iMovR Lander Standing Desk Review
Starting at $999
Free shipping in the continental United States. Additional charges for AK, HI, Canada. DHL available for international.
All iMovR desks are made to order and shipped within 5-7 business days. Add up to 5 business days for freight delivery to anywhere in the continental US.
Frame: Lifetime Warranty
Tabletop: 5 years
Moving Parts: 10 years
Electronics: 10 years
1.6" per second
High res LCD display with Bluetooth connection to smartphone app
1-1/8" tabletop thickness
30" tabletop depth
41", 47", 53", 59", 65", 71", 77", 83" tabletop widths
Available standard woodgrain colors for the desktop include Mahogany, Hayward Cherry, Shaker Cherry, Almond Cherry, Light Maple and Urban Walnut, while Black, Designer (frosty) White, Warm White (beige), Haute Gray (putty) and a stunning Shark Gray are the available solid colors. Base legs are available in silver, black, or white.
24.5" - 50.5"
+Height extenders: Add 6"
American-made quality, intuitive height controller, controller syncs to smartphone app, fully assembles in minutes, anti-collision technology, two-tap automatic lift, sleek 3D-laminated tabletops
Desk base is not available separately for purchase, currently offered in only one tabletop depth (30") although more sizes and shapes will be offered soon
Disclosure: iMovR and WorkWhileWalking have mutual ownership interest*
State-of-the-Art Redefined: Revolutionary or Evolutionary?
As in many commercial fields, we see a continuous stream of new standing desk products in our test lab every month, including many “me too” products from countless copycat producers. Yes, there are the occasional few with one or two nice evolutionary enhancements like a new tabletop finish option or nicer hand controller plastics than last year’s model, but it has been several years since we’ve seen a truly revolutionary new entrant.
The new Lander Desk from iMovR bristles with evolutionary enhancements, and it brings not one, but two new revolutionary developments to the fore, putting a significant distance between iMovR and its nearest competitors. We expect nothing less from iMovR, which introduced the revolutionary SteadyType® ergonomic keyboard tray for standing desks three years ago (and now also available as an add-on for other brands of standing desks with their Elevon™ Standing Desk Keyboard Tray), and stunning, ultra-durable 3D laminated surface finishes four years ago.
In keeping with their reputation as the most innovative standing desk manufacturer, Seattle-based iMovR spent more than two years developing the Lander Desk. Their simple aim: to eliminate the #1 hesitation people have about switching to a standing desk, the hassle of assembling a 200 lb. desk by themselves (or finding someone to help them put it together), and the fear of a highly inconvenient disruption to their work should anything go wrong during assembly (hassles of dealing with warranty repair, shipping parts back and forth, loss of the use of their desk in the interim, etc.).
Assembles in Minutes, No Tools Required
And that goal iMovR indeed achieved with flying colors, legitimizing the claim behind the name “Lander” – that is, this desk can literally be plugged in and used within minutes of landing at your doorstep. Where literally all other standing desks are essentially “IKEA kits,” to one degree or another, the Lander is so easy to put together even a kid could do it—or a business exec wearing an expensive suit, or heels and skirt—without the use of any tools whatsoever. No getting down on the floor to futz with Allen keys and screwdrivers, and no chance of accidentally installing the wrong bolt or destroying a desktop putting the wrong length screw through it.
The trick? The Lander’s frame, leg sockets, and controller are already attached to the bottom of the desktop. All the cables are neatly tacked down, and everything has been factory-tested before shipping to ensure a successful installation each and every time.
The steps to assembling a Lander desk are remarkably simple (just watch the video). With the tabletop upside-down on the floor, insert the two legs into their respective receiving sockets. Then set a clamp over each receiving socket, insert the hard-plastic plug into the clamp and step on it to secure each firmly leg in place. The connection is remarkably solid and perfectly aligned, as stable as any desk we’ve ever assembled with four to six bolts holding each leg in place. Lastly, attach the pigtail connector to each leg. Flip the desk over, plug it in, and you’re ready to stand.
Is the “98% factory pre-assembled” claim legit? Once you remove the desktop and legs from their ample protective packaging, and assuming you’ve already watched the very short assembly video, then, yes, it should indeed take you only a couple of minutes to have your desk ready to flip over and start using.
The instruction manual will do if you haven’t watched the video. There is a QR code and link on the instruction manual that takes you to a page describing how to use the smartphone app (iOS and Android are supported)—since it is something that will be updated often—but it’s a refreshingly simple app and frankly we never needed to reference any documentation to figure out how to use it.
