I run Windows Central from the ultimate standing desk

Standing and standup desks have become the new rage in home offices and workplaces around the world, including the United States. So it makes sense that I should take a look at one I've been using for the last few months. You may be asking, why is he reviewing a desk? The answer is twofold. For one, it is #MobileFit month, and this is part of the category. Number two, it's a fun way for you people to peek behind the curtain to see what I use every day at my job.

So with that introduction, let's take a look at the Anthro Elevate II Adjusta standing desk, including a video review to see it in action!

Anthro (www.anthro.com) makes the Elevate II Adjusta out in Oregon. If that name rings familiar, it's because we recently featured their Surface organizing cabinets for companies and schools. In addition to those storage solutions, Anthro makes industrial desks for hospitals and the prosumer market, who demand high quality and sturdy desks for work. They're a pretty awesome company and a few of the employees even use Windows Phone and visit this site.

Built for abuse

Let's get something out the way. Anthro desks are not the kind of things you go and pickup from Staples or IKEA. While those desks are a great solution for some, the type of desks and equipment that Anthro makes are the ones that last years, if not decades. Because of that they're heavier, more robust, built from fine materials, all in the U.S., and they command a higher price.

The tradeoff for the initial investment is you're getting something that will last you a very long time, and it's not something made from compressed wood held together with plastic screws and glue.

What is the Elevate II Adjusta?

It's a standup desk, but more than that it's fully adjustable. That means this is either a standup desk, or at a touch of button, a regular, sit down desk:

"Dual-surface Elevate II Adjusta is the ultimate standing desk with complete adjustability. Push a button to electrically move the front and back work surfaces simultaneously."

It's also near the top of what you can buy these days for a standup desk on the market.

The Elevate II Adjusta has two levels: the top shelf is for your computers, monitors, etc. while the second is for the keyboard. The desk comes in two sizes, including 48 or 60-inches in length. The one you see in the photos and our video is the big 60-inch version.

Using the online configurator, you can choose which options you want to including finish/color (black, maple, white or wenge) and accessories to meet your needs. For instance, I wanted the massive 16 Outlet Power Bar, which is only available for the 60-inch model. The Power Bar attaches to the back and gives an extensive 16 outlets for all of your gear…it's like tech heaven. You can also add things like a metal cup holder and monitor arms. You can have three 27-inch monitors in place on this desk and it can hold up to 150 lbs in total weight, while still lifting everything.

You can also add a CPU caddy to hold your PC off the ground and attached to the desk. Cables are routed in the back through a wire gutter to keep things neat and organized. In fact, I have just two cables coming off of the desk, including one for the desk itself and the other for the Power Bar. It's a very clean setup.

The desk is powered by two actuators in the legs, and they can raise and lower the desk from 28 to 47 inches high.

The desk arrived in one large box (plus accessories in separate ones) and it required an 18-wheeler for delivery. Granted, the desk itself was not that big, but it won't fit on a UPS truck! I live in an apartment complex though, and I was able to manage it easy enough. Assembly took about two to three hours and was done by myself, except for the flipping of the final product, which required two people for obvious reasons. All in all, it was a simple and flawless experience.

Why a standing desk?

Mobile Nations has a policy: you write a million words, and they buy you a standup desk as a reward. I'm currently up to 1,311,274 words from the last few years of writing. Combined with my recent move and there's no way I'd turn down a new premium battle station. It has made my life easier just due to the space, but I also feel more energetic behind it.

Also, a lot of research has shown that productivity increases when standing, instead of slouching in a chair all day. Likewise, when combined with a gel-mat for your feet, standing desks are better for your back and posture, in addition to keeping you moving all day. If your feet get sore, you can get a foot stand or rocker to help offset the pressure.

Or, if you're tired, just push a button and pull up a seat as you now have a nice 'regular' desk.

Anthro also claims that you burn 172 calories every 60 minutes just by standing, which probably has some truth in it as your legs do a lot more work all day. Anthro classifies all of this under their 'MoveMore' slogan.

Why I like it

The Elevate II Adjust is solidly built. Everything is screwed in with large bolts and hex screws right into the wood. The base is metal as are the keyboard tray arms, which are controlled via a hand-brake mechanism for height and position.

I chose the Maple wood finish which also has a 'smooth comfort edge,' instead of sharp corners. It's some beautiful work, and it's nice not to have something made with particle board in it.

The Elevate Adjusta II is also on wheels (backend) so that I can easily move it around. That's important as the desk weighs…let's just say a lot.

I use the Adjusta II probably 90% of the time standing up. For real intense writing sessions or days when I'm not feeling well I'll use it in the normal sit-down position, but that's the exception.

What I have on it

If you see the photos and the video tour of the desk, you'll notice I have a lot on it, including

  • LG 27-inch HD monitor
  • Dell XPS 27 all-in-one computer with a Wide QHD touchscreen
  • Logitech C920 webcam (moving to C930e this week)
  • Cup holder for drinks
  • Rode podcaster microphone, extension arm and shock mount
  • Razer Deathstalker keyboard
  • Logitech Performance MX mouse
  • Document stand
  • Various phones and chargers within arm's reach
  • Surface 2 and Surface Pro 3

This desk has so much space on it that I have all of that and room to move, leave a camera on the keyboard tray, etc. Plus I'm standing!

Pricing and availability

Take a deep breath: the Anthro Elevate II Adjusta starts at $1849 for the 48-inch width version and heads up to $2099 for the 60-inch Plus edition. Toss in all the accessories, and you're looking at $2700 for the cream of the crop.

Although that may seem a lot, when you consider the cost of the technology on the desk and how much people spend on computers versus real industrial furniture, it's a fair price. Don't forget, all of this is made in the US by a small company out in Oregon, who have been around for 30 years. It is quality equipment, and it commands a high price.

Personally, I think it's totally worth it if you're stuck behind a computer for eight to ten hours a day, five days a week. I can say I work better with it and glad I have it.

There are cheaper solutions out there, even from Anthro. The Elevate II Adjust though has it all, including two levels, large work area, electric movement for raising and lowering and a small cadre of accessories to maximize your work space. So consider this review as starting from the top of what is out there in the market.

All in all, I'm very pleased with the Elevate II Adjusta and if you're considering a really good standing desk, add this one to the top of your list.

Want to learn more? Head to Anthro's website or take a look at the Elevate II Adjusta's page for more information, including their other standing desk models. Their blog also has some neat information on the benefits of standup desks.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.