The F3 has the same great built quality and excellent gas-spring hovering system for raising and lowering the desk as the M2 I previously reviewed. So rather than go into all of the details of the F3, I will focus on the design differences and enhancements on the F3.
This was a nice design enhancement. The M2 I reviewed earlier this year had a two handle release system for raising and lowering the desk height. Now with the new F3, you can sip coffee in one hand and easily adjust your desk height with the other. Believe it or not, it can be done with a single handle with very little effort. Is this a super important feature? No, but it is a really nice touch. It means FlexiSpot is paying attention to the little details and they are taking advantage of their very smooth gas-spring hovering system… so why not make it a single-handed operation!
Smaller Base Footprint
The F3 redesigned the base footprint of the standing desk and it is now a square-shaped base that is much smaller in area than that of the actual desk surface. The M2 base had the same footprint as the desk surface, a totally different design approach.
There are a couple of advantages to designing the base to be smaller. For one, it just plain looks sharp. It gives the desk an overall modern look that I really like. It also makes the desk a bit more flexible in that it can fit on the surface of more desks. Since the entire standing desk is supported by the base, in theory you could literally put the desk on a square pedestal that was only the size of the desk base and it would function perfectly. So if you have a really small desk this design allows you to have a larger standing desk surface area than you otherwise would be allowed to have.
So you might be asking yourself how they keep the desk stable if the base is so much smaller than the desk surface. Simple. The base has a very thin tacky pad underneath that firmly grips the surface of the desk. And I do mean “firmly.” I first installed and used this desk at home for a few days before packing it up for my wife to take into work (more on that later). It actually took both of us to pull the standing desk off of our desk at home. There was no sticky residue or anything left on the desk once we dislodged the F3 from the surface of our oak desk, so I’m not sure what kind of material they are using (they call it anti-slip rubber, while I call it magic) but I like it. In addition to better overall stability, it also keep the standing desk from sliding around and damaging the surface of your desk.
New Keyboard Tray Design
The F3 incorporates a couple of really nice design changes over the design of the M2 keyboard tray. For one, the keyboard tray now has forward edge guards. The edge guards are raised areas on the front edge of the keyboard tray that keep your keyboard and mouse/track pad from sliding off the front and into your lap or onto the floor (as well as providing padding for your wrists).
I tend to be a pretty violent typist, so I need all the protection and padding I can get. The keyboard tray now also rests flush against the surface of the desk it is installed upon. This is nice because now you can switch from typing to using the left or right surfaces of your desk (on either side of the standing desk) and, since it is at the same height, you don’t have to adjust the height of your chair. The keyboard tray also allows for negative tilting, which gives you more flexibility to set up your desk in such a way to keep your wrists in a neutral position to avoid fatigue.
Those are the main design enhancements made to the F3. Individually, they may not seem all that earth-shattering, but when taken together, they really make the standing desk that much better–the newer compact design being probably the biggest of the changes. Here’s why. I mentioned earlier that we took the F3 desk down from our home and my wife took it into work. Her employer provides standing desks, but the desks they offer takes up too much desk space and my wife needs that space for reviewing large drawings. Back when I reviewed the FlexiSpot M2, she tried it out at work as well, but the M2 I reviewed was the larger 35″ version and is wouldn’t fit in her corner desk. But the new compact design of the F3 (and the fact that my review unit this time was the smaller 27″ version) meant this standing desk actually works for her.
Not only that, but many of her coworkers have even commented that they think her standing desk is much nicer looking than the one the company provides. FlexiSpot has done a nice job evolving the design features of their standing desk line with the new F3, so be sure to check it out before deciding which of the many standing desks out there is right for you.
Disclaimer: FlexiSpot provided a 27″ F3 standing desk for the purpose of this review.