The UpLift Desk Review Details
Looking for an in-depth Uplift Desk Review? You’ve come to the right place! The UpLift 900 mid-range stand-up, electric stand up desk that is exclusively sold by UpLiftDesk (or Human Solution), an ergonomic products retailer based in Austin, Texas. Therefore, it is a product that other dealers do not sell. It is basically an exclusive private label product that Human Solution has created, and it has become such an integral component of their business that it has been launched as a separate brand on their website at upliftdesk.com. Undoubtedly, the UpLift is one of the best-selling standing desks available in the market today. It is marketed with plenty of polish and is priced competitively.
In our Uplift desk review, we will see how the product compares to its closest competitor – Fully’s Jarvis desk – and how the marketing claims made by Human Solutions actually stand out. These desks are practically identical, and if you are considering either of them, then we also recommend you check out the StandDesk Pro, which is also produced in China but comes with a better warranty and a lower price.
Are you wondering how we became standing desk experts? Since 2013, we have lab tested more than 45 standing desks and have been able to obtain more expertise regarding standing desk technology compared to all other review websites.
American versus Chinese Components
A standard part of the process for us, while doing this Uplift desk review, is comparing American made desks against those made in China. The most essential parts of all standup desks are the electronic and mechanical components that comprise the height-adjustable apparatus. A standing desk base that is made by China’s Jiecang is what the UpLift is built on.
The Jiecang base is used by many standing desk manufacturers as their platform. In container quantities, they are very cheap, and the company was established a long time ago, selling mainly to online ergonomic retailers, and like Human Solution, would like to private label their very won exclusive lines of desks. Each of the resellers combines the Jiecang base with various desktop options in order to produce their proprietary desk options. The base frame parts are mostly off-the-shelf. However, Jiecang requires its resellers to change the hand controller’s graphics and pay for the custom foot molds, since those are the main two things that consumers can easily distinguish from photos.
The UpLift is a mid-range option, and on the low end, there are cheaper alternatives such as the StandDesk Pro, Autonomous SmartDsk, Idasen, IKEA Bekant, Eureka Electric Standing Desk, and on the higher end, the American-made premium desk such as the Humanscale Float Table, Lander Lite and Lander, Cascade, and the iMovR Energize. However, Fully’s Jarvis Standing Desk is its head-to-head competitor. Both sell their standalone standing desk frames for DIY standing desk builders on Amazon (Jarvis $454, UpLift $579).
To learn more about all of the options that are available, see our other Standing Desk Reviews, or if you are wanting to attach a desktop, then check out our reviews of Electric Standalone Standing Desk Bases.
Is there a significant mechanical difference between the bases of the two sellers? Yes, there is, and it all has to do with the design of the feet. As we noted in our lab tests of the UpLift Standing Desk Frame, the lightest aluminum feet possible for standing desks are made by Human Solution, which decreases the stability of the entire desk for the purposes of reducing shipping weight and overall costs. Fully claims that the heavier feet that they use make the desk more stable and lowers its center of gravity.
Since both of the manufacturers offer a wide range of desktop materials and sizes it is hard to make direct comparisons. However, from the standpoint of empirical physics, the lighter feet of the Uplift definitely raise the desk’s center of gravity so it might not be the go-choice if you are considering a wider or 72-inch desk. There is just a minor cosmetic difference between the UpLift’s and Jarvis’ digital hand controllers. They both come with four programmable height presets and cheap plastic feel. They use the same electronics, which include awkward error code resets that are discussed in our UpLift base laboratory test.
Fully claims it has a transit speed of 1.2 per second, while UpLift claims 1.5″ per second. According to our lab test, both bases and a base case result of 1.3″ per second, and under heavier loads were noisier and slower. Fully claims a 350-pound lift capacity and UpLift claims a 355-pound one. Some performance issues were shown in our lab testing when the desk is loaded that heavily.
