Autonomous Standing Desk review: Welcome to a better work day

I finally find myself standing more during the day!

Standing Desk
(Image: © Windows Central)

My job is a dream job; I get to work from home (or just about anywhere that I can get an internet connection). But one downside is that I do find myself sitting for more extended periods than I have at any other job. Long hours are something that I am used to, but sometimes it's hard to force myself to get up and walk around during the day. Being able to press a little button on my desk and then standing up to complete work is an incredible thing, and something I keep doing more and more.

I started slow, a couple of minutes here and there, and now I can do it for hours at a clip, which helps me break up my day very well.

Autonomous Standing Desk What I like

Control Panel Autonomous Desk

Autonomous offers three different standing desk options, but they are all quite similar. You can pick between the Home Edition, Hybrid Edition, and Business Edition. The desk I have is the Business Edition, which has two motors (one in each leg) and I opted for the larger top instead of the standard one. The Autonomous site offers six different preset configuration options, four of which offer the smaller top, and two of which have the larger one, and you can also customize it to your liking to decide on the leg and top color of your own.

I'm always wary about having furniture shipped because people are not the most careful with packages in warehouses and stuff, but Autonomous does an excellent job ensuring it is protected right to your doorstep. The top shipped in one box and the base in another, and setting it all up was very easy. The instructions were simple enough to understand, and you can do the whole thing without any power tools. It ended up taking me just over an hour because I was in no real rush. Once assembled, the desk is insanely sturdy and pretty heavy, so be sure to build it near where you want to use it permanently.

Autonomous uses a seven-button control panel to help you adjust the desk to just the right height. There's a button to raise the desk and one more to lower it. Next to those are four different buttons to preset heights, and finally, a switch that's needed to help each number keep its memory. I adjusted the desk first to a comfortable sitting position and set that as number 1, and then found a comfortable height for when I am standing and set that as number 2. Right now, 3 and 4 are unused, though if I shared my desk or did additional tasks at it, I may find uses for more of the presets.

On top of the desk are two cutouts with metal inserts. They're for running cables through, and that's all there is. On the bottom, you have the control box for the two motors (which gets screwed into the desk), along with a set of rails that run across the width of it.

Having the two motors makes the desk insanely quiet when it's raising or lowering. The two motor setup also makes it move very smoothly. I often have a cup of coffee or water on my desk, and without fear, I can change the position of the desk without any of it spilling out. They raise and lower in sync, and I've yet to run into an issue where one of them didn't want to cooperate.

The larger desktop works best for my gear set up, though not everyone will need it. Some of the color options are only available in the smaller top, which is 53 inches by 29 inches, whereas the larger one is 70.5 inches by 30 inches.

Autonomous Standing Desk What I don't like

Autonomous Desk Cutout

Cable tidy (Image credit: Windows Central)

This desk was a huge upgrade from my old desk, and while I was immediately taken back by the amazingness of it, there were a few things that bothered me during the setup process. Most of my complaints were small, but when you take the price of the desk into consideration, it makes you feel like these are easily addressable concerns.

While putting the desk together was easy, getting the gear set up on it was not as easy, and it's partially the desk's fault. On the top, towards the back, there are two existing holes you're meant to run cables through, but they just aren't big enough if you have a few things on your desk. I have a large desk, and have a decent amount of tech on it. This may not be the case for everyone, but I did struggle to get the cables for monitors, your laptop, speakers, and other accessories through them. Part of this comes with the way I have it set up, and part of it is that less than 1/3 of the hole is usable, unless you completely remove the metal insert, which would look weird. It would be nice if Autonomous included another cover that allowed you to use half of the hole instead; that would have made my set up much more straightforward.

Once I got the cables off the top of the desk and everything set up, I was left with a huge mess under the desk, which ended up being another whole struggle. Two rails run from side to side under the desk. And they aren't designed to hold the cables, but that's what I did anyway. Autonomous sells a cable management basket, but at the price of the desk, there really should be a better way to do it than to have to add on another accessory. Autonomous includes a bunch of cable ties with the desk that have a 3M adhesive on them, and while they work pretty well, it would still be nice to have somewhere to put laptop charging bricks, and the like.

I have found that I love the extra space of the desk, and being able to just press a button and move between two already-known comfortable heights is perfect. Sometimes I wish there was a feature to have it automatically move if you've been sitting for too long, but that's where a good routine comes in handy. In the beginning, I needed to set alarms to help force myself to stand up at designated times, but now I find myself able to stand without needing them anymore.

After about two weeks of use, I noticed the top of the desk was filled with hairline scratches from moving my keyboard and mouse around. They were shallow and hard to see, but they were there. I ended up buying an oversized mouse pad to fit both on, but it takes away from the overall look of the desk.

While minor annoyances, they are things that seem easily addressable by Autonomous.

Autonomous Standing Desk Should you buy it?

Autonomous Desk Motor

If you are in the market for a new desk and have considered picking up a standing option, I highly recommend one from Autonomous. The shipping was quick, and the desk was well packaged and protected. Assembly didn't take very long and can be completed fully without any power tools if needed.

As previously mentioned, I wish it had some better built-in cable management options, though Autonomous does include some cable ties to help keep things a bit neater.

You should check out the various configuration options, both in sizes and finishes and build the desk that matches your space and personal preferences now!

Jared DiPane

Jared started off writing about mobile phones back when BlackBerry ruled the market, and Windows Mobile was kinda cool. Now, with a family, mortgage and other responsibilities he has no choice but to look for the best deals, and he's here to share them with you.