I have been using the UpDown Desk Pro Series for the past 1 year. It’s one of the best standing desks in Australia, and today, I’ll share my daily experience of using it as a daily driver. I’ll give you several reasons to buy it – and tell you a few reasons you may want to look elsewhere.
I am not interested in writing another generic review of the UpDown Pro series.
Therefore, I won’t dwell on features covered by other reviewers and are, frankly, expected in the price segment that UpDown Pro competes in. For example:
- Anti-collision features.
- Dual motors.
- Speed of movement.
Instead of covering this well-worn ground, I want to dig into more nuanced aspects of ownership and answer the real question – is the UpDown Pro worth your money?
5 Things I Love About the UpDown Pro.
There’s a lot to like.
Apart from the 100-day, 100% risk-free trial period that covers your entire investment (including the cost of return shipment if you choose to send the desk back), the UpDown Pro has several features that make it very enticing.
Shown in photo: first-person view of my UpDown Pro series with a New Messmate desktop.
1. Build Quality Of The Frame.
The first thing you notice about the UpDown Pro standing desk is how reassuringly heavy and solid its metal frame is. This is a welcome change in a world full of flimsy, disposable office furniture
The frame feels as bulletproof as the steel bullbar bolted to the front of my 4WD.
Shown in photo: you’re greeted by solid steel beams and satisfyingly chunky legs as soon as you open the cardboard boxes.
Because of this chunky frame, the desk has a low centre of gravity, which helps it remain very sturdy.
It’s rock solid at all heights.
There is a minor amount of movement at the tallest heights. In my experience, even the best standing desks wobble a little when fully extended. You can’t cheat engineering – the telescopic arms need tiny gaps between them to move without jamming.
2. Gorgeous Hardwood Desktop.
I’m a big fan of modern wood furniture and have a long history of buying hardwood dining tables for my homes.
Aesthetics aside, I don’t like standing desks made from cheap particle board – or even soft woods – because I like to clamp equipment to my desktop, and I don’t want to worry about things breaking, sagging or creating indents.
Shown in photo: the New Messmate desktop is full of naturally occurring dark streaks and knots that add up to create a striking, interesting desktop.
My UpDown Pro standing desk is optioned with a New Messmate desktop, so this is the only one I can speak about from first-hand experience.
If New Messmate wasn’t available, I’d choose one of the other hardwoods. Keep reading to see my top 5 wood picks in the UpDown range.
When assembling your UpDown Pro, you can choose which side of your desktop will face up. One side of mine was very clean-looking while the other was quite dramatic. Predictably, I chose the latter one as my top side.
3. Bulletproof Electronics.
After hearing horror stories of cheap standing desks seizing halfway due to motor failure, I’m happy to report that no such gremlins exist in the UpDown Pro.
Remember that Simpsons episode where Homer discovers an electronic bed?
This pretty much sums up my experience with the UpDown Pro. I raise and lower it a few times daily, and it’s never missed a beat.
Four memory presets are surprisingly useful. I use all of them and have programmed them like this:
- 1: Ergonomic seated position (wrists are parallel with the desk).
- 2: Meetings / pondering / management mode.
- 3: Ergonomic standing position (wrists are parallel with the desk).
- 4: Max height (leaning an elbow into the desk).
The motors make noise while the desk operates but are not harsh or intrusive.
4. Attractive Metal Drawer.
This is a must-have accessory. Trust me on this one. Costing only $149, it removes all clutter from your desktop.
UpDown’s metal drawer is the opposite.
Shown in photo: the lockable metal drawer is both attractive and highly practical.
Its floating design elevates the overall appearance of your home office while soft close motion and a padded bottom make it pleasant to interact with.
5. Adjustable Feet.
The stability of your standing desk is very important, making adjustable feet on each corner a welcome touch. They allow you to fine-tune the height of each leg if your floors are uneven.
- I live in a new building with tiled floors, so my desk sits level without needing adjustments.
- In my old house, however (a terrace with old wooden floorboards), I would have needed to use this feature to its fullest potential.
