Today we are going to be taking a look at the mid-range electric standing desk by EvoDesk. EvoDesk is a secondary brand created by the high-end line of standing desks, NextDesk. Once you have spent some time reading through their website, it becomes very clear they are the same company. Of all the standing desk companies we have researched to date, EvoDesk/NextDesk appears to be the most over-hyped of them all. From a laundry list of “Best-in Class” claims, to fancy names for standard features, EvoDesk had a lot to live up to. So with that said, let’s a take a closer look to see how they fared.
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EvoDesk Review Snapshot
- 26 Inch Adjustment Range
- 355 lbs. Lifting Capacity
- 1.5 Inch Per Second Adjustment Speed
- 5 Year Warranty On Electronics
- Wide Variety Of Top Options
- Stability Issues Above 39 Inches
- Threaded Inserts Not Aligned
- White Grease Build-up On Legs
- Continued Motion After Button Released
- Electronics Made in China
- Staff Lacks Product Knowledge
Similar to the Jarvis Desk and Uplift 900 Desk, EvoDesk frames are being manufactured by JieCang Linear Technology. JieCang has been producing linear technology for hospital equipment since early 2000. In 2011 they realized an opportunity existed for their linear actuator technology to be used within inexpensive standing desks. Since that time, they have risen to become a leading Chinese supplier of electric standing desk frames.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
– Specs / Pricing / Features
– Pre-assembly Questions
– Assembly Process
– Initial Thoughts
– Stability Testing
– Testing The Specs
– What I Like
– What I Don’t Like
– Questions I Have For EvoDesk
– Final Thoughts
Launched in 2013, EvoDesk was NextDesk’s answer to the influx of less expensive standing desks flooding the market. It was introduced as the first $599 electric standing desk that was beautiful and didn’t cut corners. Their goal today remains the same: provide a feature packed desk for an affordable price.
Product Specs (Per EvoDesk.com)
Height Adjustment Range: 23.75” – 48.75” (without top)
Travel Speed: 1.5” Per Second
Noise Level: 45 Decibels While in Motion
Weight Capacity: 355 lbs.
Adjustable Width Base: 42.75” – 66.75” W
Adjustable Foot Glides: .25” Adjustment
$658 + $59 Shipping Charge = $717
Options selected: 30″ x 48″ Rectangle EvoDesk, Renew Recycled Wood, Straight Edge, Carbon Black, Programmable Button
- Available in 100% recycled wood, natural bamboo, or reclaimed rubberwood
- Soft comfort edges eliminate nerve compression and pressure fatigue
- Oversized 3” x 6” cable pass through
- Two stage legs (three piece) for 26” overall adjustment range
- Telescoping base to adjust to multiple width tops
- Sensor for auto-syncing leg speed
- Anti-collision stop function
- Five year warranty on all parts including electronics
Like other JieCang products, the packaging for the base was very good. They use the same cut foam for extra protection. The box was heavy, so the product is definitely solid.
The desktop is produced by EvoDesk and it came in separate packaging. They used large foam pads that wrapped around the corners and down a portion of the sides of the top. The packaging was fairly consistent around the entire top. Unfortunately FedEx still managed to damage the top, likely due to impact. Overall it was good, but FedEx tests the strength of all packaging daily. Unfortunately, this one didn’t pass.
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After months of testing 20+ adjustable standing desks, the results are in!
Pre-Assembly Questions (Did I get the wrong desk?)
After unboxing the EvoDesk, I realized that the base I was sent was different than what is shown on their website. Their website advertised the “T” base with the inverted columns (small on bottom, big on top) that includes the same wedge system found on the Uplift desk. I received a “T” base with the traditional column (big on bottom, small on top) with no wedge system. I called customer service to verify I had received the latest and greatest EvoDesk; without this it wouldn’t be an accurate review. Julie in customer service was very friendly, but not sure if it was correct and had to get back to me. She was busy, so I followed up with her a couple hours later and confirmed this was the latest version.
Assembly (40 – 90 Minutes)
The assembly of the EvoDesk was consistent with other JieCang bases I have assembled. There are quite a few screws required to complete the assembly of the base and top. Some pain points exist with attaching screws into the upper support of the frame. EvoDesk states that assembly can be done within 15 minutes or less; even with plenty of experience with JieCang products that wasn’t the case. Not taking into account the removal of the packaging, it took me 43 minutes to complete assembly. I would estimate people with less experience could take up to 90 minutes.
Note: EvoDesk was the first electric standing desk that I have tested that utilized threaded inserts to attach the base to the top. At first this was a really nice concept and allowed me to attach the top without a cordless drill. Unfortunately, it was too good to be true, as two of the size screw holes for the upper support frame did not line up properly.
After getting the desk together I was a little disappointed that EvoDesk decided to switch to the traditional column. Having tested all of the JieCang configurations, the inverted column with the wedge system is definitely the most stable frame. The current version of the EvoDesk has a sleek look, with a low profile foot and no traditional cross support. The desk moved up and down with ease, with only a low humming sound as the motors were it motion. As I cycled the desk up and down for testing, the columns started to show streaks of white lubricant. The more the desk moved up and down, the more the lubricant spread across all four sides of the column. Also, when cycling the desk I noticed that the EvoDesk stayed in motion for about a half second after the up/down button is released.
