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Ergotron Mobile Desk review: This portable standing desk is a great solution for small spaces

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the ergotron standing desk on a gradient blue background

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Hybrid work has increasingly become the norm. If you split your time between work and home, or live in a space that’s too small for a static desk, you may prefer a more flexible workstation. The Ergotron Mobile Desk is a workspace on wheels that you can raise and lower to sit or stand.

We tested the Ergotron a few years ago and found it extremely flexible for working from different locations throughout the day. We loved it so much that we named it the best for small spaces in our guide to the best standing desks. Read on for our thoughts on this flexible desk’s many thoughtful features.

Design and setup

For those who prefer to work standing, finding a surface that’s the perfect height can be challenging. Even with the best standing desk converters you’re glued to the same location all day.

Ergotron, a “movement company” founded by Harry Sweere in 1982, tries to address the woes of people looking for their at-home sweet spots with the Mobile Desk. This company develops products that promote neutral posture and reduce strain and fatigue. 

This portable desk checks off all of those boxes and does so stylishly. It has clean lines and minimalist construction. The color palette includes a beautiful light-maple work surface accented by medium grays on a light gray pedestal and a brushed nickel base. The desk’s design has a tidy Scandinavian aesthetic that keeps it from looking bulky or, at the very least, calling attention to it.

The desk rises from a minimum height of 29 inches to 45 inches. It’s a little on the tall end for a wingback armchair, but its lowest setting is just right for an average couch or chair. The pedestal rests atop four casters, two of which lock for stability. There’s a built-in tablet stand with a grommet for charging cables or wires, plus a tray area for pens and sundries. There’s also an integrated cup holder and a hook for your bag. 

Setting this desk up for use was one of the easiest things I’ve put together since I moved into my house. It came in a manageable, compact box and took less than three minutes to put together — essentially, a minute per part. No tools were needed whatsoever; the pieces just clicked and snapped together effortlessly. The desk surface came with the tray and heavily reinforced support bolster pre-screwed and assembled, the bag hook was already attached to the pedestal, and the caster wheels were securely fitted to the base. It could not have been quicker or simpler to get right to work. 

What it’s like to use

Image of the Erogron Mobile Desk’s cup holderThe Ergotron has a cup holder for your water bottle or coffee mug.

Su-Jit Lin/Insider

There’s a lot to love about the Mobile Desk because there’s more to its flexibility than just height adjustment. For one, its size. At two feet across, it’s just big enough for a large monitor and average laptop to fit without too much overlap. That’s important for those who are accustomed to working with dual-screen setups. It’s also deep enough to give you enough room to type on your open laptop and to use a mouse. 

If you prefer a separate keyboard, though, that won’t work. I found myself using my independent wireless keyboard in my lap with the desk at seated height. This ended up being a better typing experience than on the desktop because there’s a mild bit of side-to-side give when roughly handled, which can be a minor annoyance. If you only need to accommodate a laptop, there’s plenty of surface area for writing or storing notebooks. 

With my dual-monitor setup, I found that I preferred to use the desk backward to keep the tray where I store my blue-light glasses and writing implements close at hand. This means losing the comfortably rubberized soft edges of the desk as your point of contact, but the gentle curve of the tray is still nice to rest on. The juncture is tight, leaving no gaps to pinch your skin or hard edges to dig into your arms or wrists. This also puts one of my favorite features just to the left: the cup holder.

This is such a simple yet intuitive detail. Without it, it’s easy to knock over a glass or ruin a surface with condensation rings. The cup holder’s bottom is semi-open, so it doesn’t collect dust and will drain in case of spills. It’s just the right size for a water glass, slim water bottle, or thin coffee thermos. However, a regular coffee mug’s handle won’t fit in it, and a juice or highball glass might get lost in its depth. 

The cup holder also keeps your drink firmly ensconced as you roll around. The desk’s wide base makes it well-balanced for maneuverability, and its rolling mechanism is smooth. Big, sturdy wheels traverse easily over carpets, rugs, and thresholds. A rubberized coating keeps your transitions quiet as you move across hardwood and tile, too, and keeps the desk in place, even without locking the front casters. But if you want the added assurance of stabilized wheels, soft-touch flips pop up and down with a satisfying click. 

Taking it to standing height is a simple matter of pulling up the pneumatic lever. I found it helpful to put my foot on the base as I pulled the tabletop upward, but it isn’t necessary unless you’re pulling it to its maximum height. You do need to push gently while pulling the lever to decrease the height, though. It doesn’t have any set levels for height increments, so you can adjust this desk at minute intervals within its range. That’s nice if you like to switch between shoes and bare feet or a couch and a stool throughout the day.

What are your alternatives?

For a fraction of the price, you can invest in our pick for the best standing desk converter, the Vivo K Series, which raises and lowers on a regular tabletop. However, it’s heavy and will anchor you down to one spot.

For a similar design to the Ergotron, StandSteady makes the Cruizer Pivot Mobile Podium with Tilting Desktop, also for half the cost. It’s elevated with a foot pedal, and you can change the angle of the surface. But it is significantly smaller, harder to maneuver, and does not offer a convenience tray. The Cruizer Premier Electric Mobile Podium has a second surface for a keyboard, but it lacks a cup holder and tray.

For more stationary options, check out our guide to the best standing desks.

The bottom line

Ergotron Mobile Desk with a laptop on top of it in a living room in front of an armchair.The Ergotron is a great option for small spaces or those that want the flexibility to move around throughout the day.

Su-Jit Lin/Business Insider

With its 10-year warranty, free shipping, and 30-day return policy, I highly recommend it. This is a quality, flexible solution for people who aren’t married to their home office setups and don’t want to or can’t invest in a permanent environment. 

Putting it together was a breeze. It moves well across all flooring materials, provides a solid, stable work surface, offers flexible, customizable configuration, and does so with more style than most ergonomic solutions. Ergotron’s Mobile Desk offers a detail-oriented design that can be unobtrusive, space-saving, and even sleek. 

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