One of our original competitors in the standing desk industry, GeekDesk, has been a constant in an ever-changing market. For almost seven years we have been asked by our customers how our standing desk products compare to the GeekDesk brand. As both companies have continued to update their offering, GeekDesk and VertDesk are currently on version 3. Let’s take a closer look at each product and see how the most current versions compare.
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GeekDesk v3 VS. VertDesk v3
– OEM Manufacturer
– Where Are Components Made?
– Specs / Features
– Weight Capacity Testing
– Motors / Gears / Glides
– Frame and Feet
– How They Operate
– Return Policy and Warranty
– Bottom Line
The current OEM manufacturer for the GeekDesk v3 frame is E-Young International. E-Young is based out of China and according to their website has been producing standing desk frames for 15 years. E-Young currently sources their columns (legs) from JieCang Linear Motion Technologies. This is not uncommon, as many of the “other” Chinese brands do not have the capability to manufacture their own columns.
The VertDesk v3 is currently manufactured by K&A Mfg. Inc., makers of RA Products and the standing desk brand, NewHeights. Based out of Schofield, WI, they were established in 1985 as an ergonomic accessory company. K&A Mfg. has evolved to include a full line of office furniture. They also provide OEM manufacturing for many large organizations and government agencies in the USA. K&A has been involved in the production of electric standing desks for over 15 years.
Where are the components made?
|GeekDesk v3||VertDesk v3|
|GeekDesk v3||VertDesk v3|
|30” x 48 Frame Only||$525.00||$528.99|
|30” x 48” Laminate||$749.00||$610.99|
|31.5” x 63” Bamboo||$969.00||n/a|
|30” x 48” Hardwood||n/a||$1185.00|
The assembly process for both desks was straightforward, with each taking the average user about 30-60 minutes. The GeekDesk v3 comes with the hardware clearly labeled inside individual bags, which makes locating each hardware type quick. The VertDesk v3 comes with one large bag of hardware that includes all screws and bolts. With the assembly of the GeekDesk, there weren’t any real pain points. The VertDesk v3 could potentially have a pain point during the insertion of the hex rod into the leg opposite of the motor. If the gear inside the column isn’t perfectly aligned, you may need to use a wrench to turn the hex rod 1/12 to slide it into the column.
Standard Specs/Features (Frame Only)
|GeekDesk v3||VertDesk v3|
|Button Options||Standard up/down push button||Standard up/down push button|
|Adjustment Range||23.5” to 49.5”||27” to 47.5”|
|Adjustment Speed||1.32” per second||1.55” per second|
|Soft Start – Stop||Yes||Yes|
|Auto-dark LED Display||n/a||Yes (programmable)|
|Leveling Glides||.5” adjustment||.5” adjustment|
Stability of Each Desk
How stable is your standing desk? That is one of the most common questions we get with all of the desks we carry. It also happens to be one of the most frequently asked comparison questions we are asked. Any design flaw within a standing desk’s frame becomes obvious as the desk is raised beyond 40”. We always evaluate the same two motions; the front to back rocking motion and left to right wobble. Having a desk that is stable at standing height can make a big difference in your ability to concentrate throughout the day.
Front to Back: During my testing, I found that the VertDesk v3 was more stable front to back than the GeekDesk v3. Both desks performed well under 40”. Once the GeekDesk v3 rose above 40” it began to show slight signs of rocking. Beyond 45” tall that motion became bad. The VertDesk v3 was solid through 46”, once it rose beyond that point there was a slight amount of rocking.
Left to Right: The wobble test showed much closer results. In fact, the desks were about equal when at equal heights. With only a small amount of movement noticeable on the GeekDesk v3 when raised above 46”. Overall, I was impressed with both frames during the wobble test.
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.
Both the GeekDesk v3 and VertDesk v3 operate with smart electronic control box systems. Each brand offers a standard two-button, up and down switch. In order to upgrade to the four positions programmable switch, you are required to purchase the GeekDesk Max. The VertDesk v3 has the option to purchase the upgraded programmable switch.
