FlexiSpot Vici Quick Assembling Standing Desk (EC9) Review
- Lab tested
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FlexiSpot uses the very use cheapest actuator mechanisms and a single-drive motor to make the Vici a bottom-dollar offering, and they only use only a single-stage base that won’t go low enough for very short people or high enough for very tall people. The Vici’s warranty is not great either (5 years for the frame, motor and other mechanisms, 2 years for the electronics, and zero on the desktop), which tells you about how much confidence they have in their own product. As for the promise of being “quick assembled” that is perhaps the most specious claim of all of FlexiSpot’s hyperbolic marketing copy (they literally put this in the product name).
Given the very low weight capacity of the desk only users working primarily on laptops, without external monitors, heavy CPUs and printers, should consider this desk.
|MSRP / List Price||$299|
|Street Price||Scan for available discount deals|
Free shipping via FedEx ground in the Lower 48 states.
5 years for the frame, motor and other mechanisms.
1″ per second
Simple up-down buttons. No digital readout, no programmable height presets, no anti-collision detection and no Bluetooth.
Only one size: 24″ x 48″ x 1″
Height adjusts from 28.7″ to 48.4″
FlexiSpot claims “under 50 dBs” but it’s a pretty noisy mechanism given the underpowered motor and use of a geared transmission rod for driving both legs in unison.
Not disclosed by FlexiSpot.
|Typical Assembly Time||
Once all the parts are unpacked and tools available, FlexiSpot claims it will take about 5 minutes to assemble. A more realistic assembly will likely take around 15-20 minutes.
|NEAT™ Certified by Mayo Clinic||
|User Reviews||Reviews on Amazon|
|Where to buy||
Buy on FlexiSpot
Buy on Amazon
|Ease of Assembly|
|Quality and Aesthetics|
|Suitability for Treadmill Desking|
|Positives||For $250 a buyer should have low expectations as to the quality and performance of an Asian-made standing desk. However, within its price tier, the Vici is probably one of the better options out there.|
|Negatives||Like many of FlexiSpot's other products, the components are not high in quality, which allows them to sell the desk at a lower price than its higher quality equivalents. With the lower quality, you may end up returning the desk or have components that fail, and the hassle might not be worth the savings in money. It's slow, underpowered motor, minimal warranty, short adjustment range, and difficulty of assembly are an issue, but at this price all standing desks share these attributes.|
[Editors’ Note – This product seems to be no longer available from the manufacturer. We will keep this review up for future reference and comparison.]
Veni, Vidi, Vici
Most people can remember “I came, I saw, I conquered” as Julius Caesar’s most famous quotes. What the connection is between Roman dictators and standing desks, we’re not quite sure, but perhaps Flexispot’s Chinese marketing team figured “Vici” would be a classier-sounding product name than “The Conquerer”?
We have to make a disambiguation note here: in some instances the company also promotes the product by its model number, as the ‘Flexispot EC9 Quick Install Standing Desk’. This is exactly the same product as the ‘Flexispot Vici Quick Assembling Standing Desk’. They seem to do this for SEO optimization, but it’s a little confusing to customers. In any event…
We have reviewed many products from FlexiSpot over the years, and their catalog offers a wide range of quality, from super cheap standing desks and accessories for those on a tight budget to those of a medium-caliber designed to last longer in your office or home. Not to bury the lede, the Vici EC9 is at the bottom of the bottom of that quality and price range. (See our roundup of all of our reviews of Flexispot office ergonomics products for more on the company and how they got where they are.)
We will preface this entire review with the comment that “you get what you pay for,” and for the Vici’s street price of $250 you need to set pretty low expectations. That said, among its peers of $250 standing desks you’re not going to find anything better, so if that’s strictly your budget best to go in with eyes wide open.
Ships In One Box
The Vici Standing Desk arrives at your door in just one parcel. Flexispot seems to make a big deal about this as a key differentiating feature for consumers, but it’s really only something that matters to the factory and warehouse. For the consumer, the nominal benefit of the desk arriving in one box is that there aren’t two or three parcels, as with most standing desks, to potentially get separated in transit and arrive on different days. On the downside, the box is quite difficult for one person to move around on their own.
We’ve reviewed other single-box standing desks before—like the Eureka E1 Electric Standing Desk and the category-killer in quick-install standing desks, the ZipDesk (we clocked it at 3.5 minutes)—and we’ve seen how much packaging has to be used to safely ship an entire standing desk in one parcel. Unfortunately one of the most common reasons for consumers to give the Vici one of its hundreds of poorly rated user reviews on Amazon is in fact for damage in shipping. This is the first-noticed of the (unfortunately) many shortcomings of this highly popular Flexispot standing desk model.
