Friska Primo Designer Standing Desk: Two minute review
- Unique design for those who value style
- Might be too 'quirky' for some
Standing desks can be an expensive purchase for many, especially when compared to a more traditional desk, but despite this, the market can feel overly saturated with the same styles. The typical T-shaped legs are easy to install motors into which is the likeliest explanation, but what do you do if you're looking for something a little more unique?
The Friska Primo Designer standing desk is here to appeal to that niche market, and it does so with a flourish. You still get the benefits of an electric standing desk thanks to a control switch, but the industrial-style legs give it a strangely aggressive look that feels right at home in a modern environment.
Friska (opens in new tab) has a great selection of electric sit/stand desks that you can choose from to suit your needs, so if this rugged-looking desk doesn't hold any appeal then you can also take a look at more conventional designs such as the Stockholm, though there's plenty of customization options available across the entire range of Friska desks.
As the leg style is mostly what makes the Primo unique you won't be able to adjust its shape or color, but you can play around with topper options and additional specifications or accessories such as cable port holes and upgraded controls.
This means you can essentially make the Primo as premium as your taste (or budget) requires as the standard desk model still comes will all the important functionality to get it set up and ready to go, including a basic up/down control switch.
Friska Primo Designer Standing Desk: Pricing and availability
- Much pricer than non-designer desks
- Shipping outside of Europe will get pricey
Pricing for the Friska Primo desk starts at £1,273 (around $1,500 / AU$2,150), and shipping to the UK is both free and exceptionally fast, offering next-day delivery if you place your order before 2pm.
Friska appears to be based in Sweden but we were unable to switch the displayed pricing from GBP to Euros as the website conversion feature seems to be broken at the time of writing. It's also worth noting that GBP and EUR are the only currencies listed.
You can choose the topper of your choice at no additional cost, though all other optional extras will require you to dip back into your pocket.
Luckily, most of these alterations are reasonably priced, such as increasing the overall size of the desktop or upgrading from the basic up/down control switch. The desk's default topper is 1200mm x 700mm, and upgrading to the larger 1600mm x 700mm size will only cost you an additional £35 (around $45 / AU$60).
The price may be a hard sell to consumers who are looking for a bargain though as the Primo is almost twice the price of its more basic sibling, the Friska Stockholm, and significantly pricer than some rival offerings such as the Uplift V2.
It's expensive but could be worth it for some who are completely set on having a desk with a more distinctive look. If you just want the motorized standing functionality then there are many more affordable options on the market though.
One of the biggest issues across the Friska range is shipping, but when you're manufacturing a product of this size and weight, it's going to be expensive to send it to places like the US or Canada.
Europe and the mainland UK appear to be Friska's main market and UK orders will benefit from free shipping, and other regions are also available at an additional cost. For example, shipping to the USA will take an estimated 1-2 weeks and costs a flat rate of £498 ($610), but other regions such as Australia are excluded entirely.
Friska Primo Designer Standing Desk: Design
- Leg design is interesting, but limited to one style
- Plenty of wood-effect toppers, no real wood options
The Friska Primo arrived in two well-protected packages consisting of the legs, control switch and electric motors, while the topper is boxed separately to protect it from any scrapes. If you order any additional extras like an upgraded control switch or power adapter then these will be shipped in a third additional box.
If you do include any extras then it's important that you remember to open the smallest of the boxes first before you start building as this will contain the instructions specific to your configuration, something that's easy to miss as a set of generic desk building instructions ships alongside all of the Friska desks which can result in some frustration if you find the correct instructions after you've already incorrectly assembled the Primo.
If you selected any options that require additional holes or larger capacity spaces for accessories then all of these come pre-drilled, and assembly guidelines are marked on the toppers to make fixing the frame to the worktop as painless as possible.
The standard control hub is a straight-forward two-button affair with up and down arrows to mark the direction of the desk movement. These are silicone-coated for grip and have a satisfying clicking sensation, but don't come with any option to save height presets for easy adjustments.
If this functionality was something you required then Friska has an upgrade available for an additional £99 (around $120 / AU$170), though you'll still get the standard control switch included within the delivery, which can feel a tad wasteful.
The Friska Primo features dual motors that allow the desk to be lowered all the way down to 62cm or raised up to 130cm (if measured from the surface of the desk), though the Friska Stockholm is faster at adjusting and can support more weight, with a maximum weight limit of 264.4lbs (120kg) and a speed of 42mm per second.
For context, the Friska Primo has a weight limit of 220lbs (100kg) and an adjustment speed of 36mm per second. It's also slightly louder than the more affordable Friska Stockholm when you compared the provided technical information (42dBA vs 38dBA) though we haven't measured this ourselves.
We really are nitpicking here as the main reason you'd buy this over something with a more universal design is for aesthetics, and the difference is unlikely to affect most users unless you need a desk that can support the weight of a large, grown man.
The topper itself comes in a selection of different styles, such as black, white and a variety of wood and granite-inspired looks, though all of these are artificial vinyl wrapped around engineered wood so if you wanted a solid wood option you'll have to look elsewhere.
The only issue we had during assembly for the Friska Primo was that the design of these legs means it's pretty hard to tighten up two semi-concealed bolts, and you don't get a specialized tool to do so with the instructions. We had a ratcheting socket wrench which made the process much easier so you might want to keep a tool kit handy, but it would have been nice for Friska to provide even a cheap tool that's best suited for the task.
Friska Primo Designer Standing Desk: Features
- Lots of optional extras
- Easy to operate, though controls are very basic
Much like other desks in Friska's product family, the base model of the Primo is fairly spartan, only featuring the standard up/down control switch and no additional accessories. This is fine for most furniture, but the Primo is a fair bit pricier than the Stockholm and all you're really getting for that is a different style of legs.
Assembling the Friska Primo was easy (provided you find the right set of instructions) and no more complex than the non-designer models. You can build most of it solo but we would recommend getting an additional set of hands to help with flipping it over as the entire desk is pretty heavy when assembled and could cause some serious damage if you dropped it on your feet.
The Primo motor is affixed to the underside of the desk, with clear pre-drilled holes to indicate where it would be best placed. In fact, there's no drilling required at all, and free adhesive cable clamps are provided to tidy up some of the cables so that they don’t droop and look out of place once you flip over the desk.
It would have been nice to see a few additional extras included as standard to justify the asking price, such as an under-desk cable tray or a an upgrade to the memory control switch, but this is a uniquely designed piece of furniture so you'd be buying it more for its looks than its value.
Should I buy the Friska Primo Designer Standing Desk?
Buy it if:
You want plenty of configurable options
Friska offers plenty of useful additional features such as built-in power sockets and cable tidy trays for those with a bit of extra cash to burn, so you can make these desks as unique as your requirements dictate. Even the color of the frame and topper can be changed at no additional cost to suit the rest of your home.
You want a unique looking standing desk
Where many powered standing desks all share the same familiar design, the Primo stands out with its edgy, industrial-style frame that sets it apart from other offerings on the market.
Don’t buy it if:
You want a real wood or granite top
The artificial offerings from Friska are nice and do a fairly good job at imitating the real-deal, but there are no real wood or granite toppers to choose from so if you have fancy taste you'll need to look elsewhere.
You live outside of Europe
Friska does ship to some areas outside of the UK and Europe such as the USA or Israel, but the shipping costs are fairly high which means it's not really worth importing a desk if you're on a budget. There will be more affordable offerings if you go with a company that's more locally based.
First reviewed: June 2022