VertDesk v3 vs. NewHeights Elegante XT: Which is better?


Today we are taking a look at two products offered by our company, BTOD.com. The VertDesk v3 is our mid-range standing desk and the NewHeights XT is our high-end option. Each of these desks feature a traditional cross support for stability, Ketterer gears and premium electronics from Laing Innotech. While both products share many similar components, they are actually quite a bit different. Let’s take a closer look at each to learn what those differences are.


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Full Disclaimer: We are an office furniture dealer and sell some of the products we review. To learn more about the products we sell, our review process and why you can trust us, please visit: Why we’re different. Who is BTOD.com and The Breakroom Blog?


TABLE OF CONTENTS

OEM Manufacturer
Where Are Components Made?
Pricing
Assembly
Specs / Features
Stability
Electronics
Weight Capacity Testing
Gears / Motors / Glides
Frame and Feet
How They Operate
Return Policy and Warranty
Bottom Line


Both the VertDesk v3 and NewHeights XT are manufactured by the same company; K&A Mfg. inc. Based in Wisconsin, K&A Mfg. has been producing ergonomic products for thirty years. K&A is known in the industry for building high quality products that are built to stand the test of time. The NewHeights Elegante follows suit, with their fourth generation being the most robust standing desk to date. The VertDesk v3 was developed as a lower cost alternative to the NewHeights, without sacrificing stability or the quality of internal components.

VertDesk v3 NewHeights XT
Frame Taiwan USA
Electronics Hungary Hungary
Gears Germany Germany
Assembly USA USA

VertDesk v3 NewHeights XT
30” x 60” Frame Only $654.24 $1520.19
30” x 60” Laminate $815.59 $1736.04
30” x 60” Hardwood $1463.74 $2408.79

The assembly process for each desk was straightforward, but the VertDesk v3 had fewer steps. Both products came with the columns preassembled to the feet and upper supports. The VertDesk v3 requires the installation of the motor, hex rod and cross support. The hex rod is the only real pain point, but with the use of a wrench, it is easy to tackle. If you follow the steps in our assembly video the process will go smoothly. The NewHeights XT has internalized motors within the columns, so this will cut down on some of the assembly. It does require the assembly of the cross support and upper frame system (wire management). This upper support system has a few more bolts and would likely be the only pain point. All of the threading found on both products is properly tapped and it allows for easy insertion of the screws.

VertDesk v3 Assembly Video

NewHeights XT Assembly Video

VertDesk v3 NewHeights XT
Button Options Standard up/down push button Programmable button
Lifting Capacity 275lbs 325lbs
Motor(s) Single Dual
Adjustment Range 27” to 47” 24” to 51”
Adjustment Speed 1.55” per second 1.55” per second
Soft Start – Stop Yes Yes
Auto-dark LED Display Yes (programmable) Yes
Leveling Glides .5” adjustment .5” adjustment
Expandable Frame n/a Yes (w/o cross support)
Anti-collision Yes Yes
Overload Protection Yes Yes
Frame Material Steel Aluminum
Foot Material Steel Steel

The VertDesk v3 and NewHeights XT feature the same Laing Innotech electronics, manufactured in Europe. Laing Innotech GmbH & Co. KG was founded by Karsten Laing. Prior to Karsten starting Laing Innotech, he had spent the previous 30 years building his first business that engineered and manufactured electronic systems for the heating, spa and computer cooling market. The Laing Group grew to become the market share leader of electronically commutated circulators in the pump market. At their peak, the Laing Group produced and sold 600,000 ciculators annually to the heating and spa market. Ultimately, in 2009, the Laing Group sold to Xylem Water Systems.

Aluminum Control Box and Front Side of Circuit Board

After selling to the Xylem Water Systems, Karsten shifted his focus to the production of control box technology. To ensure this new company maintained the same level of quality as his previous company, Karsten hired on his lead electronic and software engineers from the Laing Group. By 2015, Laing Innotech started to offer their own control box technology for the furniture industry. One of their control box applications is specific to height adjustable desks. His latest product features gyro sensor technology for a higher level of anti-collision precision.

As I’ve discussed in previous reviews and comparison, we’ve found two different types of circuit board systems used with electric standing desks. Of the 20 plus control boxes we’ve examined, the single board system has shown a higher level of quality than the less expensive two board systems. That is the case with the NewHeights XT and VertDesk v3 circuit board as well.

The single board system used in each desk was engineered by Laing Innotech specifically for use in the electric standing desk control box. A four layer circuit board was used to maximize functionality and help create a small footprint. The components are securely fastened to the circuit board with solid platforms and permanent soldered connections.

