Today we are taking a closer look at our most expensive electric standing desk option, the NewHeights Elegante XT series. Produced in Wisconsin by K&A Mfg., the NewHeights series features the first full aluminum columns we have reviewed. The NewHeights XT is unique, with the ability to function with or without a traditional cross support. The option we reviewed for this post included the cross support which I have found, when included, greatly improves lateral stability. The NewHeights XT was no exception to this and was especially important with its 27” range of motion. Let’s take a closer look at the NewHeights Elegante XT and see how it performed.
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NewHeights XT Review Snapshot
- Custom extruded aluminum columns
- Premium German gear and motor system
- High quality LogicData electronics
- Overload protection
- Best in class 27 inch range
- High quality glide system
- High price tag
- Front to back stability issues above 47 inches
- 60-64 decibel rating in motion
The NewHeights XT is the first electric standing desk that I have reviewed that doesn’t have an OEM manufacturer. NewHeights is made by K&A Mfg., which is essentially the same company. Based in Wisconsin, K&A Mfg. has been producing ergonomic products for thirty years. K&A is known in the industry for building high quality products that are built to stand the test of time. The NewHeights Elegante follows suit, with their fourth generation being the most robust standing desk to date.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
– Specs / Pricing / Features
– Assembly Process
– Stability Testing
– Column, Foot and Frame
– Motor and Gears
– Glide Systems
– Testing The Specs
– What I Like
– What I Don’t Like
– Final Thoughts
Height Adjustment Range: 24″ to 51”
Travel Speed: 1.55”
Weight Capacity: 325 lbs.
Adjustable Foot Glides: .5″
Noise Level: 60 dB
$1535.17 + Free Shipping
Options selected: 30″ x 60″ Bamboo, Black Base, Cross Support (+$85.99), Programmable Button (+$69.99)
Push button control for easy height adjustment
Large 27″ height adjustment from 24″ to 51″
Strong and consistent 325 lbs. lifting capacity
Soft start and stop technology
Collision avoidance system
Frame built in the USA
Austrian LogicData electronics package
German Ketterer gears and motors
The NewHeights XT comes in three separate boxes and each is packed very well. The base and electronics come in one box, the cross support in another and the desk surface in the last box. All desks up to 60” are able to ship FedEx Ground, which allows users to receive large desks to their suite or front door. The box with the frame comes with built in handles, making it easier to manage. Overall, the packaging was good.
The assembly process for the NewHeights XT is straightforward. Because the upper supports and feet are preassembled to the frame, you only need to attach the upper cross support (wire management system) and cross support if you have ordered one. The upper support requires four bolts to attach to the legs motor boxes. Because the upper support is width adjustable, you will need to set the width with two additional bolts here as well. Lastly, to finish the frame assembly you will need to use four bolts to connect the cross support to the legs. Once you have the frame assembled you are able to attach to the desk surface and connect all of the electronics (control box and switch). Altogether this process took me about 30 minutes, but could take up to 60 minutes for those less experienced.
See The Best Electric Standing Desks For 2019
After months of testing 20+ height adjustable desks, the results are in!
Having a standing desk that is stable at all heights is important. Without it, you create an opportunity for reduced focus and potentially discontinued use at standing heights. Looking at the NewHeights XT, the addition of a traditional cross support was a nice touch. We have seen through other reviews that this small addition can greatly impact the lateral stability of standing desks. The NewHeights XT was no exception to this, providing good left to right stability through most heights. The NewHeights XT is also available without a cross support; however, I would not recommend this setup.
Left to Right: As mentioned, the NewHeights XT cross support allowed the desk to remain stable through most heights in our test. Only when we raised the desk beyond 48” was there a small amount of motion noticed. From 49” to about 51” the wobble motion was more noticeable, but much better than desks we have tested without an additional cross support. Only beyond 50″ do I think this motion might impact your work.
Front to Back: The front to back test for the NewHeights XT wasn’t quite as strong as the left to right test. While the XT was stable through 43”, it started to show rocking signs beyond that point. Once the desk reached 47” the motion became more noticeable with less force required. By 49″ the motion was significant and could potentially impact your work efficiency. Overlap within the columns and flexing from the aluminum appeared to be the biggest issue.
Note: As I mentioned in all of my reviews, you have to make sure to fully tighten all hardware. As standing desks become extended, the motion will become exaggerated. If your hardware is loose, your standing desk will have bad wobble and rocking motions.
