XDesk Encore Standing Desk Review
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This XDesk Encore review shows what to expect based on real testing results and who it’s made for. The standing desk promises to bring innovation but does it deliver?
The Bottom Line:
The XDesk Encore is one of the most beautifully designed and built standing desks for Australians. Handcrafted from sustainably sourced and repurposed materials, each desk is iconic and unique in its finish. The craftsmanship of the Encore is superb. The aluminum frames are lighter than traditional steel and each tabletop is finished with environmentally-friendly curing.
Compared to other standing desks in Australia, the Encore has a larger price point even without adding in accessories which will quickly add up. If you are looking for an entry-level or budget electric sit-stand desk, then the XDesk Encore is not for you.
Who Should Buy The Desky Dual Standing Desk?
Eco-friendly Australians who prefer a standing desk made from sustainably sourced materials will appreciate the XDesk Encore. Handcrafted for durability and uniqueness, the sit-stand desk offers reliable construction and impeccable design without the typical compromises of entry-level office furniture. Depending on size and accessories, this desk costs upwards of $1,400 which is fairly expensive compared to its Australian rivals.
The XDesk Encore stands out on sustainable materials and plantation oak desktops that are distinctly unique. Given the price tag and international shipping from the USA, this desk is best suited to people with larger budgets who know what they want.
Pros and Cons
- Handcrafted using sustainably sourced wood materials.
- Light aluminum frame.
- Powerfully built and beautiful finishes.
- High-quality digital controller.
- More expensive than local Australian brands.
- Ships from the USA.
|$1,446 – $1,597
|Place of Manufacture
|Electric dual motor standing desk
|International shipping to Australia (from Texas, US)
Xdesk Standing Desk Compared
What We Liked:
- Materials from sustainable sources – I can confirm the sustainable materials of the desktop allows this to be a solid choice for rubberwood (plantation oak) desktops in terms of looks and sustainability. XDesk do not use any toxic substances during construction such as formaldehyde or solvents.
- WoodFree desktops – Yes, there’s a desktop made out of leftover hay. Turning a waste product into a gorgeous product means that one tree is saved from ten WoodFree desks. Desktops don’t get much more sustainable than this.
- Get mobile with the battery pack – The battery pack allows you to have your Encore desk positioned where no power point is available. Almost all Australian standing desks need a power point so this is a thoughtful addition that gives you flexibility.
What We Didn’t Like:
- Smartphone control is a paid extra – There’s an option for full remote smartphone height adjustments. The office desk app also includes statistics on sitting and standing time. I’ve decided not to purchase this pack to save the $99.
- Expensive cable management tray – The integrated cable channel is a separate purchase. At $297, you are better off finding a cheaper alternative elsewhere. Desky sells these at a price between $49 and $229 depending on size.
What Is XDesk?
XDesk is a manufacturer of several lines of electric standing desks and converters. Based in Texas, USA, the company has built a niche in the market that is focused on sustainability and using environmentally-friendly products. Using a combination of natural wood products and even repurposed waste materials, each tabletop is handcrafted to provide a level of uniqueness that other brands can only aspire to.
XDesk is not a cheap brand. All of their products including the Encore range of standing desks are robustly built and tend to take an industrial appearance in their design. The company is leading the way in standing desk innovation without sacrificing quality.
XDesk does not have any offices or showrooms in Australia. However, the company does provide shipping to Australia since we are a key market. So much so, that XDesk will fit your standing desk with a 240V power plug so adapters are not needed.
XDesk is also one of the few brands with in-house frame building. I like they build their desk frames and that they do it by hand. CNC machined products are made by the company, but they still make an impact on the local market by hiring actual tradesmen and not robots to build their desks. A handmade product by all standards, Encore is one of the best standing desks for those who like handmade products not desks made by robots.
My Thoughts On The XDesk Encore Standing Desk
XDesk Encore is more than a desk mount stand and sit solution. Here’s why I think it’s one of the most innovative desks on the market with a few major drawbacks as well.
The most sustainable sit-stand desk
Standing desks are made from a variety of materials and sustainability and environmental care are pure strengths. Unlike with other desks or pieces of furniture, there are no odours or chemical smells with Encore, even out of the box. This is because no solvents, harsh chemicals, or Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) based paints are not used in the manufacturing process. Formaldehyde, a known carcinogen commonly used in the pressing of wood, is not used by XDesk.
