Products Reviewed: Electric Single-Motor Desk Frame and 43 x 24 Table Top
Sit-to-stand desks are all the rage right now as the trend toward versatile workstations in a remote or hybrid employment environment continues to evolve. But does an electric standing desk have to place a significant dent in your wallet? Let’s find out as we review two products from American distributor Vivo.
Disclosure: Vivo sent a Single Motor Electric Standing Desk and a Table Top to review.
Two Products in Review: Motorized Table Legs Plus a Universal Table Top
Want an electric standing desk but don’t have tons of cash to invest? Perhaps Vivo is worth consideration. This brand specializes in ergonomic solutions for the workplace, but their products don’t break the bank. In this review, we discover a way to secure a standing desk that accommodates tight budgets. We tested a set of Vivo single-motor electric legs and coupled them with a budget, standalone, universal-style table top, also from Vivo. But when it comes to construction quality, is this a case of “you get what you pay for”?
First — About the Company
Vivo is a US-headquartered e-commerce company providing ergonomic workplace solutions since 2012. Its range of products includes highly rated monitor arms, desks, chairs, and other ergonomic items for the office environment. It has 1000 patents for products, and on the face of it, the overall reputation for this company online seems solid.
The company is entirely staffed by real Americans who are proud of the products stocked and eager to provide excellent customer service. Online customer reviews — what really matters — support the notion that Vivo is a company you can trust. With that out of the way, let’s investigate some legs and a table top!
How These Products Were Tested:
I paired a table top with a set of single-motor legs, all from Vivo, and used it daily in the workplace for two weeks. I used all features, in standing and sitting positions, as intended by Vivo, and observed and rated it for ease of construction, comfort, build quality and design, and value for money.
The Table Top: 43”x24”, Black. $89.99
The Vivo 43”x24” desktop is sold separately from any legs and is designed for universal fitment. It does not have to be used exclusively with Vivo legs. It is constructed of particleboard and has a veneer finish. The tabletop comes in six colors, but we chose black. Other colors have good reviews — the white wood finish seems attractive — but the cherry and walnut colors seem to be polarizing choices. Many reviewers love those colors, but others report that they do not match the online images and are not so attractive in person.
The black tabletop I reviewed had a sheen that almost felt oily. It was not a pleasant or expensive-feeling tabletop to the touch. I would recommend people use a desk mat with this desk top to protect the surface and provide more comfort. It also was prone to showing fingerprints, and the edges of the top were quite sharp. More expensive desk tops tend to have beveled edges that are much more comfortable for hours of use. If I were buying this desk top for myself, I would consider a color other than black.
I would recommend people use a desk mat with this desk top to protect the surface and provide more comfort.
The Vivo desk top came with pre-drilled holes to fit a variety of Vivo desk legs. You can also use it with other brand legs, but you may have to drill your own holes, which is not a huge challenge. The pilot holes are very small, and drilling requires a bit of handiness with a drill. Two pilot holes toward the center of the desk top were missing but did not adversely affect the desk’s performance.
This desk’s surface area is small but not truly limiting. An advantage of the small dimensions is that people can use it for many different purposes, from office work to craft and sewing room activities to an extra workstation in the bedroom when working remotely. For office work, this desk can generally easily fit one decent-size monitor plus a laptop. There’s not space for much else, maybe some small speakers and a cup of coffee. But it is perfect for a tight spot at home.
Overall, online reviews for the 43”x24” desk top I reviewed are generally solid. Of the 85 reviews on the Vivo website, 62 are five-star. Generally, people are happy with the desk top and say it does what the company says it will do. Many reviews state this is better than an Ikea desk top because it feels heavier-duty, and I agree with this assessment. Some users also complain that paying $90 is too much for a particleboard item with a fairly generic laminate.
Another option could be forming a desk top from something like a butcher block for a more pleasing finish. But for convenience and a step above Ikea-grade, the Vivo desk top is fine for most people and general use.
The Vivo desk top has a one-year warranty and a 30-day return policy.
