Varidesk Gets You Standing, Won’t Break The Bank [Review]

Varidesk

Cult of Mac has long had a thing for standup desks – for years, publisher Leander Kahney has written posts great and small at an Ikea kitchen table propped up on canisters. His DIY version outlines the basic problem: a desk where you can stand up is useful, but they tend to be pricey.

We’ve reviewed NewHeights, for example, which will set you back over $1,300, so we were eager to try an option with variable height that didn’t break the bank.

PRODUCT by Varidesk
Category: Standing desk
Price: $275

Enter the Varidesk. It comes in three models – Laptop, Pro and Single – and they cost around $300. Technically, it’s more of a riser than a full desk since it sits atop your existing back-breaking work bench.

But we won’t hold that against it, since that makes it more versatile: if you have a home office and want to use the desk for something else, you could store this away fairly easily, assuming you don’t mind putting a bit of back into it.

The good: We tried out the laptop version, which retails for $275. The Varidesk Adjustable Desk lets me get to work standing most of the time and when I get tired or just want to change position, I can flip the whole thing down without risking spillage of the omnipresent cup of coffee. There’s also room for a notebook, water bottle, various other office paraphernalia, so you’re not constantly searching around for the other stuff you need all the time.

Varidesk's Pro version.

Varidesk’s Pro version.

The desk is solidly built, if fairly heavy, weighing in at nearly 40 pounds. (The most help you’ll need setting it up probably involves coaxing someone to help you heave it out of the box since it comes fully assembled.) The double-hinged top slides up and down very smoothly and without effort by pressing the two handles.

If you’ve tried cheaper risers — and Furinno, we mean you — you know that bad or fiddly adjustment can be a frustrating part of using one of these solutions. With the Varidesk, though, the bottom part slides out to accommodate the laptop when I want to use the desk sitting — and even though that’s probably the least refined part of the experience, since the sliding mechanism is a tad rough, it gets the job done anyway. And all your sitting – no standing! – no sitting – no standing! won’t strain it, either.

The bad: If you like sleek, or unobtrusive, well-designed objects, this probably isn’t for you. From a visual perspective, the thick black plastic just murders the glass-top desk we sat it on. The overall real estate is another consideration, although the model we tried out is called “Laptop,” the work surface is 30”x17” and eats up most of the desk.

All in all, it’s a solid, mid-range alternative to DIY solutions or luxe motorized options that retails for an approachable $275. Another plus: it requires no assembly, since all you have to do is to take it out of the box and drop it on the desk.

Product Name: Veridesk Laptop
The Good: Solid, reliable, mid-price range.
The Bad: Ugh ugly.
The Verdict Good solution, if aesthetically challenged.
Buy from: Varidesk



Cult of Mac rating: Good

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About the author

Nicole MartinelliNicole Martinelli heads up Cult of Mac Magazine, our weekly publication available on iTunes. You can find her on Twitter and Google+. If you're doing something new, cool and Apple-related, email her.

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