Elevate II Adjusta from Anthro
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I run WPCentral from the ultimate standing desk

MobileFit Standing and standup desks have become the new rage in home offices and workplaces around the world, including the United States. So it makes sense that I should take a look at one I've been using for the last few months. You may be asking, why is he reviewing a desk? The answer is twofold. For one, it is #MobileFit month, and this is part of the category. Number two, it's a fun way for you people to peek behind the curtain to see what I use every day at my job.

So with that introduction, let's take a look at the Anthro Elevate II Adjusta standing desk, including a video review to see it in action!

Anthro (www.anthro.com) makes the Elevate II Adjusta out in Oregon. If that name rings familiar, it's because we recently featured their Surface organizing cabinets for companies and schools. In addition to those storage solutions, Anthro makes industrial desks for hospitals and the prosumer market, who demand high quality and sturdy desks for work. They're a pretty awesome company and a few of the employees even use Windows Phone and visit this site.

Built for abuse

Let's get something out the way. Anthro desks are not the kind of things you go and pickup from Staples or IKEA. While those desks are a great solution for some, the type of desks and equipment that Anthro makes are the ones that last years, if not decades. Because of that they're heavier, more robust, built from fine materials, all in the U.S., and they command a higher price.

The tradeoff for the initial investment is you're getting something that will last you a very long time, and it's not something made from compressed wood held together with plastic screws and glue.

What is the Elevate II Adjusta?

It's a standup desk, but more than that it's fully adjustable. That means this is either a standup desk, or at a touch of button, a regular, sit down desk:

"Dual-surface Elevate II Adjusta is the ultimate standing desk with complete adjustability. Push a button to electrically move the front and back work surfaces simultaneously."

It's also near the top of what you can buy these days for a standup desk on the market.

The Elevate II Adjusta has two levels: the top shelf is for your computers, monitors, etc. while the second is for the keyboard. The desk comes in two sizes, including 48 or 60-inches in length. The one you see in the photos and our video is the big 60-inch version.

Using the online configurator, you can choose which options you want to including finish/color (black, maple, white or wenge) and accessories to meet your needs. For instance, I wanted the massive 16 Outlet Power Bar, which is only available for the 60-inch model. The Power Bar attaches to the back and gives an extensive 16 outlets for all of your gear…it's like tech heaven. You can also add things like a metal cup holder and monitor arms. You can have three 27-inch monitors in place on this desk and it can hold up to 150 lbs in total weight, while still lifting everything.

You can also add a CPU caddy to hold your PC off the ground and attached to the desk. Cables are routed in the back through a wire gutter to keep things neat and organized. In fact, I have just two cables coming off of the desk, including one for the desk itself and the other for the Power Bar. It's a very clean setup.

The desk is powered by two actuators in the legs, and they can raise and lower the desk from 28 to 47 inches high.

The desk arrived in one large box (plus accessories in separate ones) and it required an 18-wheeler for delivery. Granted, the desk itself was not that big, but it won't fit on a UPS truck! I live in an apartment complex though, and I was able to manage it easy enough. Assembly took about two to three hours and was done by myself, except for the flipping of the final product, which required two people for obvious reasons. All in all, it was a simple and flawless experience.

Why a standing desk?

Mobile Nations has a policy: you write a million words, and they buy you a standup desk as a reward. I'm currently up to 1,311,274 words from the last few years of writing. Combined with my recent move and there's no way I'd turn down a new premium battle station. It has made my life easier just due to the space, but I also feel more energetic behind it.

Also, a lot of research has shown that productivity increases when standing, instead of slouching in a chair all day. Likewise, when combined with a gel-mat for your feet, standing desks are better for your back and posture, in addition to keeping you moving all day. If your feet get sore, you can get a foot stand or rocker to help offset the pressure.

Or, if you're tired, just push a button and pull up a seat as you now have a nice 'regular' desk.

