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Fnatic x ChopValue Revive Gaming Desk Review: Stunningly Beautiful and Functional

Rating:
8/10
?
  • 1 - Absolute Hot Garbage
  • 2 - Sorta Lukewarm Garbage
  • 3 - Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 - Some Pros, Lots Of Cons
  • 5 - Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 - Good Enough to Buy On Sale
  • 7 - Great, But Not Best-In-Class
  • 8 - Fantastic, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 - Shut Up And Take My Money
  • 10 - Absolute Design Nirvana
Price:
Starting At $965
A ChopValue desktop on black standing legs
Josh Hendrickson/Review Geek
A gorgeous desktop paired with decent sit/stand legs.

I’ve had a lot of odd pitches come my way as a tech reviewer. So when ChopValue approached me with a standing desk, that didn’t seem all that unusual. Until the company explained that it made the desktop out of used chopsticks. Now that I have one in person, all I can say is: wow, this is beautiful.

As an amateur woodworker, I typically prefer to build my own desks. But in the back of my mind, I’m aware of the problems with my hobby. For one, wood is expensive these days. And for another, buying new wood all the time isn’t great for the environment. That’s where ChopValue comes into play.

Every year, people throw out 80 billion pairs of disposable chopsticks. All of that ends up in garbage and landfills, and the cycle continues. ChopValue collects used chopsticks from local restaurants, a large source of disposable chopsticks. From there, the company cleans the chopsticks (using extreme heat), then uses a custom hydraulic pressing machine to “smash” a set of chopsticks into a “block.”

That doesn’t prevent the creation of more disposable chopsticks, of course. But it does reduce the number of used chopsticks going into the ground. ChopValue turns chopsticks into a desktop (among other items) and partnered with Fnatic to create a standing desk in several sizes. I naturally had multiple questions as both a woodworker and a tech reviewer. Are the used chopsticks made of bamboo or wood? How strong is the final product? Can used chopsticks really make for a good-looking desktop? And how is the standing desk portion of the hardware?

I’m pleased to say the final product is beautiful, functional, and, even durable. If you want something truly unique, you’ll want to check out the ChopValue Revive Gaming Desk.

Here's What We Like

  • Stunningly beautiful
  • Included accessories are great
  • Standing desk works well

And What We Don't

  • Expensive, even for a standing desk
  • Some wobble
  • Sustainability is questionable

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A Beautiful Desktop Made of Used Chopsticks

Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way. I have to admit I question some of ChopValue’s sustainability claims. You see, it comes down to materials. Manufacturers make disposable chopsticks out of one of two materials: wood or bamboo. If you’re thinking, “bamboo is wood,” you are mistaken. Bamboo is actually a grass. And that matters for sustainability.

Unlike trees, new bamboo grows very quickly and is easily replaced. While it takes trees decades to grow, you can get useable bamboo in just a season. And because it’s a grass, it also biodegrades very well. It puts more oxygen into the air than wood, so while avoiding putting anything into the ground is best, if you have to choose, bamboo is better. The same can be said for sustainably growing materials for making cutting boards, utensils, and desktops. Bamboo is more environmentally friendly than wood.

Preventing wood chopsticks from going into a landfill has arguable environmental benefits. Bamboo, not quite as much. I asked ChopValue if the chopsticks it upcycles are wood or bamboo but never got an answer. Now that I have one in person, I can tell just by looking at the edges. The fibers reveal that these chopsticks are bamboo.

So that lessens the benefits, but one could argue that it still exists. But alas, part of the process of turning the chopsticks into the desk calls for covering them in resin. This means these desks won’t biodegrade well if you ever do throw them out. Still, one could argue a desk made of recycled bamboo is still better than a desk made of newly cut wood.

Environmental sustainability aside, though, let’s talk about the product. I have to admit; I’m very picky about my desk surfaces. I’d usually rather build my own, and to be honest, I don’t like the look of bamboo usually. At least not the side profile. I expected to appreciate but not love the ChopValue desk if it came in bamboo. Boy, was I wrong.

This desktop is stunningly beautiful. Chopvalue could have chosen to do an edge treatment to hide the nature of its materials, much like you would hide plywood. But the company left the edges exposed. I’m honestly glad—I think it adds to the overall look and reinforces the source of the materials. And the way ChopValue makes these desks creates a better look than most bamboo desks.

Typically a “thick” bamboo desk is an alternative layered pattern of grass planks. So the edge profile gives you a strangely striped look. With ChopValue’s method of “smashing bricks,” you get something closer to a wood look. The finish also means the desk arrives darker than I expected, and I really like it.

What you get is a solid, beautiful, and durable product. One benefit to a bamboo, chopstick or otherwise, is it’s tough and durable stuff. I’ve worn out brand-new blades cutting through the stuff. And it tends to stand up to water better than traditional wood. It’s honestly great desktop material. And ChopValue’s desktop may be the most beautiful version of a bamboo desktop I have ever seen.

