| Cult of Mac

Finally, an adjustable standing desk you’ll actually use [Reviews]


Work healthier with the Pro Plus 48.
Work healthier with the Pro Plus 48.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Spending countless hours sitting in front of a computer every day is bad for your body. Not only do you have to worry about bad posture when sitting for extended periods, but also the fact that you’re probably going to die faster (according to some studies).

A standing desk is a great way to alleviate some of these problems and keep your body active during a long day in the office. And with the Varidesk Pro Plus 48, you can turn almost any standard desk into a height-adjustable standing desk in a snap.

This particular desk is one of the largest models offered by Varidesk, which makes it ideal for multi-monitor setups and those who need plenty of room. It’s also pretty pricey at $495 — but is it worth that price tag?

See how Mac magically decluttered our desks over past 30 years


Before and after photos show the Mac's radical reinvention of our desktops. Image courtesy BestReviews
Before and after photos show the Mac's radical reinvention of our desktops. Image courtesy BestReviews

Remember your desk from the ’80s? If you were even alive back then it probably featured an old Macintosh surrounded by a disgusting mess of books, letters, a telephone, a fax machine and probably even a Rolodex. But thanks to the rapid pace of technology, you’d be hard-pressed to find any of those items on the modern college student’s desk.

Gadget Watch: Cameras, cameras and even more frikkin’ cameras



Cameras, cameras, cameras. German photographic trade show Photokina is just around the corner, and the big names are outing their latest models before the news pipes get completely clogged with the tangled hair and soap scum of new releases. So this week we have a bunch of cool new cameras and accessories, including a GoPro harness for your pooch, along with the usual mix of gadgets designed to make you want to part with your cash.

An update to the already-discontinued X20, this compact swaps the old optical viewfinder for a hi-res electronic finder, gets a bigger tilting rear LCD and adds a control wheel around the lens. It keeps the amazing X-Trans II sensor and 28-112mm (equivalent) ƒ2-2.8 zoom, and packs a new Classic Chrome film mode. I want this so hard. $600

Evernote’s Pfeiffer Collection is not – as you might hope – a range of productivity tools designed by 1980s actress and icon Michelle Pfeiffer. It is instead a set of desk tidies, made from various materials including walnut and “bright.” They’re intended to hold old-school detritus like paperclips and pens, plus modern junk like iPhones, SIM cards and even an iPad. $106

The best part of Pentax’s new mid-level K-S1 is the strip of pulsing LEDs on the hand grip. Pentax missed a chance to build the “Knight Rider of cameras” with its choice of green over red LEDs, but still. This pointless addition will flash to count down the self timer, and the light around the shutter release will turn red in video mode. $750

Bluelounge’s Soba is a cable-routing kit that will wrangle wayward wires, keeping them tidy in a “Vortex” tube and letting them exit where you need them. The kit comes with 10 feet of zip-closed tubing, a y-splitter and mounting caps (brackets). I have one here and ready to test, but it looks like there’s some effort involved in planning it all out, so maybe I’ll just have one more coffee first… $25

Of course GoPro’s dog harness is called the Fetch. Of course. The Fetch straps onto the dog’s back, secured around its shoulders, chest and belly, and the camera can be mounted up top or down below. This is probably my favorite product of the year so far, and the photo above is definitely the best product shot for 2014. If I had a dog I’d be out with one of those playing frisbee right now. $70

Olympus makes the best Micro Four Thirds bodies right now (and that’s coming from someone who owns a great Panasonic). This one’s even better, with a 180-degree flip-screen that activates “selfie mode” when fully extended (there's a shutter button on the touchscreen), built-in Wi-Fi to share that selfie to your iPhone, a 16MP sensor and a 14-42 mm (equivalent) ƒ3.5-5.6 kit lens. From $700.

Moleskine’s newest notebook has an almost-invisible dot pattern on the pages that makes it work with your Livescribe pen. The pen has a camera in its nose that tracks your every stroke and scribble and sends it all to your iPhone or iPad as editable text, creating a perfect digital copy of your paper notes. Now you can continue your Moleskine habit, but with added digitization. $30

Love: accessory iPhone lenses. Hate: Those stupid stick-on metal rings the lenses’ magnets stick to.

The answer is the new magnetic plate that now ships with every set of lenses sold by Photojojo. The plates, color-coded to your iPhone, stick over the entire glass strip at the top rear of the iPhone 5/s, so you can use these lenses and still get the iPhone in a case. Bonus – you can slide the lens out of the way when not in use. From $20.

This Schiller water bike is to the pedalo what a sweet S-Works road racer is to a recumbent bike. It’s slick, speedy and way overpriced. A Gates carbon drive turns a NuVinci transmission, which turns two propellers. You can even use the handlebars to steer the thing, and it’s only $6,500.

Desk 01 is one of the smartest yet simplest desks we’ve seen


You know the old saying: “Give a man a router, and he’ll turn a piece of wood into a perfectly-designed desk for the iPad-toting Mac user”?

Or was it “Give a man a router and he’ll set up a wireless network in your home office”?

No, wait, it was “Offer a man a router, and he’ll be forced to infer from context which device you mean to give him.”

Anyway, it’s a good saying, and it might apply to Artifox’s Desk 01, a desk which is equal parts beautiful and functional.

Amazing Tablet Desk Is Perfect For Tiny Apartments


tablet desk

My current desk cost me around €30 in the local flea market, comes from the GDR and is awesome. But it’s not a great desk for piling up with tech, thanks to a complete lack of charger cubbyholes and cable wranglers.

If you put my desk at one end of the tech-configurability spectrum, and a neat, modern desk on the middle, then the Bee9 Tablet Desk 2.0 would be way off at the other end of the scale.

Ergotron’s New Apple-Centric Standing Desks



According to all the fashionable studies these days, sitting is about as dangerous as balancing a TV set on the edge of the bathtub while you have a soak, sip a martini and smoke a fat Havana all at the same time.

I avoid this deathtrap by doing my work as fast as possible and then going back to bed after a couple of hours spent in the danger zone, but apparently standing desks are another good solution. And if you own a Mac, then you’ll want a standing desk designed to work with it, like the new WorkFit for Apple range from Ergotron.

Ex-iPod Engineer Designs Touch-Operated Standing Desk



According to Derek “beefcake with a brain” Morgan from Criminal Minds, “sitting is the new smoking,” and too much of it will kill you. But who wants any boring old standing desk? Yes, you could put a couple of milk crates onto your regular desk and prop your MacBook on top, but why do that when you can spend $3,900 on the Stir Kinetic Desk, a standing desk with a touch screen?

Love Your Furniture More Than You Love Your Kids? Then Buy This Desk Protector



If there’s one thing in your office that is likely immune to spills and dirt its the surface of your desk. Likely made from foil-covered MDF, or – if you’re fancy – from polished hardwood or glass or steel, the tough worktop will shrug of stains and liquids without even noticing them.

But if your “workstation” consists of a couple of upturned cardboard boxes, then Satechi’s waterproof faux-leather Desk Mat & Mate may be for you. And while you’re renovating it, it might pay you to read this random orbital sander review, for you could stand a chance of making your worktop more visually-appealing.

$6,000 Walnut Desk With Clever Dual-Opening Drawers



You know what? I’ve never looked at my desk and thought “I really wish that I could open two drawers at the same time, and yet still have easy access to the bottom one.” That’s not to say the Cartesia Desk is a bad idea. Rather, it shows my lack of imagination. The only thing I think of when I look at my desk is “where the hell am I going to put all my junk while I use the ironing board to actually iron some clothes.”