As we hear more and more about how bad sitting for extended periods is for your health, offices around the globe are moving to install standing desks. Humans aren't set up to be squashed into a chair all day, no matter how ergonomic it is claimed to be, but standing all day isn't something we're particularly keen on either. One solution is a sit/stand desk like the Loctek S1L, which we've been testing.
There so many different standing desk options out there, we'd be foolish to even try and list them all. Instead, we're going to sort of lump them into two loose categories: full desktop solutions like the Varidesk, and then smaller, cheaper stands capable of handling a bit of standing work. The Loctek S1L falls firmly into that second category.
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How you attach the S1L to your desk will depend on how your office is set up. If you've got a free edge on the back of the desk, there's a screw-in clamp that will be familiar to anyone who's ever fitted a table-tennis net. If that's not an option, the stand can also be attached through a hole in the desk.
Although the instructions tell you where and how to drill holes for a desk without anywhere to mount, I thought it best not to deface the desks in the office. Instead, it was a cinch to attach it through a hole designed for cables. And don't worry if the clamp entirely fills the hole, as cables can be fed through it.
Having attached the base unit to your desk, it's simply a matter of slotting the gas-strut arm onto that base unit, and then attaching the laptop tray to that arm. Once it's fully assembled, you just need to set the strut to the correct height, and you're away.
As desktop laptop stands go, few come close to the level of customization this one provides. There's a huge range of vertical movement, both from the pole attached to the base and again from the gas strut in the arm, while the hinge on the back of the laptop tray means you can swivel it to the perfect angle. After a bit of shuffling, it was perfectly aligned with the monitor on the desk, where it's mostly stayed since being assembled.
In the interests of science, we've also tested the S1L as a standing desk. It's perfectly capable, provided you don't want everything on your desk to stand with you. Instead, you're limited to a laptop, or desktop monitor and keyboard if you're willing to stand particularly close to the screen.
The only real issue is to do with height, or lack thereof. I'm six-foot-six, and the S1L doesn't quite come high enough to be completely comfortable. The solution is just to jack the laptop up with a ream of paper, but it's something to keep in mind if you're on the taller side.
All up, Loctek has created a fantastic laptop stand that also happens to be a decent part-time standing desk. Because of its size, it struggles to comfortably hold a larger monitor, but it's perfect for brief periods of laptop-only standing. The only real knock is the price: at US$199, it's not exactly cheap.
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