Luxor Manual Adjustable Height Desk Review
The budget-class Luxor stand up desk's height adjustment, speed, and ergonomic profile leave much to be desired, and its unique crank placement creates its own problems. While some users may like its affordability and warranty, the Luxor looks ancient and ill-equipped to provide a satisfactory ergonomic workstation.
Limited Lifetime Warranty
Manual Hand Crank
6.5 turns per inch
29.5" x 47"
29.5" x 59"
Assembly is a breeze, with many of the components already assembled. Its impressive lifetime warranty ensures proper desk performance for the desk's lifetime.
The desk's laminate arrived peeled in certain parts, ruining the desk's aesthetic and inviting moisture damage. Its height adjustment rate is twice as slow as other crank-adjustable desks. Its maximum height falls well below ANSI/BIFMA standards, and render it unusable for use with a treadmill. Too few customization options.
The word ‘Luxor’ may call to mind images of extravagance and luxury thanks to the Luxor Casino in Las Vegas, which stands out in the Nevada desert like an opulent, Pink Floyd album cover. You might therefore reasonably assume that an adjustable height desk called Luxor would be of a similarly upscale quality. But the Luxor Furniture’s new crank-adjustable, stand up desk reminds us more of the Luxor Temple for which the Las Vegas casino is named: ancient and obsolete. Its numerous deficiencies—most notably its slow adjustment speed and insufficient height range—make the desk unsuitable as an ergonomic workstation. Despite its low price point, the Luxor does not offer much value: It might be acceptable for some users, but it’s far from a winner.
Easy to Build, but Problems Emerge
The Luxor desk’s setup deserves praise for its simplicity. Each leg comes with a foot and arm segment already attached, and the underside of the desk top is equipped with recessed insert nuts. More common in premium standing desks, these allow for faster, easier assembly because you’re not drilling directly into the wood of the table top. The only trouble we encountered throughout the whole assembly process was the installation of the four plastic foot caps, which we couldn’t manage to fit into the feet without the use of a rubber mallet. The caps don’t provide any additional functionality, but the desk looks shoddy without them.
Once the desk was assembled, we were disappointed by its aesthetic. Its base had a simple gray powder coat paint job, fairly common among height adjustable desks. The desk top, however, was wrapped in a plastic film, in a sort of 3D lamination. This type of lamination is a cut above the more typical high-pressure laminate (HPL) used for desks, due to its resilience and its attractiveness—3D-laminated table tops dispense with unsightly edge bands of conventional HPL desks. Unfortunately, Luxor’s own laminate—a plastic thermofoil, as opposed to the Omnova surf(x) laminate found on iMovR and Anthro Elevate desk tops—exhibited significant peeling at the edges, revealing the MDF core underneath. It’s the first incidence we’ve experienced of a table top arriving with this kind of peeling damage, without any sign of damage during transit. A representative of Luxor Furniture assured us that they’ve never encountered this kind of peeling problem before, but it’s still not a great start to a customer experience.
One of the Luxor desk’s features is a set of 3-inch caster wheels that allows the desk to be moved with ease. Theoretically, two of the wheels lock up to keep your desk in place during use. However, we found the desk would slide out of place along our office carpet with very little force, even with the wheels locked. The Luxor’s wheels may work better on thicker carpeting, but in any case we wish the desk had also come with stationary foot pads.
A Cranky Adjustable Height Desk
All crank-adjustable standing desks work in pretty much the same fashion: A hand crank underneath the desk top raises and lowers the height. Crank-adjustable desks have a slower adjustment method than motorized desks (usually), but cost much less than their electric counterparts (again, usually). But unlike other manual desks, which position the hand crank somewhere on the front edge within easy reach of the user, Luxor has positioned their desk’s crank on the side, attached directly to the middle crossbar. While this undoubtedly saves money by using fewer components, it was a real pain for us to have to reach for the handle every single time. Note that our review sample was a 47″ desk—this problem is exacerbated for people who opt for the larger, 59”-wide size. Moreover, this crank position makes it difficult to set the desk up in cubicles or against wall corners, as is common in many workplace environments.
