Which AKTIV Desk Is Right For You?

AKTIV 1 and AKTIV 2 standing desks in an office

They’re both designed to give you lots of standing desk bang for a limited budget. It’s just that one has one motor while the other has two. But what difference does that make, and which desk should you choose?

If you were to be flippant about it (which, of course, we never are), when asked ‘what’s the difference between the AKTIV 1 and 2 standing desks?’, you might answer ‘about £150’.

Which is true. If not especially helpful.

So how else do they differ, and what do those differences mean if you’re looking for a great standing desk at a price that won’t break the bank?

AKTIV – a lot of desk for the money

One thing the two standing desks share is the ethos behind them. If you’ve been doing your sit/stand desk research you’ll know there are prestige desks at a premium price, and desks designed for the everyday. As you’re on this page, we’ll assume you’re in the market for the latter.

But there’s a bit of a problem with the everyday standing desk market, because it encompasses a lot of desks from a lot of companies. Some of them are specialist standing desk manufacturers like ourselves. Our starting position when creating our variable height desks was ‘how much desk can we squeeze into the smallest possible price?’.

For us, it’s all about creating the very best desk – one we’re proud to put our name to – and then challenging ourselves to refine our processes (rather than the materials and standards) so we can maintain the quality but drive down the price.

Not everyone works that way. Others start from the position of ‘what’s the cheapest standing desk we can make?’. That inevitably leads you to make a low quality desk, where corners are cut, materials are compromised and tolerances are, well, not very tolerant. Sometimes you’ll notice the difference immediately. A cheaper standing desk may take a lighter load or raise and lower slowly and make a bit of a noise as it does so.

Alternatively, you might not notice the difference straightaway, but you certainly will when it packs in just as the one-year guarantee runs out.

Whether you choose AKTIV 1 or AKTIV 2, you’re getting a standing desk that will last and a desk that will perform as well as (if not better) than many desks costing considerably more.

AKTIV 1 or AKTIV 2 standing desks – what’s the difference?

The biggest difference between the two standing desks is that the AKTIV 1 has a single motor to lift and lower the desktop while the AKTIV 2 has, appropriately enough, two.

What difference does that make? Well, more than you might at first imagine.

Speed

Dual motors on the AKTIV 2 mean the desktop raises and lowers 7mm per second faster than the AKTIV 1. To be clear, the AKTIV 1 is no slouch – it’s not as if you’ll have time to put the kettle on while it extends to full height – but if you’d prefer a little extra zip, AKTIV 2 will be your preferred choice.

Noise

Having two motors means neither has to work quite so hard, so they can go about their job quietly. Raising and lowering the AKTIV 2 is about as quiet as a library (45dB). The AKTIV 1 is marginally louder, but again, it’s all relative. At 50db it’s as noisy as a quiet office. Hardly pneumatic drill levels.

Load

Two motors make lifting easier too. With the load shared, the AKTIV 2 can lift 100kg (including the desktop). The AKTIV 1, however, is still game for 80kg. Bear in mind that even a beefy monitor will only weight 10kg, so both desks have plenty of grunt in reserve, unless you’re stacking your desk with loads of kit (which we’ll get to in a minute).

Height

Two motors give the AKTIV 2 the added oomph for three extending masts (legs) that give it a greater range of height over the AKTIV 1. At it’s lowest, it sits 645mm to the desk surface, compared with 740mm for the AKTIV 1. At its highest, the AKTIV 2 reaches 1295mm while the AKTIV 1 tops out at 1200mm.

If you sit/stand squarely in the middle of those ranges, the difference won’t affect you. But if you need a few extra mm at either end of the range, the AKTIV 2 will be your better bet.

AKTIV 1 or AKTIV 2 standing desks – what are the similarities?

Lots. Both have three frame colour options and a choice of eight desktop finishes. Both height adjustable desks come with ten-year warranties on the desktop and a three (AKTIV 1) or five (AKTIV 2) year warranty on everything else. Both have a 4-way memory controller (so your desk will return to your preferred height without any faff). Both are sustainably manufactured, with the desktops made from UK grown and FSC-certified timber.

Perhaps most importantly, both desks are not only extremely stable at height, they also significantly outperform the similarly priced competition in the sturdiness stakes. How sturdy are they? Well look at it this way, you could pay almost double the price and barely notice a difference in wobble and vibration.

At a glance

Let’s do a quick recap of those AKTIV 1 and 2 specs:

AKTIV 1

 

AKTIV 2

 

Height range (to working surface)

740-1220mm

Height range (to working surface)

645-1295mm

Maximum load

80kg

Maximum load

100kg

Motors

1

Motors

2

Noise

50dB

Noise

45dB

Speed

25mps

Speed

32mps

Anti-collision

Yes

Anti-collision

Yes

Frame colour options

3

Frame colour options

3

Desktop colour options (as standard)

8

Desktop colour options (as standard)

8

Warranty

3/10 years

Warranty

5/10 years

USB as standard

No

USB as standard

Yes

Memory controls as standard

Yes

Memory controls as standard

Yes

 

AKTIV 1 or AKTIV 2 standing desks – which is right for you?

If you were to sum up the chief difference between the two standing desks from a user perspective, we’d say it’s this: AKTIV 2 is a commercial grade desk. AKTIV 1 has a commercial grade desktop but its single motor makes it the better option for homeworking rather than the commercial office environment.

That’s not so much a question of capability. Many of the differences (noise, load, speed) are either so small as to be almost insignificant or will simply never become an issue. When you’re only using the desk for relatively light office work, you may never come close to the 80kg load limit of the AKTIV 1, let alone the 100kg limit of the AKTIV 2.

Height range may be a deciding factor, as may the issue of ‘hammer’.

A homeworking desk isn’t usually subject to the same forces an office desk is likely to face. You’re more likely to treat it kindly. You’ll raise and lower it perhaps half a dozen times each day, something the AKTIV 1 motor will be perfectly happy with. If you’re a homeworking accountant, graphic designer, writer, recruiter or anything else that doesn’t see your desktop groaning under the wight you place on it, the AKTIV 1 should meet your needs perfectly.

An in-office standing desk, however, may be used for hotdesking, so could be raised or lowered much more frequently. If more than one worker is using it, it may need to support a greater height range. It probably won’t be loved quite so much. It may be required to handle bigger kit.  With its dual motors, the AKTIV 2 is the safer choice for environments where your standing desks will face a bit of a battering.

Still unsure which is the better option for you? Give us a call and let’s chat about it.