Back Side of Circuit Board
Back Side of Circuit Board
Improved Efficiency on Control Box System

Overheating concerns are a common problem for the enclosed control box systems found on electric standing desks. Our previous LogicData control box system was like the vast majority of alternative brands currently available. With a black plastic housing, heat wasn’t easily able to escape the control box. Because of this, you will find that the common duty cycle is 2 min on/18 min off. This means that for every two minutes you cycle the desk, the desk will require 18 minutes of rest. For that 18 minute of period of time, the desk will not function up or down.

Showing the Bottom of the Board With and Without The Head Conductive Pads
Showing the Bottom of the Board With and Without The Head Conductive Pads

Laing Innotech took a different approach with the design of their GyroSense control box system. The NewHeights XT control box is now housed within aluminum with added heat conductive pads attached to the underside of the circuit board. These heat conductive pads press to the aluminum housing, allowing them to transfer the heat to the control box and then dissipate to the outside air. This change allows us to cool the electronics faster. Because of this quicker cooling process, the NewHeights XT does not require a long down time if overheating occurs.

The VertDesk v3 single motor system comes standard with a capacity of 275 lbs. and the dual motor NewHeights XT with a capacity of 325 lbs. Through testing both desks we were easily able to lift the max load capacities indicated. With loads below 250 lbs, each desk was able to remain fairly consistent with its adjustment speed. When the VertDesk v3 reached 275 lbs., the speed dropped down to 1.35” per second. The NewHeights XT didn’t start to shows signs of slowing until about 260 lbs. When loaded to 325 lbs. the speed dropped to 1.26” per second.

Note: It’s important to note that these are both conservative ratings that were designed to prolong the life of the product. Each of these desks could lift more than 380 lbs. with the overload protection turned off. Even when loaded beyond 380 lbs., each desk adjustment speed only dropped about 20%.

See The Best Electric Standing Desks For 2021

After months of testing 20+ sit stand desks, the results are in!

The gears and motors used in both the VertDesk v3 and Elegante XT come from the German manufacturer, Ketterer. They have been a leading manufacturer of gear and motor systems for almost two centuries, with their original focus being clocks. The Black Forest area of Germany has long been known for its precision mechanical systems. In 1982 the company began to focus on the production of gear and motor systems for height adjustable products. Their ability to create small precision gears has allowed them to produce some of the world’s most efficient linear systems to date.

Some of the Machines Cold Rolling Spindles at Ketterer
Some of the Machines Cold Rolling Spindles at Ketterer (from my tour of Ketterer)

Both the VertDesk v3 and NewHeights XT gears from Ketterer are manufactured through a cold rolling process and then case hardened for added durability. In October 2017 I was able to tour the Ketterer factory in Germany and I have to say I was impressed with their manufacturing process. Almost all of the gears that came off the line were tested to ensure they met all quality standards. Their components were being manufactured in Germany, not outsourced to China like other competitors. This meant they had complete control from start to finish.

Raw Steel Before it is Cold Rolled
Steel Before it is Cold Rolled (from my tour of Ketterer)
Cold Rolling Machine at Ketterer
Cold Rolling Machine at Ketterer (from my tour of Ketterer)
After Spindles Have Been Cold Rolled
After Spindles Have Been Cold Rolled
They Test Almost Every Single Spindle from my tour of Ketterer
Testing Each Spindle (from my tour of Ketterer)

Gear Comparison

Taking a closer look at the gear system on the VertDesk v3, the first thing you’ll notice is the single stage design. In order to keep the cost down on the VertDesk v3, we decided to use a single stage system. While the gear we used in the VertDesk v3 has more than 20” of stroke, we did reduce some of the range to keep more column overlapping. This overlap is what allows the VertDesk v3 to remain more stable front to back than all of the desks we have tested.

The VertDesk v3 gear incorporates a bevel gear system on the top of the vertical spindle gear; this allows a single motor to drive both columns. Inside this bevel gear is high quality, small gears that transfer a significant amount of torque from the hex rod to the spindle gear.

VertDesk v3 Singe Stage Gear
VertDesk v3 Singe Stage Gear
Bevel Gear opened on VertDesk v3
Bevel Gear opened on VertDesk v3

The NewHeights XT uses a two stage telescopic spindle gear system. This allows the NewHeights to gain the additional seven inches of travel range. The connection of the motor and gear is done with a mounting flange that includes a built in thrust bearing. This type of system eliminates the bevel gear that is found on the VertDesk v3.

