Halter ED-258 Standing Desk Converter Review
Halter’s ED-258 standing desk converter is an X-Lift budget option that’s popular on Amazon. It features a decent looking wood grain laminate top and a notably deep keyboard tray. However, incredibly poor machining standards and cheap components render it difficult to use and unlikely to stand the test of time.
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Where to Buy
1 year warranty
Wood grain HPL
Does not support most monitor arms
44.1 lbs advertised; less than 40 as tested
Main Work Surface: 35.75” W x 20” D
Keyboard Tray: 35.75” W x 17” D
Base: 28.25” W x 23.25” D
17” deep keyboard tray will accommodate your laptop. Wood grain HPL (high-pressure laminate) work surfaces are a nice alternative to solid-color competitors. Arrives fully assembled, so you can use it right out of the box. X-lift design means it moves straight up and down, which is useful if you’re in a tight space.
While the converter has an advertised weight capacity of 44.1 lbs, we found that it could not even hold 40 lbs. The handles were of exceptionally poor quality—unfinished, and attached to the frame by a single (bent) screw with no nut. A combination of weak counterbalance pistons and cheap handles makes the ED-258 very difficult to lift.
Good Concept, Poor Execution
The Halter ED-258 standing desk converter is a popular option in the sea of low-cost competitors that distinguishes itself with a wood grain HPL (high-pressure laminate) top and an extra-deep keyboard tray. It’s a hard product to ignore when you’re searching for a converter to buy—on paper, it seems like a sweet deal.
Alas, the adage that “if it seems to be too good to be true, probably it is” applies to the Halter converter all too well. We found too many fundamental problems with this converter to recommend it to anyone but a niche audience. Inexcusably shoddy quality means that you’re taking a gamble when purchasing this, and you’d likely get a much better return (and longer product lifetime) from a more well-respected brand.
Horrible Handles and Pathetic Pistons
As soon as you attempt to lift the ED-258 for the first time, you’ll experience the incomprehensibly shoddy handles, which are located on both sides of the converter. The handles are unfinished and feel rough, shaky, and cheap—but that’s a surface level problem. The real problem is that they’re connected to the frame by only one screw each, with no nut to secure them in place. And the screws are thin. One of ours was bent before we even lifted the converter to standing height. This gives us a pretty dismal outlook on the lifetime of this product.
It’s not just a longevity issue; the handles make your life hard in present as well. Due to sloppy machining tolerances and the one-screw system, it takes a very large amount of force to unlock the converter. You may find yourself trying to lift it and failing—the solution is likely to squeeze harder on the handles, as they do not easily unlock the converter. And as your reward for changing the height of your worksurface, you (and the rest of your office) will be greeted by a loud clanging noise as your work surface shifts.
Worse still is the lift capacity issue. The ED-258 is supposed to support up to 44.1 lbs. Well, we loaded a 40 lb weight on our model at max height, and it came crashing down. That’s unacceptable and dangerous for a product that’s supposed to hold your laptop and monitors. Its lack of lift is due to two things: weak pistons and sloppy machining tolerances. The air-pistons themselves are too weak, which is one of many ways in which the manufacturer was able to cut costs. Also, the locking “teeth” that set the height levels of the converter easily become misaligned due to imprecise manufacturing, which could lead to unexpected drops in height.
Some Redeeming Qualities
While the overall quality of the Halter converter is low, there are some design choices that we liked and would like to see more of on the market. The most appealing and distinguishing feature of the Halter ED-258 is an extra deep keyboard tray. Most converters’ keyboard trays are designed to fit, well, keyboards; the Halter’s tray handily fits a laptop. This would hypothetically make assembling a tri-monitor workstation quite easy (though we'd be concerned about the weight capacity.) Ergonomically, it isn’t perfect, as the tray does not offer any degree of tilt, and you might end up straining your neck by looking down at your laptop screen. You also lose some space on the top work surface due to the larger keyboard tray. Still, it’s a niche we had not seen before that lets users actually type on their oft-neglected laptop keyboards from a standing position.
The X-lift design should also appeal to the space-conscious. As you lift the Halter up to standing height, it travels straight up-and-down vertically, as opposed to shifting out towards the user like Z-lift models. This is a nice feature to have in tight office cubicles. Be warned, however, that there is more of a pinching hazard with this type of converter, though that isn’t likely to be a problem unless you’re working in an environment with kids.
And finally, the wood grain laminate HPL may not be all that classy, or even well-done, but it’s nice to see an option that isn’t solid color, and those looking to match their decor might be attracted to the Halter for that reason.
A Perplexing Unboxing
Our experience with the Halter converter’s unboxing was definitely a mixed bag. On the one hand, the ED-258 requires no assembly, unlike some other converters at this price range. Simply unpack it, put it on your desk, and you’re good to go. This may not seem like a huge consideration when selecting a converter, but it’s nice to know that a time consuming or difficult installation process is not a hidden cost of this budget converter.
And then there’s the bad news. Our model arrived with two separate and very concerning blemishes. One of the top corners was cracked, likely due to cheap or poorly designed packaging. In fact, not only was the laminate surface layer cracked, but the particle board underneath was split as well. As if that wasn’t bad enough, we also found a strange substance staining the top panel of the converter. It appeared gold foil in color against the laminate, but when we tried to wipe it off with a wet paper towel, we saw pink stains on the towel. Ultimately, were able to neither identify nor completely remove the stains. This raises some serious questions about Halter’s quality control.
A quick look at the user reviews on Amazon confirms this. Scratches and dents are all-too common, as are complaints about difficulty in raising and lowering the converter. Multiple users go as far as to say that they are completely unable to raise the converter with their monitors on it, rendering it a completely useless product.
It’s a shame that this product is built to such poor standards, with the handles setting an unprecedented low point in quality, and the weight capacity being apparently fabricated. Overall poor quality makes it hard to recommend the Halter ED-258 to anyone—however, its deep, laptop-fitting keyboard tray and faux wood grain might appeal to a niche buyer somewhere out there. Just be careful not to put too much weight on it, lest your laptop take an untimely trip from standing to sitting position.
For more reviews like this, check out our Standing Desk Converter Comparison Review.
For more information on our review process, click here.Where to Buy
- Weight Capacity: 44.1 lbs advertised, less than 40 lbs as tested
- Min. Height: 6.5”
- Max Height: 16.14”
- Colors: Wood grain HPL
- Monitor Arm Compatible: Yes
- # of Monitors Supported: 2
- Main Work Surface: 35.75”W x 20”D
- Keyboard Tray: 35.75”W x 17”D
- Base: 28.25”W x 23.25”D
- Type: X Lift
1 year limited warranty
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