The EvoDesk was the third JieCang base I have tested. The columns are set similar to the Jarvis desk (big on bottom, small on top), but EvoDesk had a “T” base vs. the “C” base on Jarvis. Because of this I had expected to see similar wobble test results. Much to my surprise, they ended up having wobble issues at different heights.
This led me down the additional testing rabbit hole, looking to further investigate how all three JieCang columns compared to each other. To focus only on the columns, I minimized the potential flex created with different tops. To do this I flipped each desk upside down. I then twisted each column at the lowest height and again when fully extended. The Jarvis exhibited the most play, the EvoDesk was second and Uplift the least.
The wiggle is created from variances found in steel. To eliminate this, more advanced manufacturers will utilize multiple sized glides that fit between the columns to create a custom fit. Based on what I found with only three desks from JieCang, it doesn’t appear they are doing this. If what I found is true, the consistency across all their OEM bases will vary. How soon your new desk wobbles will be based on luck more than proper testing.
Front to Back (Rocking): The EvoDesk was very stable below 40”. Once it rose above that height, the front to back rocking motion became noticeable. Once you reach 43”-44” the motion becomes an annoyance while working. Beyond 46” tall the motion was significant.
Left to Right (Wobble): The wobble motion is to be expected with the JieCang bases since all of their designs do not include traditional cross supports. I found that the wobble wasn’t noticeable until 39” and didn’t become an annoyance until 42”. Beyond 45” the wobble was significant.
Note: It’s very important with adjustable standing desks to fully tighten all hardware. If there is hardware that is not completely tight, the movement experienced when extended to standing height will be exaggerated.
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A Quick Look at the Desk Top
One thing that the EvoDesk excels with is customization with different desktops. Their desktops are available in various shapes, materials and colors. I decided to go with what I felt would be the most popular, since it is the least expensive option. The Renew recycled wood top in a black finish. The top was a fibreboard core with a rough powder coated finish called EvoGuard. I’m not sure if this would be the best fit for a traditional office setting, but I can see how it would be nice for certain applications. All desktop options come with an oversized 3” x 6” pass through for wire management.
When I first opened the top for the box, there was a small black plastic piece taped to a bag. To be honest I was unsure what it was and I almost threw it out. This ended up being the insert to go into the desktop to complete the pass through. Online it looks pretty cool, but when I had it in front of me it looked and felt cheap. If EvoDesk had the option, I would go with more traditional grommets that hold in place better.
Note: This pass through could potentially look nicer on the rubberwood or bamboo options. I have only seen the least expensive top option.
Testing The Specs listed on EvoDesk.com
Height Adjustment Range: Per the frame diagram the range is 23.75” to 48.75”
False. I found that with a top the range was 23.875” to 49.75”.
Travel Speed: 1.5” per second
True. I was able to average 1.5” per second over 10 cycles with only the desktop attached. This was actually faster than the other two JieCang bases I previously tested.
Noise Level: 45 decibels.
False. I found this reading to be close, but I averaged 59 decibels. While it is noticeable in a quiet room, it isn’t an annoyance and wouldn’t be an issue for most people.
Weight Capacity: 355 lbs.
True. It had no problem lifting 350 lbs. It only slightly affected its performance, slowing down to 1.46” per second.
What I like about EvoDesk
Range of Motion: The 26” of travel range is enough to cover the vast majority of the population. With the low end at 23.875”, users as short as 5’4” should be able to use this without the addition of a keyboard tray. The max height of 49.875” will fit users up to 6’8”.
Lifting Capacity: The EvoDesk has a solid lifting capacity of 355 lbs. During our tests the motors remained consistent during transition up and down. When the desk was fully loaded the speed was only reduced a small amount.
5 Year Warranty: EvoDesk’s five year warranty is all inclusive, covering both electronics and the frame. While this isn’t quite as long as it’s closest JieCang rivals, Jarvis and Uplift, it is still very good for a mid-range standing desk. They also provide the option extend your warranty for an additional cost.
Adjustment Speed: At 1.5” second, the EvoDesk we tested was very quick. This will get you from sitting to standing faster than most mid-range desks. It was also quicker than Jarvis and Uplift, which is surprising since they use the same electronics.
Note: Based on my own testing with the Jarvis and Uplift, plus additional research online, 1.3” per second is more common for the JieCang frames. I would be cautiously optimistic on consistently hitting these speeds with any JieCang frames.
What I don’t like about EvoDesk
Stability: The lack of stability on the EvoDesk was disappointing and could be improved in more than one way. The original design with the inverted columns and wedge system would help the wobble motion. Also, adding a traditional cross support system would improve the wobble issues found on EvoDesk.
Threaded Insert Alignment: The threaded inserts were a nice touch and something not offered by anyone else. Unfortunately, the holes didn’t line up to attach the upper desktop support. Because threaded inserts are used, there is no real way to improvise in the field. In most cases this would result in a replacement top having to be sent out.
