Price||$529.99|
63″ x 40″: $529
Free within contiguous 48 states. FedEx rate to HI and AK.
Frame, motor and other mechanisms: 5 yrs
3 different memory height settings with push buttons
63″ x 40″
Desktop: Black, white
27.9” to 47.2”
63″: 63″ overall width x 40″ overall depth x 24″ depth for each arm x 1″ thickness
Under 50 db
|Typical Assembly Time||
As this is the primary complaint in reviews on FlexiSpot’s website, we would estimate at least an hour for most users
|NEAT™ Certified by Mayo Clinic||
|Where to buy||
Buy on FlexiSpot
|Positives||The only real positive here is that you can get an L-shaped standing desk at virtually the lowest possible cost. You can decide during assembly whether you want to put the return on the right or the left, so you don't have to buy a specific model for that. Saving heights in the controler's memory is pretty standard these days, but still good, as is the collision detection for safety.|
|Negatives||Extremely weak motors on this standing desk offer a low lift capacity even though there are two of them. The limited range is also not good for proper ergonomic use of shorter or taller users. The extremely short warranties on the different parts are indicative of the poor quality of craftsmanship that goes into these desks, like many of the desks from FlexiSpot. This L-shaped standing desk also have very few style options, which is odd given the number they offer on the regular E1 standing desk. Customers also report having difficulties with assembly, reporting poor instructions and pilot hole patterns that are confusing.|
Not a real L-shaped standing desk
Having lab tested over a hundred standing desks over the years we’re sticklers for proper classification, and this E1L 2-legged standing desk from Flexispot is technically a “corner standing desk.” A true “L-shaped standing desk” would have a third leg, and therefore cost substantially more. What Flexispot is trying to get away with here is to capture some consumers looking for an actual sit-stand L-desk but using that label in the product name, which is a bit misrepresentative.
While we’ve had many a Flexispot standing desk in our test labs in the past we haven’t received this model in yet, so this is a “first look” review based on what we already know about the componentry Flexispot typically uses in their products, assessment of published verified user reviews, and close examination of the specs, documentation, etc.
As a given, one of the primary concerns with any standing desk is going to be stability (see our primer on Why Some Standing Desks Are Shakier Than Others). One of the easiest ways to increase stability is by adding another point of contact with the ground, which is what you see with the Flexispot E4L 3-legged standing desk, for example. For a lower price point, FlexiSpot has decided to forego that benefit with the E1L desk, and just plunk a smaller L-shaped desktop onto two legs, thus relying on two ungainly, oversized feet to at least gain back some longitudinal stability.
Granted, going without the third leg keeps costs low, but that is just increasing the instability on the return arm of the “L” by having so little to support it as it extends further from the leg. So that’s another issue with this design. Even if you can’t afford to get a true height-adjustable L-desk with three legs right now, we recommend getting a quality, rectangular one or just saving up till you can get a real L-Shaped one.
A few positive points for FlexiSpot
The keypad controller mounted under the desk can store three different heights in its memory for the user’s preferred sitting or standing positions. It also features a sit/stand reminder system to help users remember to keep their body moving throughout the day.
The desk includes anti-collision technology to automatically stop and reverse the desktop if it detects unexpected obstacles while in motion up or down, enhancing safety and preventing damage to office surroundings or equipment. This is a pretty standard feature in good standing desks nowadays, and good to see it wasn’t left out. Given the total weight of an L-shaped standing desk this is actually a critical safety feature. See our primer on anti-collision and anti-tilt features in modern standing desks (the FlexiSpot L-desk does not include a tilt sensor).
One good point that you don’t see in all L-shaped standing desks is that you don’t have to decide for certain if you want the return on the right or the left when you are buying it. You can wait until you assemble it to fix in place which side of the desk has a bit more surface for your workstation setup. This is especially helpful if you are buying the desk as a gift and you don’t know the recipient’s preference.
Included cable management is another bonus, making it just that much easier to hide at least some of the cables that would be hanging under your desk, ensnaring your feet so you accidentally unplug everything when you turn to do something on the other side of the L-shaped desk.