NewHeights XT Two Stage Gear System
NewHeights XT Two Stage Gear System

Ketterer’s ability to manufacture highly precise gear components that can sustain the force applied from the motor is what sets them apart. Their durability isn’t the only impressive part, as gear is engineered to maximize efficiency when lifting loads. The quality of Ketterer gears becomes obvious when you manually pull and push on the gears. They move smoothly with little effort required. There isn’t a knocking or chatter feeling that is commonly found on lower quality gears.

Motor Comparisons

The VertDesk v3 might have a single motor, but this single can compete with most dual motor systems. One of the advantages to the VertDesk v3 having an external motor is that it’s doesn’t have to be a compact design. While bigger doesn’t always mean that something is better, the Ketterer motor is definitely stronger. While Ketterer shows a max torque rating at 5nm to maximize its efficiency, it can push upwards of 13nm with a lower efficiency. It is a very powerful single motor system and we have experienced this first hand with load testing.

Side comparison of VertDesk and NewHeights motors
Side comparison of VertDesk and NewHeights motors

The NewHeights XT uses the much slimmer 3133.00 motor from Ketterer. Don’t let its slim size fool you either, because the 3133 is still powerful. With a max torque rating of 5 nm, it is almost three times as powerful as one of the most popular Bosch motors found on IKEA, ActiForce and the ROL-Ergo products. Unlike those products, the NewHeights XT had no problem lifting loads of 400 lbs. During testing we found that the NewHeights XT averaged a few decibels higher than the VertDesk v3.

Top comparison of VertDesk and NewHeights motors
Top comparison of VertDesk and NewHeights motors

Glide Comparisons

One of the most important aspects of a standing desk is also one of the most unknown. Glide systems on electric standing desks serve two purposes. The first is creating the proper fit between the different sized columns. The second is to provide lubrication for the metal components as the desks makes adjustments. Both the VertDesk v3 and the NewHeights feature the highly durable Dupont Delrin Acetal plastics for their glide systems. This product has proven to provide the best performance of high cycle counts. While each product uses the same material for the glides, each uses a much different approach to setting them in the columns.

The VertDesk v3 uses what I would consider a more traditional glide pad design. This includes six glides for the outer column (top of the column) and four glides for the smaller internal column (bottom of column). Having glides on both ends of the column is important, as they will help to counteract each other as the desk is raised. The VertDesk v3 has multiple sized glides to custom fit each column; this ensures a good fit is made.

VertDesk outer column and inner column with glide systems
VertDesk outer column and inner column with glide systems
VertDesk v3 glides with columns slid together
VertDesk v3 glides with columns slid together

Through custom design, the NewHeights XT created a unique two glide system in their aluminum columns. This is done with a wedge or notched design on the ends of the columns. While two glides are technically used, their V shape actually acts as four. Because of this, NewHeights is able to reduce the amount of rubbing that occurs on the outsides of the columns. This assists in keeping the outside of the columns looking new for the entire ownership of the frame.

Showing Glides in Place Within Each Column
Showing NewHeights Glides in Place Within Each Column

One of the main reasons the VertDesk v3 is less expensive than the NewHeights XT is because of the material used to manufacture the columns. The VertDesk v3 utilizes a less expensive steel tube design, while the NewHeights XT is made from custom extruded aluminum. While each material has its advantages, the price tag is likely the most noticeable.

The VertDesk v3 was designed with the use of steel to keep the overall cost down. The big advantage with using steel is the stability that it creates in the frame. The VertDesk v3 tubes are extra thick; at 2.33mm they are almost 50% thicker than our closest competition. Because the steel material and the shape of the tube, the VertDesk v3 columns have no flex within them. This gives it a huge advantage as the desk is raised to standing heights. The VertDesk v3 comes with the upper supports and feet preassembled to the columns. They are attached with strong welds that eliminate the possibility of loosening over time.

Outer Column of VertDesk v3
Outer Column of VertDesk v3

The NewHeights XT has a much different look than the VertDesk v3 with its custom designed aluminum extrusions. While I appreciate the design, it is probably not for everyone’s taste. The NewHeights extrusions are designed with plenty of thickness and extra ribbing to create a strong foundation for the XT’s frame. Because the columns are anodized to create their color, they gain an extremely durable finish through the process. The anodization process creates a color that is solid throughout the aluminum. This means the aluminum finish cannot scratch or chip like paints would. Through the anodization process, the aluminum columns become corrosion resistant as well. This is a definite advantage over steel columns found on alternative products, including the VertDesk v3.