For buyers of a 59” or wider desk the crossbar makes for a very convenient channel for running some of your computer cables through to keep your desk looking tidy. This feature isn’t touted by iMovR because their smaller-sized desks don’t have this style of crossbar, but there’s no reason not to take advantage of it. Of course, iMovR also sells more robust cable management kits for those who have more gear to deal with.
Disassembly is almost as easy, requiring only a screwdriver (used as a lever) to pop the clamps off. After that, it’s the same process in reverse, taking only minutes to fully disassemble the Lander Desk. That can come in very handy if you ever need to move your desk to another home or office in the future, which can be a bear of a task with most any other desk, requiring tools, time, and the instruction manual, wherever you left it.
Look Ma, No Hands!
With the Lander’s ultra-sleek “height paddle” you don’t need to grope around searching for the right button to press or avert your eyes from your work just to change your desk’s height. Two taps upwards or downwards on the paddle will command the Lander to move up or down to the next “favorite” position (out of four programmable heights). The hi-res display in the paddle shows your height changing with the precision of 1/10th of an inch (or centimeter) in a crisp, easy to read font, not the segmented-LED display most other desk controllers use.
But hold on a minute. If you’ve read our standing desk reviews before then you know that electric standing desks sold in the US require you to keep your finger on the up or down button the entire duration of the height change. There’s only two ways around this requirement for UL Safety Certification. One is to buy a cheap foreign-made unit from a manufacturer that doesn’t care if they get sued for product liability in the US. The other is to put a Bluetooth transceiver into the desk controller and tie it to an app on your smartphone, where you can click off a liability waiver which gives you the option to switch from sitting to standing with a single tap instead of a prolonged button press. And that’s exactly how iMovR pulled it off with the Lander.
But would you want to disable this safety measure by clicking off on the waiver? Without question, and here’s why. European safety regulations—usually far more stringent than US regs—already allow “fire and forget” single-tap height changes. That’s because high-quality European and American-made desk bases generally include collision detection circuitry these days. These work by detecting a surge in current from the motors and shutting them off immediately if they begin to strain excessively (the assumption being that the desk collided with something immovable like a door knob, trash bin, file cabinet or chair. And thus, UL permitted this “click-wrap” liability waiver, which you get to through the Lander’s smartphone app. We recommend clicking off on the waiver the moment you sync up Bluetooth with your desk and enjoying this unique feature with complete confidence.
A Helpful but Not Overly Annoying Health Coach Built In
Several desks have appeared on the market in recent years with built-in reminders to coax you out of your sitting lulls and make sure you’re reaching your own standing time goals every day. Some of them can be hard to figure out how to program without an instruction manual, and some can buzz loudly and annoyingly when they trigger.
With the Lander these notifications can be easily programmed from the smartphone app (or using one of the three hidden buttons on the hand paddle). There won’t be an annoying buzzer going off each time. Instead, the perimeter of the hand paddle will pulse slowly in a soothing color, and/or you can have your phone set to vibrate with a push notification whenever it is time to stand.
While simple and easy to set up we do expect to see more features added to the free smartphone app over time, based on what we hear from iMovR’s engineers. For now, the main functions are setting your height favorites and notification periods—both of which you can also do using the hidden buttons on the hand paddle. The only thing you really need the app for initially is to click off on the liability waiver, so you can make desk height changes with a single tap. After the initial setup the app is always running in the background to make sure you get your position change notifications, and there really is no reason to open the app again (at least, not until they add some upcoming features like use pattern charting and sharing your calorie burn with your wearable device.)
Like All iMovR Standing Desks Now, Lander is Proudly Made in the USA
In the past iMovR was known for making their advanced 3D-laminated table tops in Michigan but offering both top-quality American-made and lower-cost bases as options on their desks. (They’re still the only maker of standing desks leveraging the 3D lamination technology, maintaining a de facto monopoly on these ultra-durable and elegant finishes.)
With the launch of the Lander, iMovR has decided to go exclusively made-in-USA on their electric desk lines from now on. They have sunsetted their UpTown, Olympus, Ellure and Denali desk lines, which employed relatively high-quality, albeit Chinese-made bases, to focus on the more robust, longer-lasting, and better-performing American-made components.
Indeed, in reviewing countless standing desk models, we have not found any bases from China with the combination of lift capacity (360 lbs), transit speed (1.6 ips), anti-collision technology, and hushed noise signature offered by the Lander, much less with Bluetooth and a smartphone app. But performance specs are only used by marketers to make their product look better than the competition, and they don’t convey the entire story on quality of design and quality of manufacture.
