Reviewing the FlexiSpot Desktop Workstation 27 inchesFreiburg, Germany
Disclaimer: Loctek Inc. contacted me spontaneously and offered me the product I am going to write about for review purpose. I agreed to do the review and asked about return shipping, only to be told that they offered me the product. I received a free workstation in return for reviewing it but I also asked whether I could write anything about it in this review, which was OK too. Hence, this review is my review and Loctek Inc. did not check it before publication.
Standing desks. I have been interested in standing desks for several years now. In case you do not know, a standing desk is a desk conceived for writing, reading, or working, while standing up or while sitting on a high stool. The impact of such desks on our health has been quantified, and several reports have come out pointing out the dangers of sitting too long (e.g. risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, a variety of cancers, and an early death). According to most people using standing desks, they even make you more productive, but I did not find any formal report confirming that yet, and my own experience of 2 years standing almost all the time did not give me significant results regarding my productivity. Nonetheless, it is clear that I have been more focused and I have been feeling better than ever by working in a standing position.
After having given standing desk a try with cardboard first, then with a DIY standing desk I built (the one I used for more than two years), I have been given the opportunity to try the FlexiSpot Desktop Workstation 27”. In the following, the terms “workstation”, “FlexiSpot” and “standing-desk” will all refer to this product.
What is this FlexiSpot thing?
The FlexiSpot Desktop Workstation 27 inches is a desktop sit/stand workstation, meaning that it rests on top of an existing desk and provides adjustable elevation for monitors and keyboard/mouse. You use it in its lowest position while seated and then raise it up to a comfortable working height when you’re standing.
It is smaller than a full standing desk, but also less expensive. It uses gas springs to change the height of the work surface (that is, the main surface). The FlexiSpot also has a removable keyboard tray, under the work surface.
Loctek, the company behind this workstation, also sells larger workstations such as 35”, 41” and 47” versions, depending on your country. In Germany, there are only two sizes: 27” and 35”. The 27” workstation costs 280 euros (at the time of writing) and you can buy it on Amazon. That is what I did, and I chose the 27” because I do not need a large work surface.
Assembling the workstation
I chose the version M1B of this FlexiSpot workstation. I guess
1 stands for
B stands for black (there is also a white version). I was happy to get
the package delivered by DHL directly in my apartment because it was pretty
The product was securely packed with Styrofoam:
It contains the pre-assembled work surface and lifting mechanism, the keyboard tray and its two support arms, as well as instructions:
At first glance, the work surface looks pretty heavy and robust. In my opinion, its finish is flawless, and after several weeks of use, I can confirm that it is good. Below is a picture of this work surface (without the keyboard tray) on top of a good old LACK Ikea table:
As mentioned in the introduction, this workstation uses gas springs to counterbalance the weight of the work surface and all the things placed upon it. On each side, you have one gas spring along with a lever:
To change the height of the surface work and therefore change your position (from sitting to standing for instance), you have to pull both levers at the same time, choose the height that you like, and release both levers. The gas springs are very smooth. I was a bit skeptical at first because I thought it could throw all my devices placed on the work surface, but there was no problem. It works very well, in both directions.
So far, I only presented the main part of the workstation, but there is also a keyboard tray that I had to assemble myself. It took me 10 minutes to screw the support arms to the keyboard tray, and then add it to the main part of the FlexiSpot:
The keyboard tray has to be put under the work surface, secured with four bolts (2 on each side):
It took me less than 30 minutes to unpack the product and assemble it (finding a screwdriver was the most time-consuming step). I had to “commandeer” the kitchen table for the review because we moved to Germany quite recently and we did not have a (office) desk (yet). That being said, it works pretty well, and we can remove the FlexiSpot when we need the full kitchen table.
Using the workstation
Below is a picture of the standing desk in a low position, with a Apple keyboard, a Apple magic mouse, a 13” Apple MacBook Pro and a 22” Samsung monitor. There is still plenty of room on the work surface:
It is very important to have enough space to fell comfortable while working in a standing position, and this workstation makes it easy. If you have a rather large keyboard, do not worry. There is also a lot of space on the keyboard tray:
Thanks to the gas springs and levers, you can adjust the height of the workstation without any effort. Yet, what, I think, matters the most is to focus on the height of the keyboard tray. If you take a look at all the recommendations to use a standing desk, you should set the keyboard tray at or slightly below your elbows height:
That is also why, in my case, I had to put a book below the external monitor. This good old Samsung screen is quite old, and it does not have an adjustable stand. Note that Loctek also sells a dual monitor mount that is compatible with this workstation. This could be an interesting add-on because it would let you adjust the height of the screen(s) when you are in a sitting position too. When I am working in a sitting position, the keyboard is at the right height, but the monitor is a bit too high, because I am not that tall… I have to remove the book (great book by the way).
Now, you may wonder what this weird slot in the work surface is. Its purpose is to hold a tablet like a Apple iPad mini in the picture below. With my iPad mini, an important part of the screen is hidden in the slot. Hence, I do not use it and I would have preferred a plain surface instead:
So far, the painted finish has held up perfectly. It is not glossy, it is not matte either, it is somewhere in between and I like it! One nice thing is that it does not highlight fingerprints or dust. The overall quality of the product is good, especially for this price (less than 300 euros). I find the plastics quite cheap though. When I moved the standing desk the first time, I slightly twisted one plastic part. There is no real damage and it is not broken, but it is now slightly deformed (no one can really notice it though).
I am still investigating a minor problem with my workstation: while typing on the keyboard, I sometimes hear a sort of vibration sound that I am not able to locate. It is not noisy, but I can hear it time to time. It is worth mentioning that I often hear sounds no one else can hear :D Loctek does not know about this, so I guess it is only me.
I have used this FlexiSpot product for more than a month now, not every single day but quite a lot to know what I like and what I do not really like. The feature I found myself using a lot is switching from sitting to standing and back again. That is one of the main advantages of such a product, but I was not used to it as my previous standing-desk setups were “fixed”.
Personally, I do not think this workstation is ugly when put on top of a desk, but you may not like it. Also, you cannot put too much weight on the work surface (~15kg for the 27”). If I had to choose between a full standing desk and such a product, I would not know what to choose. I like the fact that half the surface of my desk is still available at a regular height, so that someone can use it on her own (for cooking in my case ;-)). But having a full standing desk could be nice too.
To conclude, the FlexiSpot Desktop Workstation 27 inches is great, especially if you are interested in trying to work in a standing position first, and you do not want to afford a full standing desk. It is of good quality too (quite heavy, and it seems very robust). I would recommend this product for those who want to give standing desks a try.