Close Up of NewHeights XT Aluminum Columns
Close Up of NewHeights XT Aluminum Columns

The NewHeights XT extrusions include a unique channel system that allows you to mount items to the columns. This also creates the ability to mount the cross support in one of the most sleek ways we have seen. It also gives you the ability to mount accessories like CPU holders directly the column.

NewHeights XT Connection to Cross Support

One of the most common questions with all standing desks is how stable they are. Do a search for any standing desk brand and you will see that Google recommended searches now include “brand + wobble”. Two distinct motions affect full standing desks; front to back motion and/or a left to right wobble.

WobbleMeter Testing VertDesk v3 vs NewHeights

If you would like to see the pictures and videos of us testing the VertDesk and NewHeights on the WobbleMeter, please visit the page for each brand (VertDesk v3 WobbleMeter and NewHeights XT WobbleMeter). Below is the deflection score range guide for the WobbleMeter. How these results impact your experience will depend on your sensitivity to wobble and rocking motions.

If you’d like to learn more about using the WobbleMeter visit: what is the WobbleMeter?

WobbleMeter Score Range Guide

deflection-scores-blog-example-30in-rocking
Example score pictured above

0-20 = Excellent Stability

Almost all of the desks tested at sitting height will score between 0-20. This is our baseline for excellent stability since most standing desks provide excellent stability at their lowest heights. Users in this range will not notice motion.

21-30 = Very Good to Good Stability

Between 20-30, most users will not notice the small amount of motion in this range.

31-40 = Good to Fair Stability

Between 31-40, some users may begin to notice the amount of motion in this range. This is especially true the closer the score is to 40.

41-50 = Fair to Bad Stability

Between 41-50, most users will notice the amount of motion in this range. This is especially true the closer the score is to 50.

51-60+ = Very Bad Stability 

Between 51-60+ all users will notice the amount of motion in this range. This is especially true for scores that are above 60.

WobbleMeter Results for the VertDesk v3 Frame

Overall Wobble (Side to Side) Deflection Scores

vertdesk-deflection-scores-blog-30in-wobblevertdesk-deflection-scores-blog-42in-wobblevertdesk-deflection-scores-blog-46in-wobble

Overall Rocking (Front to Back) Deflection Scores

vertdesk-deflection-scores-blog-30in-rockingvertdesk-deflection-scores-blog-42in-rockingvertdesk-deflection-scores-blog-46in-rocking

 

WobbleMeter Results for XT Frame

Overall Wobble (Side to Side) Deflection Scores

NewHeights XT Wobble Deflection Test Setup @ 30"

Overall Rocking (Front to Back) Deflection Scores

 

Both the VertDesk v3 and NewHeights XT utilize a soft start and stop technology. They also include anti-collision avoidance systems and overload protection.

Frame Colors

The VertDesk v3 and NewHeights XT are available in silver or black finish.

Optional Upgrades

VertDesk v3 NewHeights XT
Programmable Button $103.95 Included
Grommet $19.95/each $19.95/each
Locking Casters $50 $101
Wire Management Kit $19.95-$194.25 Horizontal Built-in

The return policies for the VertDesk v3 and NewHeights XT are similar, but slightly different. You have 30 days to try each desk, if you don’t like them you can return them for no restocking fees. You are responsible for the return shipping costs on the XT. The VertDesk v3 has free return shipping. Both need to ship back in original packaging.

*Custom L and U shape NewHeights cannot be returned. This is noted on the pages when it applies.

Warranty

VertDesk v3 NewHeights XT
Lifetime warranty on complete desk. Lifetime warranty on complete desk.

The bottom line is that both the VertDesk v3 and NewHeights XT are good performers in their respective category. Depending on your specific needs, I can see a reason to recommend both of the standing desks. Ultimately, your budget might be the main factor with your purchase.

The NewHeights XT is all around the most stable desk we have tested. Its stability is aided by a strong foundation with a traditional cross support. The use of locking star washers ensure the cross support doesn’t come loose over time as well. With 27” of overall height adjustment and 325 lbs lifting capacity it should work for most people. The return policy on the NewHeights XT isn’t quite as good as the VertDesk v3 and costs about twice as much money.

While the VertDesk v3 didn’t rank quite as high in overall stability, it was still the third most stable we’ve tested overall. Featuring the same electronics as the NewHeights XT and similar high end components from Ketterer, it is a great value at half the cost. The free returns policy gives you an opportunity to try it without any financial obligation if you decide a standing desk isn’t a good fit for your needs.

Additional Standing Desk Resources





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