Anthro also claims that you burn 172 calories every 60 minutes just by standing, which probably has some truth in it as your legs do a lot more work all day. Anthro classifies all of this under their 'MoveMore' slogan.

Why I like it

The Elevate II Adjust is solidly built. Everything is screwed in with large bolts and hex screws right into the wood. The base is metal as are the keyboard tray arms, which are controlled via a hand-brake mechanism for height and position.

I chose the Maple wood finish which also has a 'smooth comfort edge,' instead of sharp corners. It's some beautiful work, and it's nice not to have something made with particle board in it.

The Elevate Adjusta II is also on wheels (backend) so that I can easily move it around. That's important as the desk weighs…let's just say a lot.

I use the Adjusta II probably 90% of the time standing up. For real intense writing sessions or days when I'm not feeling well I'll use it in the normal sit-down position, but that's the exception.

What I have on it

If you see the photos and the video tour of the desk, you'll notice I have a lot on it, including

  • LG 27-inch HD monitor
  • Dell XPS 27 all-in-one computer with a Wide QHD touchscreen
  • Logitech C920 webcam (moving to C930e this week)
  • Cup holder for drinks
  • Rode podcaster microphone, extension arm and shock mount
  • Razer Deathstalker keyboard
  • Logitech Performance MX mouse
  • Document stand
  • Various phones and chargers within arm's reach
  • Surface 2 and Surface Pro 3

This desk has so much space on it that I have all of that and room to move, leave a camera on the keyboard tray, etc. Plus I'm standing!

Pricing and availability

Take a deep breath: the Anthro Elevate II Adjusta starts at $1849 for the 48-inch width version and heads up to $2099 for the 60-inch Plus edition. Toss in all the accessories, and you're looking at $2700 for the cream of the crop.

Although that may seem a lot, when you consider the cost of the technology on the desk and how much people spend on computers versus real industrial furniture, it's a fair price. Don't forget, all of this is made in the US by a small company out in Oregon, who have been around for 30 years. It is quality equipment, and it commands a high price.

Personally, I think it's totally worth it if you're stuck behind a computer for eight to ten hours a day, five days a week. I can say I work better with it and glad I have it.

There are cheaper solutions out there, even from Anthro. The Elevate II Adjust though has it all, including two levels, large work area, electric movement for raising and lowering and a small cadre of accessories to maximize your work space. So consider this review as starting from the top of what is out there in the market.

All in all, I'm very pleased with the Elevate II Adjusta and if you're considering a really good standing desk, add this one to the top of your list.

Want to learn more? Head to Anthro's website or take a look at the Elevate II Adjusta's page for more information, including their other standing desk models. Their blog also has some neat information on the benefits of standup desks.

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Reader comments

I run WPCentral from the ultimate standing desk

241 Comments

Why not, I bet he also has a Moto x cause its many editors choice phone. Michael from pocketnow he has a Moto x on 1 pocket and a Lumia 1020 on the other.

Daniel occasionally writes for iMore, I think! And also being a editor in chief he really will have to compare various platforms and devices!!

Wow...Daniel, do you listen to the TWiV podcast? (1:48 in the video). Kinda curious since you never said anything about you being a medical guy like me. Also the host of that podcast taught me Virology online.

I do on occasion. I did medical work as a sleep tech for years and minored in biology in college, doing some work in genetics and virology.

Wow I always thought Writers and editors always have only a degree in English before they do a job ;)Just curious, what did you major in Daniel?

Poli Sci; minored in psych and bio. Later went on to do linguistics, and language/brain grad work, including some for the gov't post 9/11 (look up CASL). Later got into sleep medicine at Weill Cornell. I've had an interesting life, lol.

Whaaatt? Seriously I'm very impressed Daniel. Genetics, Virology and Bacteriology are all what I do in the lab. We could link up more Daniel and share thoughts. Wow, thought I was the only Medical-Techy guy here.

