This review will feature the X-Elite Pro standing desk converter by Stand Steady. This is a product that ranks as the bestselling product in the drafting table category on Amazon. With so many sales, it still maintains a solid review score. I have tested similar products, like the AmazonBasics converter and I was thoroughly disappointed. I was curious to find out what was so different about the X-Elite Pro to make it so popular and well received. Here is what I found through my experience.
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Stand Steady X-Elite Pro Manufacturer
Stand Steady is a company that was founded in 2012 by Day Martin. Day has a similar story to quite a few other standing desk manufacturers. She experienced an injury so she could no longer sit for prolonged hours which gave her the idea to create a desktop converter. Like many other standing desk converter brands, the X-Elite is not manufactured by Stand Steady. It is imported from a Chinese manufacturer. Unfortunately, I cannot figure out what exact factory in China is making the X-Elite since there are so many factories making products that are the same or very similar to the X-Elite.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
– Country of Origin
– Specs / Features / Pricing
– Return Policy and Warranty
– 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: 27 lbs.
Overall at lowest height: 28”W x 20”D x 2.5”H
Overall at highest height: 28”W x 20”D x 16”H
Base Dimensions: 24.25”W x 16.5”D
Platform Dimensions: 28”W x 20”D
Max Platform Height: 16”H
Min Platform Height: 2.5”H
Single handle gas lift adjustment
Single large platform
Sits on top of existing desk
2020 Price – $179.00
Black, White, Cherry or Maple
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Stand Steady accepts returns on the X-Elite Pro within 30 days from the day of delivery. The item must be returned in the original packaging. If the item arrives defective or damaged, then Stand Steady will replace it free of charge. If you’d like to return the defective order, then Stand Steady will arrange for pick-up and you will receive a full refund. If the item is not damaged or defective, you can still return it for a full refund but you will be responsible for return shipping.
The X-Elite Pro comes with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.
The X-Elite Pro shipped the day after I ordered it and arrived to our office the following day. I only had to wait two days for the item to arrive which is the quickest turnaround time I have seen on a standing desk converter so far. I bought mine on Amazon and it was fulfilled by Amazon. I am not sure if orders placed on the Stand Steady website will arrive as fast as Amazon.
The item arrived in a 32” long, rectangle box that was about 30 lbs. It was easy to move into my office on my own. Unfortunately, the packaging was less than impressive. The item was protected on both ends by Styrofoam that held the item suspended in the air instead of sitting on the box itself. This style of packaging is quite common but most companies use more foam along with plastic, construction paper, etc. to protect the surfaces of the product. The X-Elite Pro used minimal foam and nothing else to protect the product. Our X-Elite Pro arrived with quite a few rub marks on the edge banding and scratches to the work surface.
There is no assembly required on the X-Elite Pro. You just need to remove it from the packaging, place it on your desk and you are ready to start standing while you work.
The X-Elite Pro utilizes an x shaped base with a gas cylinder that assists with the lifting process. The unit functions like an ironing board. The base widens as it is lowered and it narrows as it is raised. The components used are low quality and there is little attention to deal. The top is a laminated particle board. While the top feels pretty durable, there are several imperfections on the edge banding. The gas cylinder is loud and the rollers used on the bottom of the base leave grease marks. The paint quality is also really poor. There are several parts of the unit that showed very noticeable paint imperfections.
The X-Elite Pro will need 24.25”W x 16.5”D of desk space for the base to fit. The platform is larger than the base. The total clearance for the unit will be 28” x 20”. The movement pattern is straight up and down so the amount of clearance will be the same at all heights.
At 27 lbs., the X-Elite Pro is going to be a bit too heavy to take with you from location to location. But, it does fold down to a very slim 2.5”. This will allow you to take the unit on and off your desk since you can store it in a closet or under your desk. When on your desk, it is difficult to slide it around so you will want to use this unit in the same spot it is placed on your desk.
Adjusting the X-Elite Pro
There is a single handle found underneath the end of the work surface. You can use the product with the handle on the right side or you can turn it to have the handle on the left side. Pressing the handle will unlock the unit and allow you to move it up or down. The movement is assisted by a single gas cylinder. The cylinder does a nice job of assisting your movement on the way up. It takes very little effort to raise the unit when the cylinder is helping. Adjusting the unit down is a bit more difficult. The cylinder helps to ensure that the unit does not fall from tall heights but you will need to use quite a bit of force to get the unit moving from the tallest heights downward. The X-Elite Pro does have infinite height adjustment so you do not have to choose between pre-determined heights.
One important thing to be aware of is that the gas cylinder will not engage until the platform is 7” off your desk. This means that there is a small range of 4.5” that will require you to lift the weight of the unit. This is especially important when lowering the unit because you need to press the unit down to get it to lower but you need to be ready to hold the weight of the unit once you get to 7”.
One of the strong points on the X-Elite Pro is its stability. The unit does not have keyboard bounce, side to side wobble or monitor shake at sitting height or when standing. The unit did receive quite a large deduction in the general stability category for a couple reasons.
