In the years that I have been building computers, whether just as a hobby, or now as a modder has always been hindered by one thing and that is the amount of dedicated workspace I have had available.
Without having a studio, a work-shop, or an extra room within the household you generally see most enthusiasts building on their kitchen sides or dining tables, something that is not always appreciated by the rest of the family and makes putting together any system just that little bit harder.
Moving away from building, for taking final shots of your system or putting together videos for YouTube, no one really wants to see your kitchen in the background, well, that is unless you are the Linus Tech team back in the day.
The dining table is a good start for more casual system builders or modders, it’s better than seeing this morning’s pots in view in the kitchen and its a reasonable surface to use until it all needs clearing away ready for dinner. This generally results in losing small screws that you didn’t put in your magnetic tray or leaking water cooling fluid on that new oak table, there’s an Alphacool mat for that by the way.
So what alternatives are there? I’m talking here about desks, larger ones at that, and in particular, electrically adjustable units. Again, granted you need to have space for one in the first place and if you have, then chances are you may already have a desk in place. So what makes an electric desk worth considering over a static desk?
A sit/stand or height adjustable desk as they are more commonly known offer a range of advantages and health benefits over their standard counterparts. These are driven by precision linear motor(s) and have a distinct advantage over manual versions offering faster raising and lowering, higher levels of control, and more convenience to end-users.
They work by means of a control box that incrementally raises or lowers the top to the height required and many also offer a memory function to allow users to set a specific height and at the press of a button, the desk will then raise or lower to that point. Desk heights on most models can be varied from anywhere between 65cm to over 130cm high.
For health reasons, these desks are considered to be advantageous for a number of reasons. Using an electric desk as a standing desk can promote the burning of calories, reduce back pain, improve mood and energy levels, and may even improve productivity within the workplace. Research suggests that reduced sitting time may lower your risk of dying early and therefore help you live longer.
So now we have a dedicated workspace that offers some health benefits, but what sizes are available? Most models can be found to range from 120cm x 80cm all the way up to 180cm x 80cm giving plenty of space to work on even the largest of cases, Dark Base 900, Obsidian 1000D, Antec Torque to name a few.
Having so much space means that you can layout parts without just stacking them up and find smaller parts more easily. If you can site or even move your desk to an open area then you also benefit from being able to work in 360 degrees around the desk and not have to spin around a heavy chassis every time you need to thread a cable or tuck in an RGB strip.
How many times, sitting at the dining table, in the kitchen, or even at a regular desk have you been bent over to slot through a 24 pin connector or to secure a new SSD in place? Testing the fitment of hard-line loop pipework or cramming fans into the top of a new case? The key part in all that is the bending, been arched over to see into the top of a case or squinting to find that standoff you dropped into the PSU basement. By raising an electric desk you can work at the perfect height to prevent the aches and pains and actually improve your workflow.
On pricing, electric desks are more expensive than manual versions, ranging from around £450 to well over £1500. There are options to suit every budget and for anyone looking for a new desk, its money well spent for the flexibility and convenience they offer.
An adjustable desk gives you the flexibility you need for not only building a system and testing components but, as I mentioned earlier, for taking pictures with a suitable background or even for content creation, it’s a great platform that will save you time and energy and leave you overall feeling much better, even when a build isn’t going that well.