Comparing Competition in the Uplift Desk Review
Human Solution, like its competitor Fully, both really promote their bamboo desktops as being the top choice for environmentally-conscious consumers. Bamboo tops are the least expensive thing that can be placed on top of a Jiecang base besides standard high-pressure laminate (HPL) “GreenGuard tops, which are sold for the same price by UpLift. The reason why China-made bamboo tops are so cheap is not due to the fact that bamboo grows fast (as claimed by both Fully and UpLift).
The facts surrounding the environmental scourge that is created by farming bamboo grass on a massive scale and then converting it into wood products are quite shocking compared to the claims made by marketers. The urban myth that surrounds the environmental sensitivity of bamboo continues spreading as the online marketers continue to repeat each others’ claims, even those there is plenty of scientific evidence that shows the opposite. If you really care about the environment then this is the absolute worst choice you can make when choosing a desktop. This is also true with the rubberwood desktops offered by UpLift. They are priced the same and give you a different aesthetic from wood grain.
On thing that we noticed in our Uplift desk review, is that the other entry-level price range option from UpLift is a traditional high-pressure laminate (HPL) desktop. It has classic lamination on both the bottom and top and a color-matched edge banding surrounding it. Human Solutions goes a little over the top with its GreenGuard branding. It s basically just the current standard used by nearly all of the manufacturers of HPL tabletops under the present EPA laws. Large enterprise and government customers will not purchase products that do not meet those standards. However, the marketing spin from UpLift makes it sound like they are unique. However, its HPL tops appear to use the same exact MDF core that everyone else uses, which by definition are made out of recycled wood fibers.
HPL tops have existed for decades and can be produced very cheaply in practically any place in the world, and especially in China. The downside to HPL is that over time moisture and air will get inside of the open seams and degrade the glue until the edge banding starts peeling off. It is avoided by healthcare environments because bacteria can gather in the open seams, and if harsh anti-septic cleaners are used on desktops it would just accelerate the deterioration of the glues. That is why healthcare organizations have a tendency to purchase chemical-safe and hermetically-sealed 3D-laminated desktops like the Surf(x) 3D laminate.
HPL laminate has sharp edges that are not as nice as those ergo-contoured edges that are found on the powder-coted and bamboo tops offered by UpLift. HPL top grommet holes are not laminated. So if you spill a drink and it ends up seeping into the MDF that is exposed inside of the grommet hole, it will result in the wood soaking it up and expanding like a pufferfish, which will ruin the desktop. HPL is an acceptable and familiar option for most people. Human Solution offers four different sizes ranging from 30″ deep and 48″ to 80” wide and six different colors.
You can buy an Uplift desk that comes with a whiteboard top for the same price (for some reason Fully charges a higher price for this option). It is a good idea until you get some marker on your clothes the first time. However, if you would like to use your desktop as a kind of sketch pad, then it is a cool concept.
For an extra $20 you can upgrade to the “Eco Curve” from UpLift. It is a powder-coated desktop that features a shallow curve on the user’s edge. The cheapest and easy to go is powder coating to take an MDF plank and make it look attractive since it is simply spray-painted on. However, if you spill too many Cokes on it or use a lot of harsh cleaning chemicals, the paint can dissolve. Due to its low level of durability, we do not recommend it, although it is inexpensive and can look attractive for a while. By contrast, the edging on the Eco Curve can’t be done using hard HPL laminates, so it is close as you can get to genuine 3D lamination without some kind of thermo-foil being used.
For around $500 more than what HPL laminate costs, you can choose from either Teak or Douglas Fir “reclaimed hardwood” in a few different sizes. However, reclaimed wood can potentially have issues with temperature changes and humidity, which can lead to premature warping and cracking. So you need to carefully consider this option.
Starting at around $900 extra and more, there are around a dozen different domestic hardwood choices, in several different sizes. Some less expensive imported wood tops were also introduced recently by UpLift. To learn more about the real wood desktops offered by UpLift and their competitors’ see our comprehensive reviews of Wood Standing Desks.
