• REVIEW: Fully Wing Top Desk


    Chase Kreznor

    The Fully “Jarvis” Series Wing Top Desk & ESI CPU Holder

    INTRODUCTION

    Desks are a natural inclusion in our flight simulation hobby, unless of course you are operating in a home built flight sim or lucky enough to have access to a full fidelity sim.  These “cockpits” and computer builds of ours are as unique as our fingerprint, and yet it's not a usual occurrence to see a review of a desk.  Recently I’ve rebuilt my gaming PC and I wanted to do something new and interesting for my cockpit/workspace.

    During my research into adjustable height desks, I discovered a brand named Fully.  Their mantra is simple: Movement is good.  Fully focuses on helping you find the best ergonomic solutions to help you bring your A-game.  You also have optional accessories like chairs, anti-fatigue mats, CPU holders, keyboard trays, lighting, monitor arms, drawers and pencil trays, wire management, and even desk treadmills.  Yes, treadmills.

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    Fully prides in using no (or the lowest possible) Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC).  They seek out materials that don’t require glues or sealants, but if needed, are met with the strictest emissions standards.  They also pride in sustainability as evident from their claim to fame products featuring bamboo which matures in 4-5 years; they also have a chair that is made from car bumpers and go as far to compost their coffee grinds.

    Fully promotes a healthy workplace choosing partners who prioritize wellbeing and engagement of their people.  Their partners are in US, Scandinavia, and Asia.  Fully stores are in Portland, San Francisco, and Baltimore.

    The obvious care for their employees, customers, and environment made them interesting to me in a world where it’s easy to focus only on production and profitability and not the rest.  I think it’s cool that they brag about being different and delivering only their best performance in their products and customer service (more on that below).

     

    ORDERING & PRICING (10/10 pts)

    The Fully website’s flexibility and interactivity appears to unlock many individual taste options.  I would argue I spent as much time comparing options and researching than I did building the desk; primarily because I am one to sweat the details and truly exhaust each option.  You may be quicker at ordering than me if extreme vetting isn’t your thing. 

    The ordering process was very easy and intuitive.  The Fully website was organized with the selection of desks, and allows you to select each individual desk to see how you may customize the build. 

    There appear to be many options to customize different desktops depending on the selection.  For the purposes of my review, I have underlined the options I selected and can speak for regarding my new 62”Jarvis Wing Top desk ($499+).  Customizations include:

    ·         Desk top material,

    ·         Leg colors,

    ·         Desktop sizes (price varies),

    ·         Desktop shapes (price varies),

    ·         Basic or memory capable ($35) rising and lowering controller,

    ·         CPU holders, ($99)

    ·         Monitor arms,

    ·         Field privacy panels,

    ·         and wire management trays ($20).

    Some desks limit the selections above for obvious reasons.  For instance, selecting the adjustable bamboo desk model won’t allow you to choose a different top material; since well - it’s a bamboo model.  If you’re like me and have a lot of dark wood in your home, you may be nervous about clashing wood colors.  Most of my furniture and cabinets (being nearby the kitchen) are Ovangkol wood which made me a little nervous of a clash.

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    Time to turn on HGTV: AVSIM Edition…  I can tell you from personal experience my bamboo top is classy enough to make Ron Burgundy proud and fits amazing even though the rest of my furniture and nearby cabinets are dark wood.  Me being me, I did a lot of reading online about clashing wood colors.  One webpage that really helped me was from ApartmentTherapy.com.  Does the grain match anything else nearby and do the undertones of nearby objects or flooring complement each other?  In my case, the darker undertones and grain of the bamboo top complemented the undertones and grain on my porcelain plank tiles.  My kitchen and “work area” are divided by a dividing wall so it breaks up the dark wood (kitchen) from the light wood of my desk top.  I will admit, it was a stretch in my mind but when it all came together, I was surprised with how nicely it meshes.

    I made a trip to IKEA before making this purchase, and I liked the idea, but not the quality of the IKEA rising desk.  I was happy spending a couple hundred dollars more entry level for something more sturdy and beautiful.  If I wanted to get fancy I could have customized the desk further with stained beech hardwood.  My absolute favorite wood is cocobolo, but that is not an option from Fully.  However, the adaptability, in length and application of the Fully base allows you to customize your desktop; so, you could custom order or build your own desk top if you wanted.

