iMovR Elite Treadmill Desk Review
- Lab tested
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The Cadillac of electric height-adjustable desks, ThermoDesk’s top-of-the-line Elite model is a clean-sheet design with specific features for treadmill deskers, and can adjust to either stand-to-walk size (48″ or 60″) or a full sit-to-walk width (72″ or 83″). Every feature imaginable is included in this executive desk system. The state-of-the-art, all-digital, iMovR ThermoTread GT Office Treadmill included in this combo is the very best walking base available on the market today, and features a smartphone-like, touch-screen LCD console.
The entire desk is custom-made and shipped with the treadmill and all accessories within 5-7 business days. Factory pre-assembly option is available for the desk (the treadmill doesn’t require any assembly). Inside delivery and white glove delivery options also available.
1.5″ per second
Advanced LED with 4 Programmable Height Presets
All tops are 1.125″ thick
Designer White, Warm White, Haute Gray, Shark Gray, Black, Clove Mahogany, Shaker Cherry, Urban Walnut, Light Maple, Almond Cherry, Hayward Cherry
24″ (28″ with leg extenders)
50.5″ including desk top (54.5″ with optional leg extensions)
|Walking Belt Size||
20″ x 50″
3.0 HP/ 4000 RPM
Treadmill: 42.7 dB
iMovR CloudStation adapter will be offered next year, connecting both the desk and treadmill to the cloud for easy integration with popular wearable devices and corporate wellness software platforms
|Quality and Aesthetics|
|Suitability for Treadmill Desking|
|Positives||It simply doesn't get any better than this (unless you opt for the SteadyType upgrade with iMovR's sister product, the Everest Treadmill Desk). The Elite desk is made in America, with the highest quality components and manufacturing tolerances, and features the strongest warranty in the industry. It reaches higher than any other adjustable-height desk (54.5"), adding needed reach for taller individuals on a treadmill, and even greater stability for users of all heights. The 3D laminated desktops that iMovR is famous for are the ultimate in durability, elegance and ergo-contoured comfort - and come in four different widths. With its telescoping base width the Elite - like the Everest - can be configured as a stand-walk workstation (48" or 60") or full, sit-stand-walk configuration (72" or 83") accommodating both a treadmill and full-sized office chair side-by-side.|
|Negatives||Lacks the SteadyType keyboard tray only found in iMovR's Omega line (Everest, Olympus and Denali). Although the desktop is pre-drilled for easy installation of a ThermoDesk Stowaway Ergonomic Keyboard Tray, the built-in SteadyType offers greater tilt adjustability and rock-solid desk stability.|
[Editors’ Note—Oct 11, 2022: It is with great disappointment that we hear iMovR has decided to suspend production of the ThermoTread GT Office Treadmill Base. They give a full explanation of why on their website. They also elaborate on their continued commitment to developing products for the treadmill desking community, especially their standing desks—which remain the very best kind to pair with an under-desk treadmill (e.g. Lander, Lander Lite and Jaxson)—as well as SteadyType keyboard trays, treadtop standing mat, treadtop seats, treadmill lubricant, under-treadmill anti-static mats, etc.). We leave this content up for posterity, and hope to see iMovR re-enter the walking treadmill base market someday in the future. But for now we appear to have lost the #1-rated option in the category; along with 15 other brands of treadmill desk manufacturers out of 18 that we have reviewed since 2013 that have also exited the stage. The pandemic and other market forces has taken a great toll on these suppliers.]
[Editors’ Note May 24, 2018: The iMovR Elite has been discontinued. iMovR’s newest model, the Lander Desk, features the same premium build-quality as the Elite, with an easier assembly process and an app-compatible controller. See our review of the Lander Treadmill Desk including iMovR’s ThermoTread GT Office Treadmill. We leave our original review of the Elite Treadmill Desk here for posterity.]
The Name Doesn’t Lie
Since its introduction in 2014, iMovR’s ThermoDesk Elite adjustable-height desk has been the top choice of discriminating customers looking for nothing short of the best – the highest quality components, strongest warranty, cleanest looks, lowest power consumption, highest reach and stability – and the ability to match just about any office space and decor imaginable. In fact, the only desk that rates higher than the Elite is its close cousin – the iMovR Omega Everest – which is the very same desk in every aspect, except for its built-in SteadyType™ keyboard tray (read more about that below).
This treadmill desk workstation combo combines the iMovR Elite desk with the all-digital, iMovR ThermoTread GT office treadmill – the most technologically-advanced walking treadmill base available on the market today. The ThermoTread GT is the only office treadmill to currently hold our 5-star Experts’ Rating. Read our detailed review of the ThermoTread GT treadmill base to learn more about how the 2015 introduction of the ThermoTread marked the end of the first generation of walking workstations, and the beginning of the second. We’ll cover the basics of both products below, but to find out more about the ThermoDesk Elite Adjustable-Height Desk, read our more detailed review on it here.
iMovR has come into its own right as a maker of a broad array of adjustable height desk and table models—ten lines of products by our last count. iMovR desks are known for their exceptionally durable and attractive 3D laminated surfaces, high quality componentry, and long warranties, as well as for having the most advanced ergonomic features for standing and walking workers.