These standing desks always remind me of that guy who maid the game "braid" they make you look like the antagonist in a tech movie or something :D

Don't you get tired when you have to prepare such a long article like this one standing? Unmmm you must have a chair hidden by the corner Daniel!!!

lol, I do have a rather nice chair. For the Surface review, I sat for a good chunk of that. So yeah, it's good to change it up and that's the fun part with these desks, you have options!

That's different. Games have greatly evolved over time. Many games require heavy mouse and keyboard use. Can you do those standing up, or you need to pull up a chair?

Calorie claim is the highest I've seen. Better way to say it may be that standing at a desk burns about 20% more calories than sitting at a desk.

Yeah, I think that's a fair re-wording, as we just burn calories by existing and not doing anything. Standing only adds a bit on top of that, so yeah.

Daniel, but don't overdo...you may develop Varicose veins problem due to long hour standing. But I like the idea the table height can be controlled, so you can raise it after sitting for long time on a chair and continue to work standing.

I have to get good shoes that don't mess up my back from standing up all day, before I even think about a stand up desk.

Daniel Good one...interesting...but most interesting thing is still missing wp8.1 ...any news of os update.:crying:

Daniel, sorry but not very impressed. Where is the tread mill in front of the desk, set at a 30 degree incline at top speed?!?! ;-D

In reality of course, I think this in an outstanding (hah) set up!

 

Not everyone will see it like that. I see his setup as being sturdy, efficient, healthy and highly up to date!!!

My setup is the opposite: Not as sturdy...I have no idea where it was manufactured, a wire nightmare as the cable management is not built into the desk, not healthy (many hamburgers have sat next to a Surface) and missing some of the latest hardware.

I have more tech on my desk at work than Daniel has though (a plus and a minus). My setup isn't as nice as his though, I have a standard IT Dept issued, L shaped desk with overhead compartments for storing extra hardware and snacks, dual widescreen monitors, 2x Dell XPS 13 ultrabooks, Dell Venu 8 Pro, Desktop with Windows 8.1 Update, Desktop with Windows 7 and  the Deep Freeze console, Lumia 1020, Lumia 1520, Nexus 5, Nokia 808 PureView, Nokia N8, iPhone 4, iPhone 4s, (sold the 64GB 5s), iPad 4, iPad Air and Galaxay Tab 2. I turned down the option to get a MacBook Air.

All of that tech is on my desk daily, it is like piloting the Starship Enterprise!!! Ultimately, Daniels desk and setup is wonderfully made and contains more up to date tech than what is at my desk (no Surface Pro 3 for me or QHD Monitors). If I could write full time, I could run a pristine shop/website from my desk.

My desk is a normal sit down desk so I am not burning any calories while working,especially with snacks near by. :) I did lose 2 pounds during this get fit month, down to 217lbs!

Great setup Daniel.

 

Brilliant setup. I think not just editors, every programmer should have something like this. You shared a lot of secrets today, thanks. And I came to know mobile nations is a greater community than what I thought.

I think I'll just go for a jog instead. The excercise part of it is meaningless IMHO. The productivity benefits are what interest me. But utlimately seems rather ugly to keep at home in particular if you already have a nice executive style desk setup. I don't know how I'd even fit this thing.

Yup and that's perfectly fine. Everyone has different tastes and goals. I still run for 20-40 minutes a day, but everyone should do that regardless of their desk, imo.

I don't want to sound antagonistic but I'm sure you can find a study about the damage done by standing 8 hours a day :) I used to run a lot and my knees are now paying the price of my "active" life style. will it have been better for me to just sit down all day? I don't know but this stuff isn't so black and white.

Yup, I believe that too. I do C# in my spare time (just for fun, I'm a newbie) and I do feel standing desk is something I'll look for in coming days. Sitting and typing makes one sick, sooner or later. And I'll definitely look into this article when ordering one to create :)

I at least expected to see a set of KRK or PreSonus powered studio speakers on that rig. What do you do for sound?