The NewHeights XT features the LogicData Smart-e compact control box. LogicData is known as a global leader in supplying high-end electronics for electric standing desks. K&A Mfg. inc has been using LogicData electronics for close to twelve years. Over that time frame there have been very few issues with electronics failures. We have personally sold the NewHeights brand during this time period and our failure rate has been less than 1%.
Taking a closer look at the LogicData electronics pack on the NewHeights XT, the level of quality is obvious. After reviewing 15 other desks in the category, the differences between good and bad was clear to even a non-expert. Good electronics from LogicData and Linak both feature single board systems that were engineered specifically for using with their control boxes. Competing Chinese brands had multiple boards, with cheap connectors that are oftentimes loose. Looking closer at the Smart-e circuit board, you can see the board is clean with consistent components and wiring throughout. When compared to the Chinese alternatives, the perfect coiling and precise gluing creates a night and day difference.
The Smart-e compact control box from LogicData features a slim design with a highly efficient .3 watt standby power mode. Standard features with the NewHeights XT include overload protection, collision avoidance and easily configured container stop program. While collision avoidance is a commonly found program on electric standing desks, overload protection and container stop is not.
The overload protection system is a standard feature on the NewHeights XT. This is not common for the industry. During my recent review of the NextDesk Terra I found this high-end competitor didn’t include overload protection. While most users won’t have issues with this, it is a safety function that prevents you from voiding a warranty when potentially overloading the desk. There are many parts of the internal components that could break and these wouldn’t be covered under warranty. With overload protection, you can rest assured you are not overworking your desk.
The container stop function allows you to set customized minimum and maximum heights. This function was designed to eliminate issues encountered when existing furniture is positioned above or below your standing desk. Simply set the minimum height and maximum heights and the desk will stay within your new range. To return your desk to the standard factory settings, simply perform a factory reset.
Column, Foot and Upper Frame Build Quality
The NewHeights Elegante is the first desk I have tested that includes a full aluminum column design. With extruded aluminum, they were able to create a design that is quite a bit different from all of the others we have tested.
The upright columns on the NewHeights XT are made in Wisconsin, using recycled aluminum to create their unique design. Using an extrusion process, the Aluminum is heated up and then pushed through a die. This forms the columns and as it cools, the material hardens and creates a strong tube. Through the extrusion process, the aluminum columns are more stable, reducing the amount of bending and flexing typically found on solid aluminum.
The extruded columns are then anodized to create their color and an extremely durable finish. This electrochemical process changes the metal to an anodic oxide finish. Because the aluminum is a porous material, the anodization process creates a color that is solid throughout the aluminum. This means the aluminum finish cannot scratch or chip like paints would. Through the anodization process, the aluminum columns become corrosion resistant as well.
The NewHeights XT uses a formed steel foot and similar to the columns, this creates a more stable foot than if solid steel was used. There is careful consideration with the entire foot, as specific heights were used on the side wall to improve stability. Looking at the bottom of the foot, there are threaded rivnuts used to attach the adjustable foot glides. The glides allow for the proper amount of threading when attaching these glides. Because this is the foundation of the desk, having a good connection here is important to creating a solid frame throughout. Lastly, the connection of the column to the foot is done with bolts and star washers. The bolts use Loctite and star washers to ensure the connection remains consistent. This is something that is often overlooked by other manufacturers and means you will have to consistently tighten the bolts to ensure stability over the course of ownership.
In taking a closer look at the cross-support system on the NewHeights XT, it is made from extruded aluminum. This design is similar to the foot, but has a thinner profile to create a sleek look. The cross support is 6” tall and uses a four bolt system to attach to the columns. This creates the proper connection to the column, eliminating stability issues that would otherwise occur from twisting found on shorter cross supports with a non X bolt pattern. The NewHeights desk also uses Loctite on the bolts that attach the cross support, with lock washers, to ensure a consistent hold here as well.
Lastly, the NewHeights XT features an additional upper cross support system. This was designed for those who wish not to use a traditional cross support system with their desk. While I wouldn’t personally recommend going without the traditional cross support system, this will allow for that setup should you choose. Through testing I have found this to be significantly less stable than when paired with the traditional cross support. This upper frame system does assist with lateral stability when paired with the lower traditional cross support. The second use for the upper support is a horizontal wire management system. We will discuss this in more detail in the wire management section.