Now, let’s see what happens when we combine this desk top with a Vivo electric standing desk frame.
Vivo Single-Motor Electric Standing Desk Frame: V100EBY, Black. $189.99
As a user of a $700 electric standing desk from another brand, I was intrigued to compare that premium desk to these budget-friendly Vivo options.
The V100EBY frame is available in black, gray, and white. If I were buying, white would seem like a cool, unique option paired with a white wood finish! Or a white desk top with gray legs? To each their own. The frame is available without a desk top, which enables you to buy a VIVO tabletop separately or fit your own alternative style top, such as a custom butcher block surface.
The settings touch panel has four memory presets to program your preferred heights — anywhere from 28”– 47” high. Narrow leg width dimensions (37”) mean this compact standing desk frame is suitable for all types of uses, such as offices, craft rooms, or even the laundry room, and it is rated strong enough to lift heavy loads up to 176 lb. But this Vivo desk frame also has a secret.
This electric standing desk frame’s secret weapon is that it can extend in width to become significantly wider — all the way out to 77” from a minimum of 37”. Should you ever want to upgrade to a wider desk top, the V100EBY frame gives you the option. To make the desk’s footprint wider, simply remove the top working surface, extend the driveshaft, and widen the main cross-beam by adjusting four screws. You can easily customize your table top to fit any incremental width. This means if you have a dedicated space in your house that you want to fit your desk to, you can adjust your desk frame to fit that space exactly.
The V100EBY frame comes with adjustable feet, cable management clips, two headphone/bag hanger brackets, and a one-year warranty/30-day return policy. Vivo also offers other products to fully deck out your electric standing desk.
Constructing the Standing Desk
Fixing the desk top to the leg frame assembly is not hard if you use the provided QR code, but the diagrams in the manual are very small and difficult to understand. Most tools are provided, except for a screwdriver, but an electric drill makes the job even easier. There are dampener grommets to stop vibration, and all components feel well-made. The control panel is attractive and feels nice to the touch.
One concern I had about frame design was the position of the electric motor and drive shaft. Both are located “in the open” on the underside of the desk and are not encased within the desk frame. I worry that this leaves them susceptible to damage if they are inadvertently knocked. My only other concern was that if you pull the desk apart a few times for any reason, the screws will strip the particleboard. The desk top is probably not able to withstand being pulled apart multiple times.
I was amazed to see what quality you can get in an electric standing desk for $270.
Using the Standing Desk
Here, we can answer the question, “Do you get what you pay for?” My experience with the Vivo desk was positive. I was amazed to see what quality you can get in an electric standing desk for $270.
The desk was very stable, with just a small amount of flex under the weight of my elbows. It did not rock or wobble at all. When moving the desk up and down, the single electric motor did an admirable job carrying the weight of a laptop, extra monitor, coffee, water bottle, and other general workstation accessories. It moved the desk up and down quietly and easily at a safe, uniform speed. The LED touchpad controller illuminated nicely and was easy to set and operate.
One of the main differences between this budget-friendly desk and my premium desk is the budget desk’s single motor, which reduces the weight it can lift. But 176lb is more than enough for general duties!
A premium desk can usually lift up to 200lb, and the work surface can also include a beveled waterfall edge for comfort and passthrough holes for cable management. The budget desk top I tested did not have contours for my wrists to rest upon, which made it less comfortable. In fact, the sharp edges, for some people, could be the reason to upgrade to a top with better ergonomics.
For stability, premium desks usually have three-tier legs, but the Vivo has two-tier legs which make it less rigid and more prone to wobbling. I didn’t find this to be an issue with my workstation setup though.
In conclusion: The Vivo combination we have reviewed here is a highly functional, excellent-quality rig for everyday use. Its versatility of width, four handy height presents, and color combinations make it well worth consideration. The price is competitive, and the unit’s functionality is basically the same as that of a more expensive desk. The durability of important components such as the electric motor cannot be determined in this review, but for the price, the Vivo V100EBY single-motor electric standing desk frame and table top are tough to beat.