    I chose to make the legs gray.  The CPU holder I ordered was black which matches my computer case and my CyberPower 1500AVR UPS.

    SHIPPING (10/10 pts)

    As I get older, I notice I’m becoming increasingly patient.  However, one thing that still drives me nuts is when I’m excited to get something new online and you don’t have the instant gratification you get from picking it up at a nearby store.  If you live in or near Portland, San Francisco, or Baltimore, you can visit the Fully locations.  All that aside, I must compliment Fully on the free and fast* shipping.  When you consider the weight of these boxes (I believe ~110 lbs when all boxes were combined) it is impressive the shipping is free.

    *I ordered the desk on a holiday.  Fully advertises 1-2 day shipping on their website.  Therefore, I understand an additional day of waiting so their team members can enjoy a day at home with their families.

    About 24 hours after ordering I received a message from their customer service stating the order was reviewed and processed for my desk and CPU holder.  They said the desk would ship within another day or so from Oregon via FedEx.  The CPU holder would be coming within 2-4 days from Arizona via FedEx.

    I appreciated this information and awaited my tracking numbers so I could add them to the FedEx app.  About 48 hours from initial order, my desk was shipped.  It took about 6 business days for it to arrive- shipped on Wednesday, arrived next Wednesday.

    The CPU holder coming from the beautiful state of Arizona was shipped 48 hours after initial order and arrived a day prior to my desk arriving.  Therefore, all my packages were in one place when I was ready and eager to build.

    Overall, the shipping experience was excellent.  When ordering large items like this, it might be expected to take way longer than this did to process and coordinate shipping.  For those customers that are ordering a bulk number of desks, this shipping experience may vary as it’s a separate process that I’m not familiar with.  This is also clearly notated on the website for bulk orders which caught my eye.

    CUSTOMER SERVICE (10/10 pts)

    During install, I had one of those “uhhhh” moments where you’re staring at a couple pieces of wood and not sure where they’re supposed to go.  I did another scan of all the materials and still couldn’t figure it out.  After calling customer service (super easy to reach), I found out I was lacking the special instructions for my “wing top” desk, although the instructions are exactly the same as the other desks except for a couple lines that talk about those two pieces of wood.  I learned they are essentially height extenders to connect the base to the desk top due to the unique design of the wing tops being higher than the rest of the desk.

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    Overall, the customer service experience was excellent.  They were easy to reach, extremely helpful, and quick to e-mail me the special instructions I was lacking.  I will give the benefit of the doubt that amid the flurry of packaging materials, I probably threw this piece of paper out (oops).  Speaking of packaging…

    PACKAGING (10/10 pts)

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    The FedEx status said it was out for delivery.  I made sure I didn’t play music or have a movie playing so I could hear the delivery person knocking.  Instead, I heard what sounded like a box doing a cartwheel outside.  With my luck, I knew this had to be mine.  I ran outside and noticed the delivery person was cart wheeling this box up the stairs with his right hand and another small box tucked under his left arm.  Efficiency was not a means to quality in this case.  I was immediately worried the wood was going to be damaged.  Thankfully for the packaging, no damage was noted except for one little dent on my right-wing.  I’m not sure if that was attributed to the cart wheeling or the factory, but I’m leaning more towards the acrobatic delivery stunts courtesy of FedEx.

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    Overall the packaging was what would be expected for a desk.  A big box for the desk top and some smaller boxes for the other parts like the legs, electronic components, and CPU holder.  The CPU holder box was like unpacking a Matryoshka doll which was kind of funny. 

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    INSTALLATION (8/10 pts)

    2 points were deducted due to a screw being jammed from the factory (below for details).

    Specifications:

    ·         62x30” contoured bamboo desktop weighing in at 43 lbs

    ·         Adjustable Height and Expandable Jarvis Frame weighing in at 66lbs

    ·         Operating noise <50dB (without top)

    Now the fun part… putting it all together.  You will need space when putting this desk together.  My build area was spread out among probably 50 sq. ft. of the living room during installing.  The opened and flattened desk top box proved to be a nice padding between the flooring and the desk top.  I first unpacked the base and set the pieces out near where the desk was going.

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    Assembling the base of the desk was straight forward.  In summary: Put this piece here, tighten the screws in the pre-drilled holes using the provided tool. Repeat.

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    You can tell a lot of thought went into the quality of this product.  There were even adhesive “bumpers” provided to place between the base of the desk and the desk top to prevent rattling during rising and lowering.

