[REVIEW] Autonomous SmartDesk 2


Dec 25, 2011
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Working Smarter Not Harder
I have been wanting a motorized standing desk for quite some time and the opportunity to get one presented itself. Enter the Autonomous SmartDesk 2. I chose the bamboo top with a gray frame and it is absolutely stunning. I am loving my SmartDesk 2. Beauty aside, it is a very reasonably priced desk. At 53"x29" the SmartDesk 2 is a very spacious desk. Some variants are also as large as 75"x30" if you need a larger desk. While my day job has me on my feet all day, I still don't like to spend all my time at home in the evenings and on the weekends sitting down. Especially not when I'm participating in a Pokemon Go PvP tournament since I pace while playing. With a motorized standing desk, I can raise the desk height and still have access to all the information I need, or have my screen height where I need it for regular tasks and be able to use everything comfortably. It wouldn't be a smart desk if it didn't have presets though, would it? The SmartDesk 2 has 4 resettable presets that are as easy to program as holding down the M key until the height flashes and pressing the preset number of your choice. While 4 presets may sound like a lot, I have found a use for all of them. As a short person, I need to raise my chair height to be at a proper angle to type while sitting down while also needing the desk at its lowest height. So preset 1 for me is the lowest desk height for when I'm sitting down and using the desk while I keep preset 4 just a little higher so I can slide my chair in under the desk when I'm done. Naturally, I need a preset for standing, and that is preset 2 for me which leaves only preset 3 left. Preset 3 has a very specific purpose in my case and that is to bring the desk to its maximum height so I can do cable management as needed.


Speaking of cable management, there are two cutouts on the backside of the desktop with cover plates for cable pathing under the desk. Autonomous is also kind enough to put some sticky cable ties in the box for you to manage the power cables for the desk, however, I would recommend going to a hardware store and spending a couple of extra dollars on some better quality straps. Almost all of the ones that came in the box fell off of my desk within the first 72 hours. Other people have not had this same issue, and some of it may be due to the number of cables I have under the desk as well. The SmartDesk 2 is also able to lift up to 220 pounds, so you don't need to worry too much about what you're putting on your desk. While I don't plan on testing the weight limit myself, I can say the SmartDesk 2 is absolutely one of the sturdiest desks I've used. It even comes with a 30-day trial, financing options, a 5-year warranty on the frame, and a 1-year warranty on the desktop. As for the height range of the desk, that will range from 29" to 48" giving quite a good scale for people of different heights. If you're worried that the motors for the desk will be loud, don't be. Yes, that is plural because the SmartDesk 2 is a dual motor desk. The motors are quieter than a vacuum and hardly louder than an automatic soap dispenser while seamlessly and smoothly transitioning to different heights. So when you need to stand to stretch your legs, help yourself wake up, or just feel like you're slouching too much, hit your standing preset and by the time you push your chair back and move it out of your way, the SmartDesk 2 is already at your standing height and ready for you to continue working.


I briefly mentioned the size of the desk, though I forgot to mention that it's a very modern open space desk. With rounded corners and contoured edges, the desktop is very comfortable. Never underestimate how comfortable contoured edges on a desk are. As someone who put their arms on the edge of the desk, the contoured edges feel better and don't dig into my arms as much. Since the desk is completely open, you are free to use the entire desktop as you see fit. Whether you have multiple monitors, or keyboards, photos, plants, it doesn't matter. You have so much space to lay things out and have a very comfortable work environment. No matter where you decide to place the weight around, you'll have a hard time throwing the desk off balance with the solid steel frame. I wouldn't have believed it if the frame wasn't two-thirds of the weight of the desk. With that steel frame and the desktop also being MDF, you really feel the solidness of the desk as it weighs around 100 pounds when all put together. Now, you will need to put the desk together. Don't fret as everything is included except a screwdriver, and I would recommend a drill or impact drill if you have one. All I used was a stubby screwdriver and that put blisters on my hands from the torque you need, so a regular full-sized screwdriver would be a minimum. I took my time to ensure I put everything where it belonged and was securely tightened and it took me about an hour and a half to put together. You can definitely put it together quicker though, especially if you have someone that can help.


1. Affordable
2. Sturdy frame and desktop
3. Sleek modern design

1. Cable ties are a little weak
2. No screwdriver in the box
3. Cable management covers don't lock

When you're considering a motorized desk, Autonomous is a fantastic place to look. When you have a motorized desk, you'll find that you do stand more than you would expect. With the different desktop designs and frame designs, you have options to match your existing office, whether that's a professional office building or a home office. The SmartDesk 2 is also priced lower than some of the other big names in motorized desks making it quite affordable. The Bamboo top like mine is a little more expensive than the standard desktop designs. There is currently a $100 discount on the SmartDesk 2 at the time of this review making the classic size desks $379, or $429 for the Bamboo, and $519 for the XL size. If you wanted to finance the desk, all of them having financing for less than $50 per month. I know I love my SmartDesk 2 and will continue to love using it.​
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