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UPLIFT Desk Solid Wood Series Standing Desk Review

By Christopher Coke on September 11, 2019 | Hardware Reviews | Comments

UPLIFT Desk Solid Wood Series Standing Desk Review

We’ve reviewed a number of standing desks here at MMORPG, but today we’re exploring a new variant on one of our favorite options UPLIFT Desk has universally impressed us with their V2 and corner-desk models, so when we were given the opportunity to take a look at their solid wood series, we had to take a look. These are premium desks but are they worth the mark-up for real hardwood? Join us as we find out.

Specifications

  • Current Price: Starting at $1043 (see UPLIFT web store)
  • Solid Wood Types: Walnut (tested), Dark/Natural Ash, Maple, Dark/Natural Pecan, White Oak, Sipo Mahogany, Cherry, Cedar, Mesquite
  • Desktop Thickness: 1.75 inches
  • Desktop Weight: 4 lbs/sq. foot
  • Frame height range: UPLIFT V2 Frame: 24.5" - 50.1" H (25.5" - 51.1" H with 1" desktop)
  • UPLIFT V2 Commercial Frame: 21.6" - 47.7" H (22.6" - 48.7" H with 1" desktop, which meets BIFMA height requirement)
  • Travel height: UPLIFT V2 Frame: 25.6" of travel
  • UPLIFT V2 Commercial Frame: 26.1" of travel
  • Travel speed: 1.57" per second (varies - slowest with maximum load) with soft start/stop actuator motors
  • Noise level: 50 decibels during motion
  • Frame width: Accommodates desktops from 42" - 80" W
  • Lifting capacity: 355 lb
  • Keypad: Advanced one-touch digital memory keypad is available, push and hold up/down keypad is standard
  • Adjustable foot leveling studs: 3/8" adjustment for uneven flooring
  • Input: 100-120VAC, 50/60Hz (400W max)
  • ANSI/BIFMA X5.5-2014 Durability Certification: UPLIFT V2 and UPLIFT V2 Commercial Frame both passed ANSI/BIFMA X5.5-2014 Durability Standard Testing (passed all applicable sections 4.3, 4.4, 4.6, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 6.0, 7.0, 8.0, 15, and 18)
  • ANSI/BIFMA G1-2013 Height Standard: UPLIFT V2 Commercial Frame is ANSI/BIFMA G1-2013 Height Standard compliant. Click here to learn what that means.
  • CAN/CGSB 44.227-2008E certification: Canadian desktop deflection specification compliant with section 6.6.1/8.4 Surface Deflection
  • Safety certifications: Lifting Column, Power Cord, & Control Box - UL/CSA (Canada and U.S.)
  • Warranty: 7-year all-inclusive warranty on entire desk frame: motor frame, controller, keypad, electronics, and mechanisms included. Extension to 12 years available.

Packaging and Assembly

As MMORPG’s Hardware Editor, I’ve had the privilege of becoming familiar with lots of different gear. In the world of standing desks, I’ve used many, reviewed several (including converters), and worked thoroughly with each of our reviewers who’s tested one to understand its ins-and-outs. Last year, Damien Gula and I even did a free consultation with one of the biggest standing desk companies out there to share what we thought gamers might like in a standing desk (the results of which are years out if ever to release, though we hope to see it one day).

I share all of that for two reasons. First, in this review, because I’ll be comparing the UPLIFT Desk to more affordable options out there. And second, so that when I tell you UPLIFT Desks are like the sports cars of the standing desk world, you’ll believe that I have some experience to make that claim. UPLIFT has some more affordable options, but they also have some extremely premium ones, which is what we’re looking at today.

Last week, I received my own V2 desk (reviewed here) with a premium walnut top. I ordered a good amount of accessories to go with it and everything arrived well-packaged in its own box. I even ordered special seating, as you can see to the left in the picture! Just kidding - as the father of an active five year old, that wobble stool is great for using up a little of that boundless energy, but I digress.

I was impressed at how well-done the shipping experience was. From the time when the order went through to delivery at my doorstep was about a week. The whole set large set, including the V2 frame, 30x60” desktop, standing mat, storage drawer, grommets, casters, and ultimate wire management kit, arrived in seven different boxes, each item individually packaged within to make sure there was no damage in shipping. It did take longer to unbox nearly everything was recyclable, so there wasn’t a lot of extra waste. I was especially worried about the desktop since there was a bit of damage to the box from the courier, but it was well protected with foam on every side. It was much better protected than my Flexispot desk, which falls into what I consider “average” pricing of around $400-500.

Assembly did take substantially longer than I expected. Since I started in the evening, I broke the process into two days and put in about 90 minutes total, including cable management. The process was more involved but also much more reassuring in the overall stability of the desk. Whereas the Flexispot followed the usual model of attach feet to legs, attach legs to each other with bolts and thumb-nuts, and wood screw the desk (whose holes weren’t remotely lined up with the actual frame it shipped with), the UPLIFT had more contact points for bolts when assembling the frame, no thumb screws whatsoever, and had precise, pre-drilled holes in the desk surface. All of the parts were clearly labeled by letter and the instruction manual walked through everything step-by-step, including adding common accessories. Those that were less common, like the locking drawer, had their own instructions.

