COVID19 has changed the way many of us work. With no vaccine to be found even after 9 months, and the risks of COVID19 transmissions being very high if everyone congregates in a confined space to work, Bigger companies such as Facebook and Microsoft have made Work from Home an option for most of their staff.
So, now that you can (and should) work from home where possible, This opens a wide array of possibilities to upgrade the way you work at home – to make your home (and now, office space) as conducive as they can be. After all, who doesn’t want to feel comfortable while working (or studying)?
A common problem that comes from sitting at your desk for long hours would be the need to go for a 5-10 minute stretch break – after a while, your body just feels tired from all the sitting down (as ironic as that may seem). In the office, you might move out of your table towards the meeting room or your colleagues’ cubicle to discuss issues. At home, you are glued to your chair more than ever, which exacerbates the feeling of needing to stretch. After all, sitting down for prolonged periods does cause quite a bit of strain on your lower back – those with chronic back problems would probably be able to relate to this feeling. This has made standing desks very popular in this time of COVID19.
One of the most recognized players (at least in Singapore) would be the Omnidesk line of tables – A modern solution to this problem. Being a motorized table, you can adjust the height of the table to properly match your chair and sitting height, and on-the-fly, transform the same desk into a standing desk with a touch of a button.
Omnidesk Pro Hevea – Bring home the wood!
Review at a glance:
What I liked:
- Solid table and robust feeling motor mechanism
- Outstanding customer service from OMNIDESK
- Hevea tabletop is strong and can certainly last you for a long while
- USB Charging on the side of the desk controller is a nice added touch
What could be better:
- Cable management bar and hole could be a little wider
- Wished that the power bar under the table had more AC ports (6 way may not be enough power ports for their longer tables)
I bought an Omnidesk PRO 2020 as my new work-from-home companion. To match the rest of the furniture in my room, I bought this table originally in the Hem-Fir Configuration but eventually swapped it to a Hevea table. You’ll find out why on a later section of this review.
For now, let’s concentrate on the Hevea. Omnidesk markets the Hevea wood as environmentally friendly as they use only trees that are at the end of their latex production life-cycle. Also, Hevea is supposedly a very tough hardwood.
Onwards to the other key features of the table – Omnidesk pairs this wood top with their Pro 2020 standing desk mechanism, which comes with the following features:
- Adjustable height of between 63.7cm to 125cm
- Up to 130KG load capacity
- Weight of table: 35.5kg. My table width is 48″.
- Cable passthrough grommet
- Anti-Collision system
- Electronic Controller for height adjustment, with display dimming
- Improved stability and movement speed (vs the Original Omnidesk)
- Up to 7 Year Warranty on the table mechanism
I bought my table on the 9.9 sale and assembly was free for about $1053 (with the power bar and beverage holder add-on). The cable management bar was included for free as part of their package.
The Omnidesk Pro 2020 is seriously neat
As the assembly was free, I didn’t have to mess with assembly. Of course, I half-expected to have free assembly considering the cost of this table (at slightly over $1000).
During Assembly, you can choose to place the controller either on the left or right side – it’s up to your preference. I chose to place mine on the right. You’d notice that there is a USB port for you to charge your devices from as well – a nice touch, I’d say. No fast charge but it’s a basic USB power port that perhaps also works as a firmware upgrade USB port (although the possibility of a table receiving an update does sound a little funny to me as a tech geek 😂).
The placement of the 6 way powerbar is also done by the Omnidesk team during the installation (if you purchased one). The powerbar is a basic 6 way power extension unit from Powerpac, coloured in black with switches and LED for each power outlet.
Examining the Hevea Wood
Once the Omnidesk team was done assembling the table, I examined the wood and was somewhat impressed by it. Indeed – the table was made of solid wood – with the grain being similar for the table top and bottom.
The wood is also pretty hardy too. With normal usage of my desk and during the installation of my speakers and monitor, there are no dents created on the table. So it’s definitely a pretty strong wood.
I bought the straight edge table, but the sides of the table are beveled enough to look straight, yet be comfortable to rest your hands on.
The desk controller panel has a up and down button to adjust the height, and lets you choose set to 5 custom height adjustments to jump from. Personally I only use 2 of the modes so far: one for seating, and one for standing. Although you might find more use for the 5 customizable heights if sharing the use of it with your loved one.