The electronics pack found on the current GeekDesk v3 is a bit dated, utilizing the JieCang Linear Motions previous pack. This is the same electronics pack that we found on our two-year-old Jarvis Desk in our office. The current JieCang electronic pack offers a slimmer design and a more energy-efficient system. GeekDesk v3 also includes one of the bulkier switches we have tested in the category. The GeekDesk v3 includes an anti-collision avoidance system.
The VertDesk v3 is currently using an electronics pack from Laing Innotech, one of the premium European manufacturers for standing desk electronics. These come standard with overload protection, container stop and anti-collision avoidance system. In June of 2018, we added GyroSense technology to our VertDesk v3 for
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After months of testing 20+ height adjustable desks, the results are in!
Weight Capacities and Testing
The GeekDesk v3 offers a dual-motor system from JieCang Linear Technology, a system we have extensively tested. These dual-motor systems are capable of lifting heavy loads and the GeekDesk v3 wasn’t any different. Through testing, it appears the GeekDesk v3 has an understated weight capacity of 275 lbs. We overloaded the desk with 350 lbs and it had no issues lifting the load. In fact, the desk remained fairly consistent with its adjustment speed. Through all weight testing within the standard capacity, the GeekDesk v3 remained consistent with a speed of 1.32” to 1.34” per second.
The VertDesk v3 single motor system offers a more conservative 275 lbs. lifting capacity. We were able to turn off the control boxes overload protection to increase the capacity. We also loaded the desk with over 380 lbs. and found the motor was strong enough to lift the load. The average speed for the frame is approximately 1.55”/second after ten cycles. When overloaded to 380 lbs., the speed dropped to 1.27”/second.
Taking both desks completely apart, we were able to inspect each of their motors a little closer. Both desks offer powerful motors, verified by the capacity tests that were performed. As expected, the single motor from the VertDesk v3 is larger than the individual motors on the GeekDesk v3. Both motors utilizing a worm drive to turn their gear system.
GeekDesk’s motor is built by the Chinese company, Shenzhen Weizhen Motor Co., LTD. According to their website, they have been producing micro motor systems for about 20 years. GeekDesk v3’s motor appears to be well built. The sealed motor case is well put together. Unfortunately, they have left the worm drive and gear system exposed. While each of the columns has a plastic cover to enclose the motor, it is far from an airtight seal. There is too much opportunity for dust, dirt and hair to make its way into this area. I would have liked to have seen a more finished product here.
The VertDesk v3’s motor is built by Ketterer, a leading German manufacturer. Founded in the early 1800s as a clock manufacturer (specialty gears), in the 1970’s they evolved created a gear and motor division for vertical adjustment. The motor on the VertDesk v3 is well put together. All components, including the worm drive and gear system, are fully sealed within a custom encasement. The gear system utilizes two bearings to improve efficiency.
Once we started to pull apart each of the desk frames, we started to notice big differences in quality and craftsmanship with the gear systems. While both appeared to have well-built gears, the fit and finish of each system was much different. The most noticeable difference was the amount of lubricant used on the GeekDesk v3 gear system.
The gear system found on the GeekDesk v3 was significantly over lubricated with a yellow grease. While more would almost always seem to be better, that is actually not the case with lubricant. Over lubrication can reduce a gears effectiveness and require more effort from the motor to make adjustments. Because of the over greasing, also found on the GeekDesk v3 glides, there is potential to pull in dirt and dust from the outside of the frame. Over time this dirt and dust has the potential to scratch the gear system. This could also reduce the efficiency of the gear.
After cycle testing the VertDesk v3 21,375 times, we can attest to the fact that more grease or oil is not always better. The gear system on the VertDesk v3 is manufactured by Ketterer, the same German company producing our motor. It uses a minimal amount of oil on the spindle gear, which is shown in the picture below. With exceptional engineering and a high-quality control standard set by their organization, their gear systems work flawlessly. Over the course of the cycle testing, the gear itself remained almost exactly the same.