White Grease on Columns: This over greasing appears to be a common issue for all JieCang frames. Each of the desks in our office currently have white residue on all four sides of the columns. The grease appears after only a few cycles up and down, gradually getting worse over time.
Continued Motion after Releasing Button: The continued motion of the desk after the button is released is a safety concern for me. This desk is powerful and if something were to be in the way, as it was still moving, it could potentially break that object.
Questions I have about EvoDesk
Why is assembly listed as 15 minutes or less?
Having experience with assembling two other JieCang bases, I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on the process. Not only that, but I have put together many other desk frames for products we sell. Excluding the time to get the product out of the packaging, the actual assembly took me 43 minutes. Even if you were to use a cordless drive and had experience with the desk, this would still push 20-25 minutes for assembly. For most this will require 40-90 minutes to assemble, depending on your skill level.
Why do the reps at EvoDesk think their desk is chain drive?
When I initially started my purchase, I decided to chat with a rep. The first rep I spoke with was Hayden. I asked what the main differences were between the Jarvis and Uplift vs. EvoDesk. I expected to hear more about the tops, and maybe an advantage of the “T” base. To my surprise Hayden wasn’t familiar with those brands, but told me EvoDesk’s are chain driven. I know this isn’t true, so I asked two more times. I even explained that I believe it’s a linear actuator system, but Hayden was confident they were.
Just to give EvoDesk the benefit of the doubt, I decided to start a second chat. This time I was connected with Grover. When asked what the difference is between EvoDesk and Jarvis/Uplift, Grover told me the same thing. All EvoDesks are chain driven.
When the desk finally arrived to our offices, it appeared the wrong base was sent. I quickly contacted EvoDesk for assistance. I was fortunate enough to get a very nice lady in customer service named Julie. While we were on the phone, I asked her the same question about the chain drive. She confirmed that EvoDesk is a chain drive. I mentioned I had knowledge this desk was actually driven with a linear actuator system and asked if she could confirm internally. She would later confirm with me that the EvoDesk is in fact a linear actuator drive system. Julie apologized for not knowing what drive was in the desk and let me know this is what they were told from people higher up in the company.
The following business day, I decided to chat with EvoDesk one more time. I wanted to know if this misinformation had been cleared up. Much to my surprise, I was able to speak with Hayden again. Unfortunately, Hayden still had the wrong information and stated that the EvoDesk is a chain drive system.
Why they list false “Best-in Class” statements?
Something commonly found between EvoDesk and NextDesk websites are their numerous claims that many of their features are “best-in class”. But many of the claims are flat out not true. In fact, I have personally tested desks that exceed their specs within the same class.
EvoDesk’s first claim for “best-in class adjustment speed at 1.5” per second is false. The BTOD VertDesk v3 is quicker with a 1.55” per second speed and the Autonomous SmartDesk 2 is significantly quicker at 2.09” second.
The second claim is that EvoDesk has the best in class 49.5” max height range is also false. The Uplift Desk uses a different foot design which mounts the columns on top of the foot. This raises the desk 1.5” higher than the EvoDesk.
“Soft comfort edge eliminate nerve compression and press fatigue.” Is this verified?
I have no idea if this is true or not. Nowhere on the EvoDesk website does it mention any studies completed by a doctor. To say that it will eliminate nerve compression seems like a risky claim. A quick look at the WebMD list of treatments tells a different story. They recommend: NSAIDs (asprin, ibuprofen or naproxen), steroid injections, physical therapy, splint, and surgery.
Taking a closer look at the EvoDesk brand as a whole has been an interesting experience. Before I had even ordered the desk I had a fairly good idea what to expect from the desk itself. I have personally reviewed the two other popular JieCang frames and there were only slight differences with the EvoDesk. During the process, however, I was surprised to learn of the lack of product knowledge that existed with EvoDesk’s staff. Also, a recent change to a less stable base was a downgrade to their product in my opinion.
If you are set on buying a JieCang frame, I would have a hard time recommending EvoDesk. With a price that is on average 20% more than Uplift Desk or Jarvis, it’s a stretch. Couple that with the fact that both of EvoDesk’s closest competitors offer a seven year warranty vs. their five year warranty; it’s not likely a good option.
If you prefer a standing desk with a traditional cross support, the VertDesk v3 is a good alternative. While it won’t have as much height adjustment range or weight capacity; it will include higher quality electronics and better stability throughout all heights. No matter the route you decide to take, switching to a healthier work environment will always be a good investment.
Additional Standing Desk Resources
- The 4 Best Electric Standing Desks Under $1000
- Top 6 Reasons Why Standing Desks Wobble
- EvoDesk vs. VertDesk v3: Which is the best standing desk?
- GeekDesk v3 vs. VertDesk v3: Standing Desk Comparison
- VertDesk v3 vs. Jarvis Standing Desk: Which is best?
- Uplift 900 Desk vs. VertDesk v3: Which is better?
- The Uplift 900 vs. The Jarvis Standing Desk