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This absurd and amazing smart standing desk has a built-in PC and three touchscreens

The ideal workstation depends on who you ask, and whether that person prefers more monitors or just one and just how much clutter they’re comfortable with. But the closest approximation to most modern office workers’ dream workstation is probably the Cemtrex SmartDesk, an absurdly over-featured, three-monitor adjustable standing desk with a built-in Windows PC and a dizzying number of other integrated features.

The desk made the rounds online earlier this year, but we actually got to try it ourselves here at CES, and it’s actually quite a stellar setup. For one, you get three, 24-inch IP{S touchscreens to work with. (No 4K, unfortunately.) But on top of that, Cemtrex put a pretty solid keyboard, trackpad, and even a Leap Motion gesture control module in the middle.

That way, you can work either with your hands directly on the touchscreen, on the keyboard / trackpad, or just waving in midair, thanks to the custom gesture controls Cemtrex built specifically for the SmartDesk’s Leap Motion integration. Some nifty gesture features include two-handed zoom in / out and a two-finger website and document scroll.

On top of that, the right side of the desk has a Qi wireless charger, while the left side has built-in wireless headphones the company designed itself that come bundled in with the whole package. (Cemtrex imagines they’d be used as a replacement for an office phone, so you’d take all of your work calls via the PC using the wireless earbuds.) They didn’t stop there, either. There’s a document scanner that worked perfectly with two taps in our demo, presumably for the type of office worker that still works in physical documents and would otherwise just use their smartphone or an office printer for the same job.

As for the actual specs of the PC, it’s pretty standard, but nothing to scoff at when it comes to performance. The base model comes with an Intel 8th Gen i7, 16GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, a 1TB HDD, and a Nvidia GTX 1050. The beefier configuration gets you the same Intel processor and SSD, but 32GB of RAM, a 2TB HDD, and a GTX 1060. So that’s not a bad PC to come bundled with three touchscreen monitors and a standing desk, all for either $4,500 for the base model and $5,700 for the higher-priced config.

What makes the whole thing actually attractive, and not just an overwhelming mess, is just how integrated everything is. The PC stays out of the way underneath the main center piece of the desk, while the keyboard and trackpad are built directly in and not just bundled together, where they’d need to be plugged in with extra wires. And the whole rig requires just one wire to make it all work, which drastically reduces the amount of clutter you’d get if you were to recreate something even remotely like this at home with off-the-shelf parts.

That said, this isn’t for your average consumer at a price point like that. Cemtrex says it designed the desk mostly for well-off, work-at-home types and C-suite executives with a penchant for minimalist aesthetics. But it’s also seen interest from companies that think the SmartDesk might work well in an office layout — even with two, three, or more configured together in cubicle-style pods.

The company won’t say how many units they’ve shipped already, but the product is available now. Cemtrex also says there’s a trade-in program in the works, so you can get the whole SmartDesk swapped out for a new one with better displays and a more powerful PC down the line. (The company said you could theoretically unmount the PC from the desk and upgrade it yourself, but it may void the warranty.)

Still, for as many goofy standing desk prototypes and experimental workstations there are at CES, it’s always refreshing to see one you’d actually like to buy — if you had nearly $5,000 to burn. So while I certainly won’t be buying this, I sure do wish The Verge would outfit our office with one.


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