3 Things I Don’t Like About The UpDown Desk.
While I mostly love the UpDown Pro sit-stand desk, 1 year of solid use has highlighted a few opportunities for improvement.
1. No Integrated Power Boards Underneath.
You don’t get any integrated power outlets under the desk.
UpDown will sell you a metal cable tray for $49 that you can mount under the desk (it’s another must-have accessory, by the way), and you will be able to stash your power board inside it.
Also, large power bricks like – the ones from the latest MacBook Pro – will struggle to fit inside the tray altogether.
Shown in photo: the cable tray is large enough to stash your power boards and cables, but will struggle to fit large power bricks.
2. Desktop Power Rail Isn’t For Everyone.
This is a useful accessory for a hot-desking environment where people constantly plug and unplug their devices.
You’ll also find it useful if you frequently unplug your laptop’s power brick (e.g. because you work from home but travel frequently).
Shown in photo: my MacBook Pro’s large power brick draws power from the desktop-mounted power board.
In my use case, where I keep devices almost permanently plugged in, it simply adds clutter to the desktop. Yes, it gives me a power point within easy reach, but I rarely use it.
- In fact, I only use it because – you guessed it – the monster MacBook Pro power brick doesn’t fit inside the cable tray underneath.
At $199, it’s also probably the world’s most expensive power board, although the cool wedge-shaped design does take some of the financial sting away.
- Give us an integrated power supply under the desk, UpDown! Combined with a set of grommet holes, it would be the ideal power supply solution.
3. You May Need A Power Drill.
The downside of hardwood is that it can be difficult to put screws into – if you hit a wood imperfection known as a knot.
Alas, this is what happened when I was assembling my desk.
I had no trouble screwing the desktop to the frame using a screwdriver, but the screws that hold up the metal drawer hit a few knots, and I had to borrow a power drill to complete the job.
How Does UpDown Pro Compare Against Other Desks?
The marketplace is getting crowded, so you, as the consumer, have a lot of choices.
I’ve written a comprehensive review of the best standing desks in Australia that you may want to delve into when you have 20+ minutes to spare, but for the moment, let’s do a rapid 5-minute analysis of how the Updown Pro stacks up against the competition.
UpDown Desk vs Desky.
Desky is a fantastic Aussie company that sells top-quality standing desks. They offer a wide range of wood colours and desktop sizes similar to UpDown.
- Desky frames weigh about 5kg less, suggesting they don’t use as much metal in their construction.
However, Desky range of accessories is far better than that of UpDown, and it offers the all-important integrated power tray (with up to 8 sockets!)
- While Desky doesn’t offer risk-free trials, it’s rapidly expanding its network of stockists across Australia, so you can see and touch its desks before you buy one.
With 4 locations in Queensland, 4 in NSW and 1 in Victoria, there’s a decent chance that there’s a Desky retailer not far from you.
UpDown Desk vs Artiss.
The main selling point of Artiss standing desks is that they are affordable. You can pick one up for about $500.
However, they are nowhere near as well-made as UpDown Pro desks.
- With a weight rating of 100 kg (vs UpDown’s 160 kg), the Artiss will probably do a good job for a few years, then end up at the tip.
- The UpDown Pro, meanwhile, will be a desk you buy for life.
Artiss’ colour choices are pretty old-school, too. You get a light and a dark colour option; the light reminds me of inexpensive school furniture, while the dark one has “old man” vibes.
To sum up, it’s a practical standing desk for practical people.
You won’t be very excited by it, but it won’t blow the budget and will probably last for some time – as long as you don’t push it too hard.
UpDown Desk vs EverDesk.
Less expensive and with fewer desktop colour options, EverDesk prides itself on a very smart cable management system that locates all your cables at the rear of the desk, in a dedicated channel.
- Its controller is the most modern-looking of all desks on the market – and can be programmed to move you up and down automatically throughout the day.
- If your home office space is very small, EverDesk is a great choice – because it offers some of the most compact desktop sizes on the market.
