Can you really buy a stand up desk for $25? Yes, if you consider a cardboard setup version that sits on top of your existing desk that may last up to a year or two. If you have considered switching to a standing desk but you are not yet ready to make the financial commitment to fork out $300 or more, a $25 cardboard option is a realistic way to give it a shot…and it’ll be enough of a real world shot to give you enough experience to determine if a standing desk is for you.
This is my second cardboard standing desk. A couple of years ago, or so, I bought an Oristand and used it for a couple of months. I loved that the Oristand could just fold up and pop up anytime. But it wasn’t as stable as I would prefer and I passed it on. The Spark by Ergodriven is just $25 on Amazon. If you have Prime or buy enough to meet the free shipping minimum, then $25 is all you pay. The Oristand is about $39 with shipping. Because you can’t adjust the height of the Spark, you have to pick one of three sizes. For folks under 5’4″, buy the small. Folks 5’4″-5’11” get the medium. If you are over 5’11”, select the large. All sizes have roughly the same footprint of 14″ x 13″, with upper-level surface dimensions of 15” x 10” and keyboard tray surface dimensions of 26” x 9” (26″ x 10.5″ for the Large).
Here is a short video introduction of the Spark.
The Spark comes in a fairly compact box and you’ll need about 15 minutes to put it together. Don’t rush! This is cardboard. If you mess up you could reduce the stability of the desk. Here is a short video on how to assemble the desk in the normal two-level mode. The Ergodriven website has instructions for both the two-level and one-level laptop only mode.
We used this Spark for about four months full time. As you can see from the pictures below, a MacBook Pro with a 15″ screen fits just fine up top. We used it with a Kinesis Freestyle 2 keyboard with the VIP tenting along with a Unimouse from Contour (review coming soon). With a regular-sized mousepad from Ergonomic Innovations, the whole setup takes up all of the space avaialbe yet was comfortable enough to use for daily work. We placed our Spark on a normal desk and found it more than stable enough for normal office work. Here are a bunch of pictures from different angles including one of the shipping box and of the instructions that come in the box:
We set up our keyboard tray for a right-handed user. For all three sizes, you can configure the desk for a left or right-handed keyboard tray. Right-handed setup simply means the tray area for the mouse is set off to the right. For left-handed users, this tray area is set off to the left. As you can see from the pictures above, a standard mouse pad is about all you can fit in this extra mouse area.
Ergodriven also recommends that you use this desk with an external keyboard. We do too! Here are our recommendations for the best ergonomic keyboards. However, if you are only going to use just a laptop without an external keyboard, the Spark comes with an additional piece that you can use to build the desk in a laptop-only alternative configuration. We didn’t test that and just recycled that extra cardboard part.
The max weight for the top level is 25 pounds and there is only room for one laptop or one monitor. If you really need to have a dual monitor setup or a monitor and one laptop setup, you could get two Sparks and put them next to each other. We didn’t try to unassemble then reassemble the Spark. I imagine that if you take it apart too many times, you are going to weaken the desk. The picture to the right shows the Spark in the one-level, laptop mode.
The Spark is a stable standing desk that converts whatever table or desk you have into a stand-up desk, and really is just $25 with free shipping on Amazon. The Spark comes in three sizes to accommodate different heights. This standing desk takes about 15 minutes to assemble from clearly labeled cardboard pieces and users have two choices: 1) a two-layer configuration that requires an external keyboard or 2) a one-level mode where you use your laptop’s keyboard. At most, you can put one laptop or one monitor up to 25 pounds up on the top level. The Spark can be configured for left or right-handed setups. Without question, the Spark seemed more than stable enough for a laptop, external keyboard, external mouse, and mouse pad. Getting one may be for many the quickest and most affordable way to try a Spark. My guess is that you can continue to use this setup for a few years before it gets compromised where you won’t be able to use as a desk. We’re glad we waited a full four months before posting this review. This desk has held up well and feels just as sturdy as it did on day one. We have recommended this desk to many friends and will continue to do so!