Standing Desk War: Autonomous VS Vivo Head-to-Head

Standing Desk War: Autonomous VS Vivo Head-to-Head

Where do you go when your budget is tight, yet you want a quality standing desk for your office? Brands like Autonomous and Vivo can be great alternative to the top-notch brands you always hear about. But the problem with the lower price is low quality (which none of us wants). Even though Autonomous and Vivo are scaling up their games by introducing new features, you must see a head-to-head comparison first.

Both Autonomous and Vivo can’t satisfy us on the stability test. But Autonomous has higher weight capacity and a more flexible height range. On the other hand, Vivo has a better desk collection with different features. Plus, Vivo desks are way more affordable too.

That was just a small preview of what we have in store for you in this article. Keep reading to get a deeper insight into the plus and minus points of both Vivo and Autonomous.

Key Takeaways

  • Even though Vivo claims a maximum height cap of 49” to 50”, it starts losing stability after 34”. 
  • Autonomous desks are not the most stable as well. But we didn’t notice any alarming wobble till it passed 42” height.
  • Vivo provides better desk designs and customization options.
  • Autonomous Smart Desk 2 Pro has a maximum height limit of 52” (not easily seen in a standing desk).

Autonomous VS Vivo Sit-Stand Desks: Which One Will Win?

With mid-range brands, you always have to compromise one thing or the other. So, there’s no ultimate loser or winner. It depends on your preferences and what features mean the most to you. Keeping that in mind, let’s start our one-on-one comparison. Shall we?

1. Stability Test

What’s a better way to prove a desk’s stability than throwing it under a test? So, we will do a quick stability test for both Autonomous and Vivo.

Autonomous Smart Desk 2 Pro

Autonomous Smart Desk 2 is a highly popular desk in the market. Even though the low price point attracts buyers initially, Autonomous desks actually have nice features as well. But we will find out whether prolonged stability is one of them or not. We have included all the details relating to the stability test in the table below.

HeightTotal WeightDesk’s Stability
26” (lowest point)  100 lbsRock Solid
200 lbsRock Solid
300 lbsRock Solid
39” (average standing height of females)100 lbsSolid
200  lbs Left-to-right: no movement   
300 lbsNoticeable movement (without much effort)
42” (average standing height of males)100 lbsStarts moving with a little push
200 lbsWobbles both side to side and front to back
300 lbsShakes uncontrollably even with a gentle push.
52” (highest point)100 lbsNot stable at all
 200 lbsNot stable at all
300 lbsNot stable at all (highly dangerous)

 As you can see, we have put different weight set-ups on the desk frame (100 lbs, 200 lbs, and 300 lbs). Since the desk claims to support 300 lbs (max capacity), we have shown whether you can trust that statement or not. according to the stability test results, the desk legs start hopping on the floor when you increase its height to 52” with 300 lbs on top of it.

 But if you are willing to lower the weight limit (within 100 lbs to 200 lbs) and the standing height (below 42”), you can neglect the mild instability. In fact, many users don’t even notice any wobbliness or shaking at all due to keeping the standing height between 39” to 42” all the time.

However, this is not the option you have. Autonomous allows you to choose something more sophisticated called the smart desk “Business” edition. Yes, the model we described earlier falls into the “Home edition.” If you love the overall features and want to upgrade its stability (or reduce the wobbly experience), you can check out their “business edition” models.

Standing Desk War: Autonomous VS Vivo Head-to-Head


When it comes to the Vivo 103E sit-stand desk, we have noticed worse results. The desk stays solid at its lowest (like any other desk). But as it moves past 34” (in height), it starts reacting to your back-and-forth pushing. Once it reaches 36”, the wobbling seems pretty noticeable. And, after 40”, it wobbles uncontrollably. The sad part is that 40” is not even close to Vivo’s maximum height range. The majority of Vivo standing desks can travel up to 49” to 50”. It’s a shame that the desk loses its stability at only 40”. We don’t even want to see what happens when you put 300 lbs on top of the desk and increase the height to its max capacity. That would be a total disaster.

 Winner: Autonomous

2. Height Adjustability

Autonomous and Vivo are both designed for a slightly taller demographic. We are not saying that they intentionally avoided the shorter users. The average office desk height (while sitting) is 28 to 30 inches. Both brands, especially Vivo, have stuck with that thumb rule. Vivo hasn’t experimented a lot with its height adjustability.

