In this Maidesite SC1 Pro standing desk review, I report back on my experience with this pro-level, electric standing desk, which is height adjustable. The benefits of a standing desk have been much lauded recently, with reports claiming that spending more time standing up can do wonders for your back, shoulders and neck health. Since working from home has become more mainstream, there's a wealth of desk options around, with a huge range of price points. There are sitting down desks (how quaint), desks you manually rise (with a lever) and motorised desks (like this one). Which one you go for depends on your preference – and your budget.
I was already accustomed to bobbing up and down during my work day as I'd been using a standing desk converter for around a year already (one of those plastic trays you pop on top of your desk, if you didn't know). So honestly, I was a little skeptical about any benefits I could possibly gain from upgrading to a full standing desk. But I got one anyway, and put one to the test.
Want more choices? See this guide to the best standing desks around.
- Buy the Maidesite SC1 Pro here
Maidesite SC1 Pro: assembly
The desk arrived in two separate, very heavy, deliveries. One contained the sold steel frame, and the other had the parts for the top and the fixings. Given the scale of the desk, it's no surprise there was an abundance of parts but they were clearly grouped and labelled.
Note: When the second box arrived, there was a hole in the top and some screws were missing. As far as I know, this was the fault of the delivery company and Maidesite were incredibly helpful getting the parts out to me quickly via tracked delivery.
Easy to understand instructions are vital and these were straightforward, with clear pictures and generally well-written text. If I was being picky, I'd say the parts were labelled in a slightly complicated way but it didn't slow us down, and the build was completed in about 25 minutes. All the parts fitted together perfectly, with no manipulation (the holy grail of flat pack), and they felt solid from the outset.
Maidesite SC1 Pro: design and features
Once I'd rearranged the spare room to accommodate the desk (do make sure you measure your space, folks), I popped my monitor, keyboard and laptop on top, with the wires feeding through the handy cable management slot at the back. The desk comes with cable ties to hold the wires together, which is a nice touch. Given the 160cm x 75cm dimensions, I then had to hold back from searching for other things to pop on to fill the expanse.
If you can manage it in your space, the ample size makes this the perfect choice for creative work. It means your endless tools, files, second (or third) screens, notebooks and pieces of paper can have their own designated spots, and you can switch from task to task without shuffling things around constantly.
Dimensions: 160cm x 70cm
Height range: 72cm - 120cm
Load capacity: 120kg
Material: Solid steel frame, unspecified wood, plastic
Colour: 'Retro' (brown and black)
Mechanism: Electric (dual motor)
The desk looks pretty swish, with the shiny walnut ends offset by the black plastic middle of the top. It feels smooth and glossy on the ends and the general vibe made me feel a bit Don Draper-esque (which is never a bad thing). The SC2 Pro only comes in this colour palette (named 'retro'), which is a shame as it's quite a bold, heavy look that may not suit everyone. I would have appreciated a lighter option for my home office-cum-spare bedroom if it had been possible.
On the side sits a small box with an LCD screen, which displays the height of the desk. This is adorned with five buttons labelled one to four, and an 'm' button, which programs the buttons at the desired height. This little box also has a USB port at the side, perfect for charging your phone (or whatever you want, obviously). This is appreciated as you won't have to go crawling under the desk to get to the plug point (it's quite a long way back to the wall).
Maidesite SC1 Pro: performance
After a couple of weeks using the desk, I'm really impressed by the way it works. Even my four year-old was immediately able to use the arrows to set it at her desired height by keeping the up or down arrow pressed down. When the desk is moving, it is buttery-smooth and it's really responsive. The height range is vast (from 72cm to 120cm), suiting my child, me (at 5 ft 5in) and the other 6ft 2in resident of the house just fine. (In case you don't want your child tinkering with it, it does also have a child lock and an anti-collision system to keep everyone, and everything, safe.)
You'll need to have a little play around to find out which heights work best for you for both sitting and standing. Once I had, programming was super-easy, with just a touch of the 'm' button on the desired number setting the height. The four programs mean you could be sharing the desk with someone else and still be able to each have a preferred sit and stand position. You can even use the LCD screen to set a 'stand up, please' reminder every 30 minutes, one hour or two hours so there's no excuse for being sedentary.
Whereas my standing desk converter was always a little bit wobbly when typing, this is totally solid under my fingertips. Plus, it feels so reliable moving it up and down there's never any fear of an equipment accident. Since I used to use a separate tray for my keyboard and mouse (under the monitor), it now feels luxurious to have my hands working at the same level – and nicely spread out, too.
Maidesite SC1 Pro: pricing and models
The Maidesite Sc1 Pro is priced at £549/$699, and can currently be bought directly from Maidesite. In the UK, it's the second-biggest model the company manufactures (the SC2 Pro gives you even more space, coming in at 180cm x 80 cm, but that doesn't exist in the US). The price puts it somewhere in the middle of standing desk options, but for the size it's not over-the-top expensive. Plus, at time of writing, Maidesite has a 19 per cent discount running, bringing it down to £449/$599.
As mentioned, there isn't a choice of colour or material for this model but Maidesite does sell a range of smaller desks, which do come in a range of materials and colours (for the frames and the desktops, which are also sold separately). So if you don't need the space, you can choose a different set of colours, such as white, bamboo and grey (and cut the price in half, too). Many of these options are available from third-party retailers, like Amazon (see below).
Maidsite SC1 Pro: Should you buy it?
If you need a lot of space to work, it's hard to imagine how a desk could do more for you. It's well-designed, beautifully constructed and works like a dream. The colour palette may not be for everyone (it's more suited to a studio or actual office rather than a softly decorated spare bedroom), but it is still attractive to look at.
Given the quality, I recommend looking at Maidesite's other desk offerings if you need something slightly less imposing as there is a lot of choice, and at price points in line with other products at the lower end of the market.
And if, like me, you were using a standing desk converter and are hesitating about committing to the full standing desk, I highly recommend you take the leap. It's way less cramped and much less faff, which add up to a much more pleasant working experience.
Read more: HAG Capisco 8106 chair review