Gear and Motor System
The gear and motor system on the NewHeights Elegante XT are from the high-end manufacturer Ketterer. Based out of Germany, Ketterrer is known around the globe as a leading manufacturer of some of the highest quality gear and motor systems. When comparing Ketterer to less expensive alternatives, the overall fit and finish is the first noticeable difference. When you manually push and pull the gears, you can actually feel the quality with how smooth they function. Through our own cycle testing we have found the Ketterer gears to often outlast all other components of the electronic standing desk.
The NewHeights XT Elegante comes standard with a two stage gear, model # 4115.14. Ketterer gears are manufacturered through a cold rolling process. The gears are then case hardened a process in which a thin layer of more durable steel is added to further reinforce the teeth of the gear. This process has been proven to create stronger components that extend the life of the product.
The NewHeights XT features dual 3133.00 slim drive motors from Ketterer. The Ketterer motors used might be slim, but are still very powerful. With a max torque rating of 5 NM for each motor, they are three times as powerful as the popular Bosch motors found on products like the ModDesk Pro by MultiTable.
The Ketterer 3133.00 features a fully enclosed motor system, with the worm drive and gear housed inside an nice encasement. This helps to protect these important components from contaminants like dirt and dust, which can short the life cycle of the product.
The only downside to this motor system used on the NewHeights XT is the sound rating. Based on my testing, I have found it to be one of the louder options in the category. On average, it had a decibel rating between 60-64 dB while in motion.
The NewHeights XT features a high quality glide system, designed to hold up well to high cycle counts. Through custom design, K&A Mfg. Inc. created a unique two glide system in their aluminum columns. This is done with a wedge or notched design on the ends of the columns. While two glides are technically used, their V shape actually acts as four. Because of this, NewHeights is able to reduce the amount of rubbing that occurs on the outsides of the columns. This assists in keeping outsides of the columns looking new for the entire ownership of the frame.
Similar to the VertDesk v3, the NewHeights XT features the high quality plastic from Dupont, known as Delrin Acetal. This plastic is designed to hold up well with high cycle counts and act as a natural lubricant between the three sections of the columns. Because of the high durability, significant loosening of the columns is not an issue over time.
With cheap plastics, this loosening is a stability issue and creates additional play between each column. Over time this can create binding issues that will trigger the anti-collision system and stop the desk from moving from sitting to standing. Instead it will reach a certain height, then reverse course as if it has hit something solid.
The natural lubricant created from the use of Delrin is good for two reasons. The first is that it requires little lubricant, which creates a cleaner experience. The second is that it doesn’t require additional lubrication over time. The frame should operate normally over the entire course of ownership.
The NewHeights XT is the first desk I have tested to make a secondary use out of the upper cross support system. Instead of making it only a solid bar system, they have turned it into a horizontal wire management trough. Within the trough are additional pass through holes on both the bottom and side of the wire management system. I think this was a really smart decision and it allows you to hide a ton of wires. It is big enough to fit power strips and small surge protectors as well.
The NewHeights XT comes with a five year warranty on all electrical components and ten years on the structural components. While this is above average, it isn’t the best warranty in the electric standing desk category. When compared to other high-end brands, this appears to be on par with their warranty period.
Testing the Specs
Height Adjustment Range: 24” to 51”
True. The range was as specified by BTOD.com.
Adjustment Speed: 1.55”
True. The desk maintained this speed throughout testing. The speed remained consistent through 260 lbs. When I loaded the desk to max capacity it dropped to 1.25″ per second.
Noise Level: n/a
I found the desk to operate between 60-64 dB in transition. This noise level was above the average noise level of 58-60 dB in the electric standing desk category.
Weight Capacity: 325 lbs.
True. I was able to confirm the desk would lift the max 325 lbs. load without an issue. Because the NewHeights XT has overload protection it would not raise more than a 325 lbs. loaded onto the desk top.
What I Like About NewHeights XT
The highly durable aluminum extrusions are a nice touch on the NewHeights Elegante. The only desk I have tested to include aluminum columns, the Elegnate hit the mark. With a durable anodized finish, the NewHeights XT finish cannot chip or peel like many of the painted alternatives. This means your frame will look as good as new over the entire course of ownership. By using an extruded aluminum, the NewHeights XT is also able to offer a little more style than the more commonly used rectangular column.