The first reason is that the unit has a little bit of front to back rocking motion. This is because of the low-quality metal working on the base. The base is not perfectly flat and it isn’t rigid. You can actually see the middle of the base flexing while making adjustments at the tallest heights. The second reason is that the top has a bit of lateral wiggle. This is caused because the there is nothing holding the rollers in place at the bottom of the base. This allows them to move which allows the top to wiggle.
|Sitting Wobble (10%)||Standing Wobble (15%)||Sitting Bounce (10%)||Standing Bounce (15%)||Sitting Shake (10%)||Standing Shake (15%)||General (25%)||Total Score|
The single platform design means that the X-Elite Pro is going to struggle in the ergonomics department. For starters, the X-Elite Pro is not dual ergonomic due to the single platform. Dual ergonomics allows you to have your keyboard and monitor at the correct ergonomic height at the same time. You would need to add a monitor arm to make the X-Elite Pro ergonomic but the weight limit will not allow for that. The adjustment range will allow for an ergonomic typing height for people up to 6’3”. It is important to note that most people will have a downward monitor viewing angle.
The next problem is that the sitting position raises your keyboard 2.5” off your desk. This will have a dramatic effect on your normal seated typing position because you will be reaching so far up to your keyboard. This also caused my monitor to be higher than I would have liked for an ergonomic angle. I was not able to raise my chair high enough to compensate for the added monitor height.
The viewing distance is on the shorter side. The recommended ergonomic viewing distance is somewhere between 20 and 40 inches. My monitor was about 12” from the front of the platform which put me at the low end of the recommended distance.
The platform on the X-Elite Pro is rectangle in shape with square edges and made from laminated particle board. There are no cut-outs. There was enough room for my 27” monitor, keyboard, mouse and couple other objects. The platform is large enough to fit a 21” monitor and 13” laptop for dual viewing capabilities. I opted not to use my Microsoft ergonomic keyboard even though it had no problem fitting on the tray. The reason being is that the added palm support and curved shape made my viewing distance too close.
There is not a built-in wire management system on the X-Elite Pro and Stand Steady does not include any clips that can be attached to the unit. This isn’t really a big deal on a single platform product like the X-Elite Pro since you can simply run all your cords straight off the back of the unit and they will be safe from pinch points.
The x based design produces a number of pinch points and the X-Elite Pro does not do a good job of covering up these risky areas. You will want to make sure you do not have objects or people in the way while making adjustments. My bigger concern is the risk to smash your fingers when adjusting the unit to its lowest point. If you reach too far under the handle, the metal will smash your finger on the desk top. This concern in elevated since the gas cylinder stops helping for the final few inches of adjustment.
What do I like?
Arrives Fast with No Assembly
With a two-day turnaround time and no assembly required, the X-Elite Pro will get you standing faster than most converters out there. This is a big advantage over a lot of products out there that have longer leads time, require assembly or both.
I am still surprised by how stable the X-Elite Pro is while you are working. After seeing the AmazonBasics Converter, I expected the same dismal results from the X-Elite Pro. The results were much different. The X-Elite Pro is a solid product and even though it has a few downsides, I do not see them negatively impacting your work.
Infinite Position Lock
Infinite position lock is typically a feature we see on higher priced standing desk converters. Most low-priced products will have a set number of height options to pick from. Being able to choose any height you want on a standing desk converter, that costs less than $200, is a big perk.
Single Platform is Versatile
The single platform design makes the X-Elite Pro a good option for a number of different applications. You can use this with a standard monitor and keyboard set-up. The single platform design is also good for laptops because you will not be restricted by a secondary keyboard platform and the item can be stored when you are not using your laptop. The large, rectangle platform also makes the X-Elite Pro a good option for a standing drafting table.
What don’t I like?
The X-Elite Pro has one of the shortest warranties on a standing desk converter. I would be a little less worried if this item had a good build with high quality materials but it doesn’t. The item is one the lower priced converters I have reviewed but I would still expect to get more than 1 year of guaranteed use from a product that costs almost $200.00.
This is the first time I have included the packaging on a list of things I do not like but the limited amount of protection leads me to believe that I am not the only person receiving an X-Elite Pro with nicks and scratches on it.
The X-Elite Pro is going to be a poor choice for people looking for an ergonomic product. From the poor seated position to the poor monitor viewing angle when standing, the X-Elite is going to struggle. If you are looking for an ergonomic working experience, you will want something with two platforms or a mounted monitor.
The crude design choice produces a lot of pinch points that are left exposed. I am also not a fan of the way that the handle is positioned because of how the unit lowers and the danger it puts that hand in. This is a product that you need to be very careful with, when making adjustments.
After getting a chance to use the X-Elite Pro, I can see why it is so popular on Amazon. It is often tough to find value in a standing desk converter that costs less than $200 but I can find value in the X-Elite Pro. It arrives fast, is ready out of the box and is sturdy while working. It also has infinite position lock and provides good versatility for a number of different applications. The item is not perfect though. There are definitely some downsides you will need to consider. The X-Elite Pro is a lower build quality item that only has a 30-day warranty. It has poor packaging which greatly increases the chances of damage. There are also a few safety concerns and the X-Elite Pro is a poor choice for ergonomics.
The bottom line is that I can see this being a good product for certain applications. People looking for a standing desk to be used with their laptop for a couple hours a day or people that like to stand while drafting would be a good fit for the X-Elite Pro. People with traditional monitor setups that like to stand for extended periods of time would benefit more from products like the VertDesk Converter or Duke Vesa.