My opiniong on stand-up desks is...Really?  There are millions of food service professionals that have to stand up for over 8 hours a day and would love to have a job that allows them to sit down and be comfortable.  There are hundreds of additional examples ...Yet us spoiled IT people get a stand-up desk?? "Oh look at me, I'm burning calories by standing up"

Dude, seriously, sit your butt down, be comfortable and if you want to be healthy and exercise go do it, get up and walk around once in a while, go for a quick jog, go to the gym for 30 minutes after work, etc.

What next, a stand-up desk with a built in tread mill right in front of it?

I work out 5 days a week, including cardio and lifting in addition to standing all day.

It's a preference thing. I work better standing up and my back feels better too, both of which are better arguments than you made so far. People who use standup desks do it because they feel better standing, not sitting. It's really that simple. Sitting for 8 hours a day is not better, it's just sloth like.

And yes, people do add treadmills to their standing desks, why not?

"MERCDROID"? DROID?  Go back to your DROID forums and make your comments there you sloth, maybe you can win a free DROID there for making butt-kissing comments, "LOL!"

I actually use Windows Phone, so, I'm not going anywhere. You know what? I'll just apologize now. My comment was out of line.

The average person is not having issues finding enough "rest time" these days.  People already spend ~8 hours per day in bed and probably at least a few more hours parked in front of a TV or driving a car.  Another 8 hours sitting in a chair during work is not helping the situation. 

 

One thing I have noticed about people that "don't get" the concepts of a healthy lifestyle is that they are usually really out of shape and unhealthy.  It's not a coicidence.  Recently, while on vacation, I mentioned the gym at the hotel we were staying in.  One of the people in our group said, "I don't understand why people work out on vacation.  I have been more active on this trip than I am in my normal life."  She is at least 100 lbs overweight and we had been doing nothing but lounging around on the beach and eating since we had been there.

I think I'm going to have to agree with Daniel on this one and say that yeah I guess it's a matter of preference.  Although I may think it's realy weird to have a standing desk and a treadmill in front of it and that I would rather go to the gym seperately after work some people enjoy it and feel like they're multi-tasking and I guess they're feet don't hurt from standing for so long, more power to them ;)

As far as your buddy who complains about people who exercise during vacation, if he exercises when he's not on vacation then his opinion stands ground but if he never lifts a finger and also complains about vacation exercise then that's no good :)

+1 As someone that actually just moved from a desk job, I can say that I would have loved to have had a standing desk. I would try to stand as much as possible; but, when it came time to pound furiously into the keyboard, I'd have to sit down, and I would instantly become tired. But, there's no way the Coast Guard would spend that amount on standing desks. Hell, only a few people actually have one. And, they were lucky to get them.

You should read the studies about the health detriments of extended sitting.  Outside of smoking five packs a day, there's very little else that is so damaging than sitting all day long (even if you do exercise).

I agree but I didn't really mean sitting uninterrupted for 8 hours a day.  I meant getting up and moving about and around your office whenever you get the chance, after all, you gotta take some breaks, lunch breaks, water breaks, snack breaks, maybe walk around and talk with a co-worker, etc.  plenty of opportunities to move about without totally throwing out your chair and getting a standing desk

True, very true. This is what I was doing. It's a lot cheaper than plopping 2100 bones on a standing desk, that's for sure.

You can not smoke five packs a day. And you don't sit all day long no matter what you do for living. Your comment is stupid, hopefully you are not.

Are the monitors at that height really comfortable when standing, you have to look down to them. Is that the ideal height for you or you are not able to raise it? The LG monitor is a better height, but the dell looks pretty low in the video.

Wow this is quite timely. Moving into a new house (with a new office!) this month and I have been thinking about a standing desk. This one is a bit too bank-busting for me, unfortunately, but I like seeing what lives at the top of this particular food chain... Thanks for sharing it!
I'm probably just going to build one that's standing height always and just get a barstool or something for when I need to sit.

