iMovR UpTown Treadmill Desk Review
- Lab tested
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This is a hard-to-beat combo of the best all-digital office treadmill on the market – iMovR’s ThermoTread GT – with their top value model of desks in the UpTown. With hundreds of customizable options (9 tabletops, 11 standard colors, etc.) and exclusive 3D laminated surfaces, you can match perfectly match your office space and decor scheme. This combo is also the quietest of any treadmill desk on the market, the desk being under 41 dB and the treadmill under 43 dB, quieter than the background noise of typical office air conditioning.
iMovR ThermoTread GT $1649
UpTown Adjustable-Height Desk:
With “Select” (1-1/8″) 3D-laminated desktop:
Standard shipping cost of $249 in the continental United States. Additional costs for AK, HI, Canada. DHL available for international.
Ships within 5-7 days of order. Add up to 5 business days for freight delivery anywhere in the continental US.
1.5″ with acceleration damping
Digital LED with three programmable height presets
All tops available in either Slim (0.75″) or Select (1-1/8″) thicknesses
Designer White, Warm White, Haute Gray, Shark Gray, Black, Clove Mahogany, Shaker Cherry, Urban Walnut, Light Maple, Almond Cherry, Hayward Cherry
50″ including desk top
|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||The UpTown is not only the quietest electric desk in the market, it is also the most configurable. With nine tabletops and eleven standard colors to choose from, like all iMovR desks it is made with state-of-the-art, super-durable and elegant 3D lamination, and offers an industry leading warranty. And it doesn't skimp on power with its 265 lb. lift capacity and 1.45"/sec transit speed, while the built-in acceleration damping feature keeps your coffee cup from sloshing. The all-digital, iMovR ThermoTread GT walking base is the most advanced office treadmill in the market, bar none.|
|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—12/12/2017: iMovR’s highly popular UpStage Treadmill Desk Line (including the Olympus and UpTown models) have been replaced by iMovR’s new Made-in-America Freedom Treadmill Desk Line (featuring the Energize and Cascade desks) and top-of-the-line Lander Treadmill Desk.]
The UpTown Treadmill Desk workstation combines iMovR’s value-rich UpTown stand up desk with their state-of-the-art, ThermoTread GT office treadmill. Within the ThermoDesk line there’s the top-end, American-made Elite stand up desk, and the low-end, manual (crank) Ellure stand up desk. The UpTown is positioned between the two as a middle-of-the-road option. But that doesn’t make it unexceptional.
The UpTown has two exclusive hallmarks. First, it is the quietest electric desk on the market today, operating at under 41 dB. Second, it is the most configurable desk in the world, with no less than nine tabletop sizes, in eleven standard colors, plus another nine corner desk sizes. Like all iMovR desks, its tabletop is made with their exclusive 3D lamination, and the entire desk system—including treadmill and all accessories—is made to order and shipped within 5-7 business days. You can put the desk together yourself or order it factory pre-assembled.
All iMovR adjustable height desks (with the sole exception of the Upsilon Compact Desk) are specifically designed to work well with treadmills. They can be used with any treadmill, but there are some natural advantages to pairing with iMovR’s own ThermoTread GT, which we’ll explain below (read about CloudStation™). But what makes them better than other standing desks for pairing with a walking treadmill is their reinforced stability, taller-than-average height reach (compensating for the 5″-6″ of treadmill base underfoot), and telescoping base widths that can accommodate tabletops from 42″ to 71″ wide. The benefit of the latter being that in a 71″ configuration the legs spread far enough apart to accommodate both a treadmill and full-sized office chair, creating a true “sit-stand-walk” workstation.
A Strong Foundation
The differences between the UpStage base used in the UpTown and Olympus desks, and the Reliant base used in the more upscale iMovR Elite and Everest desks, are nominal. Both come with silent motors—in fact, the UpStage base is a couple of decibels quieter than the already stealthy Reliant base. This makes the UpTown the quietest electric desk in the world and perfect for pairing with the ThermoTread GT—which is 6 decibels quieter than any competing office treadmill—making the entire workstation the quietest treadmill desk in the market.
The UpTown’s lift capacity of 265 lbs is equal to the Elite’s (although the Elite is better at handling the side-load stresses of wider tabletops, and is the go-to choice for desktops as wide as 83″). Its transit speed of 1.45″ per second, top reach of 50″, and its stability are extremely close to the Reliant’s. The most noticeable difference between the two desks is their controllers. The plastic bezel on UpTown controller is less elegant than the plastic bezel on the Elite’s digital hand controller, and it has only three programmable height presets rather than the Elite’s four (still enough for “sit”, “stand”, and “walk”).
So what are you really leaving on the table by opting for the UpTown over the Elite? While Elite’s Reliant base is robotically-manufactured in Michigan to the most exacting standards of any electric base, the UpTown’s imported UpStage base tops the charts in manufacturing quality for made in China. As mentioned above, if you want to go really wide (up to 83″, the Reliant base is the right one for the job), but in the 42″ – 71″ range these desks are quite comparable but for the warranty period. While the UpTown’s warranty is excellent by industry standards—lifetime on the frame, five years on the tabletop and everything else—the Elite’s dual precision Bosch motors come with a ten year warranty. Note that most sit-stand desks sold on the internet do not even offer warranties on their tabletops, whereas iMovR offers an exceptional five-year, full-performance warranty on all their tops.