The fiercely competitive battle among Chinese factories trying to sell the highest volume of standing desks to American consumers is the proverbial “race to the bottom,” especially on Amazon. And it appears that for Flexispot trying to hit such a low price point has resulted in significant shortcuts being taken on the packaging, not just the components of the desk.
Unfortunately for the user who has just assembled their desk only to find it defective, and to then try and ship it back in that same box is a huge hassle; not to mention that many users report customer service challenges with dealing with DOA replacements on this model. Flexispot is probably the fastest-growing Chinese maker of standing desks these days, and may be having scaling issues with their lower-quality products, like the EC9. This is unfortunate given their historically decent reputation for customer service as compared to other Chinese-native sellers.
Is it Really Quick Assembling?
With an advertised quick-install design where the crossbar is already mounted to the underside of the desktop, Flexispot claims a quick 5-minute assembly for the Vici. You should only have to insert the lifting columns into the, attach the feet, plug it in, and be ready to work. Several desks introduced in the past couple of years have claimed such easy assembly. Enough that we’ve built a separate round-up of all the Quick Install Standing Desks that you should check out if that’s your primary buying criteria.
However, a quick look at their installation manual reveals a bit more than their 4-step picture from their website. The “first step” has four of its own miniature steps, one of which is tightening 4 screws with an allen wrench key (there’s no way to get a powered driver in at that angle – you really do need to use the Allen key to assemble the entire desk). With the lifting column in the way of turning that key with any leverage, it could take at least 5 minutes on that task alone to get those screws sufficiently tightened.
While the design will certainly make it quicker to put the Vici together than a typical standing desk that requires installing a crossbar assembly first, FlexiSpot’s claim of 5 minutes is beyond unrealistic. It could take longer than that to understand what the manual is actually trying to tell you. With a lot of patience and manual dexterity you could potentially assemble it in under 20 minutes, which still qualifies it to be included in our round-up of “Quick Install Standing Desk” reviews.
What do the Vici’s Specifications Mean for Performance?
Lifting – While their website claims it has a dual-motor system, the Vici standing desk is a pretty standard single-motor affair with single-stage lifting columns; i.e. the very minimal componentry for an electric standing desk. (Flexispot calls it a dual-stage, a common misnomer committed by Chinese factories. It is technically a two-segment, single-stage column. Dual stage columns have three telescoping tubes.)
Its lift capacity is only 110 lbs, which puts it in the very weakest class of standup desks. Even most of the cheapest standing desks have at least 150 lbs capacity; medium-tier desks will typically lift 220 lbs, and top-tier desks will lift 360 lbs or more. Be sure to read our article on why lifting capacity ratings on standing desks really matter.
It’s also one of the slowest desks we’ve ever seen… with a transit speed of only 1.0 inches per second. Only the Branch Standing Desk is that slow. Most electric desks these days move at least as fast as 1.5 ips.
The short warranty on this product is reflective of the short useful life you can expect on a motor this underpowered, especially given the friction of the whole transmission rod mechanism that allows one motor to move both legs together.
Flexispot doesn’t explain this anywhere but the reason they have to pre-install the crossbar is because of the complexity of this transmission rod mechanism… it would be a consumer build nightmare to do it themselves. But it also involves a lot of gears that create friction and noise, and that’s just a setup for premature failure of the entire lift mechanism.
Handset – The Vici has an extremely simplistic 2-button handset to command the desk up or down. There is no digital height readout, no ability to store your height favorites, no anti-collision or anti-tilt circuitry, and definitely no Bluetooth or software app.
Electrical Power – One thing that’s kind of nice about all Flexispot desks is that they are built with switching power supplies that work on either US or international voltage (100-240V). While this is primarily for the benefit of the manufacturer so they can build one unit to ship worldwide, on the off chance that you plan to relocate to Zanzibar next year and want to ship your standing desk, you won’t have to use a transformer or buy a new one. Of course it may be cheaper to buy a new desk in a foreign country than to pay to safely pack and ship your existing one there.
Noise – FlexiSpot claims the desk is “whisper quiet” at under 50 dBs. But when others measure whispers around 20 dBs (and it’s an exponential scale), you have to wonder if they might have hearing damage already. 50 dBs might be fine in some environments, but it could be disruptive if others in an office are trying to concentrate or it activates your microphone in a Zoom call. Flexispot’s dB measurement itself is entirely ambiguous, as there isn’t a standard for positioning of microphones when measuring the sound of a standing desk motor in use. Suffice to say that for $250 you shouldn’t expect a “whisper quiet” desk, despite the hyperbolic claims Flexispot makes on this product.
It’s hard to convey a noise level in words, but just imagine a single, underpowered motor whining away at moving a desk up and down on two legs, all connected by a geared transmission rod mechanism. This is not a quiet desk by any stretch, especially once loaded up with gear.