Great review.  I noticed that you still are looking down to see your monitor. Is that what is recommended?   I know that standing desktops are recommended to be at a level where your elbows are almost at a 90-degree bend when on the keyboard. I thought monitors were supossed to be up closer to eye level.  

 

Anyway...checking out their site now...

You get one of those for free and you'll be bragging too. Safe to assume the hardware is (mostly) free as well.

Well, the desk is paid for as is most of that hardware, though it mostly comes through our company budget. The Dell XPS 27 though I bought myself.

Posessions are not. Health is! So posessions that improve health, keep Daniel around longer and lower what it costs for his company to keep him make sense. Who is that not good for?

I spy a Palm webOS USB cable. I love seeing those around and Palm was wicked smart in creating a USB cable that is recoginzable at a glance much like Apple's White USB cables. It's the small things. 

Sweet setup btw!

I'm sure its a great desk, but there's no way it's happening for $1,850.  Dang.  I am looking at getting an elevated desk for my home office but there's no way I can justify spending that much.

Totally understandable, like I said, this is at the top of the end. There are plenty of options that are cheaper, but this at least gets your started on where you can max out.

+MS 4000 Ergo

I would buy three as soon as I could if they only existed :(   With a desk like that, an ergo would be perfect.

I use a Razer BlackWidow 2013 ( Cherry MX blue ). Awesome feedback when typing and playing games ( although my friends complain it is too loud especially when we skype ). You could check that out. Awesome typing, albeit noisy keyboard !

I could do that here and have thought about it, but (1) I do run most days (2) I think it'd be hard to type/walk, or rather that's my concern...

I could though add a mini treadmill to this desk with ease, and may look into it at some point.

Comments like this makes me thank my god I'm not an American - it's even funnier to laugh at stupidity from across the Big Pond. Treadmill office desk, wtf?

Neat desk. Wish I had one because I do find myself having to get up and walk around for a bit if, say I work on a long assignment otherwise I get frustrated.

Thanks for sharing this, Daniel.  I have been looking into standing desks recently.  I didn't expect to come across more info on WPCentral so that was a nice surprise. 

Daniel, how are you able to get a dual screen using a surface? Are you using a specific dock station with two outputs for screen? I am in the process of setting up my workstation and I would really appreciate your input.

The law of attraction at work hehe, I was looking at stand up electronic desks last week, im in the UK though and not too many of them deliver here.  Anyone know of any great desks  like this in the UK, im after 10 of them.

Welcome to 15 years ago. Big companies have been using "sit-stands" for over a decade and even those combined with a treadmill for a "walk-station" for several years.

Good for you for finally getting with the time :D

I use a stand up desk at my office and am going to set my home office up with one as well.  Even progoming feels great when i can stand and type then quickly pull up a hight chair when needed.

Seriously, this has aided in getting fit at the office.  I had the idea after going to clients office and seeing his auto rise/lower desk.  I was blown away.  After setting mine up, my carple tunnle and minor back problems alivieated.  This along with drinking lots of water and exercising at work on breaks (skating, sprinting, jump roping, lundges,ect not all in one break... just variety.) .  I put away 30lbs that even though I am active, long hours working keep on. 

The office/job is a place that people can easily get out of shape doing...  Snacking and sitting is just not cool.  I take the stairs, not the elevator, and walk the long way when possible.

Nice setup Daniel.  I look forward to this time of the year and the community outreach you all re doing... Honesly, WPCentral is one of my most vistited places online and the community, the editor, the bloggers/journalist are second to none!  Even thought we are all partial to microsoft, this is the most pleasant tech community I am proud to be on... MacRumors... the worst... 

Nice! Glad to hear your experience, thanks for sharing and glad you had a nice little life change there!

And thanks for visiting, we hope to keep writing interesting stories.

Fantastic looking setup Daniel. I'm jealous. 