Tabletop materials in the Encore range of standing desks comprise bamboo, rubberwood, and WoodFree. Bamboo and rubberwood are highly sustainable given their fast growth rates. The WoodFree desktops are literally made from repurposed hay. Rather than burning the stalks of field wheat, XDesk saw an opportunity to make use of a viable waste product and reduce the number of trees being cut down. The result is a durable desktop that has a granite-like appearance.
Even the aluminium frame which is handcrafted in-store, is sourced from recycled materials. Having said that, you can opt for a steel frame.
The height range is unrivaled
The maximum height of 129cm is one of the highest elevations that a standing desk can achieve in the Australian market. This is higher than some local standing desks such as the UpDown PRO (127cm), Omnidesk Pro (125cm), and Desky Dual (125cm). Take the lower height into consideration and the XDesk Encore has one of the biggest elevation ranges available. This makes the Encore a suitable option for shorter and taller people. An alternative option for taller people is the Zen Space desk or Vari desk which we’ve also reviewed.
Finding the ideal standing desk height is controlled by a premium digital panel that attaches to the desktop. However, unlike its Australian competitors, it only comes with the ability to save three height presets instead of the customary four.
A light stand (if customized right)
You can go really light with the Encore desk. Apart from the industry-standard steel frame, XDesk is unique in that you can opt for a much lighter aluminium frame made from recycled metal. In addition, choosing a smaller desktop with wood-free materials is just about the easiest way to build your custom lightweight sit-stand desk. Since most electric standing desks are bulky and heavy to move, the XDesk is ideal if you foresee the need to move it around.
Design & Aesthetics
There’s a fine line between handcrafter and poorly finished. Luckily, this line wasn’t crossed by the Encore desk.
- The desktop looks like real wood – unlike many bamboo alternatives, the rubberwood desktop of XDesk Encore looks like actual wood. It does feel like a premium product, heavy, and solid.
- Manual welding means frames may look imperfect – the aluminium frame of the desk looks solidly built. It does not look as polished as the frame of other standing desks.
With a minimum price of $1,446 for the frame and desktop alone, the cost of the XDesk Encore places it amongst the premium options. However, this is only a few hundred dollars more than other premium standing desks in Australia and you do obtain one of the best-looking desks out there. Add in the use of sustainable natural materials and the uniqueness of its handcrafted nature, it could be considered worth the cost.
Compared to the UpDown PRO standing desk which starts at $1,864, the XDesk Encore suddenly becomes a viable option. Having said that, the price of the Encore will increase dramatically since its accessories come at a premium. Take, for example, the cable management bar – this costs a hefty $297 and you can certainly purchase a cheaper alternative elsewhere. Although I don’t consider it a necessity, the ergonomic keyboard platform is incredibly expensive at $327. And whilst the single monitor arm is a competitive $197, the dual monitor arm is excessive at $327.
In my opinion, the XDesk Encore is worth it if you buy the desk by itself. Since standing desk accessories such as monitor arms and cable management trays can be fitted separately, it’s better and cheaper to buy these yourself.
Ease of Installation & Set Up
The Encore desk ships in several packing boxes from the USA. The aluminium frame makes the desk really easy to set up on a carpeted floor and even stand up once assembled. All you need is an Allen key to put the desk together and the instruction manual is relatively easy to follow with large diagrams to follow.
A solid performer build to last, the handcrafted Encore standing desk is surprisingly strong and robust in stature. The desktop sits evenly on the frame, all the connecting cables line up, and accessories are easy to fit. The quality of the materials is superior to what you get with standard standing desks. Rather than being machine milled, each tabletop is unique in its appearance and no two tabletops are the same. With beveled edges, the uniqueness of the desktop will appeal to you if you appreciate the intricacies of nature itself.
I found the Encore to be stable with no wobbles at its highest elevation point of 129cm, even when leaning on it. Due to the price, I did not order the ergonomic keyboard tray that extends from the desktop. Even if it was cheaper, I would not order it considering it looks like it could wobble under load.