Stability – Their marketing copy claims, “Made with high-grade steel, the desk frame eliminates any wobbling even at the highest adjustment point,” but at this price point, and knowing that it is made in China, the steel is anything but a higher grade, and will be less stable than desks that really are made with better materials. One telling statistic alone is that the entire desk weighs less than 80 lbs in the box. At top height there’s plenty of shake to be had, which is predictable given the absolutely minimal connection between the desk legs and the crossbar. (See our primer on Why Some Standing Desks Are Shakier Than Others for a deeper understanding of desk stability.)
Desktop – The desktop is constructed of chipboard, which Flexispot claims “holds up well under pressure, creates stable desks without weak spots” However, it is literally the cheapest and weakest material choice for a desktop, though it can stay relatively lightweight. User reviews commenting on giant cracks in the desktop upon arrival are not at all surprising to us given the generally poor quality of chipboard panels. (See our universal guide to desktop materials for standing desks for more insight on this subject.)
Unfortunately, the Vici desktop comes in one size only, a compact 48″ x 24″. (Compare to all the other compact standing desks we’ve reviewed, “compact” being defined as having desktops with less than 28” of depth). As is typical of standing desks that are shipped to the USA in containers, there are not a lot of color choices on the Vici; pretty much black and white is all you have to choose from. However, this is typical of desks that need to stay in stock in various warehouses for quick delivery.
Standards – One of the first things FlexiSpot says about the desk (after the big selling point of quick assembly), is that it is “designed according to the demands of the North American ergonomic standards.” That phrase is so vague that it raises a lot of red flags. If it doesn’t even mention ANSI/BIFMA X5.5, it is doubtful that it will even meet the primary standards for standing desks in the United States, just based on the unlikelihood of passing the 10,000 up/down cycle test alone. And with a bottom height of 28.7” it falls severely short of the ANSI/BIFMA G1 Ergonomic standard of 22”. So this marketing claim is as specious as all their others for noise, reliability, stability and ease of assembly. (Read our primer on ANSI/BIFMA standards for electric standing desks to know what you should be looking for in a quality standing desk.)
Source – These kinds of statistics and such are typical for standing desks and parts that are made in China, but the Vici says its country of origin is Vietnam. Like many other Chinese standing desk manufacturers, they shifted some final production and packaging steps to Vietnam to circumvent the still-standing 25% US tariffs on Chinese goods.
Overall, the performance claimed in their specifications is underwhelming, despite the marketing spin they give these details on their website. But for the low price, that isn’t all that surprising. With the problems that users will likely have when encountering low performance or poor quality of components, it might cost them less in time and headaches to pay a bit more for a truly quick assembling “desk in a box” with better performance like iMovR’s ZipDesk. (One benefit of robust designs like the ZipDesk’s, with its highly ruggedized packaging, is that they also disassemble and re-ship, again and again, as easily as they come together.)
Will it Live Up to its Claims?
Firstly we need to say that like most products sold on Amazon, consumers should not be fooled by the relatively high average user rating on this product. By and large positive reviews are left by people who have experienced one and only one standing desk, so they have nothing to compare to, and they absolutely love working while standing. If they had the opportunity to set the Vici down next to a decent quality desk they wouldn’t give it 5 stars. Maybe 2. There are numerous other reasons why consumers should never trust user reviews on Amazon, which we cover in our in-depth primer on detecting false reviews on Amazon.
With few exceptions, standing desks that come in a convenient single box like the Vici have other problems. Their cheap construction results in unreliability—and their shorter warranties reflect that—they use cheap actuator mechanisms and single-drive motors, and they only use single-stage bases that won’t go low enough for very short people or high enough for very tall people.
The Vici’s warranty is not great (5 year for the frame, motor and other mechanisms, 2 years for the electronics, and zero on the desktop), which tells you about how much confidence they have in their own product. High-quality standing desks will have ten to 15 year warranties these days, including the desktops. See our primer on how to read standing desk warranties.
The assembly does at first appear to be easier than the majority of standing desks in this price range given that there’s no crossbar to assemble, but the fact that you can’t use a powered driver to screw the desk together and have to resort to using an Allen key for every bit of the install seriously challenges the claim that the Vici EC9 desk is a “quick install” model. As we’ve covered above, the motor is severely underpowered and slow.
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, E1L L-Shaped desk, classic E1, Willow, Seiffen, and the larger E4L L-Shaped desk.
To see our reviews of other low-budget standing desks check out our round-up of Standing Desks Under $400. If you’re looking for a desk of higher quality, though, be sure to explore our reviews of all the Top Rated Standing Desks.
Many standing desks and converters come with grommets for some added convenience. Check out our article on grommet holes for everything you need to know about the different ways to use them to enhance your workstation, what to look for in your grommet holes, and where to find the desks with the best ones.