Having the proper fit glides can make or break your standing desks stability and efficiency. Glides are used for two reasons: To provide the proper fit between the inner and outer column and to act as a lubricant. This allows the two pieces of metal to slide back and forth with ease. Having glides that are not properly fit in production will create stability issues. Utilizing glides that don’t hold up well over time will also create the same stability issues over time.
When we opened up the frame for the JieCang, we found two different glide systems in place. The first was a black collar around the bottom of the outer columns, with a white plastic glide on the upper portion of the inner columns. The white glides appear to be doing most of the work. Unfortunately, as we started to take them off, we found a handful of them to be broken. We also found that because of the over lubrication on the glides, there was dirt pulled into where the glides were. This had created uneven wearing and after only a few hundred cycles had accelerated the wear of the glide.
The glide system on the VertDesk v3 is made with highly durable acetal plastic from Dupont. This plastic is designed to provide good lubrication and hold up well with high count cycles. After our round of 21,375 cycles, we were able to test how the glides held up. The inner column glides that slide against raw steel saw the most wearing, with about .4mm lost over the test. The upper glides that slide against the painted column only lost about .09mm. This minimal amount of wearing allowed the VertDesk v3 to still remain stable after a lifetime of cycles. It did however have more movement than when it was brand new.
How Do They Operate
Both the GeekDesk v3 and VertDesk v3 utilize a soft start and stop mechanism, with collision avoidance systems. We tested each of the desks and they both functioned as advertised. Each had similar decibel ratings when in motion, averaging 55-59 dB. The GeekDesk had a lower hum sound than the VertDesk.
One thing that is common among all JieCang products is their continued motion after the up/down button is released. It is a motion that occurs for about .5 seconds. The VertDesk v3, on the other hand, comes to a stop as expected when the button is released.
The GeekDesk v3 is available in silver and black. The VertDesk v3 is available in silver, black and white.
|GeekDesk v3||VertDesk v3|
|Programmable Button||*available on Max||$49|
|Wire Management Kit||$95-$105||$68|
The GeekDesk offers one of the best return policies in the category. With 30 days to try the desk, there are no restocking fees and GeekDesk will even pay for return shipping. The VertDesk offers a good policy as well; with 30 days to try the desk with no restocking fees and free return shipping.
The warranty offered on the GeekDesk v3 and VertDesk v3 are on opposite ends of the spectrum. Both desks are mid-range desks, but the GeekDesk v3 offers one of the worst warranties in the category. With only two years of coverage on the electronics, their warranty is not very good. The VertDesk v3 carries a five-year warranty on electronics, putting it on par or better than most other options in the mid-range.
If you are looking for two stable desks in the mid-range category, the GeekDesk v3 and VertDesk v3 are some of the best options available. Both offer cross supports that minimize wobble at all standing heights. Beyond their wobble comparison however, these two desks are quite a bit different.
On average, the GeekDesk v3 is about 20% more expensive than the VertDesk v3. It does however offer a wider adjustment range, from 23.5” to about 49.5”, depending on your top option. The dual-motor system is capable of lifting more than the advertised 275 lbs and is consistent with all weights under the max capacity. With a sub-par warranty though, you could potentially run into an issue with the dated JieCang electronics pack.
The VertDesk v3 offers a smaller adjustment range than the GeekDesk, with 27” to 47.5” (with adjustable glides). It also uses a conservative weight capacity at 275 lbs, but the use of overload protection will prevent it from lifting heavier loads. Quality electronics, longer warranty period and a lower price point could potentially make the VertDesk v3 a better overall option.
Hopefully my comparison today will help shed light on the pros and cons that are important to you. To date, I have yet to find that perfect product for everyone. It’s likely that product will never exist and what works for you might not work for the next user. Finding the product that best suits your specific needs will ensure a happy standing experience.
Additional Standing Desk Resources
- The 4 Best Electric Standing Desks Under $1000
- Autonomous SmartDesk 2 vs. VertDesk v3: Which is the best?
- Uplift 900 Desk vs. VertDesk v3: Which is better?
- The Uplift 900 vs. The Jarvis Standing Desk
- 9 Most Common Problems with Motorized Standing Desks
- 4 Reasons Standing Only Desks Are Bad For Your Health