iMovR Lander Lite DIY Standing Desk Frame Review
- Lab tested
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iMovR has managed to take the industry’s top-rated original Lander base frame, keep 90% of the technology features and significantly lower the entry price with this new Lander Lite electric lifting base. Like the original, it’s made entirely in the USA from the highest quality materials and highest precision robotic manufacturing techniques, resulting in a superior value to the consumer. All the other tech-forward features like “gesture” height control paddle with Bluetooth and built-in health coach function, along with the smartphone app, are also present in this lower-cost version.
|MSRP / List Price||$649|
Single-stage base w/fixed-width crossbar for 45″-53″ desktops: $649
Ships Free anywhere in the lower 48 states via FedEx Ground
Lifetime warranty on frame
Electric, dual motor, T-frame
1.6″ per second
Bluetooth-enabled “Gesture Paddle” with built-in health coach notifications
Lander Lite with fixed-width crossbar can accommodate desktops from 47″-53″
Black, White, Silver
Robotically-manufactured in the USA to mil-spec precision, heavy gauge steel
Single-stage height range: 26.6”-46.75”
Rated to 225 lbs lift capacity
Connects to Android or iOS app via Bluetooth
168W, <.1W standby power
ANSI-BIFMA X5.5-2014 Certified. Significantly exceeds ANSI/BIFMA G1 Top Height Recommendation
|NEAT™ Certified by Mayo Clinic||
|Where to buy||
Buy on iMovR
|Ease of Assembly|
|Quality and Aesthetics|
|Suitability for Treadmill Desking|
|Positives||Same made-in-USA quality as the original Lander, with the same superb warranty. Built-in health coach reminders result in at least twice as much use at standing height, according to studies. Controlled by the same smartphone app as the original Lander, via Bluetooth link to the sleek and intuitive gesture height control paddle. The base assembles and disassembles in just a few minutes, giving you all-important flexibility in your DIY setup.|
|Negatives||L-desk option will not be available in the Lander Lite electric lifting base. The slimmer gesture height control paddle on the Lite desk doesn't have the multi-color hi-res display we've come to love on the original Lander but you can access all the same features through the smartphone app over the Bluetooth link.|
There are usually two reasons people take on the task of making their own standing desk instead of buying one. One reason is they think they can save money by making their own (generally a misconception), for which they are likelier to pick one of the less expensive bases on the market (see our round-up of all the popular standalone desk bases on the market).
The other reason is that they plan to invest a lot of time and/or money in either making their own very special desktop or having one custom-made for them. It’s this latter group that should consider nothing less than the Lander or Lander Lite base frame kits to match the elegance, and frankly, the investment that they are envisioning for their desktop.
Without a doubt, the Lander is the cream of the crop, but many people won’t need that much lifting capacity from their DIY frame or they might have a lower budget. If either of those is the case, the Lander Lite electric lifting base (also check out our review of the full Lander Lite desk) might be perfect. iMovR managed to pack the Lander Lite base with 90 percent of the technology features of the Lander base, while reducing the entry price.
Same Lander Base DNA, Just ‘Lighter’
The Lander Lite electric lifting base’s state-of-the-art, precision-engineered, Linak lifting columns are robotically manufactured in the same US factory as those on the Lander, but are powered to lift only 225 lbs instead of 360 lbs. That’s still plenty of brawn for the vast majority of users, who don’t have more than the usual complement of desktop computer equipment or a thick natural hickory desktop to elevate. Linak is still considered the very best brand in the lifting base industry despite dozens of Chinese copycat manufacturers that have attempted to replicate the technology using cheap labor and less precise machining equipment—they never get even close.
Since Linak invented the electric standing desk lifting base way back in 1998, the Denmark-based company has remained the world’s leading manufacturer in the category, with some 10 million units in the field today. For the US market, Linak manufactures these columns in an impressive all-robotic manufacturing facility in Louisville, KY. You’ll find Linak actuators under the most expensive standing desk models from Steelcase, Workrite and other “commercial contract” furniture manufacturers.
The Lander Lite base starts at $649 for the budget-friendly “single-stage” (2-segment leg) version—for those users who are of middling height and not concerned with the extreme bottom end and top end height reaches of the desk. This single-stage version has a height range of 26.6″-46.75″. The dual-stage (3-segment leg) XT version will give you a reach of 23.25”-49.25”.
For the vertically-challenged among us is that the Lander Lite can be raised up an additional 6” with iMovR’s leg extension kit, particularly helpful for those users who might add an office treadmill in the future. Attaching these extensions to the dual-stage Lander Lite base will endow it with a height adjustment range of 29.25″-55.25″.