The Keyboard Tray Decision
There is one reason you may want to spend up for the iMovR Omega Olympus desk over the ThermoDesk UpTown, and it’s because of the keyboard tray. The UpTown’s tabletop is pre-drilled for easy installation of the ThermoDesk Stowaway Ergonomic Keyboard Tray, one of the desk’s fairly popular options. And there are still a few who opt for this approach over the SteadyType-equipped Olympus, 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.
In designing the Omega Olympus, iMovR drew on their extensive research on typing ergonomics for standing desks and treadmill desks. They developed the unique, patent-pending SteadyType keyboard tray that’s built into all their Omega desks in order to overcome the two primary ergonomic issues with other treadmill desks. The first issue is that adjustable keyboard trays—which are necessary to achieve a neutral typing posture—create a “moment lever” against the desk. Assuming you can even find a tray that’ll mount to your stand up desk without running into the crossbar, the resulting moment lever can make any two-legged desk shake like a leaf in an October wind.
The second problem is that most conventional keyboard trays only adjust to a maximum of -15 degrees of tilt, because they’re designed to not dig into your lap while sitting. iMovR’s research has shown the best results for both productivity and comfort are between -30° and -40° (the SteadyType can adjust to -85°), at which typing speed and accuracy—regardless of walking speed—is restored to the same level as when seated.
As the name implies, the SteadyType keyboard tray is granite solid. Being mounted as closely as possible to the desk’s crossbars and center of balance, the moment lever is so small as to have virtually zero effect on the desk’s stability (see this amusing Battle of the Keyboard Trays video to get an idea of the remarkable improvement in stability the SteadyType makes). Your wrists are kept in a neutral position, which is especially beneficial on a treadmill: Because people tend to ‘anchor’ themselves onto the top of the desk to maintain their balance as they walk, walking users are more likely to develop repetitive strain injuries in their wrists. With the SteadyType tray, gone are the sore palms from pressing down hard in order to keep your fingers in position over the keyboard as your body sways with the walking motion.
Reaching for the Top
The UpTown desk has an exceptionally high reach of 50″—like all the other electric height-adjustable iMovR desks. And as great as that is, this is one area in which—for the moment—the Elite does have the UpTown beat. With the addition of optional 4″ leg extenders, the Elite’s top end can be extended to 54.5″—more than any other desk we’ve reviewed. Another way to get more height out of any iMovR desk (including the UpTown), however, is to add optional caster wheels to the base, boosting the height of the desk by another 2.5″, for a total tabletop height reach of 52.5″.
Here’s why the extra height might make a different to you, and possibly enough to warrant buying the Elite over the UpTown. Extending the “bottom tube” of the desk significantly increases the overlap area at the ends of each of the three telescoping tubes that make up the desk leg. Where most other 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 completely out of range at worst. In contrast, the iMovR electric desks have three extra inches already, but adding a treadmill desk underfoot adds another 5″-6″ to your height (ThermoTread, LifeSpan treadmills, respectively) – so the extra 4″ extension can still make a big difference in stability.
Highly Customizable with Rapid Delivery
iMovR’s rapid-customization production line allows them to offer literally thousands of different desktop customizations across their lines of adjustable-height desks. You configure your ideal desk online, selecting from four tabletop widths (ranging from 42″ to 71″), in either the Select thickness (1.125″, conference table thick) or the Slim (0.75″ thick) version, eleven standard 3D laminate colors, and a black or silver base. Then you can add any number of options such as a matching 2-drawer mobile file cabinet, or flush-mounted power+USB nodes that go into the grommet holes on top of the desk. Plus you can further customize your ride with a wide assortment of iMovR EcoLast standing mats (our favorite for this workstation is the TreadTop Standing Mat), monitor arms, and more. System configuration is all easily customized through the shopping cart.
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.
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.
If you order an UpTown desk with a ThermoTread GT at the same time, the desk and treadmill will ship on the same pallet with any other purchased components. The whole system typically leaves the manufacturing plant in five to seven business days. Also unique to iMovR is the option of having the entire desk pre-assembled at the factory and shipped complete.
The Only Treadmill Designed for the Commercial Office Environment
The ThermoTread GT is not only quieter, smaller, and more power efficient than competing treadmill 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, enterprise adoption of treadmill desks to occur, organizations would need a way to protect against liability concerns. Unique to the ThermoTread is a built-in “click-wrap liability waiver” that the user must accept 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 built-in waiver makes the lawyers and insurance companies happy.
Up to five user profiles can be stored in the console. Next year, with the addition of iMovR’s upcoming CloudStation adapter, users will be able to store their 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 five 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.
The Most Practical Value in a Treadmill Desk
If you’re looking at the best combination of desk and treadmill that doesn’t break the bank, you can’t go wrong with this UpTown ThermoTread combination.
Reasons you might want to upgrade to the Elite Treadmill Desk include the made-in-America desk, longer warranty on the lifting motors, slightly nicer digital hand controller, and the option of adding 4″ leg extenders for even better desk stability, or if you’re particularly tall.
If you’re thinking the UpTown is still nicer than you need, there is also the option of the iMovR ThermoDesk Ellure 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 iMovR’s Elite Treadmill Desk and Ellure Treadmill Desk for more info.