I also found the load capacity more than enough for my needs. While I haven’t tested out its maximum load, the desk easily lifts my 36-inch wide monitor and laptop, plus all of my daily office supplies I keep nearby such as coffee, water bottles, and notebooks. The maximum weight capacity of the XDesk Encore is 142 kg which is on par with other top electric standing desks in Australia.
Performance & Functionality
Here’s what you need to know in terms of how the XDesk Encore desk works.
Ease of adjustments
This is not an issue with a smooth performer such as XDesk Encore. It moves up and down fast and smoothly and you don’t need to remove your coffee from the desktop when adjusting it. The smoothness of adjustments is what I expect from a premium standing desk and is a far cry from the coarser and noisier adjustments on cheaper sit-stand desks from Ikea. You may not realize how smooth the adjustments of the desk are until compared with other standing desks. Many standing desks have a slight desktop ‘jump” when started, this isn’t the case with the Encore.
Note: the controller only comes with 3 memory presets and not 4 presets as with most competitors. While not a problem for me, it may be something to consider for multi-user setups where many heights need to be saved.
The option for adding metal cable grommets is a must-have in my opinion. These metal cut-outs may be useful for all users, especially since Encore comes with cable covers. The grommets and the covers work together for a sleek desktop look even in a standing position where cables would dangle around otherwise. The cable tray is a separate and costly item to buy ($297).
Some accessories are separate purchases and also a must in my opinion. While the desk feels stable, I’ve also purchased the stability bar XDesk now makes for the newer Encores. This adds further lateral stability.
While I don’t need it now, I have to have my desk wobble around when a coworker comes to the side of the desk to point out something work-related went the desk would simply move side to side. Much of this movement is reduced with the additional stability bar.
There’s also a wooden upper platform XDesk offers as an extra. Electric standing desks rarely offer this type of accessory which means you always have to go with third-party manufacturers. While there’s no cable management tray, there’s this platform that increases the work surface and adds to the desktop surface while still looking great and modern among all of the high-end features of the premium desk.
Warranty & Returns
The XDesk Encore comes with a 5-year warranty which is 50% shorter than the 10-year warranty that the top standing desks in Australia offer. For a rather expensive desk, this may not be the expected policy in this price range.
This is a let down and the warranty policy needs to be increased. At a minimum, these desks should at least offer the option to expand the warranty given it’s made with a strong aluminium frame and not from recycled aluminium and given their desktops are hardwood.
If the security of a longer warranty is a factor for you, then you might want to consider the Omnidesk Pro or Desky Dual series of standing desks we’ve reviewed that come with 7 and 10 year warranties, respectively.
My Customer Experience
I now understand that my customer experience has been flawless but not a standard happening at XDesk. If you read their latest online reviews, you’ll notice people are complaining about accessories such as monitor arms. If an item is incorrectly shipped then it will take some time before it can be amended given XDesks’s location in the USA.
Customer reviews rate XDesk, as a company, average, at best. This is seen in its Google Reviews where it has an overall rating of 3.4 out of 5.0. However, the quality of the desks was not the governing factor behind its mediocre rating. Instead, most of the negative reviews highlighted the poor level of customer service.
Frequently Asked Questions
XDesk Encore standing desks are handcrafted in Texas, USA. They ship within the US and internationally around the world including Australia.
While not as wobbly as other premium standing desks, the XDesk Encore can be further stabilised with a stabiliser bar. This is a separate purchase designed for lateral wobble issues.
The XDesk Encore standing desk can hold up to 142kg which is comparable to what you get with the best standing desks in Australia. You’d have to spend more on the XDesk Terra Pro for height-weight capacity.
Final Thoughts On The XDesk Encore Desk
XDesk’s Encore electric sit-stand is a market leader in terms of eco-friendly materials and design innovation. This sit-stand desk innovates in terms of materials and it comes with a handcrafted certification, a rare sight in the world of office furniture. If you have the patience to look beyond the bad reviews and have the patience for it to be shipped to Australia, you are bound to get one of the truly eco-friendly sit-stand desks on the market with that highly-sought Made in US assurance.
|5 / 5
|5 / 5
|5 / 5
|4 / 5
|Value for money
|2.5 / 5