The Elevate 120 sit-stand desk from VisionAid aims to close a gap in the market. Currently, even the best standing desks generally have a high starting height of 72 cm, rising to 120 cm. Ergonomically not ideal for many (except maybe footpeg manufacturers). Especially people with visual impairments, who feel bent over a desk to see the screen.
For VisionAid, a company that provides solutions for the blind and partially sighted, this was an issue that needed to be addressed. The family-owned company, based in the UK, wanted to refine one of the best sit-stand desks on the market.
Tabletop: 120 x 60 cm
Height: 69cm to 117cm
Height user: 5ft to 6ft 8”
Maximum screen size: 27ins
Weight: 44.5 kg
Taking the frame from the excellent FlexiSpot EG8 – which we called a “featured electric standing desk with a unique look” in a review that earned it 4.5 stars – VisionAid and FlexiSpot owner Loctek redesigned the EG8.
Changing the height range is the first change. The lowest position now keeps your desk at 69 cm. To accommodate this, the maximum height has been reduced to 117 cm – providing comfort for users up to 1.80 m. The horizontal support bar has also been raised so that it does not interfere with the user’s feet without affecting stability.
Essentially, VisionAid has created an accessible, inclusive standing desk experience for a wider range of users. It builds on the foundations of the FlexiSpot EG8 – specifically its easy, three-step assembly – but suffers from the same minor issues we had with that model.
What’s in the box?
Everything you need to build the Elevate 120 comes in the box. Here you don’t have to dig into the toolbox for an oh-so-specific screwdriver. Lift the lid to reveal:
- 1x table top
- 1x lifting column (legs)
- 2x feet
- 1x power cord
- 1x wooden monitor support arm
- 16x Allen screws
- 4x cable clamps
- 1x Allen/Allen key
Design and build quality
The Elevate 120 has an uncomplicated design. Our review unit had an oak top and a black frame, but is also available in white or black matt, or with a glass top. In contrast to the delicate frame of the Uplift V2 or eye-catching ApexDesk Elite, there are no attractive curves and functional cutouts. But it’s sleek, modern and minimalist, giving it wide appeal.
The build quality of the desk is simple and impressive. Everything has an appropriate amount of hardiness and weight. The weight gives it a welcome sturdiness, but this is a heavy beast of a desk, and it takes two to lift into place.
A slim tabletop, roomy enough for a widescreen or dual-monitor setup, is sturdy without losing its slimness. It also features automatic collision detection, where it changes direction if it detects an object in its path.
At the front you will find a shallow drawer. Good for storing your laptop and stationery, but not big enough to handle much more than that. On the right is a slim control box. Here you’ll find a three-digit display, up and down buttons, and four customizable preset heights. The sit-stand desk also has two USB-A fast charging ports and one USB-C port.
Flip the desk over — you’ll need that for assembly anyway — to find a power brick attached with Velcro, the back of the control box, and a discreet motor. Notable in its absence is a cable management drawer, which may make it more appealing to laptop owners than desktop users.
Instead, four self-adhesive cable clamps take on the role of a more-ahem-flexible cable management here. It’s a good solution, but, like the wooden monitor arm, it doesn’t match the desk’s otherwise premium feel.
Like the rest of the desk, the lifting column has the same confident weight. It is a single metal piece with support beams connecting two thick, rectangular legs. Hit them and they make a sonorous thump. This is not a desk that you are afraid to lean on.
Mounting the Elevate 120 is a three step process. This is about as easy as assembling a standing desk — the hardest part is lifting it into place, which isn’t a solo job. †
Take the Allen key and the eight black Allen screws. Align the lifting column with the holes on the underside of the desktop and screw the legs into place.
Then attach the feet to the legs using the eight silver Allen screws.
With the pieces bolted together, flip the desk the right way. Connect the cable from the motor to the back of the control box. Connect the power cord to the power brick and insert the plug into the wall socket.
Job done – in about ten minutes. The instructions provided clear directions and illustrations, and we found none of the Ikea-style frustrations typically associated with self-assembling pieces. Granted, one of the two screws required an extra fiddle to ensure alignment, but even the rarest DIY’er wouldn’t worry about that.
One of our first thoughts, given VisionAid’s emphasis on accessibility and independent living, was how accessible the instructions could be. After all, a printed manual can be tricky for the best of us to read, even with a Sherlockian magnifying glass handy.
So we were warmed up to see that a step-by-step guide is also on VisionAid’s YouTube channel and available as a PDF download here. If you are visually impaired, this is a great way to get the best access to the manual.
Height control is easy. Two arrow buttons allow you to move the desk along the vertical plane – it takes about 23 seconds to go from the lowest to the highest setting, with ‘BOT’ or ‘TOP’ displays on the screen at these points. During operation, the readout shows the current height (in centimeters).
If you’re a fan of ultra-specific height, using these keys can be a little difficult. Press too fast and nothing happens; press too long when the desk goes up or down, so you’re almost always out a few millimeters. However, it’s a step up from the original FlexiSpot EG8, which tended to travel on after the button was released.
The four memory presets come with height settings, but turning them off is easy enough to quickly switch between sitting and standing, especially if you’re sharing the desk with others.
To do this, adjust the desk to the desired height and then press and hold a preset button. They don’t click or give feedback, but after about four seconds, the preset number screen flashes.
On the far right of the panel is the child lock – a real click-click physical button which is just as useful for those of us with the clumsy habit of accidentally tapping buttons. Activating the lock will not adjust the height and any attempt to raise or lower the desk will result in a sharp beep when the display flashes ‘LOC’.
The Elevate 120 delivers on its promise to provide a comfortable lower height setting, and performs very well in use. We found the sound of the engine to be relatively quiet. It’s not exactly a whisper-quiet mustache, but low enough even for nighttime use.
Raising and lowering the desk makes the traversal feel sturdy and confident. The agency has expertly passed the? ‘coffee‘ test – not a drop was spilled when descending or ascending. To avoid overheating, the motor can be used for a maximum of two minutes, with a cooldown of 18 minutes.
Once we set it up, we found that the generous surface of the table top is ideal for a wide variety of tasks. This is pure workspace, with no distractions or design flaws that break the flow. That size means that in smaller rooms, the standing desk will dominate the space.
We were also impressed with the USB charging ports. Once plugged in, the cable felt snug in the slot and facilitated fast charging of our devices. The remote position of the ports keeps cords within reach without getting in the way of your work (or desk controls).
The Elevate 120 is a simple, sleek and sturdy sit-stand desk that is hassle-free from assembly to use.
After a light-hearted three-step build process, the performance is perfect and easy to operate, even if this is your first electric standing desk.
Wide desk space allows for a variety of setups, from gaming until WFH, if you have the space to accommodate it. And, ideally, the space to build the desk where it stands. This desk makes it difficult to maneuver through tight aisles when your arms are bent.
The Elevate is modern in that stripped-down minimalist fashion. Admittedly, the clean design can be a bit utilitarian for some. On the other hand, that gives you the space to make the desk space your own. However, the bare-bones aesthetic only serves to emphasize the lack of built-in cable management, which leaves unsightly, unwieldy tendrils hanging at the back.
Looks aren’t a deal breaker with a standing desk that’s so accessible, though. With a lower seat height than many on the market, the Elevate 120 is perfect for those who find it difficult to dangle from footpegs and ideal for anyone looking to home office supplies†