I have been given the pleasure to take a look at two products from a company called Autonomous, but before we move on to the first product, I want to know about Autonomous, so who are they? Put it simply Autonomous, a smart office furniture company based in New York and is selling worldwide. Their products such as standing desks and ergonomic chairs are developed on the concept of a smart and healthy working environment. To find out more about Autonomous head here for a more in-depth look at the company.
So in this review, I shall be checking out the Autonomous SmartDesk 2 Premium and in my second review I shall be checking out the Autonomous ErgoChair 2 which you can read all about here (link coming soon).
Do you want to be healthy?
So why would I want a standing desk? For one I am a gamer at heart and I prefer to sit on a chair while gaming. However, I also work from home for two weeks of every month to do marketing for the company I work for, along with writing articles for my local newspaper.
There is also another reason right now 30.03.2020, the worldwide pandemic ‘CORVID-19‘ known as the Coronavirus is pushing many workers to work from home to #savelives. With this in mind, a standing desk is a perfect way to not only have the ability to work at home with comfort but to also provide health benefits. But what are these health benefits?
- Obesity – Lowers Your Risk of Weight Gain
- Diabetes – Lower Blood Sugar Levels
- Cardiovascular disease
- Cancer (especially cancers of the colon or breast)
- Premature death – Help You Live Longer by Lowering Your Risk of Heart Disease
- Reduce Back Pain
- Help Improve Mood and Energy Levels
- May Boost Productivity
Packing, any good?
Well, the desk comes in two packages, one that does not weigh that much, the desktop, then the second, the legs that weigh an absolute tonne and required the help of my neighbour to get it into the spare room; I must look after my back at the age, 40ish. You will be happy to know everything is packed away very well, just check out the images below.
There is nothing much on the packaging, which is something you would expect when you can only buy these online. You can find all the info about the product on their website and YouTube videos. The desktop packaging does offer a line drawn sketch of what the desk looks like once built, but that’s it, nothing else. So that’s it for packaging, as all Sales info is only available on their website.
So for Sales here is all the info you will need to know about the SmartDesk 2 Premium
First, you most likely be interested in knowing the sizes that are available
The first one is 53″L x 29″W x 1″H which is the classic top and 70.5″L x 30″W x 1″H which is the XL Top. The classic top comes in the following colours White, Black, Walnut, White Oak, and Bamboo while the XL Top comes in White, Black and Walnut only. Both desktops are crafted using High-quality MDF wood.
The frame and legs are constructed using Solid steel with rounded edges which will protect your little ones running around the room from accidental injuries. The legs can hold a max weight of 300lbs/136KG which is more than enough for any avid gamer or office user. The height they can adjust to ranges from 26″ up to 73″ (6 foot) which is high enough for the majority of us, and finally they come in white, black and grey when it comes to the choice of colour.
The legs look like this (See image above) they are the heaviest part of the whole build and they also hold to the motor which will need to be plugged into the Control Box. What is the Control Box? It is a small power brick that gets placed under desk and powers the whole unit, see image below;
Everything else you can see below in the images, you have the mainframe, that house the legs, the feet that are rather long measuring 27.5″. On first glance, you might think they offer NO grip as they are plastic feet on a Solid Steel frame, but trust me I have mine on laminated flooring and the desk does not move anywhere. The final part is what I am calling Leg and Frame edging, this is a simple piece of Solid Steel built and designed in a way that hides the joints at the top of the leg and mainframe, see image 4 for more details
Now you will need to put everything together but it is not that hard and comes with a handy instruction manual to guide you. Everything is more or less common sense, as there are holes placed on the desktop for all the parts, so you cannot make a mistake. Just do not do what I did, forget to add the rubber washers, when attaching the frame to the desktop, just goes to prove, instructions are there for a reason.
READ THE INSTRUCTIONS – DO NOT BE LIKE ME
So I have all the parts ready, instructions at hand, how was the build? Not too bad in all honesty, apart from the rubber washer issue, which you knew I forgot to use when I first attached the frame to the desktop. Lucky for you I recorded the build which you can view below, for your convenience, I have increased the speed of the video and added a music track CLAWZ- Candyland.
Now the desk is built, what is the Autonomous SmartDesk 2 Premium like?
This is the fun part talking about the product, putting in my recommendations and then giving you my final thoughts, so let us get right to it.
I am going to start this section by simply saying this product is stunning.
The top is gloss black, which I asked for, and due to its colour and its gloss finish, it will attract dust like a magnet. So where is my Mr Sheen Furniture Polish which has an active ingredient that stops the attraction of dust to a degree, and also helps protect the surface for accidental markings? Yes, everywhere is out of stock and Amazon has a 4-week delivery schedule… oh bother. I would have loved to have seen an anti-scratch version as even though the site says they are, I found that if you were a metal bracelet or move around a plastic coaster, you will end up with scratches, something like a carbon-fibre print and if possible a matt finished version, so it is not so hungry on dust.
