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If you want to get healthier, a standing desk converter like the Fully Cooper Standing Desk Converter can help. Or you can use a standing desk.
Standing desks are all the rage these days – just walk into any Silicon Valley startup and you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone sitting down on a traditional office chair anymore. But with so many manufacturers rushing out products to meet the demand of this latest craze for health-conscious office commuters, how do you know which desks are worth it and which are just a pile of metal bolts and particle board strapped together at standing height?
You can read our best sit-stand desk list. Or, check out our review of the best standing desk.
The Jarvis Bamboo Standing desk is the latest entry from Fully, a Portland-based company that’s determined to change the way we think about office furniture front to back. With responsibly-sourced wood, zero-VOC materials, and thoughtful sturdy design through and through, is this the standing desk that everyone should have at the top of Santa’s shopping list this holiday season?
Read on in our Jarvis Bamboo Standing Desk review to find out!
Summary: The Jarvis Bamboo Standing desk is an extremely sturdy, beautifully designed standing desk that makes going from sit-to-stand as simple as a single button press, but all that convenience comes at a high cost. In that case, you might want to compare Jarvis vs Autonomous desks first before buying anything.
Price: $395 to $1500 (varies depending on configuration)Available: Now
What We Liked
What We Didn’t
When we assembled our list of the Gadget Review’s best standing desks of 2016, we considered a number of different factors that make a good desk “stand” out from the rest. Ease of setup, functionality, features, and stability all come to mind, but what good is a standing desk if you’re not willing to show it off once in a while, too?
Luckily, the Jarvis Bamboo Standing Desk is all class top to bottom, with a smooth, nearly-svelte surface that feels incredible and almost undescribable under the hand. Every edge is sanded down to a smooth round contour and the desk itself looks like something that could easily be priced three-to-five times its actual cost. If you’ve been working on particle board and crappy IKEA desks for most of your life (like I have), the Jarvis will simply feel unlike anything else you’ve used before. For a look at a similar unit from a different brand, check out our list of the finest Varidesk standing desks.
See also: Our Imprint Cumuluspro Standing Desk Mat review.
When shopping on Fully.com you have your choice of several different customization options to create your perfect standing desk experience, including whether you want to have a contoured inset or a standard rectangle desk shape, as well as the ability to swap between sizes ranging from 30″ x 27″ (rectangular-only), up to 78″ x 30″.
The model we reviewed was the rectangular bamboo 48″ x 30″ option with two black cable management trays, two non-powered wire grommets, and the programmable memory controller. All told this model will set you back $635.00 out the door, which is no small price for anyone who might be used to paying $200 or less for their office furniture, but as you’ll read on in our review the high cost is more than worth the level of quality you get in return.
To get the Jarvis standing desk set up you’ll need your own power drill or Phillips-head screwdriver, along with the L-shaped Alan wrench that’s included with the rest of the parts. Unfortunately, no amount of included tools would help me, as my experience with putting the Jarvis together out of the box was pretty much the same story as it is with me and any DIY furniture: a frustrating, grueling relay filled with fits and starts. It’s not that the directions on the brochure were confusing, so much as my ability to interpret them correctly is mediocre at best. If this assembly is too much for you, you might like something that’s preassembled and ready to go out of the box like the UpDesk UpWrite standing desk.
I had to reconstruct the legs three separate times because I couldn’t understand the definition of “This Side Up” if it smacked me across the face, and while that’s not in any way the fault of the Jarvis team, it definitely left me pulling my hair out more than once. After giving up for about 20 minutes I came back to the project with fresh eyes, and from there it was a smooth transition from a clutter of metal and wood to a fully functional standing desk.
Related: For another model that doesn’t require any assembly, check out our Stand Steady X Elite Pro Desk review.
Once you have the legs set up, getting the desk top screwed in is just a matter of having strong arms in the case of using a screwdriver, or enough battery left if you’re using a power drill. By using the included wood screws and the pre-drilled holes (non-pre-drilled desktops are also available), you just need to line everything up and plug in the various electronics that give the desk its power. From here you can use the included cable clips to tuck everything away in a neat bundle, or just let it all hang loose if that’s your style instead.
The Jarvis model we reviewed was the “Bamboo” variant, which as you might have already guessed, means the desktop is made from anywhere between “39%-100%” fully-reclaimed bamboo, according to Fully’s website. The desk is also Greenguard certified, which means no harmful VOCs will emanate from the desk after it’s gone through the manufacturing process.
The other more obvious difference you’ll notice with the Jarvis as opposed to some other standing desks is that unlike those, this desk is fully electric and automated from the ground up (some pun intended). Using the included control panel you can easily and effortlessly configure your preset height for sitting, standing, or anything else in between with the touch of a button.
The control panel comes with seven buttons in total: two for the up/down controls, four to handle the different presets, and one to actually set those presets depending on the current height. This option will tag an extra $35 onto your checkout costs, though you can also order the desk with a simple up/down switch if you’re shopping on a budget instead.
Other neat optional features include the “powered grommets”, which allow you to plug all your devices into the desk, instead of running the wires all the way down and hoping they’re still long enough to stretch when you’re at standing height.
If there’s one metric that reviewers can point to when testing the overall performance of a standing desk, it’s how stable it is when it’s extended to its full height. Lesser standing desks will only continue to lose their stability the higher up you push them, becoming barely tolerable wobbly messes once they’re at their tallest setting.
It’s in this arena that the Jarvis truly shines at its brightest, with stability and durability that felt just as strong at the lowest sitting height as it did when I found a comfortable height to stand at. Given that I’m 6’0 this is just slightly under what the Jarvis is rated to hit in total (6’5″ max), but even when the desk was pushed to that limit I only noticed a slight amount of stability loss overall.
The Jarvis is rated for up to 350 lbs of weight capacity, which we can’t imagine how you would use unless you were rocking several old CRT monitors on the surface all at once. Although I wasn’t willing to test this for myself, the Jarvis was more than fine with bearing the weight of my 4K monitor (20lbs), along with a lamp, two speakers, and a printer to boot (an additional 10lbs collectively).
We’ve been using the desk for about a week now, and haven’t noticed any wear and tear from the daily rigors of office work. No matter how many drinks we set down without a coaster or heavy typing sessions we went through the desk never showed a modicum of wear or tear, and although a week isn’t exactly the longest time in desk years, it’s still enough to know that you’d really have to put in some serious abuse if you wanted to get this thing to flinch under pressure.
While it would be old hat to sit here and reiterate the same diatribe you’ve already heard a dozen times before about the benefits of standing desks (which are still up in the air as far as some scientists are concerned), if you absolutely have to have one and can afford to drop a good amount of money to get it, the Jarvis Bamboo Standing Desk is undoubtedly the one for you.
The Jarvis combines beautiful design with durability and stability unlike any other option out there, and its customization options when shopping is simply unmatched. Given the choice between the Jarvis and the Uplift, I’d still pick the Jarvis in an instant knowing that all its materials are recycled, responsibly sourced, and most importantly – VOC-free.
Lastly, the effect of the smooth, almost-silent motorized transition from sitting to standing is really something to behold. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but watching my entire desk setup slowly drift from a sitting configuration to standing felt like something straight out of the future, though I imagine this effect might be lost on others who have already owned a powered standing desk before. Even still, I love my Jarvis as much as I could love anything that reminds me of work for eight hours a day, but the difference here is I’m still more than happy to continue typing, tapping, and gaming on it well into the night and beyond.