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    Aside from assembling the base, the bamboo desk top was easy.  I forgot to take a picture of the unpacked desk top; probably because I was on the phone with customer support regarding those two small wooden pieces.  As described earlier in my review, this is the wing top model.  The wings are twisted 180 degrees during shipping to reduce the profile of the box and probably to prevent damage to the wings during the shipping process (lest we forget the acrobatics earlier in the review).

    It is up to you to unscrew the 6 screws (3 concealed under each wing) to pivot the wings to the extended position.  I became concerned with this process only because one of the middle screws was pretty badly jammed.  I couldn’t unscrew it without damaging the screw.  This is depicted in this image below which you can clearly see the elevated screw on the near the base arm.  Luckily, being a middle screw, I was still able to pivot the wing and the mishap proved to be inconsequential. I deducted 2 points out of 10 for this because if one of the top or bottom screws was jammed, as opposed to the middle screw, a pivot would not have been possible and likely I would have had to return the desktop to Fully for another one (or tried to extract the screw with other tools and risked damaging something).

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    Eventually you will have a fully assembled desk top and a fully assembled “future proof” base that can expand to a wider desk if you later decide to upgrade to a bigger desk top.  At 62” wide, it fits perfectly in the nook I set aside for the desk.  If you look closely at the picture below, you will notice the pre-drilled holes on the bottom of the desktop.  Before mounting base to the desk top (we are working upside down, keep in mind) you must install those two pieces of wood under the wings so the base is flush with the main area of the desk top.  An electric drill (carefully) worked fine with the screws I was putting into these pre-drilled holes.  I also used a manual Philips head screw driver for harder to reach areas I’ll detail later.

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    Both legs have a cable that connects to the control box.  The controller also connects to this box to allow you to adjust the height of the desk top (imagine that).  I liked that two extension cables were provided to allow limitless customization of how and where the cables are routed and hidden.  You can see in my build I utilized one of the provided adhesive cable managers and the optional wire trays. 

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    The wire management and the CPU holder will be detailed in the following sections in the review.

    After finishing up connecting the controller, legs, CPU holder, and wire tray, it was time to flip over the desk.  I’m usually stubborn with such warnings as “two people lift”.  I didn’t take the chance with this flip.  A friend helped me flip this over using the base (not the desktop), over the padding of the opened cardboard box to prevent scratching to the desk or scuffing of the floor.

    I originally tried mounting my computer case using the CPU holder.  If you have an oversized case like mine, this won’t work for you on the wing top model.  I improvised and instead used it to hold my UPS.

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    A little back story on my oversized case (skip to next paragraph for next part of review).  Back in 2008, I thought it was a good idea to buy an Alienware instead of build a computer myself.  Later in life, I realized not only did this take away the fun of the build, but I was clueless about what was inside because someone else did the picking for me.  This year I did my homework, gutted the Alienware build, and built my own configuration only reusing the spaceship case and the 1200w PSU.  Having this old build helped me learn a lot through reverse engineering the cabling and layout.  I have decided I want to get a different case since this thing is just too bulky, so perhaps my future case will fit better without the curved design.

    Overall, the installation was easy and towards the end…FUN (in a geek way).  The mundane stuff like tightening and drilling was routine, but the optional wire management and the CPU holder allowed me to get creative on how I wanted to take care of business.  Before adjusting the height of the desk, I followed the instructions of resetting the base first.  This ensures the legs are level and you aren’t working on an uneven desk.  The only hiccup I noticed was the jammed-up wing screw, but luckily, I could work around it and it’s out of sight out of mind.

    There are a ton of videos on the internet about Fully desks.  I found one from Fully detailing the install process.

    WIRE MANAGEMENT (10/10 pts)

    The first few weeks of ownership the optional wire trays made me a little lazy with my cable management because it’s just so easy to hide the wires in there and not do much else with them to zip tie or bundle them. 

    For additional cable management, I found these cool TechFlex braided expandable cable sleeves on Amazon.  This version expands up to 1 inch to allow you to route cables through.  Reminiscent of one of those finger trap toys, the sleeve expands when compressed, and constricts when pulled creating a nice clean cable solution.  I went with this brand over similar “PET” braided sleeves because these can be cut with scissors.  Other cable sleeves may require a heated knife to prevent fraying.  The ends on these will still fray if you don’t tighten up the ends when finished and allow the cables to pull in different directions.