One of the Luxor’s silver linings is that users can set the hand crank to either the left or right side. Since the vast majority of crank desks prioritize right-handed people by only allowing the crank to be placed on the right, it’s nice that the Luxor’s odd hand crank position attempts to be more inclusive of lefties.
Low and Slow
When it comes to height adjustment, the Luxor once again comes up short—quite literally this time. The ANSI/BIFMA standard for standing desks is set to 46.5″, and the minimum height ceiling we see in almost every other desk is 48”, with some reaching as high 51 or 55 inches. As a rule, you should look for desks with taller height ceilings for their increased stability at taller height settings, especially when you plan on using the stand up desk with an office treadmill. The Luxor, meanwhile, tops out at a measly 42″ max height. The Luxor’s base only has two telescoping leg segments, as opposed to three. While two-segment legs reduce the amount of instability inherent in any stand up desk, they also account somewhat for the short desk stroke. Even with the caster wheels, which bring the max height up to 45″, the Luxor was far too short for the majority of the testers in our labs to use ergonomically, and certainly not suitable as a treadmill desk workstation.
Further infuriating our review team was the painfully slow rate at which the Luxor adjusts. For crank-adjustable desks, we measure adjustment speed as a rate of how many turns of the crank it takes to make the desk move an inch. New crank desks like the ThermoDesk Ellure typically adjust at 3 turns per inch. By comparison, the Luxor’s adjustment rate is an absolute crawl between 6 and 7 turns per inch. As a result, switching between sitting and standing takes up to 45 seconds. We never thought 45 seconds was a lot of time until we had to spend it doing nothing but turn a crank, several times throughout the day. Repeat this process day in, day out at the office, and that’s hours of your life you’ll never get back.
An Ergonomic Travesty
No adjustable height workstation is complete without the proper ergonomic desk accessories. Monitor arms keep your screens at the right height to prevent the neck and shoulder strain that comes from a hunched posture. And ergonomic keyboard trays are instrumental in protecting your wrists: Their negative angles stave off the typical repetitive strain injuries that plague modern office workers.
So we’re a little perplexed as to why Luxor’s desk includes not one, but three crossbars spanning the length of the desk top. The Luxor breaks one of our cardinal rules about desk ergonomics by making it very difficult to install these essential accessories. We managed to fit an Ergotron adjustable monitor arm underneath the back of the desk top, but couldn’t find a way to install a keyboard tray, thanks to one of its crossbars.
The Luxor website does not have a published lift rating, though, according to a Luxor representative, the crank desk has a lift rating of 300 lbs. For our part, we’re skeptical about this number. Typical crank desks have a lift capacity under 200 lbs., and 300 lbs. sounds impossible for a cheap desk like the Luxor. We put the desk to the test by loading it up with weight. At 160 lbs., the desk became significantly more difficult to raise, requiring considerably more force on the hand crank. It wasn’t impossible, but definitely unpleasant.
Starved for Choice
In addition to its meager capabilities, the Luxor desk also suffers from a paucity of available options. Its two sizes, a 47″ and a 59″, don’t allow for a treadmill and chair next to each other—though with the Luxor’s insufficient height we’re not sure you’d want to pair it with a treadmill in the first place. Its only desktop color is a dark reddish espresso wood pattern, which actually looks nice when it’s not peeling at the edge. This laminate has a textured pattern which, while looking rather handsome at a distance, negatively impacts your penmanship when you write.
One indication of a desk’s quality and reliability is its warranty. Like any other piece of furniture, you should expect a standing desk to last a long while. Luxor’s desk features a limited lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects, which is good news for folks like us whose desks start to delaminate.
Luxor’s desk attempts to hone in on the low-end market with fiercely competitive prices. But with its inadequate height range, ergonomic deficiencies, downright lethargic adjustment speed, and lack of customization, we find it difficult to recommend this desk at any price point. Compared to other crank desks available on the market today, the Luxor appears about as ancient as its namesake. See our comparison review of adjustable height desks for more options.