Most of the models (including single or multi-motor) start from 28”.  But we all know that it’s not ideal if you are below 5’7”. For example, a 5’ person’s ideal sitting desk should be 22” to 23” in height. That means people with lower-than-average height will have a hard time using the Vivo desk for sitting. 

Autonomous isn’t completely different. None of their desks start below 26”. But it’s still better than the 28” limit we get from Vivo, right? 26” as a sitting height will be sufficient for you if you are 5’5’ or over. It’s true that Autonomous doesn’t make that big of a difference. But you can’t avoid the extra 2 inches it offers.

 Next comes the standing height or maximum height. Autonomous again wins in this department with a 52” cap on its Smart Desk 2 pro. Its Vivo counterparts can only lift up to 48” to 49” depending on the model. So, overall Autonomous has a more flexible range when it comes to adjusting the height.

Winner: Autonomous

3. Price Point

 Remember, both of the brands belong to the mid-tier group of standing desks. People usually prefer such brands due to their affordable prices. If you have decided to go with either of these brands, we are sure price is a big factor for you too. In that sense, Vivo successfully keeps almost every model (even the multi-motor) ones below $800. And, there’s no one Vivo desk that would cost you $1000.

 Of course, the price range spreads from $219 to $799. But they amaze us by keeping some high-performing dual-motor desks within the $300 range. If your budget is $300, you will still find a lot of options to choose from.

But we can’t say the same thing for Autonomous. Even though it’s also publicized as an affordable brand, their Smart Desk Corner comes at a price of $1149. That’s about $400 more than a Vivo’s corner desk. We wouldn’t lie; there are some affordable pieces. For example, the Smart Desk Core is priced at $399. But that’s about it. If your budget is lower than $300, you really don’t have much to explore here.

Winner: Vivo

4. Frame Manufacturer

Did you know that majority of standing desk brands get the frames from China? That’s why it’s super important to know who the original manufacturer is. Some Chinese manufacturers solely focus on producing the frames at a lower price. Needless to say, they end up compromising the quality to a huge extent.

Both Autonomous and Vivo come from mid-tier Taiwanese and Chinese factories. Autonomous gets its frames from TiMotion (located in Taiwan); while Vivo has a partnership with Sino-linear (located in China). They are not as famous as Logic data.

But TiMotion is known for contributing to several industries, including medical equipment, through their linear actuators. On the other hand, Sino-linear has recently introduced its own standing desk brand called “Human Motion.” So, it’s clear that both companies have credible experience in the ergonomic industry.

But there are some issues as well. You see, the meaning of “quality” is slightly different for Chinese brands. They are more focused on keeping the product affordable (which they have done successfully). But if you open the control box that comes with a Vivo smart desk, you can see how trivial the setup is. Even the connectors are not secure enough to keep the boards in place.

Another problem is the use of plastic glides. It reduces the column’s strength and affects the promised stability. Unfortunately, both of these issues are prevalent in TiMotion and Sino-linear frames.

5. Warranty

 We have said it over and over in our previous articles. Warranty terms indirectly signal how durable the product is going to be (according to the manufacturers). Autonomous shines in this department. Their Smart Desk Corner (Multi-motor) offers a record 7-year warranty. It’s quite rare in the ergonomic desk industry. Even high-end brands limit their warranty coverage to 5 years only.

So, it’s crystal clear that Autonomous has a lot of faith in its desk’s strength and capacity. Apart from the Smart Desk Corner, the rest of the models also showcases a warranty coverage of 5 years.

But here’s the thing. We have found that TiMotion only provides a 2-3 year warranty for their frames. Since they are the original manufacturers of Autonomous desks, it’d be wise to believe what the Chinese manufacturers say about their products. In that sense, Autonomous desks have a pretty average warranty coverage as well as durability.

 On the other side, we have Vivo offering a straight 3-year warranty on all of their desk models. But the good part is that we have investigated what Sino-linear (OEM) has to say about this warranty. And, Voila! Sino-linear also offers a maximum 3 -year warranty coverage on their frames. It’s a relief. You can be assured that the brand is capable of respecting your warranty demands. We have to give this one to Vivo only because of their transparency on this matter.