I also appreciate the grommet precut into the desk for snaking your cords through. I think I would have preferred two, especially since this is marked as a “gaming desk,” but anytime I don’t have to cut my own holes, I appreciate it. Depending on your choices and how soon you order, you’ll also get a set of logos for ChopValue, optionally Fnatic, and a limited edition number series. Only the first 1,000 desks get the number engraved.

The Standing Desk Is Prety Decent

The legs of a standing desk with no crossbar
Josh Hendrickson/Review Geek

Of course, a standing “gaming” desk wouldn’t be much good if the standing half isn’t up to the task. Overall, it’s a pretty good standing desk unit.

Building it was somewhat of a chore. I’ve built a few standing desks now, and to be frank, none are a pleasure to build. The instructions that came with this unit were mostly clear, with the exception of one particular page where the angle of the illustrations could have been better. I ended up attaching a piece incorrectly and only realized many steps later. But as it turned out, what I did wrong didn’t actually matter, and I never bothered to fix it.

But it doesn’t feel like these legs were made specifically for ChapValue’s desktop. I say that for two reasons. First, you can resize the legs to hold a desktop much wider than ChopValue offers. And two, the setup kit came with two sets of fasteners. One for a desktop with pre-drilled holes and another for a “bring your own desktop” scenario. The ChopValue desktop does have pre-drilled holes. But the “pre-drilled fasteners” didn’t fit. Thankfully the “BYOD” fasteners worked fine.

You know what I really appreciate? You get extras that aren’t always for elsewhere. Included in the kit is a programmable controller (marked EFFYDESK) that raises and lowers the desktop. You can set four total height preferences and then recall them at the push of a button. Not every standing desk company includes a programmable controller.

This kit also comes with an underside mount to run all your cables through. If you care about cable management, that’s a big bonus, and again not every company includes one. These extras are, however, must-haves in my opinion, given the Revive’s price. If you configure standing desks from Uplift or Jarvis with similar options, they are more affordable. You’re paying extra for the promise of sustainability and reused chopsticks.

I will say that the motor in this standing desk leg setup is somewhat louder than other standing desks I’ve tried. It’s not loud by any means or even what I would call a nuisance. But Jarvis and Uplift do make quieter desks. In the end, though, it didn’t bother me, even though the other standing desk in my home makes less noise.

Additionally, I noticed some wobble. Especially when I had the desk at full height. Now it’s possible I don’t have a bolt tightened enough entirely, but I don’t think that’s the problem. These standing desk legs don’t have a crossbar, and they don’t have a wedge system at the point where the legs join the desktop. That’s traditionally how you eliminate wobble, and in theory, you might be able to add a crossbar yourself. But I don’t think you should have to. So just be aware.

Should You Buy The ChopValue Revive Gaming Desk?

An angled profile of a chopstick desk
Josh Hendrickson/Review Geek

Are you considering buying a standing desk? Then you at least consider the ChopValue Revive Gaming Desk. It doesn’t come with the best “standing desk” legs you can buy. If you go with Jarvis or Uplift, you not only get something quieter but you get more height options. But they do the job well enough.

The real reason I think you should consider this desk is the desktop itself. At first brush, “used chopsticks” might sound, well, gross. Don’t worry about that, though; these have been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. And for your money, you’ll get, hands down, the most beautiful bamboo desktop on the market. It’s simply gorgeous. I don’t think the pictures do it justice.

You also get something unique. Bamboo chopsticks are a dime a dozen at this point, but nothing else is quite like ChopValue’s take on it. If you care about sustainability, that plays into the outcome, too, though again, I question the full value of recycled bamboo. It’s better than nothing but not as great as reducing wood use.

Just be forewarned; the uniqueness of the Revive Gaming Desk comes at a cost. You will pay more than you would for a similar desk from the other major standing desk manufacturers. And far more than a “budget” option.

Even if you don’t care about standing desks, the desktop might still be worth a look. You can buy it with standard legs that don’t lift. Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to save you any money, which I find odd. But at least the option is there. I didn’t test that version of the desk, but from the pictures, it appears to use the same basic legs without the lift motors. And if you just want a desktop, take a look at ChopValue’s tabletop option. You can save a bit of money there by providing your own legs.

If you can afford it and want a functional standing desk that also looks beautiful, then I can recommend the Revive Gaming Desk. It’s incredibly beautiful, and works well too.

Rating:
8/10
Price:
Starting At $965

Here’s What We Like

  • Stunningly beautiful
  • Included accessories are great
  • Standing desk works well

And What We Don't

  • Expensive, even for a standing desk
  • Some wobble
  • Sustainability is questionable

Josh Hendrickson Josh Hendrickson
Josh Hendrickson is the Editor in Chief of Review Geek and is responsible for the site's content direction. He has worked in IT for nearly a decade, including four years spent repairing and servicing computers for Microsoft. He’s also a smart home enthusiast who built his own smart mirror with just a frame, some electronics, a Raspberry Pi, and open-source code. Read Full Bio »