Electric bases in this performance range are the province of a few American and Scandinavian manufacturers that make bases for the likes of Steelcase and Hermann Miller, usually found in shockingly expensive desk lines only sold to large corporate or government buyers. As a brand iMovR’s American-made standing desks may be pricier than the commodity Chinese-based desks you’ll find online, but they’re still a fraction of the cost of the less technologically advanced but ubiquitous desks from the majors like Steelcase.
Why Quality Matters
With something like a standing desk, a product that will endure may “cycles” over its lifetime, as with an automobile or aircraft, precision manufacturing is the key to trouble-free operation and longevity. The precision-machined parts and advanced alloy materials that keep the telescoping legs moving smoothly and efficiently will eventually wear out one molecule at a time, leading to a wobbly, squeaky desk, higher strain on the motors and higher current draw, and potentially, motor failure. This technology isn’t easily replicated by factories focused on commodity production.
The question is whether an electric base is going to potentially fail within the first year of ownership (as hinted by the one-year warranties on some insanely cheap bases made in China) or is designed to last ten years or more without issues. In other words, making an investment in a premium quality desk like the Lander can cost you less in the long run because it’ll continue to perform well for many more years, and certainly save you unwanted hassles.
Truth in Advertising
One final note on this subject of American versus Chinese-made. For some time now we’ve been observing an unsettling trend among the most popular online sellers of standing desks, claiming that their products are made in America when they don’t factually meet the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) definition. We realize that it’s virtually impossible to buy a finished good today, especially with any electronics in it, that is entirely made in one county—be it a refrigerator or a standing desk—but at least half of the components, by “cost and processes,” must be made in America to meet the FTC’s legal definition of Made in America. Some online sellers either never mention the country of origin of the product or talk only about their tabletops being made in America, luring the consumer away from realizing the fact that the base is entirely made in China. This includes popular brands like Fully and UpLift, which don’t like to disclose that they exclusively use Jiecang bases.
As part of our ever-evolving review process we now ask manufacturers to fully disclose the country of origin of their products, because many of our readers really want to know. In the case of the Lander, the tabletops, feet and leg extensions are made in Michigan, the lifting columns are made in Kentucky, the receiving sockets and crossbars are presently made in Denmark and soon to be made in Kentucky as well, and only the smallest component—the hand controller—is marked “Designed in Denmark, Made in China.” That certainly exceeds the 50% threshold, setting the Lander apart from 95% of standing desks being sold online today.
Personalized for You and Built On-Demand
Like all iMovR Desks, the Lander is completely customizable with a vast array of size and color choices, then produced on-demand (“Dell style”) and shipped out within one week of order. The ergo-contoured, 3D laminated surfaces give the desk the look of natural hardwood and are hermetically-sealed—even all the way through the grommet holes—ensuring it will look great and perform great for many years to come. Go ahead and spill your coffee into the grommet hole—unlike most every other desktop you can buy this won’t destroy the wood core of the top. (we’ve left one of iMovR’s 3D laminated tops out in the Seattle rain for a year, and it still hasn’t shown any signs of water damage!)
Lander comes in the same 16 standard colors as iMovR’s other desk and table products. Table widths include 41”, 47”, 53”, 59”, 65”, 71”, 77” and 83” for the popular 30”-deep version—more size options than any other desk sold online. The standard powder-coated base color options are either black or silver, with white being available for bulk orders.
Also coming soon are 6” leg extenders, like the ones that iMovR offers on their other made-in-USA desks. The Lander already has an excellent top-end height of 50”, but with these extenders the Lander can tower up to 56”—ideal for very tall users and for average-to-tall users who intend to use an office treadmill underfoot. The Lander is one of the most rigid, stable desks we’ve ever tested, but if you’re taller and you use a lot of equipment on your desk, you might consider adding the leg extenders just to enhance stability even more (by increasing the overlap area at the ends of the telescoping tubes). So far iMovR is still the only standing desk manufacturer to accommodate the extra-tall market and treadmill deskers with these clever extenders.)
Other customization options include caster wheels, a wide array of standing mats, and every combination of monitor arms you can imagine. To round out your ergonomics, we always recommend a keyboard tray, of course, and with the Lander you have two excellent options. Add the built-in SteadyType® for the ultimate in neutral typing postures. Or, easily install iMovR’s new Trackless Ergonomic Keyboard Tray using the pre-drilled holes on the underside of the desk. Where older iMovR desk models were pre-drilled for the Stowaway Keyboard Tray, the new trackless model is even better, and much easier to install.
