Lorell Tabletops for Standing Desks
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Lorell is a large manufacturer of all sorts of office furniture, including several lines of fixed-height and sit-to-stand desks. At such low prices, Lorell provides “get what you pay for” tabletops that don’t stand out in any real way in quality or construction. A 5-year warranty might seem long for desktops in this price range, but it has so many exclusions that it might cover anything you would want it for. Those limitations make it likely better to buy through Amazon for better consumer protection. With a reported high rate of shipping damage for these desks, if you choose to go with Lorell, you might have to either deal with dinged edges or go through the return hassle for such a large product.
|MSRP / List Price||$153|
Ostensibly, five years. Strangely, though, Lorell won’t cover “variations in color, color-fastness, or texture of materials” or “damage resulting from shipment or handling,” so we’re not sure what it would cover.
48″ x 24″
HPL with PVC edge banding
|Competition||Compare to Other Desktop and Tabletop Surfaces|
|Where to buy||
Buy on Amazon
|Quality and Aesthetics|
|Positives||Replacement tops specifically for Lorell sit-stand or fixed-height desks, that can also be used for DIY standing desks. 5-year warranty is longer than many other desks at the same price level.|
|Negatives||Low quality that matches the price. Multiple "models" that really don't change much beyond the Lorell desk like they're associated with. Poor packaging leading to a high rate of damages in shipping. Warranty from Lorell doesn't cover all that much. No ergonomic refinements to the tabletop.|
While most people buy their standing desk as a complete system, i.e. getting the lifting base and the desktop together from the same seller, you may find yourself needing to acquire a new desktop on its own. For example, you may already own a standing desk but the top has gotten damaged, or you may want to upgrade to a different size and/or color. Whatever the reason, there are a mountain of options to choose from. Read our Guide to Buying A Tabletop For Your Standing Desk to ensure you know what to watch for when purchasing a standalone top for your desk or table.
In this review we explore the desktops individually sold by Lorell, and discuss where they may excel and where they might fall short of consumer expectations.
Cheap Tabletop with a Longer Warranty
Honestly, we looked quite a bit at the various Lorell tabletop models and had a tough time finding much positive to say. They lacked many of the simple elements that could significantly improve the product and experience for the customers.
If nothing else, Lorell’s tabletops are cheap. Like many similar products found on Amazon, they are made to appeal to people trying to spend as little as possible. This doesn’t set them apart from other tabletop manufacturers from China that do the exact same thing, but it is still a desktop people can look at if they are on a super tight budget.
One thing that does set them apart from other low-quality tabletop manufacturers is their warranty. Their limited 5-year warranty is longer than the short 1 or 2 years offered by many of their peers. However, even though it is a long time, the warranty exclusions are unreal. They won’t cover edge banding peeling off, and their warranty language literally states that they won’t cover damage in shipping! This is only fully applicable if you buy directly from Lorell. So if you want to make sure you are protected from something like that, your best bet would be to order from Amazon, where your purchases are protected a bit more, at least in the short run from the most common kind of damage.
Standing Desktop Variety? Or Just the Same Old Stuff?
Lorell lists a variety of “models” of their standalone desktops, like the Relevance, Quadro, Utility, and Knife Edge, but you won’t really find much difference between them. The Knife Edge does have a different shape with an angled cut around the bottom edge, but the rest are all just rectangles of different sizes and colors. The only other possible difference we found between some models is the hole pattern they put in the bottom of the desks that are meant for their different lifting frames. However, this probably won’t matter for DIY standing desk projects, because they are likely going to use a different preferred frame, so they’ll be drilling pilot holes themselves. If you’re buying a top from Lorell to replace one you had before on your Lorell standing desk, however, you’ll want to be sure to buy one with matching pilot holes for your model.
Searching through verified user reviews of Lorell’s desktops that we found on Amazon, there are a bunch of complaints about the tabletop arriving damaged, even if they ended up giving a relatively positive review. A full 32% of reviews on their most popular listing on Amazon were 4 stars and below. This is very unusual for Amazon, which normally leans to glowing 5-star reviews that can’t stop raving about a product they haven compared to superior versions or just feel proud that they bought something they think is good for them (see our entire article devoted to why Amazon ratings can’t be trusted).
The damage that is there on arrival likely comes from a combination of the material not actually being as durable as they claim and the packaging being insufficient to keep something so fragile protected from the brutal G forces that parcels endure in transit. Many manufacturers that receive these kinds of complaints are more worried about saving money by using cheap materials and cheap cardboard packaging than by ensuring a delightful customer experience.
Having received hundreds of desktops in our labs over the years we have seen a wide range of packaging quality, and as a rule of thumb the commodity-grade (most typically Chinese) producers will not invest in costly cardboard and foam materials to properly protect a desktop in transit. They’ll just take the replacement hit as a cost of doing business, which may be fine for them economically but a hassle for the consumer (not to mention how hard it is to actually dispose of a desktop, or how costly it is to ship it back for a refund).
Aside from the quality in materials and shipping, some decisions in construction just make it inferior to much better options. Lorell doesn’t take opportunities to make a truly ergonomic tabletop, like an ergo-contoured edge around the entire tabletop that is comfortable for arms and wrists to lean against. The lamination is likely to come off as well because of the lower quality HPL with glue that easily wears down and separates the edge banding from the laminate, which then allows liquids and humidity inside to warp the whole desk.
Get a Lorell Tabletop for Your DIY Standing Desk Workspace?
With the main positives only being low price and longer warranty that doesn’t really cover all that much, the negatives of quality and lack of real options. With quality concerns raised by multiple user reviews and the plain lack of positive features to find, we can’t really recommend this to shoppers assembling their own adjustable sit-stand desk.
Also see our review of the Lorell Sit-to-Stand Monitor Riser.
Don’t forget to learn all you need to know about finding the perfect desk top for your standing desk workstation in our primer – DIY Standing Desk: Choosing the Right Desk Top.
If you don’t already have a base and frame, make sure you know how to choose one of those as well by reading our guide to buying standing desk bases. Or skip the DIY project altogether and go for one of the better complete standing desk systems available today.
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