Over the past few years, a lot has been said about ‘sitting being the new smoking’. While this is not true in any shape or form, sitting for more than 8 hours a day can not only increase the risk of chronic diseases by 10% to 20% but casue premature death as well– as stated by the American Journal of Public Health (opens in new tab).
Long before ‘WFH’ became an acronym in our daily life, we've eyed standing desks. For anyone who wants to get off their desk every little while and walk around just to gain some focus, a standing desk seemed like an absolute must.
So when Navodesk sent one of their latest desks for us to check out, we jumped at the opportunity to see if a standing desk really helped with posture and focus while working.
Who are Navodesk?
Navodesk is an office furniture brand based in the United Arab Emirates and provides ergonomic solutions for people looking to improve their working experience. From smart desks, to chairs and accessories, the brand has something for everyone.
Pricing and Availability
The Navodesk Smart Desk starts at AED 1,700 for the 47”x30” size, moving onto AED 1,900 for the 59”x30” one and finally at AED 2,100 for the massive 70”x30” version. You can buy the desk on Navodesk.com (opens in new tab), Amazon and many major retailers in the region.
Unboxing and build
The Navodesk Smart Desk comes in two boxes. One is the table top while the other has the motor and legs. We also received a few more boxes with accessories such as the cable management tray, monitor arm, desk caster wheels and storage tray.
While this is not a difficult desk to set up, it’s not as easy-to-assemble as an Ikea desk either. In our case, the tabletop was the 59x30” size. The brand also has a smaller 47x30” size and a much larger 70x30” size too. If you want to go all out, they also have an L-Shaped smart desk.
Overall, desk assembly with a bit of a break took us just over 3 hours (this will obviously vary based on your knowledge of the product and skill as far as building such furniture is concerned). While the legs are pretty easy to put together, the screwing-in stage of the table top is where things will slow down.
The instructions aren’t very clear in terms of measurements and you’re supposed to depend on pre-made holes to do the same. Again, it’s not an impossible task but it’s one that needs a bit of effort on your part.
As far as the screws go, they give one extra of each type but we did notice that the screws for the control unit didn’t fit. In the case of our unit, we had to use screws of our own and we would hope this isn’t a widespread issue but it is something worth mentioning.
As far as the accessories go, all of them set into the table very well. We’ll get into opinions on each of these further along on the review.
Navodesk Smart Desk
Apart from the tiny little setup-hiccups, the Navodesk has been a pleasure to use. It’s structurally stable and holds quite a bit of weight, without any problems on the speed of ascent or descent while using the table.
Let’s start with the tabletop. In our case we’ve got the Walnut table top at the 59”x30” size. All table tops from Navodesk are scratch and water resistant too. Like we mentioned earlier, on the bottom of the table you will see pre-drilled holes for screws but drilling your own holes isn’t too difficult either. In our use, we dumped the table with loads of phones, boxes, a monitor, laptop, etc. The tabletop still looks as good as new and is very easy to clean too.
Next up, are the legs. The motorised legs impressed us from the first minute we picked them up. They’re strong, can carry up to 120kgs and feel extremely comfortable even with the desk loaded up.
Other peripherals like the control center and controls for the desk are below the desk. While there is minimal interaction with the control center once the desk is set up, the controls obviously need to be placed well enough for easy access.
Speaking of placement, one thing to be noted is that the screws we received for the control buttons were not the correct size and we had to make our own adjustments. The buttons themselves are nice, easy to reach and provide good feedback when clicked. We do worry about what they’re going to look like in the long run but to know the answer to that, we’ll just have to wait.
Apart from the actual table, Navodesk also specialises in a whole range of accessories. Our favourite among those are the desk wheels. In the case of this review, since the desk was review in a hall, it helps so much to be able to move the desk around as and when we please.
Next up, we got the c-clamp to hold your headphones. Another absolute favourite is the storage tray that can store trinkets that normally roll over your desk.
If you want extreme mobility or have multiple monitors, Navodesk also sells desk arms for monitors. The arms can hold monitors up to 32”, which should be great for most people. We used the arm with our 27” monitor and it worked like a charm.
Lastly, we got the cable management tray. The easy way to tell you about this one is… don’t get it. As a cable management tray, it's a high quality product but it’s neither low enough or deep enough for the kind of plugs and extensions we have in our region. We instead substituted it with another one that worked better for our needs.
Most importantly of all, Navodesk is constantly improving their accessory line-up and from what we can see, they’re really listening to their customer feedback. For example, in the time we've had this desk for review, Navodesk launched almost 10 new accessories including a bigger under-desk storage system, a new ‘active stool’ where you can move from sitting to standing very easily and a new desk hub to have electric ports on the desk.
The Navodesk smart desk also comes with connectivity for an app. The app is called Stand Up Pls (Hilarious, right?) and works perfectly fine. In our use, it wasn’t exactly absolutely necessary since whenever we needed height adjustability we were right at the desk and used the physical control buttons, but it’s definitely good to have. Funny enough, while the desk has 4 memory positions, the app can save only 2.
One advantage of the app is that it reminds you to stand once in a while but if you, like me, have a schedule for yourself, you won’t really need this either.
Should you buy the Navodesk height-adjustable smart desk?
Buy it if...
You need a flexible workspace
If you need the flexibility of working while standing as well as sitting, you might want to consider the Navodesk Smart Desk. Having a standing desk can be a massive health benefit in your daily lifetoo.
You're looking for premium quality. The Navodesk Smart Desk feels good all over. Right from the tabletop to the legs, everything feels solid right from the get go.
Don't buy it if...
You're on a tight budget
With the larger sized desks and all the accessories on offer, the desk could set you back over AED 2500.
You're constantly on the move
If you don't end up sitting at your desk too long and if you job entails a lot of movement, this might not be the desk for you.