The Kangaroo by Ergo Desktop is one of the very first desktop converters to make a splash when it hit the market. It has been well received and highly praised by many customers and review sites. The initial success of the Kangaroo helped to open the door to the standing desk converter category. Products like the Varidesk, Duke and Winston soon followed. Even with a lot of added competition, the Kangaroo remains a popular choice. The Kangaroo comes in a standard platform version, but they also make the Kangaroo Pro which has a VESA compliant monitor mount for the same price.
The Kangaroo is a product that we are very familiar with. We actually used to sell the Kangaroo on BTOD.com but due to extensive manufacturer delays, the line had to be pulled from numerous authorized dealer websites. At the time, the Kangaroo was probably one of the best standing desk converter options but it had obvious flaws compared to traditional standing desks. Ergo Desktop has made a good effort to resolve some of these issues. We have a Kangaroo here at our office so I recently took it for a test drive. Here are my thoughts on the Kangaroo.
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Ergo Desktop LLC is a US based company that has been in business since 2011. They were founded after the creation of the Kangaroo. Their focus is on providing a sit to stand option for people that do not wish to lose their existing desk.
Country of Origin
Made in USA
TABLE OF CONTENTS
– Specs / Features / Pricing
– Return Policy and Warranty
– Making Adjustments
– Task and Keyboard Space
– Wire Management
– What I Like
– What I Don’t Like
– Bottom Line
Kangaroo ED-KA Product Specifications
Weight Limit: 34 lbs.
Overall at lowest height: 28”W x 24”D x 20.5”H
Overall at highest height: 28”W x 24”D x 23”H
Base Dimensions: 17.5”W x 16”D
Keyboard Platform Dimensions: 28”W x 24”D
Monitor Platform Dimensions: 16”W x 9.25”D
Max Keyboard Platform Height: 15.5”
Max Monitor Platform Height: 25.75”H
Min Keyboard Platform Height: 1”
Min Monitor Platform Height: 5”H
Distance from Monitor to Front of Keyboard: 13”
2019 Price: $499.00
Dual Ergonomics – work surface and monitor height adjust independently
14.5” keyboard platform adjustment
6.25” monitor platform adjustment
Solid steel base
Stabilization leg included
Sits on top of existing desk
Straight up & down movement
Black, Putty, Maple or Cherry
|Cable Management||$5.00 per pair of brackets|
|Side Work Surface Extension||$29.00|
You can return the Kangaroo within the first 30 days for a full refund. You will be responsible for the return shipping charges and it must arrive in “like new” condition. Returns are allowed after 30 days but there will be a re-stocking fee plus return shipping charges. You do not need the original packaging but damaged or missing parts may result in a deduction to your refund amount.
The gas springs and other moving parts are covered for two years. The steel frame and structure is covered for five years.
Currently, orders are being shipped within one to two weeks of placing the order. The Kangaroo ships FedEx ground for free to the lower 48 states and arrives within five business days.
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The Kangaroo will require a bit of assembly. The process is simple and straightforward but I would estimate assembly time to be about 30 minutes, depending on your skill level. You can order the Kangaroo fully assembled for an additional $19.00.
The Kangaroo is made in the USA but I wouldn’t consider it to have a higher-end build quality. It uses basic aluminum extrusions and gas lift cylinders to perform the up and down movement on both platforms. The aluminum extrusions are not designed specifically for this type of use so I question how well they will hold up over the long haul. The base is made from heavy duty steel but the particle board platforms are going to be of lower quality.
The Kangaroo is not the most attractive standing desk converter. The contrasting black and silver throughout the unit is a less refined look than many other converters. There are a lot of exposed screws, nuts and bolts. Lower-end, copycat products like the Victor DC300 look sleeker than the Kangaroo.
Adjusting the Kangaroo
The monitor and keyboard platform each adjust independently with separate knobs. You need to loosen the knob which will allow the platform to move up or down. When you reach the desired height, tighten the knob to keep the platform in place.
The aluminum column used creates a lot of friction when adjusting the keyboard platform, especially at the very beginning of the adjustment. You really need to put a lot of effort in to get it moving and the movement doesn’t feel smooth. This created a lot of rocking on my monitor which was very concerning. The monitor platform adjustment is smoother and easier to do.
When the Kangaroo was first introduced, the #1 complaint was the keyboard tray bounce when typing. This bounce occurs because the center of gravity for the base is not at the center of the unit. It is pushed further to the back of the desk which means that the support at the end of the keyboard tray is limited.
To solve this, ErgoDesktop started including a stability bar with the Kangaroo. The stability bar is just a metal bar that spans vertically between your desk and your keyboard platform so that the keyboard platform is much better supported. This helps to almost completely remove keyboard bounce at standing height. The stability bar also helps to reduce monitor shake and side to side wobble to a reasonable level when standing.
At sitting height, the Kangaroo is solid. The keyboard tray goes flush to your desk so there is no keyboard bounce. There is a slight side to side tilting action on the keyboard tray and a bit of monitor shake when bumping the unit in different directions.
