The best standing desks of 2021
Original Article By Emmy Favilla/CNN Underscored
Published 3:59 PM EST, Fri January 8, 2021
Let’s get this out of the way: The ApexDesk Elite Series is a stunner. But it’s not just pretty — form lends itself to function in this high-quality, exceptionally designed desk.
To be frank, all the electric standing desks we tested within the $500 to $650 starting price range had only minor discrepancies in function and build that we could determine from everyday use. Assembly times and clarity of instructions varied perhaps the most, but in general, they were all sturdy, functional desks that move up and down smoothly and can be programmed to four memory presets. They did vary a bit in terms of the number of components for wire organization and the like, and digital panels differed a bit.
But the ApexDesk’s contoured desktop design was one of the many reasons we deemed it the best overall standing desk, especially at its price point and size. The curved design allowed us to sit closer to the desk, lending itself to a more comfortable experience both in standing and sitting positions compared with the other standing desks we tried. Its height is adjustable from 29” to 48” with a simple keypad that features the industry standard four memory presets along with up and down buttons.
It also earned top marks for build quality. The desk can support up to 225 pounds including its desktop. Given that a standard 24-inch monitor is generally no more than 10 pounds and a 16-inch MacBook Pro weighs in under 5 pounds, with a dual-monitor setup you’ll be well under the limit and have capacity for plenty other equipment, books and the like. Its sturdiness both from side to side and front to back at all heights was unmatched — we noticed nearly no wobble whatsoever — which was especially impressive given that it isn’t designed with a crossbar (a bonus for anyone who enjoys using an under-desk bike). The desktop is designed with two large, covered grommets at the back corners to organize your cords and cables, and an under-desk cable management tray is sold separately.
Assembling the desk took some time — a little under an hour — because it arrived in four boxes (including the cable management tray) and has a lot of parts to build. Instructions were clear, and a Phillips screwdriver is needed; it’s certainly helpful to have two people tag team assembly, though tackling it solo is doable.
Where the ApexDesk Elite Series lost points was in its LED display keypad, which displays desk height in full-inch increments rather than the 0.1-inch increments we saw on the other electric standing desks we tested at this price point. This means that whether the desk is standing at 40.1 or 40.7 inches high, the display will still read “40.” If you’re using the memory function to program a preferred height, that precise height you set will be programmed, though the number on the screen may not accurately reflect the height if it isn’t a round number. All that to say: It isn’t really a detriment to usage and we didn’t consider it a deal-breaker by any means.
The desk is available in two sizes, 60x30” and 71x33”, both of which provide ample space for two monitors, a laptop, a keyboard and then some. (If you’re working with a smaller space that may not easily accommodate a 60-inch desktop, however, we’d recommend our pick for best customizable option, the Uplift, which offers a slew of customizable options, including desktops starting at just 42” wide.) While we were partial to the elegant look of the red apple colorway, the ApexDesk is also offered in six other desktop colors, all constructed of MDF wood: black, white, walnut, light oak, plus teakwood and gray (for the 71-inch desk only). Note that only black and white are currently in stock for the 60-inch desk, but the others will be available in mid-December.
With a two-year warranty on motor and moving parts and a five-year warranty on non-electric parts, the ApexDesk Elite Series is a solid, functional, ergonomic standing desk that will easily become the centerpiece of any room or office space.