Stability at Standing Height
After testing eight electric standing desks that go beyond 49”, the NewHeights XT was the first desk I have tested to remain fairly stable in both front to back and left to right tests. While it’s lateral stability was good through most heights, its weak point was front to back rocking. Once the desk rose beyond 47” this motion became bad enough that it would start to impact your work. Beyond 49”, the front to back rocking became bad due to a lack in overlap in the column and some flex in the aluminum extrusions. While this desk wasn’t perfect through all stability testing, it was the best overall for stability that rose beyond 47” tall.
High Quality Electronics
The decision to use LogicData for the past twelve years has been a smart one. Over that course of time the NewHeights brand has experienced a very small failure rate. Comparing the internal components of the LogicData electronics to Chinese alternatives the differences were obvious. Having used less expensive electronics on our original VertDesk v1 product, I can tell you Chinese electronics should be avoided on these desks.
Dupont Delrin Glide System
The use of Dupont Delrin Acetal plastics for the glide is something that is expected with a desk in this category. This portion of an electric standing desk is important and cannot be overlooked. High quality plastics hold up to the high cycle counts better than cheap alternatives. Through our cycle testing, we have found that this plastic also shows significantly less wearing on the outer columns as well. If you want your desk to function well over its lifetime, high quality glides are a must.
Horizontal Wire Management System
Because of the minimalist design of a standing desk, wire management is a common issue for owners of this type of furniture. Having a way to properly store wires is something that users, who are particular about the organization of their desk, should consider. The NewHeights XT upper cross support not only provides stability, but offers a large tray to hide a large amount of wires. It is large enough to hold multiple power strips which is the easiest way to eliminate vertical wire issues. Simply run one power strip to the tray and power all of your electronics from there.
27” of Height Adjustment
The NewHeights XT features the largest height adjustment range we have tested to date. With a starting height at 24” up to 51”, this desk has no problem fitting the masses properly. If you are less than 5’ tall, you may still require the use of a keyboard tray to properly fit your body at sitting height.
What I Don’t Like About NewHeights XT
High Price Tag
You pay for what you get, and that is definitely the case with the NewHeights XT. With high-end components throughout, the XT we tested ended up being around the $1500 range. Depending on your needs, this could be a little excessive. If you are shorter than 5’6” or taller than 6’5”, the NewHeights XT might be your best option. Users that require their desk to go below 27” and above 47” will have a hard time finding a better alternative with regards to stability and weight capacity.
Front to Back Stability Above 47”
Whlie the NewHeights XT is one of the most stable standing desks we have tested overall, it still has a weak point. When raised beyond 47”, the front to back rocking motion is definitely noticeable and will start to impact some users work efficiency. Once the desk rises above 49” the motion becomes bad. It’s important to note that we have yet to test a desk that has performed well beyond the 47” mark with the front to back rocking motion. All desks beyond this point show signs of rocking because of the lack of overlap in their columns and flexing/swaying found in the columns.
The NewHeights XT ranked as one of our loudest standing desks we have tested to date. With a dB rating between 60-64, depending on the direction it was moving, it was about 2-4 dB louder than most desks we have tested. For the typical office setting this won’t be noticeable, but if you are in a quiet space, it could be a difference story. The average dB level of a conversation falls between 60-70 dB’s to put the sound level in perspective.
The NewHeights XT is the second most expensive desk I have tested, so my expectations for the desk were high. Overall, I think that it did a good job in almost every area, which solidifies the cost.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t perfect, with front to back stability issues beyond 47”, it could pose a problem for taller users. With a decibel rating of 60-64 dB, it is also one of the loudest desks I’ve tested. While this is the level which most conversations are held, users in quiet environments will notice the difference.
The NewHeights XT has a lot going for it though. With aluminum extruded columns, high quality glides, wide adjustment range, the list goes on. If you want a desk that will last a long time, the use of premium electronics and German made gears helps to ensure this desk will function “like new” for years to come. While the desk does exhibit stability rocking issues beyond 47” tall, it was our most stable option for all desks tested that raise beyond 48”. If you are a tall user, you will not find a more stable desk overall than the XT, unless you are willing to sacrifice on the adjustment range.
Additional Standing Desk Resources
- Top 6 Reasons Why Standing Desks Wobble
- VertDesk v3 vs. NewHeights XT: Which is better?
- GeekDesk v3 vs. VertDesk v3: Standing Desk Comparison
- 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