You can also choose which crossbar type you need. For desktops between 45″ and 53″, there’s a fixed-width crossbar. For desktops 53″-71″, there’s an adjustable crossbar.
The Lander Lite single-stage base is $649 with the fixed-width crossbar and $699 with the adjustable crossbar. Moving up to the dual-stage XT version will add $75 to whichever crossbar option you choose.
Most dual-motor standing desks have a controller box that sits under the desktop, to which the motors and user handset are connected. For cost savings the Lander Lite has the controller integrated into the “master” leg, driving its own motor at the same time as one in the “slave” leg. There’s no real downside to this unless you’re planning on converting your desk to a 3-legged L-desk at some point in the future. One of the unique features of the original Lander base is that it’s the only one on the market that can be field upgraded to a 3-legged L-shaped desk, but with the integrated controller design, this isn’t going to be a future option on the Lander Lite base.
Otherwise, the lifting columns used in the Lander Lite are just as impressively fast (1.6 inches-per-second) and just as impressively quiet as the heavier-duty original. While the frame brackets and crossbar are the same on both desks the legs are positioned in a “T-leg” configuration on the Lander Lite, while the original desk is configured with a cantilevered “C-leg.” This makes sense given the overall “lightness” of the Lander Lite. As we discuss in detail in our primer on What Makes Some Standing Desks Shakier than Others?, the more weight you’re going to lift, the more you’re going to want a C-leg configuration to minimize side-loading on your lifting columns since most users distribute most of their equipment weight on the back half of their desktops (PCs, monitors, printers, etc.)
The last difference in the construction of the underframe is the more basic feet on the Lander Lite, which weigh one-fourth as much and aren’t as nicely designed (in our aesthetic opinion) as the supremely beefy ones on the original Lander. Again, for most user’s desk setups this is not going to be a very noticeable difference but the heavier your desktop, the wider and deeper it’s going to be, and the more stuff you plan to put on top of it, the more you’re going to want to spring the extra $150 for the more muscular, heavy (and thus and more stable) Lander base.
Don’t Let Your Standing Desk Just Sit There
The Lander Lite electric lifting base utilizes Linak’s gesture handsets, which are different from the old-school button-style handsets you’ll commonly find on standing desks. These handsets have an iPhone-esque ease of use… just tap the paddle up or down to get the desk to move in that direction. It’ll automatically stop at the next pre-programmed height preference.
In the coolest feature we’ve seen on any standing desk—yet immensely practical—the Lander will actually remind you to stand, and gently so, at intervals that you set through the app or through the discretely hidden buttons on the paddle. You’ll get a push notification to your phone and/or notice the blinking color lights on the height paddle’s display whenever it’s time to get up.
The Lander and Lander Lite standing desks were the first to incorporate Bluetooth capability and able to sync with a smartphone app. You can read more about the app in our Lander Standing Desk Review. At the time of this writing, the app is one developed by Linak and includes a built-in “health coach” that has been shown in a study conducted in Denmark to increase daily standing height usage by more than 2x.
Not sure how meaningful it is to have a built-in health coach? The data is in, and it may surprise you.
iMovR has been developing its own app, the iMovR Ergodynamics App, which was first released for their ZipDesk line. This will soon contain a driver for the Lander and Lander Lite desks as well, giving users two choices in which app they prefer to use.
The advantage of iMovR’s own app is that it will be compatible with other Bluetooth-enabled devices the company plans to introduce in the future, including a really nifty electric monitor arm (supporting up to six LCD displays) and the next-gen ThermoTread GT Office Treadmill, among others. A single tap on your smartphone will simultaneously transmit all your preferred settings to these devices so all you have to do is tap “SIT”, “STAND” or “WALK” for example, and several motors will work in concert to reset your workstation configuration. You can read more about iMovR’s Bluetooth roadmap here.
Putting It Together
Assembly for the base is easier than the typical base. Check out the instructions for a closer look. There are two ways to go here. You can assemble the entire base first and then place it over the desktop, or (our favorite approach) you can attach only the frame parts to the desktop and then plug the legs into the frame as a second step. Both approaches work but the latter is just a little easier, especially if you have limited working space or are working on the floor.
One thing about both the Lander and Lander Lite bases that is a real bonus is that on that inevitable date in the future when you will need to move the desk to another office or home, the legs can be removed from the frame in two minutes (see video) for easy transport. Re-assembly is also a matter of two minutes, no tools needed. Compare this to any conventional standing desk that requires an extensive amount of disassembly and re-assembly, with power tools, and the likelihood of having to drill new holes into the desktop to make sure everything is nice and tight again.
