When it comes to home furniture, computer desks are pretty much the least exciting thing on the market. Even coffee tables are more exciting. That’s kind of all changed over the last 12 months as standing desks have become a sort of fad with studies showing that switching to a standing desk can improve your health tremendously.
Half of our time as humans is spent sitting down at work, watching TV, or driving a car. Something needs to change, so I sought out to find the best standing desk on the market that abides by Apple’s design principles, and the NextDesk Terra was the winner.
The first thing that I noticed about the Terra is that its design is perfectly simple. A lot desks I looked at have some great functionality, but they’re all pretty ugly. The Terra is very minimalist and looks like something Jony Ive would build. It’s a desk that you can proudly put in your den rather than hide away in a corner of your house.
It comes with a sleek bamboo writing surface that’s available in three colors and the legs are constructed out of recycled aluminum so the entire desk is pretty environmentally friendly.
Each desk can be custom fitted for each owner’s specific needs. If you need two grommet locations instead of just one you can add that to your order along with a power management system. Or if you want to make sure you don’t develop carpal tunnel you can add a keyboard platform and ergonomic monitor arm.
The best thing about the Terra is how smoothly it moves up and down. Powered by dual 18 volt DC motors, the legs lift the table surface at 1.7 inches per second up to 24 to 50.5 inches total. This comes in handy because when you’re working at a standing desk you’ll want to sit for a periods at a time too, so having the legs move quickly without having to do anything other than push a button makes life easy for the user.
There’s a electronic switch on the right side of the Terra that allows you to raise the desk up and down according to your preference. My five year-old niece can operate it without any problems, and it comes with three preset height buttons that you can set so you don’t have to fiddle around finding the perfect height each time you move from standing to sitting.
While using the Terra desk I would usually start my mornings standing up while I write to help me wake up rather than going from my bed to a relaxed position in a chair. I didn’t lose a significant amount of weight, but standing throughout the day helped me feel more energetic and alert, which cut down on my dependency for Red Bulls.
One of the biggest surprises with the NextDesk Terra was how easy it was to assemble. It’s heavy and you’ll probably need someone else to help you lift it up, but installing the electric motor legs and back support were easy, as well as the electrical routing for the legs and power management. Everything was assembled in under 30 minutes.
Even though the basic model starts out with a $1500 price-tag, the Terra is a solid investment. Most high-quality standing desks are already going to cost you over $1000. If you’re planning to keep your standing desk for more than three years, you should invest a little bit more and get a desk that’s going to look great. If you want your NextDesk to look just like an iMac, you can bump up to the NextDesk Air with a brushed aluminum working surface for an extra $350.
The Terra looks great because it embraces minimalist design, but that does come with one drawback – storage space. I went from a huge 1970’s school teachers desk with a fortress of drawers that I used to store all my tech gear, bags, cameras, pens, paper, everything.
NextDesk doesn’t sell any storage compartment ad-ons for the Terra, so you’ll have to get some standalone drawers or file cabinents to place underneath your desk if you want to store things nearby.
I was using the standard 63″ wide x 31.5″ deep table top, and it was massive enough to hold my Mac, MacBook Pro, a projector, speakers, and a bunch of books, but I missed the ability to put things in drawers and the table top started getting messy without having compartments to organize things in.
Before I actually used the NextDesk Terra I thought the whole standing desk craze was a little bit silly, but after spending more than a month with this gorgeous piece of furniture, I’d never want to go back to a normal desk. Its design is beautiful and elegant while maintaining the rigidity and strength you’d want out of desk that cradles your most precious electronic possessions.
Even though the NextDesk Terra is a bit pricey it’s design and functionality are worth it. I don’t have any kids, but after falling completely in love with this magnificent inanimate object, I question my ability to love a human baby as much as I love the NextDesk Terra.