Awesome Stuff: Portable Standing Desks

from the make-'em-smaller dept

As you may be aware, I’m a big believer in standing desks, and we’ve written about standing desk crowdfunding projects in previous awesome stuff post. However, my other obsession concerning working is the ability to have a fully functional “office in a bag” that I can take on the go. I may write about that one of these days in an awesome stuff post, but I have a full setup with a second monitor, portable ergonomic keyboard and more that I take on the go with me — but I haven’t yet found a workable portable standing desk. I’m left at the mercy of wherever I might be at the time, if there’s a surface high enough to stand at. The most appealing has been the Ninja Standing desk, which has some really cool features, but is still pretty big when packed up. The more recent StorkStand was pretty creative in that it makes use of chair backs (and we’d mentioned it in the past too, but, again it was not really that portable). However, for whatever reason, there are a bunch of new attempts at offering portable standing desks on Kickstarter — so this we’ll profile them.

  • The StandStand
    Disclaimer: the creator of this project sent a sample one to us to check out. The StandStand portable standing desk focuses on pure simplicity. Three pieces of lightweight wood that slot together to make a compact standing desk, and which can then be stacked up to be about the size of a laptop. Smaller than nearly all other options I’ve seen, and definitely meets the bill if you just work off of a laptop and want to be able to do standing on the go. Having played around with it, it’s a little less stable than I would probably like, but not in any serious way. Of all the options I’ve seen, definitely the most portable, but there are tradeoffs in terms of what it’s useful for compared to other options.
  • ZentDesk
    The ZentDesk looks pretty awesome, actually. Basically it gives you pretty much all of the super useful features of a standing desk, and even comes with monitor stands (which would be very helpful for my setup). The downsides, though, are that it’s huge and expensive. These appear to be the basic tradeoffs: simple and small vs. too big but with all the bells and whistles.
  • Refold’s Portable Cardboard Standing Desk
    The name of the Refold Portable Cardboard Standing Desk is pretty accurate. It’s a foldable cardboard standing desk. When folded up it has a nice handle and you can take it along. But even folded up, it’s huge. Bigger than the ZentDesk. You could maybe take it down to the corner coffee shop, but even then you’d need to find a place to put it, rather than a table to put it on, as with the other options.

In the end, none of these portable standing desks truly meet the need that I’m looking for — and it may just be because it’s impossible to have the features I want in a package the size I want. But, it won’t mean I won’t keep looking…

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Comments on “Awesome Stuff: Portable Standing Desks”

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too tall says:

bending over for humanity

The guy in the picture is obviously too tall for that Refold desk. The biggest problem of “one size fits all” standing desks is that by design they discriminate against short or tall people, usually tall (even electic-motor-operated drafting tables never go high enough). Anyone who stands much over six foot is going to be forced to stoop over to use them, making these standing desks tiring, if not painful, for extended use.

Though some of these standing desks, like the “wheelchair friendly” bank ATMs, might be the perfect height for kneeling.

MeerkatDesk (profile) says:

What's your "on the go" setup?

Got any photos of your “on the go” setup? I’ve never heard of anyone carrying a second monitor or an ergonomic keyboard, it sounds like a lot of gear to me but maybe it’s just standard. Anyway, I’m asking because I’m developing an idea that I had for a portable standing desk and it would be good to see how you operate. It will help me as I develop the design if I can see how much gear different people carry with them.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: What's your "on the go" setup?

Not the best photo of it, but here’s a picture from earlier this year:

I really keep meaning to do one of these weekend posts describing everything in the bag, but that should give you a hint. The portable monitor is the ASUS mb168B+ and it’s amazing.

Florence (user link) says:

I’ve seen both models, but I was wondering if you can also put your things inside the case or not. Because if it’s just the stand…isn’t it a hassle to be carrying around a lot of stuff? I mean, I take the stand, plus my laptop and other belongings. However, I like the idea of being able to stand up while working. I believe it improves the circulation. But I’m so sure about portability.

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