The ThermoTread GT can be combined with any number of suitable height-adjustable desks on the market, including the models made by iMovR itself. The Elite height-adjustable desk has long been a favorite to combine with other treadmill bases like the LifeSpan TR1200-DT3 and LifeSpan TR5000-DT3. What makes the Elite-ThermoTread combination even more special, however, is a digital integration between the desk and the treadmill when they’re both connected to the internet using iMovR’s CloudStation adapter, an optional add-on component expected to be released next year. Read more about that below.
The Keyboard Tray Decision
There is only one criteria for choosing the iMovR Omega Everest desk over the ThermoDesk Elite, and this has to do with the keyboard tray. The Elite’s tabletop is the standard rectangle – albeit with beautifully contoured ergo-edging and completely sealed 3D lamination. It is pre-drilled for easy installation of the ThermoDesk Stowaway Ergonomic Keyboard Tray, which is an extremely popular option with the Elite (about 90% of buyers used to opt for it before the introduction of the Everest). And there are still a few who do opt for this approach over the SteadyType-equipped Everest, namely because they work with a lot of paper flow and don’t want to give up the real estate on their desktop for anything. However, if a keyboard tray is something you were thinking about, give serious consideration to the SteadyType built-in keyboard. The upgrade to the Everest actually costs slightly less than adding a Stowaway tray to an Elite desk, but its performance in a treadmill desking application is unmatched.
Using data from its own extensive research into the ergonomics of using a computer while standing or walking, iMovR developed the patent-pending SteadyType keyboard tray to overcome two huge ergonomic issues present in other treadmill desks. The first issue is that if you want to use an adjustable keyboard tray to work in a more neutral posture and minimize “computer hunch,” the resulting “moment lever” often makes any two-legged desk rock like a fisherman’s dory in a Nor’easter. Of course, that assumes you can find a tray that’ll even mount to your adjustable-height desk without running into the crossbar under the tabletop.
The second problem is that most conventional keyboard trays only adjust to a maximum of -15 degrees of tilt to avoid digging into your thighs while sitting. According to iMovR’s research, the most ergonomic hand and forearm position is between -30 and -40 degrees (the SteadyType can adjust to -85), at which typing speed and accuracy—regardless of walking speed—is restored to the same level as when working in a seated position.
As the name implies, the SteadyType keyboard tray is rock solid. Being mounted as close as physically possible to the desk’s crossbars, the moment lever is so small that it has virtually no effect on the desk’s stability (see this entertaining Battle of the Keyboard Trays video to get a sense for the remarkable difference in stability). Gone are the sore palms from pressing down hard in order to keep your fingers in position over the keyboard as your body sways while walking. The net result is a neutral typing position (picture a sleeping astronaut, arms almost straight down) with completely relaxed hands, wrists, arms, shoulders, and neck muscles with typing proficiency equal to or better than what it is when you’re seated.
We’ve watched hundreds of people try an Omega desk in our Bellevue Trialing Center while walking on a treadmill, and compare it to other desk models equipped with traditional under-desk keyboard trays such as the ThermoDesk Stowaway Keyboard Tray or the Humanscale Float Keyboard Tray. The difference in typing proficiency is so palpable that users express a clear preference for the Omega model in virtually every case. But if you’re not sold on the need for a keyboard tray then going with the Elite desk will save you $275 over the Everest.
Made in America for Maximum Reliability, Reach, and Stability
The Elite employs iMovR’s Reliant Base as its foundation. As such, it is entirely made in Michigan to the highest manufacturing tolerances, and incorporates dual, precision Bosch motors made in Germany. The Elite comes with the longest warranty of any electric desk (excepting the Everest, of course, which is identical in warranty coverage), and has a full digital hand controller with four programmable presets.
The ThermoDesk Elite reaches an exceptionally high 50.5″, and there’s also the option of adding another 4″ of height by using a leg extender kit, for a max height of 54.5″. Another way to get a little extra height and add a nifty feature to the desk is to add optional caster wheels to the base, plussing up the height of the desk by another 2-1/2″, for a total tabletop height reach of 57″ once you factor in the desk top, extenders, and casters. This truly is the pinnacle of top-end reach among the field of standing desks on the market today. That’s important because many stand up desks top out at 48″, the “ANSI/BIFMA” standard that most desk manufacturers strive for. This leaves taller individuals with a shaky desk at best, or a desk that doesn’t reach high enough at worst. In contrast, we’ve yet to meet an individual too tall to use the Everest and Elite—even with the additional 5″ of treadmill deck beneath their feet.
