I've worked with standing desks before. They're a handy addition to office work life, allowing you to get a bit of blood flow going as you type away on your keyboard and look forward to whatever you plan on having for dinner in the evening.
They can set you back a significant amount, too. Unsurprising given the amount of time all of us computer-working folk spend there. We need them to work well, and remain durable, comfortable, and be easy to use.
It's one hell of an investment. So what makes the Flexispot E8 worth dropping a few hundred on?
Well, like most desks, it doesn't come in one piece. My previous desk came in what felt like hundreds of pieces and took a good few hours to make fully functional.
You can imagine the fear in my soul when I realised I'd have to build a desk that moves up and down through the power of electricity. It'll take hours of fiddling with wires, ringing up my dad for DIY advice, and my friend for electrical support.
There wasn't nearly as much to do, though. I whacked on an episode of All or Nothing, consulted the short and understandable manual, and started screwing bits into holes. Aside from each component being pretty hefty to lug around, and the ever-present risk of scratching the pristine mahogany desktop, the building process was pretty simple!
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I got through about an episode and a half of Mikel Arteta's shouty shenanigans before I'd finished the construction, and I'm far from a DIY expert.
The trickiest bit was adding the fully-built skeleton to the rest of the desktop. With different desktop sizes, you'll need to fiddle with the width of the frame in order to get it to line up with the existing holes in the wood worktop. It took me a bit of wiggling and nudging to sort things out, and when trying to install the little cable cover on the bottom, I had to undo and redo the screws to fit it in properly, so take that as a brief word of warning.
For the most part, though, the Flexispot E8 was an easy build - although I dread having to heft its entire weight around when I move house! Getting it up and down stairs will be far from easy, especially when fully built.
Durable and tough
I've been working on the E8 for a few weeks now, and it does a fine job. With a height range of 60 to 125cm, I've managed to find my go-to height for both sitting and standing. I'm also extremely indecisive and change my choice every five seconds, and in the time I've had the Flexispot E8, it's been more than happy to zoom up and down to my heart's content.
Its anti-collision system has already saved me from some mishaps, too. When a sudden pressure pushes against the desk as it moves up or down, the direction will change for a few centimetres and stop to avoid damage or injury. There’s peace of mind in knowing my chair's armrest won't be snapped in half if I get distracted and hold the button for too long.
The feel of the E8 is really good, too. I've mentioned how hefty it is, but I'd much rather it be this way than have a flimsy thing that wobbles around. And It's tough. With a 125kg weight limit I'll hopefully never get anywhere near, it never feels unbalanced with a bunch of heavy stuff sitting on a single edge.
Quality of life
The control pad is situated just under the desktop on the right-hand side. It protrudes a tad underneath, which can be a bit inconvenient if that space competes with a chair armrest, but it's mostly out of the way whilst remaining convenient to access.
You can trundle the thing up and down at will, but my favourite aspect is the memory function. I only really use two of the four; one for sitting and one for standing, but the flexibility is nice to have.
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It's easy to understand, too. I never even needed to use the instructions to work out the memory system. Just move the desk to where you want it, press the memory button, and then press the preset you want to assign the current height to. Now, whenever I press the button with the little stick figure standing up, I know that specific stick figure happens to be my height, and I can trust that I won't have to fiddle around with the controls to get it just right.
You can be fiddly if you want, though. The screen displays the desk's current height to the nearest 0.1cm. So if you have a real hankering to perfect your working height, the E8 has you covered.
For one final flourish, there's a little USB charging port on the side of the control panel. It's a nice thing to have for keeping your phone topped up while you work - just don't expect to show off any other bells and whistles.
If you do want more bells and whistles, though, there's a giant stack of add-ons you can get specifically designed for the E8. Maybe sometime in the future I'll treat myself to a pegboard or desk bike, but in its basic configuration, I now have a new mainstay in my working life.
You could even save a bit of money and just purchase the E8 mechanism without the desktop if you're particularly DIY-inclined and want more choice in your work surface.
It'll set you back a few hundred more than others on the market, including some of Flexispot's cheaper options, so if you're looking for something a little less costly, this won't be for you. But if you fancy a desk that should reliably work with you for the next few years at least, this is a really solid option for the price - especially when it goes on a discount sale. They're available over at flexispot.co.uk.