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iMovR Lander Standing Desk Review

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iMovR Lander Standing Desk Review

Overview
MSRP / List Price

Starting at $1,049

Shipping

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.

Warranty

Frame: Lifetime Warranty
Tabletop: 5 years
Moving Parts: 10 years
Electronics: 10 years

Lift Type

Electric

Transit Speed

1.6" per second

Controller

High res LCD display with Bluetooth connection to smartphone app

Sizes Available

1-1/8" desktop thickness
30" depth
41", 47", 53", 59", 65", 71", 77", 83" desktop widths
L-desk options also available

Colors Available

See all 16 Colors of 3D Laminate See all 36 Species/Stain Combos in Solid Wood
Base legs are available in silver, black, or white.

Maximum Height

24.5" - 50.5"
+Height extenders: Add 6"

Weight Capacity

360 lbs.

Power Consumption

200W in motion
0.1W standby power

ANSI/BIFMA Certified

Yes - X5.5-2014 Certified

Positives

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

Negatives

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

Experts' Rating
Stability
Reliability
Customer Experience
Quality and Aesthetics
Ergonomics
Innovation
Value
Suitability for Treadmill Desking
Bottom Line

The Lander is the rare revolutionary—not simply evolutionary—standing desk. It's entirely made in the USA, assembles in minutes without tools, and boasts a sleek height controller that syncs to your smartphone, among other distinctive technological advancements.

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Review

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. Recently they even added 36 species/stain options in luxurious real wood, just for the Lander line, raising the bar substantially in the contest for "the best standing desk money can buy." 

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.).

The Lander, and its new sister product, the Lander Lite, are two of only three standing desks you can buy online that have earned ANSI/BIFMA X5.5-2014 certification, the gold standard for "contract furniture" quality, durability, reliability and performance.

In other words, their aim was to make the most reliable electric standing desk ever also the easiest ever to assemble. In this review we'll see just how well they did at hitting the mark. 

Lander in Clove Mahogany

Assembles in Minutes, No Tools Required

This 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!

Lander controllerWith 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 Intrusive 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. 

Lander and Lander with SteadyTypeWith 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

Lander tabletop finishWith 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.

ANSI/BIFMA Certified

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 Lander has earned its certification.

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?

At WorkWhileWalking & WorkWhileStanding we pride ourselves in our own lab testing abilities, which while not as automated as BIFMA testing (which can take 2-3 weeks to conduct, with many thousands of repetitions) has some more practical real-world aspects to it. For example, we test the "duty cycle" on each standing desk to see if it matches the spec. Most desks have a duty cycle of 10%, meaning that when fully loaded to the desk's maximum specified weight lifting capacity the motors can be run continuously for 2 minutes before they overheat and get shut down by either a heat sensor or current sensor. They can then take up to 18 minutes to cool down before the desk motors can be activated again. The Lander is the first desk we've ever tested that exceeded two minutes, going five minutes without shutting off the motors—under a full load of 360 lbs. And then it only required a few seconds of cool-down before the motors would start running again. That's impressive.

To see what goes into a typical ANSI/BIFMA X5.5 certification test take a look at the independent laboratory's report on the Lander Desk.

Truth in Advertising When it Comes to "Made in USA"

One final note on this subject of American versus Chinese-made standing desks. 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 robotically manufactured in Kentucky, the receiving sockets and crossbar are presently made in Denmark, 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

Treadmill Lander Desk with SteadyTypeLike 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 outside our lab in the Seattle rain for two years, and it still hasn’t shown any signs of water damage!)

The Lander comes in the same 16 standard 3D-laminate colors as iMovR’s other desk and table products. Recently, iMovR added the option of solid wood tops with 36 stunning species and stain combinations. It doesn't get any finer in the standing desk arena than these new natural wood tops. (For a deeper dive on desktops be sure to check out our primers on The Ultimate Guide to Desk Top Materials for Standing Desks and Comparing All Real Wood Standing Desk Options.)

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. iMovR is also the king of color selections, with all 52 colors (16 in 3D laminate, 36 more in real wood species) being available in all of these sizes. 

The bases are painted with a high-quality powder coat finish, with standard color options being black, white or silver. As with the desktops iMovR does offer even more custom colors for large bulk orders.

Also available are 6” leg extenders, like the ones that iMovR offers on their other electric standing 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 and real wood desktops, which are covered for five years (most desk manufacturers offer no warranty on their tops, or one year at the most). 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.

In Conclusion

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 "IKEA 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 nearly 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 cool technology advancements of the Lander, there's good news. We have just completed our review of the new Lander Lite. Fifteen months after the introduction of the Lander Desk iMovR has released a new "light" version of the desk with a performance range and price point that's more suited to the maintstream user. Starting prices on the Lander Lite are about $250 less than the original Lander, so it's definitely worth checking out. See our complete lab-test Lander Lite Standing Desk Review.

Updates Since Our Original Review:

We're not the only ones to rank the Lander Desk as the #1 best standing desk in the market today. In fact, so far every review site that has tested it side-by-side against the competition has come to the same conclusion. Most recently USA Today's Reviewed.com subsidiary named the iMovR Lander Standing Desk as its Editor's Choice and Best Overall Standing Desk on the market in the article The Best Standing Desks of 2019. The roundup highlighted the Lander's industry leading design, intuitive technology features, craftsmanship and ease-of-use, concluding that "The Lander is still our top choice for its American-made quality, durability and intuitiveness."

New! Lander DIY Base now available: When we first reviewed the Lander iMovR had no plans to offer the base standalone, as it was designed specifically for factory pre-assembly. However, the Lander's other features had the DIY community banging on their door for a standalone base kit, and so we've given it the full work-up. Check out our Lander Standalone Desk Base Kit review.

New! L-Desk now available: iMovR's innovative new L-Desk series is based on the Lander Desk. From what we've seen in our lab testing it makes good on its claim to require less than ten minutes to assemble (most sit-stand L-desks take 60-90 minutes and strong assistants to assemble).

 

 

Full disclosure: iMovR and WorkWhileWalking have mutual ownership interest. Learn More

Free Shipping within the continental United States. Inquire at iMovR.com for other locations.

The iMovR Lander has an excellent warranty: Lifetime on the frame, 10 years on moving parts and electronics, and 5 years on the tabletop.
The Lander Desk
Lamination Type 3D-Laminate or Solid Wood
Edging Ergo-contoured
Grommets All 3D-laminated tops have dual, fully-laminated, 80-mm grommet holes
Solid wood tops have optional, fully stained and sealed 80mm grommet holes
Table Thickness 1.125" in 3D-laminate, 1.25" in solid wood
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 16 3D colors and 36 real wood species and stain combos
Durability Super-durable
Special Features Anti-Collision Technology, Bluetooth-enabled controller, Smartphone app,
ANSI/BIFMA X5.5-2014 Certified
Country of Origin USA

 

Check out our comprehensive Comparison Review of Electric Standing Desks.

 

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