Officeworks Otto Newhaven Standing Desk Review: Bargain Buy?

Is this standing desk worth $499?

4.9
(33)

(33 votes, average: 4.9 out of 5)


Last updated: 14th Jun 2024

officeworks standing desk

Last updated: 14th Jun 2024

Reading Time: 5 minutes

While browsing through my local Officeworks, I spotted an attractive, reasonably priced standing desk. It offered a compact (120 X 60 cm) desktop with a tray, front-mounted charging ports, and an 8-year warranty. All for $499. What’s not to like?

By the way, an almost identical standing desk also sells under the Flexispot Comhar brand name globally, and is also available in Australia. The main differences are:

  • Different choice of desktop colours.
  • Addition of a crossbar between the legs.
ProsCons
Attractive Looks. Modern design will elevate your home office.Flimsy Frame. The standing desk sways and wobbles a lot, especially side-to-side.
Built-In Height Control Panel. Adds to the desk’s modern, minimalist look.Particle Board Desktop. Very much Ikea grade.
Low Price. Almost half the price of premium standing desks like UpDown and Desky.Single Motor. A dual-motor setup is expected at this price point.

Disclaimer.

Unlike my other standing desk reviews, this one is based on observations I collected in the Officeworks shop. I did not purchase this desk. Instead, I spent about 30 minutes at Officeworks studying its features, raising and lowering it and doing my best to assess its usability.

Reasons To Buy The Officeworks Otto Newhaven Standing Desk.

While not without serious flaws (which I’ll discuss below), the desk does have redeeming features that we need to discuss.

1. Attractive Design.

Above: the tapered legs look nice, but the thickness of the sheet metal in the legs is a concern.

Let’s be honest – most standing desks look the same. You get two metal telescopic legs, a desktop and a controller.

The Officeworks Otto Newhaven follows the same well-worn recipe but breaks new ground with a front-mounted, integrated controller and a drawer built into the desktop.

This gives the desk a decidedly fresh, modern look.

Tapered legs are also a nice touch, adding to the desk’s soft, friendly appearance.

2. Built-In Drawer.

Above: I placed a packet of A4 paper into the tray to help you see its dimensions.

I love this thing. Every standing desk I’ve owned had a drawer that hung to the side of the desktop like an afterthought.

And all of them – except the UpDown Pro model – have been ugly.

The Officeworks Otto Newhaven desk solves the storage issue by building the storage drawer into the desk.

Usability definitely suffers, as the drawer is quite shallow and will struggle to accommodate anything more than a book, a couple of notepads and pens.

Expert Tip.

I suggest you avoid stuffing your desk drawer with junk, and only use it for items you use frequently. If you have a lot of stuff, get a 3-drawer pedestal (about $250-$300) and keep it by the side of your standing desk.

3. Front-Mounted Charging Ports.

Above: You get four height presets, two USBs and a digital height readout.

Most standing desk designs either lack USB charging ports or bolt them to the rear of the desktop using 3rd party accessories.

Officeworks’ Otto Newhaven, meanwhile, allows you to charge your phone and accessories via two front-mounted ports: one USB-A and the other USB-C.

I like this setup because it makes the ports easier to access and reduces clutter on your desk.

Nothing ruins the look of your minimalist desk setup faster than a couple of charging cables running across your desktop.

Reasons To Avoid The Officeworks Otto Newhaven Standing Desk.

As you may have suspected, despite its attractive design and fancy electronics, the Otto Newhaven has left me with a bad impression. Let’s discuss its major flaws.

1. Wobbly Legs.

Above: The desk wobbled even at this relatively modest height.

Sturdiness is the #1 priority for people who buy standing desks. Unfortunately, the Newhaven desk fails this test miserably.

Important!

The frame feels flimsy, with thin stamped sheet metal all around, resulting in noticeable wobble. Side-to-side movement is especially pronounced and is obvious even at moderate heights.

The chunky desktop exacerbates the issue by creating a high centre of gravity.

Yes, it’s true that all desks wobble a little bit due to tolerances built into their telescopic leg mechanisms, but the Newhaven is by far the wobbliest desk I’ve ever come across.

Even the $270 Artiss standing desk (my pick for the best cheap standing desk) is considerably more sturdy.

2. Single Motor.

Above: a single motor is not a deal-breaker, but I expect to see dual motors at the $500 price point.

Again, comparing it to the Artiss, the budget $270 Artiss model has a solo motor, but its premium $380 variant has dual motors.

The single motor design significantly limits Newhaven’s weightlifting ability, which is capped at a measly 50kg.

Remember that maximum load weight capacity is a useful proxy measure for the desk’s endurance and longevity.

Even if you don’t exceed the maximum weight rating, the motor will have to work much harder to lift the weight than dual motors on a desk rated at 150kg.

How The Officeworks Otto Newhaven Desk Stacks Up.

Compared to other standing desks on the Australian market, the Officeworks Otto Newhaven is a mediocre product.

Price2/5
Build Quality2/5
Aesthetics4/5
Cable Management3.5/5
Ease of Assembly4/5
Extra Features4/5
Warranty & Returns4/5
OVERALL3.4

Technical Specifications:

  • Desktop size: 120 X 60cm
  • Warranty: 8 years.
  • Metal finish: powder coating.
  • Minimum height: 72cm.
  • Maximum height: 122cm.
  • Maximum load: 50 kg.

My Verdict On The Officeworks Otto Newhaven Standing Desk.

The Officeworks Otto Newhaven (aka Flexispot Comhar) standing desk is the queen of mediocrity. The $499 price point is hard to justify when the desk wobbles as much as it does and can only lift 50kg with its single motor.

However, I’m prepared to give it some concessions because of its attractive design, integrated controls and USB charging ports.

Its particle board desktop surface is typical Ikea-grade stuff. It is reasonably OK to the touch, but nothing exciting.

Meanwhile, the desk’s compact 120X60 desktop size makes it most suitable for apartment buildings and small home offices. Don’t expect the desk to accommodate two people, or a lot of equipment.

Steven

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