Stunning Solid Wood Desktop

Let’s get on to the desktop, which was the real star of the show. I use my desktop for most of my product photography these days, so I opted for the walnut (there are many more options available, see the specifications above) and it is absolutely gorgeous. The natural wood grain is beautiful under the silky smooth finish, much better than any laminate I’ve ever seen. My larger desk has a real walnut exterior on an MDF core and even that pales in comparison to the real thing. It’s stunning.

It’s also heavy. At 4-pounds per square foot, it comes in at just shy of ninety pounds. With a computer setup on top of it, the frame is weighed down by a minimum of 130-pounds. The actuators are rated for 355-pounds of lift, however, so even with both of my kids sitting on it, the desk is able to raise and lower without any hesitation or strain whatsoever. It’s impressive.

I was also impressed to see that it’s almost twice as thick as a standard laminate desktop. At 1.75 inches thick, there’s no flex or bend to speak of. And, frankly, it made me feel a bit better about the cost. These desks start at $1043. While that might not be a lot of some, that’s a major investment for me on a school teacher’s salary.

And I consider it exactly that: an investment. This isn’t a purchase that’s easy to swallow, frankly, so you have to look at it from a long-term perspective. Laminate tops are great for what they are. They can look excellent, they’re durable, lightweight, and get the job done. But, there comes a time when you start to want to step up and get things that will last a lifetime if you take care of them. This is a real piece of solid wood furniture that will surely outlast even the best standing desk motor. I plan to have this desk twenty years from now, the same way I’d hope to have the other heirloom furniture in my house.

If you’ve ever gone furniture shopping, real solid wood anything is expensive. Compared against other brand new solid wood pieces of this size, the pricing really isn’t that out of line. 

UPLIFT Sets Itself Apart from the Competition

After having tried a number of these desks and researching the ins-and-outs of far more, I can confidently say that UPLIFT sets itself apart from the competition in many different ways. Right from the get-go, you’ll find that the purchasing experience is much more customizable. There are eleven solid wood desktops to choose from across every variety of natural color; if we include laminate, that number jumps all the way to twenty-four available desktops. Rather than being limited to one or two size choices, you can purchase lengths ranging from a small 42-inches all the way up to wall-spanning 80-inches. There are even narrow desks that drop the standard 30-inch width down to 24-inches, which requires specialized equipment that most desk companies don’t offer (just look - there’s only a few!). After the purchase, they have phone or chat staff available to answer any questions you might have. Additionally, if you need an accessory - casters, for example, or an upgraded control pad, everything is available through the online store, so you won’t need to go through a long customer service process for a single part or upgrade.

The other thing I was really impressed by was how well prepared the solid wood desktop was. Since there were pre-drilled holes for everything which made installing accessories easy; everything was already prepped and aligned perfectly, so there was no fussing to make sure everything attached straight. The only exception to this, oddly, was the locking desk drawer. I suspect this was because it can be mounted directly to the desktop or hang on brackets for some extra storage (so would have required extra drilling to accommodate both), but it still would have been nice to see. Do note, though, that not all desktops will have pre-drilled holes.

Likewise, it was great to see a good amount of cable management tools right in the box. In the first picture in this section, you can see that I was able to manage the cables nicely without any kind of extras. I did pick up the Ultimate Wire Management Kit, which adds a surge protector, more cable ties, wraps, and guides, as well as a 29-inch modesty panel with a cable pocket. Looking at what was included in the normal box, I think this was definitely an optional accessory - you can make the desk look very clean without it - but it definitely makes that process easier.

Finally, we come to what I consider most important and why I wanted to try this desk in the first place: stability. The UPLIFT Desk V2 features a three-stage leg design; three pieces of steel that fit into each other. Cheaper desks, like my Flexispot E2, often only feature one. As a result, when in a standing position, the Flexispot had a tendency to wobble unnervingly and it seemed to get worse over time. The UPLIFT V2 has absolutely minimal shake. It feels much more solid, which is perfect for a desk carry thousands of dollars in equipment.

Likewise, it raises quickly and smoothly. I’ve had drinks on the desktop and there’s never any risk of a spill. The actuators are also fairly quiet; you can hear them, but it’s definitely quieter than cheaper motors while also raising substantially more weight.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, I really don’t think I could be more impressed with this UPLIFT Desk. It took a bit longer to set up but feels much more stable and well-built as a result. The solid wood desktop is expensive but pushes this desk into the realm of premium hardwood furniture which is always more costly due to the dramatic increase in quality - and is there ever. Compared directly with my cheaper $399 standing desk, it’s in an entirely different class of product. If you don’t need hardwood, you can still get the excellent frame and a good laminate alternative, but as a piece of furniture meant to last, the UPLIFT Desk V2 solid wood is simply phenomenal.

Pros

  • Solid wood desktop is nearly twice as thick
  • Gorgeous finish, beautiful wood grain
  • Frame is very solid and sturdy, much better than cheaper single-stage desks
  • Lots of customization - 24 total desktops, 11 solid wood choices
  • Smooth operation
  • Assembly was very well planned out with clear, easy-to-follow instructions

Cons

  • Can become quite pricey
  • At points, assembly requires two people

The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for the purpose of review.


Christopher Coke / Chris cut his teeth on MMOs in the late 90s with text-based MUDs. He’s written about video games for many different sites but has made MMORPG his home since 2013. Today, he acts as Hardware and Technology Editor, lead tech reviewer, and continues to love and write about games every chance he gets. Follow him on Twitter: @GameByNight