    I was able to tidy up my wires and hide them nicely with the wire management tray.  Installing the wire management tray was straight forward.  There were no pre-drilled holes because location is variable depending on the customer's wants and needs.  My only wish is the wire management tray be some type of light metal versus plastic, however, being plastic didn't diminish it's sturdiness and overall quality. 

    CPU MOUNT (10/10 pts)

    The CPU mount is a good way to keep your desk/floor free of a CPU.  More importantly, for an adjustable height desk, it ensures you don’t over stretch and pull a cable loose or damage a connector.  The only cord that stretches when I adjust height is the power cord from the CyberPower UPS.

    Installation of the CPU mount was a little interesting on the wing top desk.  I didn’t see too many options for placement because of the limited space that wouldn’t cause the mount to be obstructed by the base.  I ended up installing the CPU mount under the wing opposite the height controller.  If you peek at the screenshot, you’ll notice the mount goes underneath the base in the gap the wing creates. 

    This is also the area you need to insert screws to secure the CPU mount.  Unfortunately, I didn’t foresee this, so I had to undo the right leg mounting, slide it out of the way, screw in the mount screws, then remount the right leg.  I don’t ding Fully for that because like the instructions say, these optional accessories are up to your imagination on where you want to install.  This location just worked for me.

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    After all of that, I ignored the instruction that tells you to install this a plastic guard on the front of the base plate because it didn’t fit on the wingtip.  I was safe to ignore the instruction because of my build’s location.  The sliding track is secured from sliding off the back of the mount by the desk’s base.  To prevent the sliding track from sliding off the front of the mount I used the provided rubber bumper for the front instead of this plastic guard.

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    Overall, I’m happy with the CPU mount despite being unable to use it for my CPU currently without having it at an angle so the back of the case doesn’t hit the leg.  I will attempt to switch it up in the future when I transfer my build to a new case that is smaller and square so it will fit better in the mount.

    RISING & LOWERING (10/10 pts)

    I wasn’t sure what to expect in this department as this is my first adjustable height desk.  For most of typing this review I was standing, and found the desk very comfortable.  The desk does not wobble; however, my monitor does shake slightly on occasion if I’m fiercely typing away on a document.  I can type accurately very quickly, but I tend to type harder the faster I go.  I did find when I have my monitor lower on its base (so more stable) it doesn’t shake.  Thus, I conclude the shaking is the monitor base design and not the desk itself.  I believe a Fully monitor arm will help in that area if I upgrade later.

    The desk feels very sturdy, and steadily rises and lowers.  It’s also very quiet.  If you are using this in a work environment near others, it’s not an offensive noise (more of a low humming).

    While writing this review, I was standing most of the time.  I feel more attentive and less distracted when I'm standing and working because there's the carrot in front of me of being able to sit down again when I'm done with whatever project I'm working on.  It's more of a personal observation than scientific, so to each his own.  I will definitely look into getting one of those standing mats and possibly a standing/adjustable height chair.

    OVERALL IMPRESSIONS (78/80 pts)

    I’m very happy with the sturdiness, apparent quality, and functionality of the desk.  The wing top model is sadly being discontinued, but it’s a unique and interesting design which is why I love it and had to have it.  The curved contour of the front of the desk is very nice to rest your arms on while your typing and if working up closer it allows you to reach the farther areas of the desk.  In my case, it’s easier to store my joystick, when not being used, on the back-right corner of the desk so it’s out of the way.

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    Ordering and Pricing (10/10 pts)
    Shipping (10/10 pts)
    Customer Service (10/10 pts)
    Packaging (10/10 pts)
    Installation (8/10 pts)
    Wire Management (10/10 pts)
    CPU Mount (10/10 pts)
    Rising and Lowering (10/10 pts)


    Overall Impressions 98%   (78/80 pts)

    This product has me happy enough to recommend and buy this again in the future.  I believe you get what you pay for.  The price matches the quality and experience I was expecting.  Wire management is an art, and they give you the canvas to work on that.  My wire management game is probably not as strong as yours, but as long as mine are mostly out of sight, I'm happy.  Installation was a breeze and now I have a comfortable standing/sitting work space.

     

    I believe this type of review is a first for AVSIM, but I hope you found this useful.  Feel free to reach out to me directly if you have any questions about what it’s like owning one of these.

    3




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