Amazon hopped on the standing desk converter train with their own AmazonBasics product. It does not have many reviews, but the few it has are positive. It is available at an attractive price point so I decided to place an order for one to try it out. To say that the product was a disappointment would be an understatement. Here is what I found during my experience.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
– Country of Origin
– Specs / Features / Pricing
– Return Policy and Warranty
– Shipping & Installation
– Build Quality
– Making Adjustments
– Task and Keyboard Space
– Wire Management
– What I Like
– What I Don’t Like
– Bottom Line
Country of Origin
Made in China
Lifting Capacity: 20 lbs.
Weight: 30 lbs.
Overall at lowest height: 31.5”W x 19.75”D x 2.5”H
Overall at highest height: 31.5”W x 19.75”D x 20”H
Base Dimensions: 28.5”W x 16.5”D
Platform Dimensions: 31.5”W x 19.75”D
Max Platform Height: 20”H
Min Platform Height: 2.5”H
Counterbalance adjustment system with single handle
Single large platform
Sits on top of existing desk
2019 Price – $174.32
The AmazonBasics Converter can be returned within the first 30 days for a full refund. You will be responsible for the return shipping charges.
The AmazonBasics converter comes with a 1-year warranty. There are no exclusions.
The AmazonBasics converter shipped the day after we ordered it. It arrived two days later via UPS Ground. The packaging was very well done. There were no scratches, dents or damage to the product.
There is no assembly on the AmazonBasics standing desk converter. It is ready for use right out of the box. There are two adhesive backed clips that can be placed on the unit for assistance with wire management if needed.
Similar to the AirRise Pro and Versa Power, the Amazon Basics also uses the x-base design, most commonly found on ironing boards, for its lifting motion. This motion is assisted with a counterbalance system. The design and components used are very crude. The unit does not feel smooth while making adjustments and produces a grinding noise. The handle feels cheap and the unit does not lock in place. The AmazonBasics Converter has one of the worst build qualities I have seen on a standing desk converter.
The AmazonBasics Converter has a rectangle shape with the base being slightly smaller than the platform. The base is 28.5”W x 16.5”D so that will be the minimum space needed to place the item on. The AmazonBasics Converter has a straight up and down lifting pattern so the footprint remains the same at all heights. You will need about 32”W x 20”D to allow for the unit to move freely.
The AmazonBasics Converter is meant to be solid in its positioning once you set it on a table. You will not be able to easily move the unit around on your desk should you like to change its position. The unit folds down to a low profile and weighs 30 pounds so it is reasonable to place it in a closet or under your desk without a problem. This probably isn’t a good unit to take with you on the go due to its larger size and 30-pound weight.
Adjusting the AmazonBasics Converter
Similar to the AirRise Pro and VersaDesk Power, the AmazonBasics also uses the x-base design, most commonly found on ironing boards, for its lifting motion. This motion is assisted with a counterbalance system. The motion is controlled by pressing a handle found underneath the right side of the platform. Pressing the handle will allow the unit to move up and down. Releasing the handle will lock it in place. The AmazonBasics converter has a straight up and down lifting pattern and the movement is assisted with a counterbalance system.
Adjusting the unit from sitting height to mid height will require very little effort but adjusting it from mid height to the highest height will require quite a bit of physical effort. The same can be said on the way down. When adjusting the product from its highest height to mid height, the unit simply falls. You will need to hold up the weight of the unit to keep it from falling too fast. Once it is about half-way down, the counterbalance system will kick in and it will come to a slow stop and you can move it all the way to the bottom by pressing lightly while holding the handle.
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At sitting height, the Amazon basics has decent stability. The lowest height is the only position in which the Amazon Basics actually locks into place. For this reason, the worksurface has the least amount of tilt and is therefore the most stable. There is still considerable front to back tilt on the worksurface but the side to side movement is minimal.
At standing height, the front to back tilt is even more pronounced. The unit does not lock into position at any height other than the lowest and the counter-balance system does help to stabilize the platform. The worksurface is very easy to move front to back and it will also tilt large amounts. The unit is incapable of effectively holding up its listed weight rating of 20 pounds. It will simply fall slowly when your hands are placed on your keyboard to begin typing.
The stability is also poor while making adjustments. The front of the base will tilt off the desk when moving the Amazon Basics to the highest heights. Due to the incredible amount of worksurface tilt, tipping of the base when adjusting at high heights and huge amount of bounce on the worksurface, I was very uncomfortable using the Amazon Basics at all stages of testing.
|Sitting Wobble (10%)||Standing Wobble (15%)||Sitting Bounce (10%)||Standing Bounce (15%)||Sitting Shake (10%)||Standing Shake (15%)||General (25%)||Total Score|
The AmazonBasics converter is not ergonomic. A single platform design lacks ergonomics right out of the gate. You will always have a downward viewing angle with this product. You would need a keyboard tray or monitor arm to have rudimentary ergonomics and the limited weight capacity is probably not going to allow for such additions.