We do think it’s a bit strange for someone to spend this kind of money to place a hardwood top onto a cheap Chinese base. It seems to us if you are going to invest this much money in a top that you would want to purchase a higher-quality Taiwanese-made or American-made Standing Desk Base to go with it. Or choose a domestically-sourced hardwood top and a high-quality American-made base such as the iMovR Lander Desk and Solid Wood Desktop.
UpLift offers more desktop shape selections than Fully, with its L-desks, 120-degree, “pork chop,” and other configurations that are less common, with its continuous brinkmanship in attempting to outdo other desktop options that are available. However, for the main powder-coated, HPL, and bamboo inexpensive desktop options, they have very similar offerings. Like UPS vs. FedEx pricing, you will see very slight differences once in a while, but the most popular configurations have practically identical prices.
The next piece of the Uplift desk review is assembly. Since the assembly process is mainly a matter of putting together the numerous base frame parts, for details, see our Jiecang Standing Desk Frame review. Overall, it has a fairly standard process for a base shipped as a kit of parts that need to be put together by the user. Those who are not into DIY might want to either purchase a pre-assembled standing desk or hire a professional installer.
Does It Have A Good Warranty?
Since our expert reviews do have a number of concerns regarding the Jiecang base’s quality, it is good that the Human Solution warranty has been extended to 7 years. It is the same as the 7-year limited warranty offered by its competitor Fully, but not as long as some of the other competitors like iMovR.
The main problem with the warranty coverage from both Fully and Uplift is that they don’t include the desktops. The durability of the HPL laminated, powder-coated, and bamboo tops leave much to be desired, and this can be seen in the fact that they are not warrantied against delamination and other common issues that the lower-quality surfaces tend to have. Even expensive reclaimed wood and hardwood options are not covered by a warranty.
When it comes to other made-in-China competitors, the only one that offers a better warranty is the StandDesk Pro. It has a ten-year warranty on all electrical and mechanical components and a lifetime warranty on its steel frame. However, the warranty also does not include desktops.
Pros & Cons
The UpLift is a really popular mid-range electric standing desk option. The base frame comes with a 7-year warranty that is competitive with the offered by Fully and uses the same Chinese-made Jiecang standing desk frame. There are numerous American-made quality options that are available in addition to Chinese-made cheaper options like HPL and bamboo, although they are quite expensive. Human Solutions offers numerous unique desktop shapes available, which include the “pork chop,” whiteboard, and 120-degree, in addition to its L-desks (three-legged versions) – so this vendor is definitely one to consider if you are searching for a tabletop variation that is hard to find.
The Jiecang is a Chinese-made base frame. It has significant performance issues and is of cheap quality. The 7-year warranty offered by UpLife does not cover desktops – including its $900+ tops. There are also somewhat misleading environmental claims regarding the bamboo tops. Also, there are no leg extension options for treadmill desk users or taller users. In laboratory testing, the Jiecang base of the UpLift has numerous performance problems and has had a hard time matching published specifications and isn’t as competitive as it might first appear.
Uplift Desk Review Summary
So, what’s the bottom line from this Uplift desk review? Is it worth it? The UpLift is a mid-range offering among the numerous options of electronic standing desks that are available in the market today. With its sleek marketing presentation and massive advertising campaigns, it has emerged as one of today’s most popular standing desks. Although its pricing appears to be competitive at first glance, it is still higher than some of the other Chinese-made options, and not much cheaper than made-in-USA, better-constructed options like the Lander Lite or iMovR Energize. Although your UpLift based can be paired with an American-made vanity, they are more expensive than the actual desk.
Although we do have some concerns about the performance claims made by UpLift and no desktop warranty, if there are other Chinese-made products you are considering, then it is probably worth it to pay a bit more for convenient domestic customer service compared to what you may experience with something like Bekant or Autonomous.