In terms of motor strength, I have confidence in the quality of the electronics and motor mechanisms. I could sit on the table (about 70kg myself) and adjust the height of the table, and the motor does make any sort of strained noises, smoothly raising the desk even while I was seated on it.
The impact collision system (that stops the table in the event that something is preventing the table from moving up and down is a great emergency feature – however, it is not as sensitive as I would have liked. The table only stops moving if there is alot of force pushing against the movement of the table. So when moving the table up and down, do be careful of any hard objects that may hit the bottom of your table (or the highest object on your table). I learned this when I accidentally raised the table too high, such that the headphone stand on my Creative X7 amplifier began to get squashed against a wall mounted shelf. Fortunately, the emergency stop feature kicked in to save the day (perhaps in the nick of time).
Pro-tip: As such, If you do buy this table, I’d strongly recommend reading the omnidesk manual to custom set the maximum and minimum heights of your desk, so you don’t end up pinching the table (or your stuff on the desk) on anything by accident. It’s a 5 minute fix to save you from any potential heart-break.
Also, One thing you must note is that when your table moves up and down, any cables and power adaptors on the floor MUST have enough cable slack to accommodate for the differences in height. Otherwise you risk straining your cables – and potentially breaking them. This is why the cable management bar is very important to a motorized standing/seating convertible desk. If you are considering competing products, don’t buy a competing standing desk without first ensuring that there is a compatible cable management bar you can attach to the table (if the table does not come with one). Cables can be a serious pain to manage when the desk moves up and down, especially if your desk has cables that run from the table to the floor to connect to other devices.
The cut-out for running cable through a motorized table is very important
The Hevea tabletop has a hole neatly cut out in the middle to run through the table. This is a very important feature on a motorized desk as you can’t have cables lying at the back of the table (like you would on a normal desk). Otherwise the wires would potentially get strained and broken by the movement, especially if you pushed the desk flush into the wall by accident.
The cable management hole and bar on the omnidesk is very functional. I could run my cables through it well. The bar is also wide enough to hold power bricks. My only gripe was that I wished that the power bar was a little wider so I can run or store more cables and power bricks on the cable management bar. But so far, so good.
What can I say: My Table looks outstanding!
My Omnidesk table carries alot of weight – amongst other things, it holds two Klipsch bookshelf speakers and a 24″ Dell monitor. Still, I could sit on the table and adjust the table height with no issues or signs sound that the table motor was being stressed. Of course, I’m, still under the 130kg load limit, but this just goes to show that the table is definitely as strong as marketed and is able to take anything you would throw at it (as a reasonable user, of course!).
Setting the custom heights was simple and intuitive, and the table remembers the custom set height even if you power off the table from the mains.
Being able to switch from sitting to standing and doing office work has been a treat. For long periods of standing, I heard that it’s best to buy an Anti-Fatigue leg mat so that you can stand for longer periods. But for now, I’m content with sitting down most of the time to do my work and switching to standing when I feel like I need a break from sitting down.
As such, the Omnidesk Pro 2020 works very much as advertised and I would highly recommend the Omnidesk Pro 2020 with Hevea tabletop if you love the colour of the wood grain.
But, what about the Hem-Fir Tabletop? you might ask.
What about the Hem-Fir Tabletop?
Originally, I bought the Hem-Fir Tabletop as I loved the wood grain and was sold by the marketing of the tabletop, with it being pressure-treated and “naturally resilient/strong”. It reminded me very much of my solid rosewood guitars (love the tone from Solid Rosewood guitars by the way. Anyway, moving on!).
However, despite the pressure-treatment, the wood was still far too soft for my taste, denting easily. If I tapped my fingernail with a some strength on the Hem-Fir tabletop, I could see light marks being ingrained into the wood. Apparently, Hem-Fir is by nature a very soft type of wood, so if you decide to buy the Hem-Fir tabletop, you need to treat it with care if you want to keep it in pristine condition. I was quite disappointed by this initially, but Omnidesk’s Customer Service has been really outstanding and quickly allowed me to change the tabletop to their Hevea series with a refund of the price difference.
Overall, my Experience with the Omnidesk Pro 2020 with Hevea Tabletop has been nothing short of amazing, and I highly recommend this easily to anyone who wants to take their work (or study) from home experience to the next level. Yes, in many ways, it is a luxury table. But if you’re going to spend most of your week working at home, I think this is a great, practical gift to yourself (or anyone that you love).