Doug Toppin's Blog

My thoughts on technology and other stuff

NextDesk Terra Standing Desk Opinions

My NextDesk Terra Standing Desk

My office desk at home has a closed front to it so I can’t straighten my legs at it which was getting uncomfortable for me. I decided to get a new desk and have been considering a standing desk for a while so decided to try one out. I evaluated a few of them including the NextDesk Terra and the GeekDesk. A friend has the GeekDesk and is happy with it but I eventually opted for the Terra because it seems to get better reviews and since I’m expecting to have it for a long time I decided that the higher price was worth it.

If you are not familiar with these models of standing desks they are adjustable meaning that they have motors in them which will enable them to be raised and lowered by motors to the desired height. The Terra has a bamboo top which I selected the dark stain color choice. It arrived more quickly than I had originally expected given a few of the reviews from the past. It came in a box sandwiched between two sheets of plywood on a large pallet. It consists of only 6 parts with them being the desktop, two legs, two “feet” and a crossbar mounted between the legs. I chose the optional power block to be included and mounted under the desk surface.

Assembly

The box is not extremely heavy but one person moving it around is a challenge.

In my case I left the box in my garage and moved the individual pieces into the hallway outside of my office. I was glad to see the Made In America label on it. Assembly was probably less than 30 minutes and mostly involves attaching the legs to the surface, attaching the feet to the legs and then pushing the crossbar between the legs.

The parts of the desk are all high quality and look good.

Usage Observations

Note that two legs means that there will be some movement of the desktop as you are working. It is not distracting for me but I am aware of it. If you tend to put your elbow(s) on the desk there will be amplified movement so I’m tending to stop doing that. The surface of the bamboo desktop is a bit fragile so very little impact on the surface will leave a mark, you might consider a dark brown marker to conceal dings. There is no storage space so if you are moving from a traditional desk with drawers you will need some place to keep your “stuff” You are probably going to end up with a lot of “stuff” sitting on the desk, in my case a MacBook (sitting on the Roost stand), 27 inch cinema display, iPad, iPhone, external drive, keyboard and touchpad meaning the surface filled up pretty quickly. Deciding the correct height of the desk takes some experimentation in deciding if your arms are parallel to the floor or not when using the keyboard. Extending and retracting the surface is smoooth-ish and at a reasonable speed. The controller has 3 presets for selected heights, I might have suggested having 4 presets as two different people using it may have different high and low desk positions, you do have to hold the preset down as it is moving until it reaches the set position.

The surface has one (or two if you choose) holes in it for cables with a cable “sock” which is pretty long attached to it. The cable sock is intended to contain all of your cable run to your power supply. It is probably a good idea to experiment with all of your equipment on the desk to get everything where you want it because running the cables one at at a time through it can be difficult. It is probably best to get all of your cables together and then run them through the sock as a group rather than individually. The sock seems unusually long so I am not entirely sure that I am using it correctly yet. It may be primarily intended for situations where you have a power supply not mounted on the bottom of the desk so that it has to reach farther than the mounted power block.

If you have a UPS or speakers/subwoofer you will have to get used to them being more visible and not hidden by a traditional desk configuration.

Getting used to standing for long periods requires a little practice. I’m finding that I move around a little more often than I had expected. You are probably going to need a comfort mat to stand on, standing in socks on a hardwood floor gets uncomfortable pretty quickly.

I will update this post in the future as I get more experience in both using the Terra and standing to work in general.

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