Today we are comparing two popular standing desks, The Uplift Desk vs. Jarvis Desk. If you are in the search for a new adjustable height desk, there is a good chance you have seen atleast one of these models. Each offers a large height adjustment range, heavy load capacity and an industry leading seven year warranty. While they may look very similar, we were surprised to find out there were definite differences between them. So with that, let’s take a closer look at the review and where each is different.
Both Jarvis and Uplift are currently being manufactured by JieCang Linear Motion Technologies. JieCang has been producing linear actuators for hospital furniture since early 2000. In 2011 they saw an opportunity to utilize their technology within desk frames to create an electric standing desk. Since then they have become the leading Chinese manufacturer of motorized standing desks.
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Jarvis and Uplift Pricing
One of the first things we wanted to compare between these two was pricing and availability. What we found is that the pricing for the various configurations is actually similar. After tracking these products for multiple weeks we also noticed that the pricing remains fairly consistent. The most affordable option would be the base only (frame only), which allows you to retrofit your own top. For those who would like to purchase a base and top together, there are quite a few options.
|Jarvis Desk by Fully||Uplift 900 Desk|
|Expandable Base (no top)||$435.00||$435.00|
|30” x 60” Laminate||$675.00||$639.00|
|30” x 60” Bamboo||$650.00||$649.00|
|30” x 60” Powder Coated||$640.00||$659.00|
|Lead Time||1-7 Business Days||1-2 Business Days|
Jarvis vs. Uplift Standard Specs/Features
While the Jarvis and Uplift bases have similar specifications, they aren’t quite the same base. We were unsure why both brands listed two different weight capacities, when the OEM manufacturer shows the same capacity 1000N (224.808 lbs) for these bases. The adjustment range is slightly different because of the way each column mounts to the foot. Jarvis is set within the foot, allowing it to go lower, while Uplift is mounted on top of the foot which allows it to be slightly taller. Depending on your height, each base could provide a better fit.
|Specs/Features||Jarvis Desk by Fully||Uplift 900 Desk|
|Button Options||Standard up/down push button||Standard up/down push button|
|Adjustment Range||23.125” to 48.75”||24.5” to 50”|
|Adjustment Speed||1.32” per second||1.33” per second|
|Soft Start – Stop||Yes||Yes|
|Auto-dark LED display||Yes||Yes|
|Leveling Glides||.25” adjustment||.375” adjustment|
|Expandable Frame||42.5” to 74” Wide||42.25” to 70” Wide|
|Foot Material||Steel||Molded Aluminum|
Both Jarvis and Uplift come with three standard frame finishes. Currently each is available in black, silver and white. Jarvis has recently introduced a fourth option, the Red Jarvis base. This is available for an additional $25.
Desk Top Options
If you decide to get the entire desk with top, Jarvis and Uplift should have something to meet your requirements. Jarvis currently has a better selection of Greenguard laminate tops with 12 wood grain print and solid color options available. Each brand has a variety of bamboo and hardwood, and Uplift also comes with reclaimed wood options.
|Jarvis Desk by Fully||Uplift 900 Desk|
|Laminate||Greenguard Laminate tops come in rectangle shapes, with twelve colors and seven sizes||Greenguard Laminate tops come in rectangle shapes, three colors and four sizes.|
|Bamboo||Available in both rectangle and contour shapes. Each shape has one color option. Rectangle shapes are available in seven sizes; the contour is available in three.||Available in both rectangle and contour shapes. Each shaped has one color option. Rectangle shapes are available in nine sizes; the contour is available in three.|
|Powder Coated||Available in both rectangle and contour shapes. Each has three color options: black, grey and white. Rectangle shapes are available in seven sizes; the contour is available in three sizes.||Available in both rectangle and contour shapes. Each has two color options: white and black. Rectangle shapes available in seven sizes; the contour is available in four sizes.|
|Hardwood||Available in rectangle shapes only. There are five color options and four sizes for each color.||Available in rectangles and custom shapes per request. Rectangle option available in sixteen color options and ten size options.|
|Reclaimed Wood||Not Available||Available in rectangles with one color option and ten sizes.|
|Power Grommet||$39/each||$39 single / $69 pair|
|Wire Management Kit||$39 (no power strip available)||Up to $69 with power strip|
The overall packaging of each desk was very good. You will notice that the boxes are exactly the same; however, the artwork on the outside and way components are placed are different. Inside each box they are using cut foam for added protection. This is a good way to protect the contents of the packages when they are shipped around via ground carrier.