The biggest positive for the desk, as we have mentioned is the low cost. This has to be balanced against all the other failings of the desk, but you likely won’t be able to find an L-shaped desk anywhere for a price so low.
Overall cheap standing desk
The FlexiSpot E1L L-Shaped Standing desk is quite a low-performing product. Its adjustment range won’t work at sitting positions for shorter users because it won’t go low enough or for standing positions for taller users because it doesn’t go high enough. Our article on ANSI/BIFMA Standards and How They Relate to Standing Desks goes into more detail on what height range you should look for. The low quality of the base is also evidenced in the low lifting capacity. Only capable of lifting 177 lbs between two motors is surprisingly anemic, though it will likely be enough for laptop workstation setups. On top of that, the desktop material is another disappointing aspect. Chipboard is one of the most fragile materials you can use for a desktop and is likely going to delaminate or even fracture before you want to buy a new one. (Learn all about The Types of Desktops Used In Standing Desks in our primer on that subject.)
When it comes to assembly, FlexiSpot puts most of this labor on the customer, which is another way they save money and provide such a cheap product. The main problem with this is that they combine it with instructions that aren’t the most helpful. One customer review pointed out that the instructions for putting together the “non-intuitive” base was a pain because there were only a few pictures for multiple steps of the process, which they had to repeat multiple times of putting together and taking apart. Another reviewer said they had a difficult time attaching the desktop because it had predrilled that aren’t used and some that weren’t lined up quite right. This isn’t helped by the fact that their awkward cross-bar setup bends between the different legs to get the leg more centered on the return. Hopefully most people found it as easy as it looks in their video.
We don’t find this assembly problem surprising given the typically low machining tolerances on a desk in this price range and the relatively terse instruction manual. In sharp contrast, higher-end, American-made L-desks like the Lander L-Shaped Desk can be assembled in just 13 minutes by one user, with no tools needed other than a screwdriver for one last step.
Because all FlexiSpot products are brought over from China on container ships, they usually don’t offer a lot of color and size options. This is not like an American-made desk that you can customize to your heart’s content (e.g. iMovR’s sit-to-stand L-desks come in almost any possible combinations of color and size you could want, rapidly made-to-order). Still, we wish FlexiSpot would offer more than just a black or white for the desktop and base. That said, if its size and décor works for you, it’s a very inexpensive option.
FlexiSpot is all too aware of these quality issues, which shows in their warranties. Really good warranties cover a standing desk for 15 years. FlexiSpot offers a very short warranty compared to top-rated standing L-desks: five years on the frame and motor; two years on the controller electronics and desktop. The return period is only 30 days, which is pretty standard at this price point (top-quality standing desks can come with as much as 100 days, giving you sufficient time to really see how they perform). The good news is FlexiSpot will pay for return shipping and not charge a restocking fee “as long as the desk is like-new”; so you’ll want to be mindful of holding onto all the original packaging until the 30 days are up. Any damage in return freight is on the customer, which is a significant risk given that the packaging was not designed for more than a one-time use. Either way most users aren’t going to want to replace their whole desk after that short of a warranty period. Learn more about how to compare standing desk warranties.
Not at the top of our list
As you can tell from everything we have noted, the FlexiSpot E1L L-Shaped Standing Desk is not our favorite at all. However, we can admit that it is pretty much the cheapest option for an adjustable height L-desk out there, and that might be what someone wants. Though we recommend opting for higher quality construction of a standing desk so it doesn’t just prematurely end up in the scrap heap.
We have gathered all our reviews on FlexiSpot products in one place, if you want to buy specifically from them for some reason. There you can find their top desks like the Comhar, Esben, Theodore, classic E1, quick assembling Vici, Willow, Seiffen, and the larger E4L L-Shaped desk.
We recommend reading our comprehensive round-up of height-adjustable L-desk reviews to find one that might better suit your needs. If FlexiSpot has caught your eye for some reason, you could look at all our Flexispot product reviews. You could also take a look at all the best standing desks we have reviewed to find another type if you aren’t completely set on an L-style sit-stand desk.