In my house, space is always at a premium. With four humans and two cats, it’s sometimes hard to reconcile the needs for comfort and convenience, and this is probably most obvious when it comes to places to work. My wife and I both do a fair amount of work at home, and our kids (both teenagers) both have homework to take care of almost every day. So having the Edge Desk System is a huge help.
Collapsible furniture, in my experience, has always sacrificed comfort and appearance for the sake of efficiency. I’ve had collapsible desks before, and the best thing you could say about them was that they weren’t that hard to use. The Edge Desk, which had a Kickstarter campaign that I wrote about last year, seems almost revolutionary, providing a work space that is at once usable, comfortable, and efficient, and isn’t hard on the eyes, either.
The Edge Desk arrives in a big, fairly heavy box, and contrary to most such things in this IKEA-ized world, requires no assembly whatsoever. Following the refreshingly well-written instructions, it’s a matter of less than a minute to unfold it, and then less than a minute more to adjust it to fit the person who’s going to use it and what they plan to use it for. The seat and knee pads (it’s a kneeling chair) are adjustable to the point where everyone in my family, from my 5’2″ wife to the 6’2″ yours truly (both teenagers are in between) was able to find a comfortable configuration without much effort. And the desktop itself can be turned to portrait if you don’t want it in the standard landscape position, and tilted to whatever angle you want. While it starts out a little cumbersome to set up and collapse the desk, it gets easy enough you won’t need the instructions after only a few times (see the video below for a demonstration).
When fully set up and in use, the Edge takes up much less space than you would expect, and easily less than most regular desks and chairs. And then, when its function isn’t needed, it takes only a few minutes to return to its six-inch thick collapsed state. In this era of laptops being entirely serviceable as regular, everyday-use computers (so you don’t need a desk to hold your computer when you’re not using it) I have to think that an Edge would be a huge help to anyone with cramped living space, like a college student or a resident of Manhattan. I can see my soon-to-be-college-age son doing his schoolwork at an Edge Desk, then folding it up and sliding it under his bed until it’s needed again. I can as easily imagine my daughter, who is a very talented artist, putting a collapsed Edge in the trunk of a car, driving somewhere picturesque, and setting it up with the desktop tilted so she can use it as a drawing board/easel. It’s not hard to see how it could fail to make many people’s jobs or hobbies at least a bit more efficient.
The Edge is not entirely without drawbacks, of course. In addition to being a bit unwieldy (though still less so than most desks, by far), its design isn’t perfect for everyone. My wife and I found that – as I’m sure is the case with all knee chairs – our not-so-great knees started to hurt after sitting at the desk for 45 minutes to an hour at a stretch, depending on the time of day. And the (for now) lack of such things as a cupholder and a tablet stand was definitely noticeable.
That being said, my kids absolutely love the Edge, and will gladly volunteer to sit in it if we’re eating dinner while watching TV, say, and they both do their homework on it pretty much every day. And the Edge Desk System will be coming out with accessories, including a cupholder and a tablet holder, in April.
And then there’s the price, of course. The Edge Desk sells for $350 for one or $399 if you want to preorder the accessories. You can also save money per unit if you want to get a package of two or four. Considering how much desks and chairs typically cost, this seems like a very reasonable price (and shipping domestically is free, too). Remember that it comes fully assembled, so you could even have it shipped directly to the college student or Manhattan resident in your life, and not have to worry that they might not have the time, space, or energy to put it together.
Note: I received an Edge Desk for review purposes. All opinions expressed here are my own.