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Each desk requires about 30 to 90 minutes depending on your skill level. They both require a lot of screws and have a pain point attaching the upper frame to the column. The recessed nature of the frame made inserting the screws a bit cumbersome. Attaching the feet on the Jarvis desk was quicker, while the aluminum feet on the Uplift posed issues with inserting screws. We recommend using a longer allen wrench for assembly on the Uplift desk, without this fully tightening the feet was difficult. Also consider adding a gel like Loctite Threadlocker for a more consistent hold on the foot assembly.
Update 8/8/17: Motor, Gear and Glide Comparisons
In the last four standing desk reviews and comparisons, I have begun digging deeper into the desks being reviewed. Looking closer at components that are housed within the columns of each of the desk frames. These components include the motors, gears and glide systems. Each plays an important role in how the desk makes height adjustments and how long it will function properly. Below is an update to the Uplift Desk vs the Jarvis Desk comparison.
The motors on the Jarvis Desk and the Uplift Desk are exact matches. Based on my experience looking inside various versions of the JieCang columns (Uplift, Jarvis, GeekDesk and EvoDesk), it appears this is the standard motor for their columns.
The Jarvis Desk and The Uplift Desk motors are currently manufactured, for JieCang, by a Chinese company called Shenzhen Weizhen Motor Co., LTD. According to Shenzhen’s website, they have been producing micro motor systems for close to 20 years. Looking at the motor, they do appear to be well built. In my opinion, they have a couple shortcomings that would be nice to see addressed. The first is small, with the connection of the wires to the small external board. It appears to be attached with an epoxy on the outside of the motor. This connection is okay, but either could be internalized like the Linak motors or use actual connectors like the Bosch motors on the IKEA Bekant.
The second part that I would have liked to have seen changed is internalizing the worm drive. Because this portion is fully exposed, there is potential to pull contaminants like dust and dirt into the drive and even motor encasement. Both could potentially reduce the efficiency of the motor and/or shorten its lifespan. When looking at other products in the mid-range; both of the Bosch motors on the IKEA Bekant and Ketterer Motors on the VertDesk v3 are fully internalized for a cleaner system.
Unlike the motors, the gears on the Jarvis and Uplift are not exact matches. While they are similar, the design of the columns is likely the cause for their differences. The Jarvis Desk uses a traditional column that’s big on the bottom and small on top. The Uplift Desk is the opposite, using a column that’s big on top and small on the bottom.
While the gears are not exactly the same, they share a lot of the same qualities. Unfortunately, many of these qualities are not necessarily good. Each of the desks gears themselves don’t appear to be bad quality. However, they each include a lot of plastic components that are likely weak points in their design. We have recently completed cycled testing on the JieCang column and will be able to further comment on how these parts have held up.
One of the first things you notice when looking at the images of the gears is the amount of lubricant used. When compared to other products in the mid-range, these are some of the most over lubricated gears I have seen. Even the ultra cheap Autonomous desk has a better gear system than what is found inside the JieCang columns. The amount of grease found on the JieCang doesn’t necessarily mean it will impact the life cycle of your desk. However, over lubrication does hold the potential to reduce the efficiency of the gears. I would have liked to have seen a better system here and if possible better quality control with the lubrication process.
The glide systems found on both Jarvis and the Uplift Desk are exact matches. The technology of their glide systems is a knock off of the high-end DL5 column from Linak. This is something that I recently discovered when pulling apart the UpDesk elements series. While the Jarvis and Uplift desk are utilizing columns that have copied this technology, they have fallen well short of the high-end option from Linak.
