The Autonomous.ai SmartDesk 2 is an affordable sit-stand desk with an electric motor, plenty of weight capacity and a very large work surface as an option. How does the SmartDesk 2 compare to offerings from Ergotron, Ikea and DIY options? That’s what you’ll learn in our Autonomous.ai SmartDesk 2 review.
This is an affordable sit-stand desk that meets most of the requirements we have for a home office. It’s sturdier than the Ikea Bekant sit-stand desk, but there is some monitor wobble when in standing mode. The wobble is most noticeable when using a monitor mount and a heavy monitor.
This is a very capable sit-stand desk that is available starting at just $299. After spending seven years using sit-stand desks that range from a DIY option with leftover yearbooks and MDF to Ergotron models I know what to look for in a sit-stand desk.
The growing trend over the last several years has been motorized sit-stand desks and the more recent trend is affordable motorized sit-stand desks — which is where the Autonomous.ai SmartDesk 2 comes in.
Starting at $299 for a 53″ x 30″ model with a single motor and topping out at $549 for a 70″ x 30″ model with a dual motor, you can also add accessories, wood top options or an AI package that includes voice control. There is a 30-day trial and up to a 5-year warranty with the business edition.
Autonomous.ai SmartDesk 2 Review
Autonomous.ai SmartDesk 2 Setup and Installation
Assembling the Autonomous.ai SmartDesk 2 is easy to do once you lay all the parts out and determine where the legs go.
The company includes all the hardware and in my package, there was at least one extra screw or bolt for every instruction. Plan on spending an hour or two installing this. You can complete most of the installation alone, but you will want another person to help flip it right side up.
You’ll need a screwdriver, and we recommend a power screwdriver to speed things up. There are a lot of holes on the bottom of the desk, so line things up to make sure that you have everything in the right spot before you make the connections. The directions are sparse but overall sufficient. There are YouTube videos from the company that help as well.
Autonomous.ai includes plenty of cable ties with 3M adhesive to route the cables and keep them out of sight. We’ve since added a USB hub near the controls and a mountable power strip to keep everything tidy under the desk.
Using the Autonomous.ai SmartDesk 2
I chose the largest Autonomous.ai SmartDesk 2 available with the most weight support as I use two or three heavy monitors and routinely add other items to the desk as I rotate in review units. I started with a 34-inch Curved Samsung display on a stand and mounted the Apple Cinema Display to an Ergotron mount. I was pushing the weight capacity of my previous Ergotron WorkFit D desk, but this setup is not a problem for the motorized sit-stand SmartDesk 2.
I start out the morning sitting, which I’ve programmed as position 1 on the control pad. This small pad includes four pre-sets and manual adjustments. On earlier models, you had to hold the button to switch desk heights, but on this model, you can press the pre-set and it will move to the position you want. It takes about 8 seconds to go from sitting to standing, with the push of a button. The motors are quiet enough to activate while on a call or while someone is watching TV in the next room without bothering them. In an office setting the noise would be less than the copier spooling up.
It takes about 8 seconds to go from sitting to standing, with the push of a button. The motors are quiet enough to activate while on a call or while someone is watching TV in the next room without bothering them. In an office setting the noise would be less than the copier spooling up.
The inclusion of four pre-sets is helpful as it would make sharing this desk with someone easier. The Business Edition ranges from 24″ to 51″ heights, while the Home Edition is rated for a 29″ to 47″ range. I’m using three of the presets to allow for working while sitting, working while standing and gaming with a controller. The gaming setup raises the monitors higher and allows me to lean back in a chair and game.
Programming the pre-set options is easy and fine-tuning the height allows you to pick the best spot for you. I work at 27.9″ while sitting. This allows good ergonomics for typing and with my monitors at the max height they are situated ergonomically as well.
While using the Autonomous.ai SmartDesk 2 at sitting height There are no issues with wobbling monitors, even though I am a heavy typer. It’s nothing for me to type several thousand words in a day, so monitor wobble is an important factor.
When I switch to a standing height (43.7″), the displays wobble slightly while I am typing. This is not a major issue for the Samsung display that is on the included stand, but the Apple Cinema Display on an Ergotron mount wobbles more.
This is a common issue on some sit-stand desks, especially on a wider setup like this one without a crossbar or four legs design. Ultimately this is not a deal breaker, but it is definitely a downside to working while standing on this desk.
I tested the Ikea Bekant desk and found that the entire desked wobbled way too much to even consider buying one. This is significantly sturdier than the Ikea sit-stand desk. The Ergotron Workfit D that I upgraded from did not wobble thanks to more crossbars that improved the rigidity.
Autonomous.ai includes two cutouts on the back of the desk to route wires, and you can turn one into a wireless charging hub with the Accessory Kit. I skipped these to run the wires down the back edge and into various cable ties to manage wires easier. The desk is 1-inch thick and allows you to connect monitor mounts or other items to it easily. I added a Philips Hue LightStrip to the back edge, allowing me to customize the color of my office interior.
Even with the wobble on my side monitor, I love the Autonomous.ai SmartDesk 2. The convenience of switching from sitting to standing with the touch of a button has me back into the habit of standing while I work more and it certainly helps keep me focused during late day calls. The price is hard to beat, especially if you are looking at the smaller single motor option. I’m also loving all the space to put the tools I use to work.