Planning a move in the next few years and have been thinking about standing desk for new office. I work from home and sit at desk at least 10 hours/day. Try to break it up every few hours, but I think an adjustable standing desk would do wonders for my back.

If I post 1,000,000 words in comments, do you think Mobile Nations will pay for mine?

For some people, definitely. The point was mostly to introduce regular people to standing desks. There are much cheaper options, with less features, that you can buy on a budget.

Nice video! I didn't even know those desk existed. I'm young and I already have back problems, I will check those out for sure 

Anyone have any links to alternative desks?  I am assuming there are some less expensive versions out there.  The one feature I really like is the ability to raise the desk up and down and the wire gutter / power strip on the backside.

Our sister site Connectedly should be doing a roundup soon, and hopefully one of those will fit what you're looking for. I'll make sure to have something affordable included with different price ranges.

Nice use of state of the art, Microsoft technologies. I'm getting tired, just looking at the desk though. I think better when I sit.

After reading all the comments, I must say, man you're Awesome :)
Keeps me entertained on the web every day, very interesting to read and have faith in Windows Phone haha :) like an idol :)

Daniel, as an Oregonian, thanks for pronouncing Oregon (Ore-gun) the correct way. So many people in the midwest and east coast pronounce it incorrectly by saying Ory-gon ....drives me nuts :)

It's a nice desk but for $2000 you could buy a lot more elsewhere that would basically do the same job.  You could also buy an old school chair for when you want to relax.

 

I do like the ability to raise and lower it via controls but I'm not sure how useful that is when you find a good level.  I guess it comes in handy when you want to show people why it costs so much.

I'm not so sure of that. Most standing desks I've seen aren't dual level, nor built with such good material.

I do leave it raised most of the time, but the touch of the button lowering for longer days is appreciated.

The Stir desk does less for size but costs much more.

Dual monitors are overrated. Just get a 44" 4K tv and use software to make it 4 21" monitors on one screen... It rocks

Nice desk, Daniel! :) I also considered buying an Anthro (i.e., the Elevate Corner model) for my desk at home just a couple of weeks ago too but decided to hack a Conset 501-11 1B116 instead. Indeed, I do want it to fit perfectly with a larger desk set-up. And since I won't place that sit-stand desk against a wall, I'll therefore need to completely hide those cables and modify it somehow . Also, I want it on wheels to as I'd like to be able to move it around. So, while I'm waiting for the desk to be delivered I did a quick 3D work and here is a little sketch about how my set-up will look (along with my screens and a SP3) when I'm done :

    

So...Anthro is a fine company, but if you want the truth about the best sit-to-stand experience, you need to visit www.hermanmiller.com.

 

Standing all day is bad...sitting all day is bad...it's the combination of the two that provide the best health benefits.  It's about movement.

 

Check this out.  http://www.hermanmiller.com/products/tables/conference-tables/renew-sit-...

 

Intuitive height adjustment (no up/down arrows), best in class power and wire management, and the best top to bottom designed base out there (no sharp metal edges, exposed screws, etc.)

I love the setup but at 2700 bucks, my desk will have a recliner with a fridge. ala, George Costanza.  lol.

i ahve a standing desk from ikea that cost about 150.00.  I fitted it with a bed riser to get it higher because I'm tall.  iTS PRETTY much a basic desk that has adjustable legs.

Daniel I think you hit a forum nerve with this review of your desk and the things you did and do..

Thanks for sharing with "us" your faithful windows users..1520.3 on the way,in the mean while Nokia icon to hold me over.

This is a pretty impressive set up. I have a similar set up at home but I find when I travel I am forced to use a chair on a desk or a bench. The issue is that I find I get a sore neck from looking down at my laptop. My father who is an MD also has the same issue and decided to built a portable version. I hope you don't mind me posting the link http://zestdesk.com/ 

Seems like the adjustable keyboard surface cantilevers pretty far from the legs.  Does it cause any instability while typing?  Does it make you overly conscious about not leaning to hard on that surface?