The desk has rounded edges front and back, and a smooth surface, so make sure all your peripherals, coasters and other items have grips, otherwise, they will move all over the place like an ice rink unless weighted down. Towards the back, you have two cable routing holes with silver inserts and rubber cushions which help keep cable mess to a minimum.
Now you might have watched the promotional video found on the same page Autonomous is selling the desk, it is clear that they are using a cable tray, but it is not clear if it comes with the desk or not. So to clear things up, the cable tray comes separately and it costs as little at $19 which can be found here. The only way you would know about this, is if you drop to the bottom of the page and see what people have also bought. So my first recommendation is to offer these added extras on the same page towards the top, like added extras, maybe even at a reduced price if purchased along with the core product. Having to go right at the bottom of the page, below the comments, is just an inconvenience and does not in any way promote upselling, why? How would you know unless you did scroll?
As I did NOT know about the Cable Tray until after I received the SmartDesk 2 Premium, it was impossible to order one as they were out of stock and they only came in grey. So instead I purchase a cable spine which is for desks that can alter in height, they are great as you can route all your cables through them and make under your desk look rather clean and tidy. How they work is simple, one end gets screwed under the desk, while the other end is weighted down, you can also alter the length to your designed preference, just by removing segments that are interlocked.
Yes, some cables will not reach all the way to it, but the majority will see the image below. I have routed my keyboard cable, mouse, mouse mat which has RGB lights, monitor power cables, camera, monitor USB power, monitor display port connections, even the power cord for the desk. If it was not for that cable spine under my desk it would be a nightmare and very dangerous if you had a little one running around your office or spare room when you are working from home or simply playing games. I would 100% recommend you purchase a cable tidy device if you have little children who like to pull on everything, best to be safe than sorry, here is a link to one on Amazon if interested.
The desk does come with some cable ties as well to help tidy under your desk, but they are not great, they came off within just a few days, I replaced the 3M tags used and replaced them with 3M VHB Acrylic Foam Tape, as this stuff is super strong and since you do not need that much you can purchase a square for as little as £1.59 on eBay. It’s a win, win if you care about keeping things tidy and safe.
Monitors what about my Monitors?
Since the surface is smooth and slick and can scratch pretty easy if not looked after, you might want to consider purchasing a Monitor Arm Stand. You can purchase a single or dual-arm mount directly through Autonomous here for as low as $59.00, but there is an issue I found, the sales information does not provide you with the max size monitors they can hold. So I was left with no other choice but to look elsewhere and I found one on Amazon for £29.99, it is dual mount and can hold up to 2 x 32″ monitors. The one I purchased does not look as good quality as the one Autonomous is selling, but when push came to shove I went for price and guarantee that it would fit my two MSI Curved Monitors.
The one defining feature that sells this desk is?
A fully adjustable standing desk with height settings to suit a range of sit-standing needs which features a smooth, silent dual-motor system and by golly its does exactly what it says. So here is a short video showing you how it works
When they say smooth and silent its certainly is, and when you have a little one sleeping while you are working the last things you need a noisy motor going off every time you move from standing to sitting. This is an odd request though, there are almost see-through plastic sections on the legs that I would have loved to have seen these turn white when going up and down, it is just a cosmetic feature to make it stand out. not really required.
The health benefits of having a standing desk stand out a mile, who would not want to live a little longer, help lower the risk of weight gain, lower your blood sugar levels, and reduce back pain which I can tell you now sitting on a chair day in day out the desk can really.
Overall what do I think of this desk?
What do you think? Health benefits, holds a good amount of weight, design and quality is top-notch, the only issues are sales. You really cannot go wrong with this desk, finding a fault is like a needle in a haystack. Recommendations though and ideas I would like to see is a little easier. Scratch-resistant tops as even though the site says they are scratch-resistant I found out that even a nail or a metal bracelet can scratch it and matt finish tops would be nice. Then all the extras available for this desk prominently placed better on the site as I did not know about anything else until the desk arrived and would have loved to have the chance to order a few things.
I am scaring the desk a 10 and I feel the issues around sales is nothing to do with the desk itself and the desk is scratch resistant to a degree and I already knew about the desk having a gloss surface so yes I knew all my items need to have grips and dust would love it.
If you are wondering what is on the desk, let me, deep-dive, into my peripherals, I have the Razer Huntsman Keyboard, Razer Trinty Mouse, Razer Goliathus Chroma Extended RGB gaming surface, Custom made Monster Hunter World Xbox One Controller, Xtrfy Mouse Bungie and 2 x MSI Optix MAG271C Full HD 27″ Curved Gaming Monitors.
You can purchase the SmartDesk 2 Premium here for $479 original price $599 so get it while the desk is on discount.
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Autonomous SmartDesk 2 Premium
A fully adjustable standing desk built on a sturdy, steel frame complete with 4 programmable height settings to suit a range of sit-stand needs. Features a smooth, silent dual-motor system capable of lifting up to 300 lbs at the press of a button.
Product Currency: USD
Product Price: 479.00
Product In Stock: SoldOut