Compared with UpDown Pro, they’re up to 15cm less deep, with the following sizes available:
- 120 X 60cm
- 140 X 60cm
- 160 X 70cm
UpDownn Desk vs Stand Desk.
A relative newcomer to the Australian market, Stand Desk offers a few unique features.
For example, its desktop includes a built-in wireless charger, so you have one less cable cluttering your workspace.
With a strong focus on sustainability, the brand only offers Bamboo desktops (albeit in 3 colours).
Frequently Asked Questions About The UpDown Desk.
Here are some questions you’re probably asking yourself. Hopefully, I can provide the answer.
What Is The Warranty Like?
The UpDown Pro comes with a 10-year warranty on the frame and 5 years on the desktop. This is one of the best warranties in the business, and it shows that UpDown is confident in the quality of its products.
Does The Desktop Scratch Easily?
Not easily, but you will begin to notice minor wear if you don’t use a desktop mat. I purchased mine from Minimalist Desk Setups.
Apart from preventing scratches, it elevates the desktop’s appearance by creating a central focal point.
Is The The UpDown Desk Easy To Assemble?
Yes. The desk comes with clear instructions and all the necessary hardware.
You will, however, need to supply your own Philips head screwdriver. As I mentioned earlier, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that you’ll need to use a power drill.
- If you’ve never assembled a standing desk before, expect the process to take longer than the 20-30 minute stated estimate from UpDown.
I took my time while listening to a podcast, and it took me just under 1.5 hours.
What Are The Accessories Like?
UpDown offers quite a few accessories that you can use to build an ergonomic, comfortable and practical home office.
As a bare minimum, I recommend that you purchase:
- Anti-fatigue mat ($99)
- Metal drawer ($149)
- Cable holes and grommets ($84)
- Cable tray ($49)
- Cable management kit ($25)
I noticed that UpDown includes some of these at no extra charge during certain promotions; if you see one, jump on to it.
A lot of aftermarket accessories are available beyond the UpDown ecosystem. Search for “standing desk accessories” on Google and watch your money disappear 🙂
What Is The Customer Service Like?
I honestly haven’t needed to use UpDown’s customer service for anything, but a friend of mine bought two desks and reported that their customer service team was outstanding.
He accidentally ordered a desktop of the wrong size, and UpDown quickly came to the party to help him resolve the issue.
Which Size Of Desktop Is Best?
The UpDown Pro is available in 3 sizes:
- 120 X 75cm.
- 150 X 75cm.
- 180 X 75cm.
Note that the depth of the desk remains the same, regardless of size. Only the width changes.
My desk is the mid-size option, at 150cm in width. It’s ideal for home office setups with a dedicated mid-size room.
- If your room is compact, opt for a 120 X 75 cm option.
- If you plan to run a lot of gear – e.g., a couple of monitors and multiple hard drives – choose the larger 180 X 75 cm option instead.
Which Desktop Colour Is Best?
It’s no secret that I’m a hardwood tragic. If I had to choose my top 5 wood choices and rank them in order of preference, I’d pick:
- New Messmate (gorgeous, modern, clean, dramatic)
- Recycled Messmate (less clean, even more dramatic)
- Pheasantwood (the most dramatic, with hipster vibes)
- Victorian Ash (very clean, very little drama)
- Acacia (cool parquetry-like pattern)
Are UpDown Pro Desks Sustainable?
Mostly. Some desktop options are more eco-friendly than others, so you can choose one that’s most aligned with your values.
Recycled Messmate, for example, is made from reclaimed hardwood.
It’s also cool to think that a bit of Australian heritage may be built into your home office. What if your desktop contains a chunk of the old MCG or an ancient railway sleeper?
Similarly, Rubberwood is gathered near the end of its life, making it a 100% eco-friendly option.
Final Thoughts About The UpDown Pro.
While a motivated reviewer will find some perceived flaws in almost any product, you have to be very picky to find a reason not to use the UpDown Pro standing desk as the foundation of your home office.
It does everything that matters right.
A strong build, gorgeous wood choices, and solid electronics make this the last standing desk you’ll need to buy.