Warranty and Shipping
All iMovR desks now feature an industry-leading ten-year warranty on everything except the 3D-laminated desktop, which is covered for five years (most tops have a one-year warranty, if any). Shipping to the lower 48 states is included in the price. Inquire through iMovR.com to get freight quotes for AK, HI, Canada and International.
The Lander comes in two boxes. The legs arrive in a separate box from the desktop, making it much easier to move everything to the room you’re going to assemble the desk in. Both boxes are extraordinarily well designed to survive the abuse of traveling through a freight or parcel network. This is yet another area where you can see that iMovR spent a little more money doing things the right way, aiming to reduce the risk of a customer’s disappointment when they discover that the new desk they’ve been eagerly awaiting has arrived damaged. We can’t even count how many times we’ve received a desk for lab evaluation that arrived damaged—especially the tabletop corners—so it’s great to see this done right.
We’ve been looking forward to “meeting the Landers” for a long time, and we’ve had the pleasure of using some early prototypes for the past few months. In a phrase, “this is going to change everything,” for a lot of users, especially those not fond of DIY projects or who have a hard time getting Facilities or some other resource to help them with their desk adventures. So, we’re genuinely excited for the impact the Lander will have on bringing that many more people into the standing desk fold.
The Lander is clearly more future-proof than any other standing desk we’ve had the pleasure of testing. There have been some gimmicky predecessors that had an iPod built into the desktop (e.g. the Stir Desk) or a smartphone app (e.g. the Autonomous SmartDesk 3, from a bottom-bracket Chinese manufacturer with an extraordinarily bad reliability and customer service record). And there have been multiple attempts at building in standing reminder notifications, but the results have been clunky, at best. The Lander is the first desk we’ve seen to put it all together in a clean way, with true ease-of-use, and on a top-tier mechanical platform.
All this comes at somewhat of a premium price, naturally. While the Lander isn’t the cheapest desk on the market, given its premium components the value is clearly there. Desks built this well tend to last longer and easily justify their higher price by promising lower cost of ownership (purchase price divided by years of use) than cheaper models from China. When you consider the fact that VariDesk’s one-size-fits-all, 100% Chinese-made, Prodesk®60 Electric Desk has the same starting price as this American beauty ($999) the Lander definitely wins for best value for the dollar.
If you’re on a budget yet still want to buy American and not chintz on the quality, check out iMovR’s Freedom line (the Energize and Cascade desks). As DIY affairs go they only take about 20-30 minutes to assemble, and they come in a dizzying array of colors and sizes, including corner models – more décor and size options than any other desk line on the market today. iMovR says they’ll eventually have all the same desktop options on the Lander but have launched with the most popular shapes and sizes first.
Not for the DIY Crowd
There had to be one bit of bad news about the Lander, and this is it. Whereas iMovR has always offered their desk bases without tops, for those who have a very special top of their own in mind to use, the Lander base will not be sold as a base-only DIY kit. The primary reason for this decision is that iMovR already offers the widest array of DIY bases of any company, including the four models you’ll find here: the lowest-cost, Chinese-made, manual crank Relevate base, the lowest-cost American-made Freedom base, the premium American-made Reliant base, and the ultra-strong, Taiwanese-made Vigor base for really heavy duty applications.
Full disclosure: iMovR and WorkWhileWalking have mutual ownership interest, and so, unlike the reviews of every other product on our site, we cannot claim 100% editorial independence. However, we can assure our readers that on this side of the fence we expose the good and the bad of every product, regardless of any financial connection we may have to the manufacturer. iMovR product reviews are done with the same editorial responsibility we have always had reviewing other third party products that we also sell in our stores.
For user reviews of iMovR standing desks, see the testimonials page on iMovR.com.
*Full disclosure: iMovR and WorkWhileWalking have mutual ownership interest. However, we can assure our readers that we expose the good and the bad of every product, regardless of any financial connection we may have to the manufacturer.
|The Lander Tabletop|
|Grommets||All sizes have dual, fully-laminated, 80-mm grommet holes|
|Table Thickness||1.125" Top|
|Available Sizes||41" x 30"
47" x 30"
53" x 30"
59" x 30"
65" x 30"
71" x 30"
77" x 30"
83" x 30"
|Available Standard Colors
See color samples
Designer White (frosty)
Warm White (beige)
|Special Features||Anti-Collision Technology, Bluetooth-enabled controller, Smartphone app|
|Country of Origin||USA|
Check out our comprehensive Comparison Review of Electric Standing Desks.