I've been working from home full time for just over seven years at this point, which means I spent a lot of time in my home office at my desk. For a while I had a simple IKEA desk that did the job, but the more I used it the more I wished the legs could easily adjust so that I could move between sitting and standing throughout the day.
There are a LOT of options for standing desks out there, and many of them seem pretty similar, but it was the build quality, design, and features of the Autonomous one that stood out to me. After using the Smart Desk 2 for a few months, I have been standing more now than ever before and the desk has become a huge part of my daily flow at work.
Autonomous SmartDesk 2: A Quick Glance
Want to know about this desk without having to read everything below? Here are some of the pros and cons we've found during our testing.
- Several different top & leg color combos
- Easy to assemble
- High quality parts
- Four programmable buttons for height configurations
- Desk is very heavy when delivered
- The cable ties don't always stick well to the bottom
Autonomous SmartDesk 2: What I like
From the moment I first started using the Autonomous SmartDesk 2, I knew there was a lot about it that I would like, and as time progressed I proved it all to be accurate. It all started with the ability to customize the desk configuration that you want while ordering it.
Autonomous has three different color options for the legs and nine different color tops that you can pick between. The ability to mix and match these to find one that fits your style and decor is great, since it's a prominent piece of furniture in any given space. There are also two different size tops that you can select, depending whether you want the regular one or a larger option.
The desk arrives in two different boxes, one with the legs and the other with just the top. This makes it a little easier to bring it in your home, but the boxes are quite heavy and oddly shaped so it's still not easy to move them. The weight is a bit of a neccessity though, because the parts are built extremely sturdily, and they are designed to last.
Assembling the desk was very straightforward and didn't require too much skill. All you need is a screwdriver and the rest is included. The directions were clear and I got the whole thing set up and ready to use in about 30 minutes. Setting the presets for the heights is super simple, and I love that you can have various (up to 4) heights saved so different people can easily use the desk and everyone can be comfortable without constantly tinkering with the height settings each time.
Once set up, the desk is really sturdy, and there is plenty of space to hold your computer, some desk accessories, and more. The cable slots on the back allow you to make things look nice and neat as well. Autonomous includes some cable management ties in the packaging so you can tidy up as well, but it's worth noting that I had mixed experiences with these staying in place.
The desk is quiet as you move it up and down, and the buttons are very responsive so you don't have to try too hard to move it as needed. When standing and typing, the desk doesn't move all over the place which is a problem that some of the cheaper options experience a lot of.
Autonomous offers a bunch of accessories on its site as well, like a monitor mount, LED light for above your monitor, cable management tray, an anti-fatigue mat, and more. In addition, Autonomous also offers a few different chairs to go with your new desk and the company offers financing via its site to make it easier to buy everything you need at the same time.
Autonomous SmartDesk 2: What I didn't like
There is no denying that there is a whole lot to like about the SmartDesk 2, and it really is a great option for so many people. One of my biggest complaints about the desk is that the parts are really heavy, which means that the boxes they come in are very heavy and hard to move. To move the parts to where I needed them, I had to open the box and carry them individually, which was a bit of a pain. This is a minor gripe, because they need to be like this so they are sturdy, but that means some people will have a really hard time moving the desk to where they want.
The other big thing that bothered me was the cable ties that Autonomous includes. It's great that they offer a nice way to try and keep your cables organized, but I noticed that after a week several of them had fallen down and no longer stuck to the bottom of the desk. I didn't even bundle multiple cables in each tie, so it should have easily stayed in place but even if I tried to stick it back it wouldn't last much more than a day.
One complaint that I've read in a few places is that some of the finishes show surface scratches very easily. With the lighter color top I haven't noticed it as much, but some of the darker wooden colors might show that off. It may be wise to pick up a nice extended mouse pad to keep it safe and scratch-free.
Autonomous SmartDesk 2: Should you buy?
I never realized how much difference a desk could make in your workflow until I bought a proper desk, and now I advocate that everyone who has the space for one gets a nice desk. The SmartDesk 2 is a great sit/stand desk that not only looks great but also performs well. The desk is made up of high-quality parts and it works just as you'd expect, every time.
If you are looking to stand more while working, or want to test the waters with it and need an easy way to get back to a seated position, this is definitely a desk worth considering. It's not the cheapest standing desk out there right now, but it is also quite far from the most expensive option. It's a great middle-of-the-road price point, and the ability to customize both the size and the color to fit and match your space is something that makes these stand out.
Whether you're in the market for a desk for your kids to do school work at or you need something for your job which is now remote, the SmartDesk 2 series from Autonomous is absolutely worth looking at.
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