Anthro Elevate Wrap, Verte’ Chair, Zido Cart Review
The makings of the perfect office.
By Scott Gentry | July 21, 2011
A few months ago the folks at Anthro Technology Furniture asked us to give an extended road test to three of their products-the Anthro Elevate Wrap table, Vert© chair, and Zido adjustable cart. We put all three to work in real-world office and studio settings, and the overall experience has been a striking reminder that good equipment extends beyond lenses, cameras, and digital technology. Successful creative professionals use every tool that improves efficiency and productivity, including furniture. They make their work space work for them.
What struck us first about Anthro's products were their bulletproof materials, world-class design, and faultless ergonomics. But the lasting value of the furniture is in how much easier (and more pleasant) it makes the daily tasks of business.
In the interest of full disclosure we'll mention that Anthro is kindly allowing us to keep the products covered in this review.
By far the most striking office chair we've ever laid eyes on, Anthro's Vert© is distinguished by a long metal "spine" running up the back of the chair. As it turns out, it's your back, not the chair's, that was foremost in the designers' minds. Each "vertebra" in the chair's spine controls an adjustable support. By leaning back you can contour the chair to fit your back precisely, and then easily lock the chair into position. In other words, the Vert© is customizable to fit each person who uses it.
Needless to say, if you spend a significant portion of your workday sitting down, a chair that grows more comfortable the longer you sit in it is almost priceless. This is true under any circumstances, but especially true if you have back issues or find yourself sore on Monday after an active weekend.
Viewed from behind, the Vert© chair reminds us a little of The Alien. The protruding exoskeletal spine is unusual to say the least, and is often a conversation-starter when visitors stop by the office. But in every other respect, the Vert©'s design is clean, conservative, and attractive. The inner back (the part you sit against) is leather, as is the front of the seat (the part that your thighs rest on). The part your bottom sits on is cloth, which has the practical value of preventing sliding and the aesthetic value of textural variety.
The chair rolls smoothly on industrial-strength casters mounted to a five-point metal base-solid, sturdy construction. We should mention that the chair's height from the floor, seat back angle, and armrest height are all adjustable, along with the back contour. The leather headrest is a nice touch, too. It folds out of the way when not in use.
Office furnishings can say a lot about a person. The Vert© is clearly an executive's chairâ¦ but it's a chair for executives who care about form, function, and comfort-not just superficialities.
Anthro told us that the Vert© chair would be a breeze to assemble, and when the staff klutz succeeded flawlessly on his first attempt, the point was proved.
Convenience may be the ultimate goal in studio design, but sometimes what's convenient for one job is inconvenient for another. It can be a challenge to arrange equipment so that you don't lose concentration or fumble around when moving from one task to another. It dawned on us that maybe we could move the equipment instead of the person, and we wondered if Anthro's rolling Zido cart might be the solution.
A cart is a cart is a cart, right? Not exactly. Two things set Anthro's Zido line apart: the quality of construction (which translates into ease of use as well as durability), and the amazing amount of customization available.
There are two core versions of the Zido cart. One is essentially a small work table on wheels- the work surface is attached to a column (adjustable or fixed, your choice) mounted on four heavy-duty rollers. The other is a pole cart: a single tall post attached to a roller base.
Both models can be configured in hundreds of ways, but the pole cart is a truly masterpiece of adaptability. Users can attach monitors (one or two), keyboard trays, shelves, drawers, work surfaces, bins, and even desktop computers in holders at the base. The pole cart is ideal for people who move from one work space to another, as in hospitals, for example. If you wanted to, you could stroll around with your entire office mounted to this cart.
Like the pole carts, the table-surfaced carts are also highly customizable. Accessories include monitor mounts, keyboard trays, drawers, bins, brackets, and shelvesâ¦ all manufactured to the same high standards as the carts themselves. Given the wide range of options, ordering an Anthro cart is like having one purpose-built.
In our case, we use the Zido cart to hold a computer, monitor, keyboard, and mouse, with a lower shelf for various odds and ends, and a side-mounted bin for headphones and similar paraphernalia. It rolls into position easily, lockable casters keep it in place, and it's sturdy enough to hold a small elephant. And, just as conveniently, it rolls out of the way when we want to work on something else.
At first the staff klutz had trouble assembling the cart, but all became right when he went back and found supplemental instructions in the bottom of the box.
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