One of the first things I noticed when cycling all JieCang columns is the amount of white lubricant that starts to build up on the legs. Over time this continues to build and does not provide a very nice experience. After opening the Jarvis and Uplift columns, it was obvious why this was an ongoing issue. Each of the columns was significantly over lubricated. While the Jarvis desk appeared to have more lubrication, the Uplift Desk was far from being perfect.
I am not 100% certain why these desks have so much lubrication on the glides. My experience leads me to believe it is because cheaper plastic glides are used. This type of plastic requires additional lubricant to slide smoothly and hold up for the life cycle of the product. We know through testing our own VertDesk v3 21,375 times, less lubricant is required when better plastics are used. This was only reconfirmed when looking at the Linak DL5 column. They use similar plastics as the VertDesk v3 and have minimal amounts of lubricant within the columns.
One of the biggest concerns I have with the Jiecang columns are the inconsistencies I see with the application of this lubricant. On the Jarvis desk, there were huge globs everywhere. On the Uplift Desk, there were similar amounts on portions of the glide, but I also found completely dry spots as well. If the lubricant is required to keep the glides functioning properly, then lack of lubricant could actually be a big issue down the road.
Stability of Each Desk
While both desks are utilizing the same JieCang technology, they are distinctly different with regards to stability. That lack of a traditional cross support between the legs meant that above 43.5” each desk had wobble issues.
Front to Back: We have found that the Jarvis desk is more stable front to back than the Uplift desk. Once both desks were raised above 45”, each had movement. When fully extended each exhibited front to back stability issues, but Uplift was noticeably worse.
Left to Right: We found that the Uplift desk had less wobble side to side. It was very surprising that the Jarvis desk started to wobble at only 36” high. Unfortunately there was significant movement above 40” on the Jarvis desk. Beyond 43.5” each desk had left to right movement, but the Uplift remained steadier than the Jarvis when fully extended.
Note: Using a wedge system on the top portion of the columns has allowed the Uplift frame to be more stable left to right. Unfortunately to accommodate this, it required the columns be flipped upside down. This moves the largest portion of the column at the top of the base. While it reduces the left to right movement, it has created more front to back motion. Overall the motion created was quite a bit less than what Jarvis experiences left to right and we feel the Uplift base is more stable than Jarvis.
|Jarvis frames will have a flat return shipping fee of $50. Please contact customer service for all Jarvis top ground and freight quotes and all other desk shipping quotes. Due to the unique shipping requirements of adjustable height work surfaces, we handle each return request on a case-by-case basis. There is no flat restocking fee on desks, though one may be assessed based on the circumstances and condition of the return.||Uplift desk frames and Greenguard laminate, eco and eco curve, bamboo and reclaimed fir or teak desktops can be returned without restocking fees. Customer is responsible for the return shipping costs.|
|Seven year warranty for everything. The Jarvis frame, including the electric motors, control box, and switch.||Seven year warranty for everything. The Uplift frame, including the motors, control box, and switch.|
Improvements for Jarvis and Uplift
There were two issues that both bases need to improve upon. Each has over lubrication issues and after multiple cycles they begin to show grease on the outside of the columns. The second is a continued motion after the up or down button was released. This is a definite safety concern.
After extensive testing with each product, we have come to a unanimous decision that the Uplift desk is a better option. Utilizing a wedge system within the frame has allowed the Uplift desk to be the more stable option. Each desk offers plenty of adjustment range, but for users that are shorter the Jarvis could provide more flexibility. Both Jarvis and Uplift come standard with seven year warranties, which include all components. If you’re picky about desk wobble, these two models might not be the best fit. Without the use a traditional cross support, each desk exhibited movement when extended above 43.5”. For more detailed information on each desk, please visit our in-depth Jarvis Desk review or the Uplift 900 review.
More Standing Desk Resources
- The 4 Best Electric Standing Desks Under $1000
- VertDesk v3 Electric Standing Desk (Review / Rating)
- VertDesk v3 vs. NewHeights XT: Which is better?
- VertDesk v3 vs. Uplift 900 Standing Desk
- A Standing Desk Evolution: VertDesk v1 and v2 VS. VertDesk v3
- 5 Most Common Problems with Standing Only Desks
- 4 Reasons Standing Only Desks Are Bad For Your Health