This product also raises your existing desk 2.5” which means that this will likely take you out of an ergonomic typing position while seated. The one upside is that the unit has a very large adjustment range so people as tall as 6’8” can use the AmazonBasics converter at the correct typing height.
The AmazonBasics converter features a large single worksurface. There are no cut-outs or additions to the platform. It was plenty large to fit my monitor, keyboard, mouse, a small notepad and a couple other accessories. There is enough room to fit small dual monitors but the weight rating may be a problem.
There is not a built-in wire management system, but Amazon does include two clips with adhesive backing that can be used to help organize them. Having a single platform makes wire management a lot less important than two tiered units that will have wires running under the monitor platform. With the single worksurface design on the AmazonBasics converter, all the cords can be run off the back of the platform so there is little chance for damage resulting from the pinch points.
There are a couple safety concerns I have with the Amazon Basics converter. The first concern is the lack of a locking system in any position other than the bottom. I never felt confident that the unit could hold itself up. I was constantly checking the stability to make sure it wasn’t about to drop on its own. Having the unit fall unexpectedly can be dangerous to you or your equipment.
My next concern is the incredible amount of tilt and rocking puts the safety of objects like your monitor in jeopardy. The worksurface tilts far too much for comfort and the base tipping is a red flag to me.
My final concern is the multiple pinch points that could hurt fingers or hands. The tracks that the base slides on are fully exposed and near the area that you need to reach under the worksurface to make adjustments. The way that the x-base folds down also presents the risk of having fingers or hands pinched in them.
What do I like?
Arrives Fast with No Assembly
In true Amazon fashion, the AmazonBasics converter arrived within a couple business days of ordering. It also required no assembly so it was ready to go within minutes of receiving it.
Large Single Work Surface
Having a large rectangle for the platform is very useful for a number of different set-ups while also providing useful task space. The single large platform also makes the AmazonBasics Converter useful for other applications besides a monitor and keyboard. Using a laptop is very convenient since there is only one platform. I have also read that a lot of people are using this as a height adjustable drafting or drawing table.
What don’t I like?
Price & Warranty
I have a very hard time justifying the price of this unit. It is simply a very low quality item. Almost everything about the AmazonBasics is among the worst in the industry. Products like the Uplift Adapt and AirRise Pro are far superior and are available for less. The warranty doesn’t help to do this product any favors. The warranty on the AmazonBasics converter is among the shortest in the industry. A product of such low quality is the most susceptible to breaking down.
Even at its most stable point, sitting height, the Amazon Basics has the most front to back worksurface tilt I have ever seen on a standing desk converter. The stability only gets worse as you go higher with the unit. The fact that the unit does not lock into positon and can bounce considerably when it is supposed to be locked is very concerning.
The weight rating is also an issue. I had the unit loaded with almost exactly 20 pounds and I could not use it without having it fall down. I removed my normal monitor and keyboard and replaced them with a laptop. The unit held the weight much better but I could still easily move the unit down by pressing on it.
Amazon advertises this product as being simple to adjust but the truth is, is that it is not easy compared to most standing desk converters. The track system used on the base is of very poor quality and it does not slide very easily. You can feel the friction working against you as you try to make adjustments.
The counter-balance system also does not provide much help. The counter-balance system only assists you in the areas you need it the least and you are forced to do the majority of the work at the hardest points.
A complete lack of ergonomics makes this a tough item to use for long periods of time. Almost anyone using this product will have a downward viewing angle which will eventually cause neck strain. The lack of stability and low weight rating make it impractical to add any accessories like a monitor arm, which would improve the ergonomic experience.
There are a number of safety issues to be concerned with. I think that the majority of the concerns can be solved by simply not using the AmazonBasics with a traditional monitor and keyboard set-up. I think this item is best suited for laptops so that the weight on top of the unit is reduced as much as possible.
To me, it felt like I was using a glorified ironing board that cost me $229.99 at the time that I made my purchase. The unit is clunky, lacks ergonomics, poses a few safety concerns and is the most unstable standing desk converter I have tested to date. There are many good alternatives to the AmazonBasics Converter that will provide a much better value. Many of the alternatives can be purchased on Amazon so you can still shop with your preferred company while getting an overall better product for your money.
If you prefer the single platform design, then I would recommend looking into the Stand Steady Elite X or Laptop 30™. They are a similar concept, but they each provide better value. If you like the 2-tiered design but want to stay under $250 then I would recommend looking into the AirRise Pro or Uplift Adapt. If you are willing to make a slight increase in the price for a nice jump in quality, then I would recommend giving the OFM 5100 a look.