Review: BDI Centro 6452-2 standing desk
Deserving of a standing ovation?
We all know that sitting down all day is just as bad as being on our feet for the same length of time. That’s why adjustable standing desks were invented, and they’re a real lifesaver for your posture.
To use one daily, they need to have some core attributes. The desk must move fluidly between heights. It also needs to be rock-solid when not in motion, so your typing doesn’t make it jiggle.
We’re looking at a premium standing desk today, the BDI Centro 6452-2 standing desk with a keyboard drawer. With a huge slab of frosted tempered glass as the surface, this stylish desk comes with an eye-watering $2,244 price tag, sans drawer.
What makes a premium desk worth the extra? We’ll hopefully answer that by the end of this review.
Here are some of the things we’ll be covering in this review:
What benefits do I get from a standing desk?
The biggest reason for a standing desk is to not be sitting down all the time at work. We all know that sedentary lifestyles shorten our life span. Being able to stand up while working helps.
The main draw is that you can adjust the desk to fit your comfort zone instead of having to twist into uncomfortable positions. Changing positions throughout the day can also give you a boost of energy when you most need it.
That’s not to say we should be standing all the time. The best option, backed by experts, is that we should be moving during working hours.
That means sitting, standing, and walking, with a mix that doesn’t get us locked into a position for too long. Try not to stand for more than four hours at a time, mix up sitting, or take short breaks to walk around your office.
The BDI Centro can raise to a height of 49.75-inches or lower to 24.75-inches. That’s a huge range and can accommodate the tallest or shortest among us.
Combined with the keyboard drawer accessory, you’ll be able to find your sweet spot for both sitting and standing.
While thinking about ergonomics, take some time to think about your office chair. If it’s shabby or doesn’t support you anymore, it’s time for a replacement.
What do I get for buying a premium standing desk?
The biggest draw to any premium product is the materials involved. That’s why Apple is, well, Apple – BDI knows the same design lesson.
The satin-frosted tempered glass tabletop on the Centro is insane. It looks premium, feels even more premium, and is a real joy to work on.
That tabletop is 66-inches wide and 30-inches deep, giving you all the space you need for work. The glass is cleverly supported on a composite wood tabletop, giving you strength and hidden cable routing.
The back section is supported fully by the wood, and five bolts keep it firmly in place. You can even clamp heavy monitor arms to the back without worrying if the tempered glass will shatter.
Underneath, the wood support panel has several premium features. The control box is hidden between the main supports, and the smooth motors are inside the legs, out of view.
The cabling is also mostly hidden, with two pre-routed channels to hide the cable to the control panel, depending if you prefer it on the left or the right. There are also two pre-drilled areas to put cable cleats on to wind any longer cables onto.
The Centro also comes with a stick-on cable channel to put behind one of the legs, depending on where your wall socket is. You also get a wire tray that attaches to the underside of the desk to hide cables and some hook-and-loop sticky pads to attach the power strip.
The control panel has simple touch controls to raise and lower the desk and four memory positions so you can go from sitting to standing with a single tap. The motors also have a safety stop in case the desk hits something while traveling.
This is one of the most striking pieces of furniture I’ve ever seen, let alone used. It exudes quality, and BDI’s manufacturing and shipping got it to my house without blemish.
Where the premium standing desk from BDI excels
BDI ships the desk partly assembled. All I had to do was bolt the legs on, bolt the feet to the legs, and route the control cables.
After that, it was a matter of carefully situating the tempered glass panel and putting the five bolts through to keep it in place.
Some rubber bumpons maintain the gap between wood and glass. I’ve got some ideas to add bias lighting strips under that gap with a later article.
Then the optional keyboard tray bolts on. It’s easier to do this last, as one of the support bolts for the glass panel is behind where it attaches.
The setup was easily done without a second pair of hands, but we recommend someone else to steady the tempered glass when installing.
The BDI Centro left a lasting impression on me. The tempered glass is gorgeous and stays somewhat cool all day. Perfect to rest my tired wrists or forehead after a long typing session.
We particularly like that a tempered glass cutout to fill the cable grommet was included. This is an elegant touch when most manufacturers would leave a rubber grommet there or just leave the hole open.
The keyboard tray feels fairly solid when typed on, but it does have a habit of sliding back under the desk. I might put some thin stick-on rubber into the tracks to slow it down.
The only minor hiccup was during installation, which was more my issue than anything.
The bolts to put the desk together are all M6, with two shapes, two colors, and three different lengths. I mistakenly used the bolts intended to attach the feet in the wrong place.
It wasn’t a big mistake, but I feel the instruction manual could be clearer. If the eight Flathead Screws were indicated as silver, my mix-up wouldn’t have happened.
How does the competition shape up?
We don’t review things in a vacuum, and even premium devices have counterparts in the market. That said, there aren’t many alternatives at this price point unless you specify premium materials from another company.
Alternatives for different price points
- UPLIFT (from $599): Our usual go-to recommendation, UPLIFT treads the line between affordable and premium. That price tag rises substantially if you want different desktop materials or larger sizes, and they’re one of the only companies offering L-shaped motorized options.
- Fully (from $569): Slightly cheaper than UPLIFT, but it is pretty much the same. It can drop slightly lower, which is good for shorter users.
- Flexispot (from $215): This is the absolute lowest price you should be considering for a sit-stand desk. While you can get a hand-crank version, spend another $100 or so and get a motorized one – your arms will thank you. Also one of the only companies offering tempered glass at a reasonable price.
- IKEA (from $299): IKEA also has its standing desks now, motorized ones start at $300. As with all IKEA furniture, there are multiple accessories that you’ll want but will drive the price higher.
- Tempspace ($300): Want to take a chance on a brand you’ve never heard of? You could do worse than this desk, which does everything you need from a standing desk at a price that won’t make your wallet hate you.
Once you reach a certain price point, you’re already getting all the features you’ll need from a standing desk. After that, it’s about design, personal preferences, and what statement you want to make.
The desk is often the largest thing in any office room. Do you want one that is functional, or do you want one that reflects your personality? That’s the extra cost of more premium desks from manufacturers like BDI.
We think it’s worth it. We tend to overbudget for those items we use daily. Keyboards, monitors, computers, sofas, and of course, desks. After all, if you’re not enjoying using it, should you be using it?
So, should I buy the BDI Centro?
Buying a desk is a big decision. They’re costly, and they take up a lot of space in your home or workplace.
You spend thousands on the couch you relax on after working hours, shouldn’t the same be spent on the place you spend your working hours?
The BDI Centro gives everything you’d want from a standing desk in a premium package. It’s full of thoughtful touches, like the pre-routed cable trenches and pre-drilled holes.
The only decision you have to make is will this graceful desk grace your office space. I know what my choice would be.
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