 Winner: Vivo

Standing Desk War: Autonomous VS Vivo Head-to-Head

6. Weight Capacity

 Let’s see which desk can lift more load with ease. As you can see (from the table below), both Autonomous and Vivo have dual-motor desks. But the weight capacity is different (and it’s highly noticeable). The Autonomous Smart Desk Pro can lift up to 310 lbs easily. On the other hand, the Vivo dual-motor desk will only support up to 220 lbs. There’s almost a 100 lbs difference.

The same goes for the triple or multi-motor category. While Autonomous offers a weight capacity of 400 lbs for the three-legged desks, the Vivo one can only lift 264 lbs. Moving on, Vivo’s single-motor options provide a weight capacity of 176 lbs. But we don’t have an Autonomous counterpart for this specific model.

To be honest, a weight capacity of 264 lbs is commendable. Many high-end brands, including Flexispot & Vari, keeps their desk’s weight capacity below 250 lbs. But compared to Autonomous, it looks feeble. So,  if you are highly concerned about the weight-lifting capacity of your desk’s columns, you know which way to go.

CategoryBrandWeight Capacity
Dual-MotorAutonomous310 lbs
Vivo220 lbs
Multi-motorAutonomous400 lbs
Vivo264 lbs

 But let us clarify a small fact. Even though Autonomous claims to support up to 400 lbs. They suggest in their manual to keep the load within 200 lbs. Even the official supplier of Autonomous frames (TiMotion) confirms this statement. If that’s the case, we are not sure whether Autonomous really beats Vivo in the weight department or not.

Also, from what we have seen from the stability test earlier, it seems quite impossible to load more than 300 lbs on an Autonomous Smart Desk 2 Pro without making it unstable.

Winner: Autonomous

7. Travel Speed & Noise

Travel speed is simply how much a desk can move (both upwards and downwards) within 1 second. A desk with a high-quality motor can easily provide 1” speed per second. It might not look like a big deal when you start using the desk. But as you indulge yourself deep into a task, it’s a hassle to wait for the desk to settle.

So, let’s see which desk moves faster (from the table below).

BrandParticular DeskTravel Speed Per Second
AutonomousI. Smart Desk 2 pro II. Smart Desk Corner III. Smart Desk Core2.3”  
Vivo1B Solid Single- Motor Desk25mm
Corner 83”x 60” Multi-Motor Desk1.5”
63”x32” Dual-Motor Electric Desk25mm

 It’s obvious that the Autonomous desks (every model) is designed to move 2.3” per second. That’s a remarkable speed considering the price for its Smart Desk Core is only $399.

On the contrary, even the multi-motor corner desk from Vivo will give you 1.5” per second. That’s not bad at all. But Autonomous is really giving tough competition. Plus, when we compare the dual-motor desks, Vivo really falls behind with its 25 mm speed per second. While Autonomous still assures you a 2.3” of speed with one less motor. So, who wins this segment is pretty clear (Autonomous).

 As far as noise is concerned, we have found Autonomous desks to be quieter. Even though the desk was overloaded with 300 lbs of weight (during the stability test), the noise was tolerable.

So, Autonomous is successful in keeping the noise generation below 50 dB. However, we can’t say the same for Vivo. The “buzz” sound keeps getting stronger as the table goes up. And, if you make the mistake of putting too much stuff on the surface, the sound only gets worse. It might be tolerable for a little while. But it is not acceptable during a professional work routine.

 Winner: Autonomous

8. Unconventional Requirements

Are you not looking for conventional sit-stand desks? We are talking about the dual-motor desks with a 1” thick desktop (rectangular shape). If not, you will have a hard time meeting your needs through Autonomous. Even though their Smart Desk collection is highly popular, the design is basic. If you are determined to use a single-motor desk, you won’t find it in an Autonomous collection. The same goes for extra thick, contoured desktops as well.

 But Vivo doesn’t offer such straightforward options anymore. We have found models with two-tier desktops for extra storage, manual height adjustable options, and frames that can handle unusually thick desktops. Single, dual, and even multi-motor desks are in store for different types of buyers. One thing is for sure; you wouldn’t have any problem finding a personalized and unique standing desk from Vivo.

Winner: Vivo

Before You Leave!

You know Vivo and Autonomous are not the only affordable brands out there. If you have a tight budget and want the very best quality and customization options, we recommend you explore Topsky as well. We know very well only a random recommendation is not enough. For that, we have prepared a head-to-head comparison between Topsky and Vivo, just like the one you have read. If you are interested in further research, check out that article as well.

Article link: Battle of standing desks: Topsky VS Vivo

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