And once the work is done, you can conceal it.
Although we at Engadget have written extensively about standing desks and other accessories that have altered our work-from-home settings, each person’s use case (and living situation) is unique. I’ve had trouble finding a standing desk up until now that strikes a mix between adaptability and compactness.
I regularly work at the dining room table rather than a desk because I live in a compact one-bedroom flat in London. I should use a second screen, but I prefer to be able to take my work computer anywhere—including across London—without compromising functionality. I do have a wireless keyboard and trackpad, which I typically use when I have a tight deadline for a piece of work. But other from an IKEA laptop rack, I’ve never come across a standing workstation that I’d be eager to devote a space in my house to. I didn’t want to think about work while unwinding on a Saturday morning either.
Nevertheless, the tripod standing desk from Intension, which has an adjustable height and a collapsible design, might be the answer. There are several “portable” standing desks, but Intension’s “pro” model, with its distinctively industrial legs and add-on wheel option, checked off a lot of boxes. For the majority of people, the desk surface, which can be adjusted between 28 and 53 inches, makes a good work surface.
Compared to normal standing workstations, the tripod design is more adaptable because you can bring it up at knee height and use it for puzzles or board games. Okay, puzzles are still done by people. If you want to type or write at an angle, the desk can easily be fixed at an angle. Two “laptop stops” are located along one edge of the desk to keep your laptop firmly in place, even when inclined.
If I want to be away from the background noise of the running washing machine while I’m on a conference call, I can roll the desk into my bedroom using the wheels, which is an optional extra. If you have a garden, wouldn’t it be lovely to move your standing workstation outside? A tripod desk makes it possible to do that. The tripod portion of the desk is rather solid, as you can see in the photographs, so once it is tightened into position, it will remain there. Yet the desk portion can sag somewhat due to the way the surface is set in a straight line.
In terms of surface, some tripod desks provide workspace that is no larger than an economy-comfort class inflight tray table. Thankfully, this one has a 16 by 28-inch surface, giving you room for your phone, a second (light!) screen, and other items. I strapped my Blue podcasting microphone to the desk’s outer edge after attaching it to an articulating arm.
In addition to being useful for regular PC work, a standing desk also shines when I need to record videos for this profession since it has the right amount of room for both my autocue (my laptop) and my mic.
It is substantially heavier but also far more durable than a normal camera tripod. Surprisingly, the wheelbase is a sturdy, movable triangular base, which makes it feel much more stiff. Moreover, each wheel on the tripod has rubberized feet and can be secured into place. Whether on hard flooring, carpet, or rugs, the feet are unlikely to move independently once they are set up.
Even when it isn’t in use, this tripod desk’s maneuverability is its best feature. Although I didn’t disassemble it and pack it away frequently while I was testing it, having the option to do so when I have guests over or need more floor space is helpful. I can usually move it into a corner or behind a shelf to hide it.
The professional type tripod is exceptionally durable and would likely outlive several pieces of stationary furniture. A cross strut to stabilize the surface would be a good place to start if they were to update this model because it’s a shame the surface is a little unsteady. Although there isn’t enough of an angle for cups to roll off, the $400 desk feels strangely unstable given how heavy the tripod is.
The Intention Tripod Standing Desk Pro was tested as a straightforward standing desk, but thanks to its adaptability, I used it for more than just laptop use; in fact, it became my go-to surface for podcasts. Whether you’re searching for a smaller, lighter tripod workstation, or simply a less expensive choice — Intension’s entry-level package is presently on sale for under $200.