Recently, I’ve been exploring the world of working from home. Part of that process is being able to set up a home office that is fun to work in—the primary piece of which is a desk where I can sit or where I can stand.
I did an enormous amount of searching for furniture. I had originally settled on a BDI Sequel Lift sit/stand desk, which is admittedly very gorgeous and nice to use. As of mid-July 2016, though, the price for the BDI Sequel Lift Desk was $1,599.00 before taxes and shipping. The Autonomous.ai Smart Desk 2 is built on the same core product and motorized engine, except it’s $299. Literally the same motor and base, with the difference only being some clever cord routing and the top glass/wood veneer. The shipping cost to have the BDI sit/stand desk delivered was quoted as $300 because I live in a rural area—this whole SmartDesk is cheaper than shipping itself.
(Also, shipping cost for these desks from Autonomous.ai is $49 per desk for the smaller version and $59 per desk for the larger version as of October 2016.)
I’m in the process of starting a coworking space up in a small town of Washington, and we’re purchasing the Autonomous.ai desks in bulk, because of how cheap they are and what incredible value they are. You can even buy a “DIY SmartDesk Kit” (Coupon in link) to create your own tabletop, or purchase a “SmartDesk Art” (Coupon in link) to get a specially-made tabletop from actual wood.
- Autonomous.ai “SmartDesk 2” Referral Link for $25 off each item
- Autonomous.ai “SmartDesk Art” Referral Link for $25 off each item
- Autonomous.ai “SmartDesk DIY Kit” Referral Link for $25 off each item
- Autonomous.ai “ErgoChair” Referral Link for $25 off each item
- Autonomous.ai “ErgoStool” Referral Link for $25 off each item
Here’s a showing of how the $1,599 BDI sit/stand desk engine and base compares to this $299 Autonomous.AI Smart Desk 2:
(Notice how they’re the exact same? The BDI picture is a bit Photoshopped, but they’re the same base mechanism.
Update: February 2017.
These things are great. We purchased 12 ErgoChairs for our coworking space, and honestly I find the ErgoChair more comfortable than my Herman Miller Embody chair. I swapped out my home office chair so that the guest room has the Herman Miller and I use the Autonomous ErgoChair on a daily basis.
Things to know about the Home desk of the SmartDesk 2—assembly is not the easiest thing in the world. These desks are enormously heavy. The bases weigh at least 50 pounds, and the tabletops also way about 50 pounds. The chairs are very easy to put together.
Regarding tabletops, we got 6 walnut-top desks and 5 white-top desks. The white tops on the desk look pretty mediocre, especially in a fluorescent-lit office environment. They end up looking pretty sterile. But you can use whiteboard markers and write on them! We put four of the white-top desks together into one of the rooms and treated it like a mega conference table, and then you can draw on the desks with the whiteboard markers for some additional clarification.
The walnut tops are veneer, unsurprisingly, but aesthetically they look pretty good.
As a personal project, I’ve noticed that the table tops switch out very easily, just based on about 12 pre-drilled holes to attach the base to the top. I’m in the process of finishing a slab of live-edge walnut to replace one of the white tops—because the desk bases are universal to the top, if you’re not happy with one of the tops, you can basically treat the desk like the “DIY Kit” and put on your own top!