Leveling up My Home Office - Autonomous SmartDesk 2 - Home Edition Review

Josh Sherman
5 min read
Health / Fitness

I’m pretty terrible about setting up my office. I’m even worse at spending a few bucks on nice(r) things for said office.

Because of that, I’m still running hardware from the 2011/2012 and my current home office spent a year without anything on the walls.

Oh, and my desk is a ~20$ Ikea rig that was so bowed in the middle that I had added a 5th leg to it to add a small bit of life to it.

I mean, at least I’m resourceful, right?

This year though, I’ve decided I need to stop being that guy and really embrace having a nice office and nice equipment.

If nothing else, being a remote developer, I spend a fuck ton of time in said office and on said equipment, so it may as well be nice, right?

First order of business recently was ordering a new desk, because as mentioned, my current one was running on vapors so to speak.

The desk for me was the Autonomous SmartDesk 2 - Home Edition.

It’s pretty much the same desk I had while working on site at Sumo.com except for that one probably being the Business Edition.

Having used the desk in the past, I already knew what I was getting myself into in regard to build quality and such but had never actually assembled one myself.

The order process was fairly painless, modern site and all of that. The order didn’t even get flagged by my bank as being fraudulent, so it was a win all around!

I went with the bamboo top with black bottom, 53”x50” size. Ordered it on the 15th of August and it arrived on the 21st of August.

Not too bad, if you ask me.

With that, the desk arrived and was beat to all fucking hell. Classic FedEx, amirite?

They didn’t even ring the doorbell or knock, probably trying to avoid that fun conversation where they are asked “sooooooo what the hell happened here?”

Even though the package looked like it had been put through the ringer, and even with some pretty major dents in the box to the point that I thought for sure the desktop was going to be marred, everything was fine when I unpackaged it.

The desk arrives in two packages, one for the desktop and one for the base.

The box for the base was the heavier of the two but still fairly manageable to get into the house.

Fast forward close to a week later, I finally got around to assembling the damn thing!

Assembly was actually quite easy and nearly all of the tools were provided, sans the screwdriver needed to attach the brain and the control pad to the underside of the desk.

Even though assembly was quite easy, it wasn’t without some gotchas.

First, the main piece that attaches to the underside of the desk already had screws in it even though the diagrams in the instructions made it seem like it shouldn’t.

This threw me off a bit and got me thinking that maybe I was getting a second. I didn’t end up with additional screws in that size, so I jumped to the conclusion that perhaps the screws were in place to keep the frame from expanding in transit.

Considering how mangled the boxes were, it’s probably a good thing the screws were already in place.

The only other gotcha I ran into is that the drive shaft actually seemed a bit too small based on the diagrams.

There was supposed to be a decent sized fraction of an inch between the casing of the drive shaft and the metal frame of the desk but the best I was able to get was about 1-2mm on each side.

Quite tight, but a few times of going up and down and things didn’t seem like they were scraping so I just ran with it.

A decent amount of searching didn’t yield much in regard to whether or not they have different sized drive shafts so I’m thinking that the Home Edition model is designed to just barely accommodate the drive shaft, whereas the Business Edition (or perhaps different desktop sizes) are able to provide the spacing advertised in the instructions.

That or perhaps the holes on the underside of the desktop where the frame attached weren’t drilled quite right, causing my frame to be a bit more condensed than expected.

Again, things seemed to be working fine so I’m not all that concerned with it.

Last week was my first week with the desk assembled and I’ve been quite pleased.

Wait Josh, didn’t you try your hand at a standing desk in the past and failed miserably with it?

Yep, that was meand also me ;)

Thing is, that was a dedicated standing experience, complete with the anti-fatigue mat and all that.

For me, standing all day isn’t all that great, but alternating the two, works out exceptionally well for me.

For about year or so at Sumo.com, with the similar Autonomous desk, I was standing every day in the mornings until lunch time. Then after lunch sitting, finally back to standing about half an hour to an hour before I was going to be sitting in the car.

It worked out really well and over time, I grew to enjoy standing more than sitting. Zero issues and all without a mat!

What also doesn’t work me is having a manual, crank desk. Had one for a few weeks and even though I could swap between standing and sitting, the time to convert was too much of a time sink.

Probably didn’t help that I was trying to use a yoga ball instead of a chair during that time ;)

No buyer’s remorse from me on this one and since I pulled the trigger, I was able to sway my designer buddy, Mark into getting one.

He’s been wanting one for a while now, so it didn’t take much to convince him ;)

If this post has helped you in your quest for a new desk and you’re planning on buying something from Autonomous, please please please use my referral link.

If I can drum up enough referrals, I’ll be reviewing the ErgoStool next ;)

Happy Standing!

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About Josh

Husband. Father. Pug dad. Musician. Founder of Holiday API, Engineering Manager and Emoji Specialist at Mailshake, and author of the best damn Lorem Ipsum Library for PHP.

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