Reviewed by David Savage
Many of us are now having to work from home. That means that many of us will be turning spare rooms and unused spaces into home offices. As anyone who works in an office will know, sitting down all day isn’t really good for our health. Sitting down for long periods of time has been linked to being overweight and obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, bad backs, bad shoulders and lots more. So whilst having to work from home, we all have to make sure that we take regular breaks and stretch our legs. But what if there was a better way to work? If sitting is so bad, what about standing up to work?
Standing up to work? Don’t be so silly. Where would the laptop go? It’s not as if you can hold it and work. So what about a standing desk? The standing desks seen in some offices are huge contraptions that take up lots of space and are expensive. Even the ones that clamp to the desk are bulky and again expensive. And who wants to stand all day anyway? I know I don’t! Well Deskmate have the perfect answer and kindly sent me their Minimate Laptop Standing Desk to review (I received the yellow version).
The Deskmate Minimate is a portable, foldable, eco-friendly cardboard desk convertor to turn your desk from a sitting desk to a standing desk (for laptops and tablets only) and back again in seconds. How perfect is that?
After reading the above paragraph that mentions the Minimate is made from cardboard I bet you are very sceptical, like I was initially. I can hear you asking the same questions that I did; Would be any good due to the construction of it? How can it be of good enough quality? Will it be strong enough to hold a laptop to enable working? Well after using it, I am convinced it works well and have no issues regarding my initial concerns.
The Deskmate Minimate is made from EE corrugated flute (a strong, industrial strength double-walled cardboard), comes flat-packed, is very lightweight, 100% recyclable and costs a tenth of their metal counterparts that you may be used to seeing in offices. Every Deskmate is 100% recyclable and for every one purchased, Deskmate will plant a tree.
The Minimate is available in several colours: black, white, rose and a design called Phillipé. It is also available in two sizes: standard and large. For users between 5’5″ and 6.0ft you need the standard size and users over 6ft need the large version.
When folded, it measures 30x3x30cm. Unfolded it measures 51x31x30cm and pops up and down in literally seconds. When folded, the small footprint means that it can easily be stored at the side of the desk when not in use. The Minimate can hold a maximum weight of 15kg (which should be more than enough for any laptop).
So why would anyone choose to stand to work when they have a good desk and a comfortable chair? Well if like me, after an hour or two sitting down and not really moving being seated puts too much pressure on my back, making it ache and sore. Standing up relieves this but sometimes I am so involved in what I am doing that I don’t want to stop so continue to sit and work. By popping the Minimate on to my desk I can just lift my laptop onto it and continue to work, with very little interruption and no pressure on my back. When I feel like I have had enough of standing and want to sit down, I just fold down the Minimate and continue. This way I have the best of both worlds.
Back to it being made of cardboard. It can hold up to 15kg and my laptop is probably around 3kg, so that isn’t an issue. I was worried that when the laptop was placed on it that it would sag, or the heat generated by the laptop would warp it. So far neither have been a problem. The cardboard is very sturdy and secure and does not feel like it will collapse, breaking my laptop. The Minimate is showing no signs of strain or pressure.
Overall, I think that the Minimate is an excellent piece of equipment for any office, whether that is a home office or in an office block. It is very easy to use and takes up very little space when not in use (unlike its bulkier metal counterparts). You can even buy a carry case for it should you want to take it from home to the office etc.
The speed of use, price and eco-friendly credentials makes it a very viable option for users wanting to switch between sitting and standing and back again with ease and little disruption to work. It will make me more productive by lessening any backpain caused by constant sitting.
The Deskmate Minimate is an ingenious office tool. And if it ever needs replacing, it is very easily recycled.
For more information or to buy, visit deskmate.co.