It’s important to note that average-height people will definitely want to consider the 4″ leg extenders as well, because these can improve the stability of the desk for anyone over 5’8″ tall when walking on a treadmill. Here’s why that’s the case. Extending the “bottom tube” of the lifting leg significantly increases the overlap area at the ends of each of the three telescoping tubes that make up the desk leg. With the optional extenders, the Everest and Elite test out as the most stable desks on the market in our evaluations. Based on our testing, we believe they’re well worth the additional investment. At the moment, these extenders are unique to the Everest and Elite models, although we are told they should soon be available on iMovR’s UpTown and Olympus models as well.
Many Tabletop Options With Fast Delivery
iMovR’s factory is set up to produce made-to-order tabletops on demand, allowing them to offer literally thousands of different desktop customizations across their lines of adjustable height desks. You configure your desk online, selecting from four different widths (48″, 60″, 72″ or 83″), one of the eleven standard 3D laminate colors, choosing a black or silver base. Then you can add any number of options such as a matching 2-drawer mobile file cabinet, flush mounted power+USB nodes that go into the grommet holes on top of the desk, and an assortment of standing mats, monitor arms and other popular accessories for completing your workstation.
3D laminate is the most durable and attractive laminate available, and unique to iMovR in the adjustable height furniture world. It is more resistant to dings, scratches, chemicals and moisture penetration than the conventional high-pressure laminate (HPL) that’s been used by most manufacturers for decades, and allows for computer-controlled precision, ergo-contouring of all the edges prior to lamination. Even the grommet holes are completely sealed under the lamination, hermetically sealing the wood against potential moisture damage.
The result is a tabletop that costs the same as conventional HPL but has the extravagant look of natural hardwood, and designed to last a lifetime. Each top is made to order, kitted on the same pallet with the treadmill and all the other purchased components, and typically ships out the door in 5-7 business days. Also unique to iMovR is the highly popular option of having the entire desk pre-assembled at the factory and shipped complete.
Many desks come with a grommet option, which is important to consider. Check out our article on grommet holes, with 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.
The only treadmill designed for the commercial office environment
The ThermoTread GT is not only quieter, smaller and more power efficient than competing bases, it’s the only one with a touch-screen LCD desktop console. There are many advantages to this smartphone-like console, such as making the unit “future proof” with the ability to download new software features as iMovR adds them. In designing the all-digital ThermoTread GT, iMovR knew that for widespread adoption of treadmill desks to occur in the enterprise, the liability question would need to be addressed. Unique to the ThermoTread is a built-in “click-wrap liability waiver” that the user must acknowledge with one button press before the treadmill will power up. This protects the employer, property owner and anyone in between from any potential liability, because even though no one has ever been injured on a treadmill desk at 2.5 mph or less, perception is reality, and this makes the lawyers and insurance companies happy.
Up to five user profiles can be stored in the console, and next year, with the addition of iMovR’s forthcoming CloudStation adapter, users will be able to store they profiles in the cloud and access them from anywhere in the world, any time they’re at an iMovR standing desk or treadmill desk. Not only will you be able to change your desk height through the treadmill’s console, but when you change to Sit, Stand or Walk mode on the ThermoTread’s controller, the desk will also automatically move to the correct preset height, while keeping track of how much time you’re spending in each modality.
And that’ll be true on any CloudStation-equipped iMovR Treadmill Desk, anywhere in the world. While the standalone ThermoTread GT supports only 5 user profiles, with the CloudStation attached there is no limit to the number of users who can log in, retrieve their settings profile, and have all their usage data automatically updated to the web, and interchanged with their wearable devices and corporate wellness software platforms. Again, see our full review of the ThermoTread GT Office Treadmill for more details.
Found in the nicest offices
Like the Everest, the Elite is very commonly found in law firms and executive offices, where maximum productivity, supreme reliability, and decor compatibility are the driving functions. With hundreds of customizable permutations and the best ergonomics, stability, appearance and warranty available, the Elite has already been extremely popular in high-decor offices, but now paired with the exceptional ThermoTread GT office treadmill, it is as handsome, reliable and versatile treadmill desk as you can get.
Almost as nice, and an even better consumer value, is the iMovR UpTown desk combined with the ThermoTread GT. The difference is in the base which, while of an extremely high quality but made in China, rather than America, and with a less robust warranty. UpTown also offers nine different tabletop size options versus the standard four offered with the Elite, and is also available with a SteadyType option – known as the Omega Olympus desk. In fact, a great compromise to make if you’d really like to have the SteadyType tray, but are trying not to bust the budget, is to opt for the Omega Olympus Treadmill Desk combo, which is roughly the same cost as the Elite Treadmill Desk combo.
And you can take even one more step down in price without sacrificing on the ergonomics by choosing the iMovR Omega Denali desk combined with the ThermoTread GT. The Denali’s base is a manual (crank) model, with a 200 lb lift capacity and easy-turn handle. If you can live without the electric height change feature, it’ll save you a good deal of cash. See our reviews of the iMovR Olympus Treadmill Desk and iMovR Denali Treadmill Desk for more info.
If you’re thinking of buying or selling a used treadmill desk, be sure to check out our primer on used treadmill desks, and especially the conquest bonuses offered by some manufacturers to switch to their brand.