The Kangaroo took a large deduction in the general stability section for the simple fact that without the stability bar, the Kangaroo is almost unusable because it is so unstable. Without the stability bar, the Kangaroo wobbles and rocks in all directions very easily. It also has massive keyboard bounce and monitor shake.
|Sitting Wobble (10%)||Standing Wobble (15%)||Sitting Bounce (10%)||Standing Bounce (15%)||Sitting Shake (10%)||Standing Shake (15%)||General (25%)||Total Score|
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The Kangaroo has independent keyboard tray and monitor platform height adjustment. The monitor platform has about 6” of separate height adjustment range with a maximum monitor platform height of 25.75”. This is great to help ensure that you have the proper ergonomic monitor viewing angle.
The keyboard tray sits about 1” off your desk when in the lowest position so your normal typing posture will be changed when seated. From there it will go as high as 15.5” off your desk. The Kangaroo may be a problem for shorter people, when seated, but it will accommodate an ergonomic typing posture for people as tall as 6’3”, when standing.
The distance from the monitor to the front of the keyboard tray is about 13”. This will put most people around 16”-19” from the monitor. This is a short distance when you consider that the recommend ergonomic viewing distance is somewhere between 20”-40”.
The Kangaroo features separate monitor and keyboard platforms made from particle board. The monitor platform’s size is a limiting factor. I was not able to put my monitor on the platform without having a portion of the base hanging off the front. I do use a pretty big 27” monitor but it is not something that is out of the ordinary for the office these days. I think a monitor size of 22” or less would work the best for this product.
The keyboard platform is also much smaller than I would have liked due to the tapered design on the back of the platform. This design is in place so that the Kangaroo can be used in a corner but it is a big sacrifice in task space for people to be able to use it in a corner. The space wasn’t large enough to allow for much more than my keyboard, mouse and a couple small accessories.
Due to the single column design, you will already have far less wire management issues than models with legs on both side of the unit. Those units put wires in jeopardy of being pinched when lowering the unit while the Kangaroo does not.
The Kangaroo provides the option to add wire management brackets which is something I would highly recommend. They do cost extra but the price is minimal, $5 for two brackets. This is a huge upgrade over lower priced units that leave all the wire management problems on the customer.
I do not have safety concerns with the Kangaroo. The unit does not have pinch points and I do not feel that there is a risk that the unit would tip over.
What do I like?
The best feature on the Kangaroo is the dual ergonomic function. The keyboard platform and monitor platform adjust independently. This allows you to have the proper distance between the two platforms so that you are not looking up or down at your monitor. This is the type of feature that you will not find with lower priced models like the Varidesk Pro Plus 36 or FlexiSpot M2.
Good Option for Tall People
The Kangaroo has a wide adjustment range of 14.5 inches on the keyboard platform. Combine this with 6.5” of monitor platform adjustment and the Kangaroo can accommodate users that are 6’3”. A lot of converters will not work for users over 6’0” so the Kangaroo is a good option if you are tall.
Made in the USA
Ergo Desktop LLC is a USA based company that produces the Kangaroo in their own factory. The Kangaroo is on a small list of standing desk converters that are made in the USA. If you prefer to buy American made products, then the Kangaroo line of converters is one of the few options available.
What Don’t I Like?
Adding the stability bar to the Kangaroo is a must for the product to be stable. This is a big disadvantage to many other converters that do not require you to have a separate part stored away to be used when you would like to stand. There are many other products with more stability that don’t require a separate part.
Difficult to Adjust
I found the overall adjustment process to be quite annoying. Using the knobs is more time consuming than most of the other converters out there. The Kangaroo is also physically difficult to adjust while most of its competitors require very little physical effort.
The difficult adjustment will be made worse for short people or people with lower physical strength. Ergo Desktop recommends adjusting the Kangaroo by pushing down on the horizontal metal bar on the back of the keyboard platform. Getting enough leverage to move the unit down while reaching that far will be difficult.
Small Task Space
Being limited on the monitor size you can use, as well as the number of accessories you can have within your close proximity is definitely a downside that will effect a lot of potential buyers. I think that a slight increase in the size of the monitor platform, along with the option to get a non-tapered keyboard tray, would be a huge improvement to the problems posed by the current design.
Monitor is Too Close
The monitor felt like it was very close to my face. This made viewing the screen hard on my eyes and this is the sole reason that I stopped using the Kangaroo on the first day. My monitor is probably too large for the Kangaroo but I think that this would be a problem for smaller monitors as well.
Altered Sitting Position
The Kangaroo is another standing desk converter that is on the long list of products that increase the height of your normal typing position when seated. This can be an even larger problem for shorter people.
There are some things to like about the Kangaroo. It is made in the USA, has dual ergonomics and offers a wire management solution. It is stable when adding the stability bar and adjustable enough for people up to 6’3”. But, I was not comfortable using the Kangaroo. The difficult adjustment, limited space and uncomfortably close monitor made for a poor experience. To shore up the space and monitor issues it is an additional $137.00 for front and side extensions to the keyboard platform. I cannot justify spending more money on the Kangaroo when it is already on the higher side of desktop converter prices.
If you are looking for something American made with dual ergonomics, then the Kangaroo may be a nice option for you. But I think there are other options out there that will provide a better value and user experience than the Kangaroo offers.