Government and large enterprise customers often require ANSI/BIFMA X5.5-2014 Certification on any ergonomic desks that they buy, which is what keeps the “Grand Rapids Mafia” (Steelcase, Herman Miller, et al) in a lock on 40% of office furniture sold. iMovR is one of only two standing desk manufacturers that sell online, as opposed to going through contract furniture dealers, that offer BIFMA-certified products, now that the full Lander and Lander Lite desks have both earned their certifications.
The fancy term “contract furniture” just means that the product has been tested at an independent laboratory to the industry’s standard for durability, reliability, stability and safety. In other words, large enterprise buyers can be assured that their BIFMA certified furniture is built to last, not fall apart quickly like many desk products that are sold online. Learn more about this subject in our primer on What is ANSI/BIFMA and How Does it Relate to Standing Desks.
The Lander Lite electric lifting base comes with an industry-leading lifetime warranty on the frame and a 15-year warranty on the motors and electronics, as well as a 100-day satisfaction guarantee. To enable such a bullet-proof warranty a manufacturer has to have tremendous faith in the componentry, precision machining and testing of the product that are reflected in the higher price you pay for a product like this.
While some of the Chinese-made competitors like UpLift and Fully (both using a lifting base manufactured by Jiecang) have upped their warranty terms to seemingly match iMovR’s, consumers should be aware that not all warranties are created equal. Some insert a bevy of carve-outs in the fine print that might leave you out in the cold if ever you run into a component failure in the future. In fact, there’s so much spin going on in warranty terms marketing claims these days that we had to write a separate primer just on How To Compare Warranty Policies Between Standing Desk Manufacturers, which we encourage the consumer to read ahead of making their final purchase decision.
Our staff experts’ advice is to always go with the higher-quality componentry of a top-shelf American or European-made base and significantly reduce the odds of ever having to deal with the immense hassle of an out-of-commission desk. Keep in mind that desks generally start to underperform before they fail, and loose manufacturing tolerances will lead to performance issues such as grease streaking, squeaking when in transit, and increasing shakiness over time.
How the Lander Lite Base Fits In With Other iMovR DIY Bases
When iMovR originally announced the Lander Desk in early 2018, they never intended to sell it standalone, since its primary feature was enabling complete factory pre-assembly of a standing desk. The DIY crowd quickly voiced the demand for the base kit despite iMovR’s marketing plans, and so they have responded by releasing the 2-leg kit in 2019 and the 3-leg kit in 2021.
If you’ve got the money and you just want the very best there’s no question the Lander Standing Desk Base is the king of the active office workstations. It’s got more power, weight and stability for larger loads and larger sized desks, including L-shaped desks. The original Lander is still the go-to model for treadmill desks where the enhanced stability makes it a no-brainer.
On the other hand, if you want the technology, exceptional made-in-USA quality and reliability, ease of installation and superb warranty but are on a tighter budget the Lander Lite will do just fine in the vast majority of cases.
iMovR’s Freedom Standing Desk Base is the next step after the Lander and the Lander Lite. It is the lowest-cost high-quality base made in the USA. Same precision robotic manufacturing, same 15-year warranty, but it is decidedly a no-frills option. The height controller has a simple LCD readout with two programmable height settings.
There is also iMovR’s Studio 470 Standing Desk Base. The Studio 470 base was designed for one purpose: to make a high-quality yet inexpensive small-sized standing desk. A supremely lightweight design is easy to handle and perfectly suited to the compact footprint. It is not the base to place under a large, heavy desktop, or to be used with a lot of desktop equipment. If you’re looking to make a fast and simple compact standing desk for use with a laptop setup or minimal computer gear this new robotically manufactured base gives cheap Chinese-made DIY frames a serious run for the money.
The Lander Lite electric lifting base itself is very easy to put together and take apart. It has the same made-in-USA quality as the original Lander, with the same superb warranty. The built-in health coach reminders result in at least twice as much use at standing height, according to studies. It’s controlled by the same smartphone app as the original Lander, via Bluetooth link to the sleek and intuitive gesture height control paddle. All this is to say, the Lander Lite base frame is fantastic. It brings most of the technology of the Lander frame, at a lower price.
It fits in nicely in the iMovR lineup of DIY bases between the top-shelf Lander and value-centric Freedom. If you’re going the DIY standing desk route because you want a specialty or custom top, but don’t need the lifting capacity of the Lander, the Lander Lite is where you should end up.
For more information on DIY standing desk bases, check out this comprehensive guide.