Review: InMovement Elevate Desktop DT2 Sit-To-Stand Desk

Chances are you sit too much. We undoubtedly do, and it’s always seemed to be an integral and impossible-to-avoid downside to working with a computer. But there’s hope with the advent of sit-to-stand desks in recent years, the specific benefits of which we won’t go into. These range in price from sub hundred dollar portable stands to several thousand dollar motorized desks that raise themselves at the push of a button. We got our hands on one of InMovement’s Elevate Desktop DT2 sit-to-stand desks — which lies somewhere in between at a reasonable $400 — and played slash worked on it for a few weeks to get a good idea of what it’s all about. Click on through to read more.

Set up. the Elevate Desktop DT2 arrived in a massive box that’s not unlike that in which a modern LCD television would ship. The reason became plainly apparent once the box was opened: the unit is not only pre-assembled but also just big: it’s 21-inches deep and 41-inches across, fit for a full desktop setup including multiple screens but minus the desktop computer itself (that should be left on the floor). For us, that entails a laptop on a couple of stands (more on that later), a second display, as well as a wireless keyboard and mouse in the retractable keyboard tray. The fact that it’s ready to go out of the box means you that once it’s on your desk you’re good to go, though it’s (probably unsurprisingly) hefty at 58 pounds and a bit of help lifting it up would be wise. Most of all you’ll want a big enough desk on which to place it, and you’ll need to leave about a third to half an inch of space from the wall to avoid cinching cables.

Aesthetics and feel. Ours came in the Dark Wood color scheme which is the closest match to our black desks, though it also comes in Light Wood and in white. They’re vinyl veneers as opposed to solid wood, and while we can’t comment on the two latter options the Dark Wood looks great in person. The metal frame and structure housing the mechanism feels extremely sturdy and four rubber feet keep the unit from sliding around on your desk, instead staying solidly planted in one place. A retractable keyboard and mouse tray is more than spacious enough for our peripherals and a matte black plastic lining provides a surface that’s less slippery than steel but that offers surprisingly low friction for efficient mouse use.

Use. So how does it work? No motors here; instead, two handles, one on each side of the unit, are pressed to unlock the height selector. The springed mechanism compensates for the weight of whatever’s on the desk up to its 35 pound capacity, making raising and lowering not only easy but safe (the alternative being that you’d have to bear the weight yourself). When you’ve found your desired height release the handles and it locks into place securely. There isn’t much give and the desk feels rather solid even when raised although it has a touch of wobble. Its mass, however, along with its wide stance and front-jutting legs keep it from tilting forward, and we had no concerns about the whole thing falling in any direction. The up and down movement feels smooth and has been reliable, at least through the hundred odd times we’ve gone from sitting to standing.

Ergonomics. If looks are important, ergonomics are doubly so. When used sitting, the Elevate adds 5.75-inches of vertical space between your display and your desk, which for us is a good thing. Though you’re talking about people who used to prop their laptops on multiple stands, literally, including a Rain mStand, a Fusion stand, and a very thick book all on top of one another to try to get proper ergonomic eye alignment while sitting. So the vertical addition is a benefit (and the thick book was retired). But despite all this vertical compensation the standing desk, when raised, didn’t quite get the screen height to perfect level for yours truly at 6’1″. Raising the desk and screen height can partly compensate for the latter, though you’re limited by screen height when sitting (i.e. having to look up too high at the screen) and it isn’t a feature available on just any old desk (but one that’s standard on our Ikea Gallant). Either way, keep in mind that this sit-to-stand desk gets your setup almost 19 inches up and off your desk, including its 5.75-inch height and travel, when raised, of about 13 inches at the highest setting. We still end up looking slightly downwards to the screen while standing but by little enough that it’s comfortable and still ergonomic, though for tall persons with short torsos and extremely long legs it might not work as well.

Another advantage is that the keyboard tray sits nearly flat on your desk when the Elevate is lowered. It means that if your desk’s height is already well fitted you won’t have to deal with a somewhat raised keyboard stand as on most other standing desks. When raised the desk also shifts forward as depicted in the image, which is a good thing since you’ll probably be slightly further from your desk than when you’re standing (and shuffling around) rather than sitting, though this could eat up more space in cramped workspaces.

Recap. We’re not strangers to the world of standing while working. The InMovement Elevate Desktop DT2 is a solid entryway into owning a sit-to-stand desk, without completely breaking the bank. It looks good, feels extremely solid, raises and lowers near quickly and effortlessly, and is a lot more stable and safer to use than we would’ve expected — which is important considering you may be hoisting your pricy laptop or dual screen setup with it and a fall could spell the end for them. It is bulky, however, with its legs sticking out forward towards you. This is for stability and likely unavoidable considering how it’s center of gravity shifts forward when raised, but on smaller desks it could feel constrictive. It’s also not as clean looking a setup as using a desk that raises on its own but it’s no less functional.

Find it at InMovement – $400 (going down to $280 for Black Friday)