The Nolan Standing Desk comes from Fully, an American company that specialises in standing desks and ergonomic furniture. Unlike 99% of all the other standing desks that they sell – and that are on sale elsewhere – the Nolan standing desk is ever-so-slightly different. But it's this slight design tweak that gives the Nolan its edge in the world of standing desks. It's got four legs instead of the standard two.
Now, this may sound like hyperbole. After all, two legs, four legs... what's the difference?! Well, if you're aesthetically minded, want the very best quality materials available, and value sturdiness, the Nolan's classic design makes all the difference, especially when placed in a home office that's been purposefully curated. Good design is often simple design, and the Nolan standing desk (opens in new tab) is a great example of this.
But is it worth the money? You will have to pay a premium price for this premium standing desk. And it's not perfect. There are a couple of things that had this writer slightly confounded. Read on for the full Nolan standing desk review, from construction to using the Nolan for several weeks as my main work desk.
Want to play the field and see the competition? See our guide to the best standing desks around.
Nolan Standing Desk: Assembly
The Fully Nolan Standing Desk is one of the easiest standing desks to put together I've ever used. Coming in two, heavy boxes, I was expecting loads of bits and pieces, with plenty of time scratching my head at an involved assembly leaflet. Not a bit of it.
As you can partially see from the work-in-progress photo above, there are four frame pieces of metal that sit under the desktop, then four legs, a motor and wires. And that's it! The heavy metal frame slots together easily, with a few turns of the Allen key/Phillips screwdriver hybrid that's provided.
I put this together by myself, though it is advised that two people do it. And that makes sense. Although there aren't many pieces to contend with, the frame is heavy (the bamboo desktop, not so much), and as you construct it upside down, it takes effort to lift the frame to place on top of the upside-down desktop).
By myself, and with a couple of false starts where I put the frame together with one piece facing the wrong way, the construction took me 35 minutes. With two people I think that could be reduced quite a bit.
Nolan Standing Desk: Design and features
Each of the Nolan standing desk legs have two moving parts to them and one motor, but come as one straight out of the box. And though they are pretty heavy, they are less bulky and hefty than the two-legged standing desks (which you often have to construct yourself). So, straight out of the box, there's a simplicity to the construction, as well as the design of the Nolan.
Once you've got the desk up (or down), it looks amazing. Sure, as you can see by my photos, I haven't yet used the wire organisers for all my desktop devices, but the actual wire that comes with the Nolan is discreetly tucked in the underside of the desk. Sitting and standing at the desk for the last month, I enjoy the look of the desk from afar and love the desktop up close.
At 120cm wide and 80cm deep, the Nolan desktop is the deepest desk I've worked at, and I love that. Previously, I've had to carefully organise my speakers, monitor and laptop, plus lamps and PS4, which didn't leave me with much room for my keyboard and mouse. With the extra depth of the Nolan, it all feels a lot roomier. My mouse hand isn't hitting into anything, there's plenty of room for me to bring my monitor up closer to the edge, should I want to get my game on, and the speakers have plenty of room and don't sound muffled at all.
Dimensions: 120cm x 80cm
Height range: 67cm - 115cm
Load capacity: 170kg
Material: Steel frame, Moso bamboo, plastic
Frame colours: White and black
Desktop colours: Bamboo (reviewed model), black, walnut, white
Mechanism: Four motors in telescopic legs
As the Nolan has four motors in its telescopic legs, the movement from sitting to standing is smooth. But here comes one of my issues with the Nolan. Having previously used the Flexispot E7 standing desk (opens in new tab) , I was used to lowering the desk to way lower than the Nolan can go (67cm) – ideal for resting my legs up when gaming (though probably not ideal for my posture).
On the flip side, the Flexispot was able to go way higher than the Nolan does. Now, as a 5'10 person, the 115cm max height of the Nolan is fine for me. But if you're 6' plus, you may want to think whether the Nolan can offer you the ideal height.
The final gripe I have with the Nolan is that for all European models, you will have to keep your finger on the height-adjustment buttons until the desk has reached your required level. Now, that's not exactly the end of the world, but when thinking about buying a piece of furniture for over $1,000, every detail counts. For customers in the USA, this doesn't seem to be an issue. This, basically, is why this Nolan standing desk review is a four-and-a-half-star review rather than a five.
Nolan Standing Desk: Performance
After a few weeks of using the Nolan, I still feel that it's a top-quality product that's as smooth in its movements as it first was out of the box. And that'll be thanks to having four separate motors. The light bamboo desktop still looks beautiful, and I'm still revelling in the added depth of desktop I get with the Nolan.
I've also gotten used to keeping my finger on the handset to adjust the height. And talking of that handset, I still really like how it's set into the desktop, as previous standing desks had the handset jutting out from under the desk, which often got nudged when I was moving my knees to change posture. No such problem here.
The other thing that several weeks of using this desk has taught me is just how sturdy the Nolan is. My previous standing desk could get taller than the Nolan, but I'd find that when I absent-mindedly lent against it at max height, there would be a slight sway. There's no such give with the Nolan. With its four pillars, whether it's low or high, the Nolan always feels ultra-sturdy.
Nolan Standing Desk: Pricing and models
As mentioned, the Nolan is a premium piece of furniture, and the price conveys that. the starting price is $1,299/£1,199, and that's for 'smaller' 120cm x 80cm desktop. Add another $100/£90 if you want the slightly larger 160cm x 80cm top.
However, Fully is currently offering some savings on its new Nolan standing desk, knocking the price down from $1,299 to $1,169.10 over in the US.
Should you buy Fully's Nolan Standing Desk?
Fully's Nolan standing desk is a beautiful piece of furniture, with a number of awesome design elements to it that are both simple and elegant. In short, I can fully (sorry) recommend it to any creative that invests in beauty as much as their health. But there is the max height of 115cm, which may be too low for the very tall amongst you out there, and the annoying fact that you have to keep your finger on the height-adjusting handset (if you buy in Europe, that is – US, you're fine!)
Those slight niggles out of the way, the Nolan is the best standing desk I've ever used, and I think for those who want a standing desk that doesn't look like a standing desk, but looks like an elegant desktop, and are fine with the price tag, it's a no-brainer.