As someone whose first apartment was furnished with hand-me-downs and stuff people were throwing away (RIP to the office chair I found near Staples), the idea of buying brand new furniture makes me somewhat uncomfortable. That's especially true of furniture this expensive: BDI's Stance desk is an electric standing desk that is well-built, stylish, and costs more than my first car.
BDI has been in the luxury office furniture game for while now with the Stance and Sequel lines of sit/stand desks. The Stance 6650 BDI sent to me for review is meant for users with small home offices or tiny workspaces. That works for me: My living room has been converted into an office/workshop since our main offices closed due to COVID-19. Assembly took a little over an hour, and I recommend having a second person around to help get it upright since it weighs over 100 pounds. The 48x24-inch desk was more than enough space for me, though if you need the extra room, these desks also come as large as 66x30-inches.
Build and materials
Desktop size: 24" x 48" x 24"
Height: 24"- 49"
Desktop: Satin-etch tempered glass
Exterior: Powder coated steel
MSRP Price: Desk - $1,450, Keyboard Drawer -$200, Modesty Panel $130
Accessory colors: Black, Sepia, Strata
The first thing you'll notice is that the Stance is gorgeous. The satin-etched tempered glass surface and powder coated steel legs put it leagues ahead of cheaper standing desks (opens in new tab) which often use a laminate surface that's easy to scratch. BDI claims that its glass finish offers protection against scratches and fingerprints, and my experience mostly validated that claim. Aside from the occasional smudge from not using a coaster, I didn't put many marks on it. The Stance seems to hold it's own against day-to-day wear and tear, although I haven't tested it over a long period of time.
Overall, the Stance has a modern minimalist look to it and the tempered glass finish gives off strong CEO-of-a-tech-startup energy—whether that's a good thing or not is up to you. The modesty panel is nice for hiding sloppy cable work, but not really necessary if you plan to put the desk in the corner of a room.
An issue I often found with standing desk converters is they can take up a lot of desk real estate. Cable management becomes a problem if you keep a desktop beneath your desk as well. If your cables aren't long enough you could inadvertently tug the connectors out of the system or, even worse, break a port. Let's not forget trying to lift up the damn thing: an unwieldy and potentially hazardous situation for some.
The Stance addresses the cable issue by placing a ledge on the underside of the desk. This acts as a tray where you can keep your powerstrip and any excess cables, so you don't have to worry about accidentally pulling out your power cords as the desk rises. I would have liked to see a cut-out or two in the desk to run display cables from my monitors to the PC so that they don't awkwardly hang behind it like sad powerlines after a storm.
I've been using a standing desk converter (opens in new tab) at home and in the office for over a year due to chronic back issues. Standing for work has been pretty great, as it turns out, but being a stand-up gamer has presented logistical challenges I didn't consider. The gas springs on the desk riser I have only support 33 lbs, and so the weight of my two 27 inch monitors was nearly enough to risk catastrophic desk failure.
The Stance supports 150 lbs, which is more than enough to handle all my kit, including my PC itself. The adjustable height of 24-49 inches is plenty of range for different working setups. For scale, I'm 5'9 and was able to work comfortably with the desk raised to 40.5 inches. If you're tall you still have another 9 inches to work with. When seated, dropping the desk to around 30 inches is where I feel most comfortable working or gaming. On the opposite end, if you're shorter or have a child who needs to use the desk, it can drop all the way down to 24 inches.
The powered leg system is controlled by a single motor with the help of a programmable keypad, and it can store up to four height presets. It's nice to start the day by hitting a button to move the desk to where I need it without manually adjusting it. (Though I do like to raise it to the maximum height from time to time and feel like a toddler messing around on my parent's computer. I've been home for months, let me entertain myself.)
The only big negative against the Stance as a gaming desk is that there is a noticeable lack of storage. The optional keyboard drawer is a great place for hiding away a keyboard and mouse, since there are little cut-outs to run cable through. I would have loved to have seen a larger attached drawer, though. For day to day use, the surface on the keyboard drawer is an unflattering textured rubber that doesn't make for a great gaming mouse surface. If you do skip the drawer, invest in a giant mousepad to give you all the gaming surface you need without smudging the glass.
I mentioned earlier that this desk isn't cheap, and I meant it: The Stance retails for $1,450. This doesn't include the cost of the keyboard drawer ($200) or modesty panel ($129). Much like a good couch, a good desk costs a lot upfront but will last you years—but spending over $1,700 on a desk is probably a non-starter for most gamers. You could buy a high-end PC and a cheaper desk for the same amount.
If you're willing to pay for it, BDI's Stance desk works well as both a desk for work and play. I've been standing while gaming for over a year now and I love it. The Stance basically just gives me peace of mind. I don't have to worry about a cable being snagged in a riser or that the desk is going to buckle under its own weight. You can find a less fancy electric desk online for a fraction of the price if you're on a tighter budget. Ergonomic furniture isn't cheap, but the Stance is definitely in the luxury ergonomics category.
BDI offers a limited 3 year warranty on the desk, which is pretty standard and should cover any defects with the motor. For expensive furniture, it's probably wise to pick up an extended warranty from the retailer to be on the safe side.
If you have about $1,400 burning a hole in your pocket and looking to class up your work and play space, the BDI Stance electric lift desks are well-crafted and stylish. After using this for a few weeks, it'll be tough for me to adjust back to a normal desk. It's like being given a Porsche 911 for a week and then being forced to go back to a Toyota Camry.