The Kangaroo by Ergo Desktop is one of the very first desktop converters to hit the market. It has been well received and highly praised by many customers and review sites. The initial success of the Kangaroo opened the door to the entire 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. We have a Kangaroo here at our office so I recently took it for a test drive. Here are my thoughts.
Ergo Desktop LLC History
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.
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: 16.5”
Max Monitor Platform Height: 23”H
Min Keyboard Platform Height: 1”
Min Monitor Platform Height: 5”H
$499.00 + Free Shipping
Dual Ergonomics – work surface and monitor height adjust independently
16.5” of keyboard platform adjustment
6.5” if monitor platform adjustment
Solid steel base
Stabilization leg included
4 color options: black, putty, maple and cherry
Sits on top of existing desk
Straight up & down movement
Manufacturer’s warranty – 5 years on frame, 2-year warranty on moving parts
Shipping & Assembly
Currently, orders are being shipped within 1-2 weeks of placing the order. The Kangaroo ships FedEx ground for free to the lower 48 states and arrives within five business days.
The Kangaroo will require a bit of assembly. The process is simple and straightforward but I would estimate assembly time to be between 15-30 minutes, depending on your skill level. You can order the Kangaroo fully assembled for an additional $19.00.
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, but I still had a very hard time using the Kangaroo comfortably and stopped my trial period on the first day.
What do I like about the Kangaroo?
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 OFM 5100.
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, 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 2 brackets). This is a huge upgrade over lower priced units that leave all the wire management problems on the customer.
When the Kangaroo was first introduced, the #1 complaint was the keyboard tray bounced while typing. The 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, Ergo Desktop 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; this way the keyboard platform is better supported. This helps to almost completely remove keyboard bounce.
The Kangaroo is also pretty stable with regard to side to side movement and swivel. This is something that I was worried about when I first placed the unit on my desk. I was easily able to swivel the entire unit and shake it side to side with very little effort. Once loaded with my monitor and other accessories, the unit was more stable and had no swivel movement.
I like that the Kangaroo offers a couple wood finish options. Most products are limited to black only. Some brands offer white or silver. Being able to customize your office with a wood finish is something not found on the majority of standing desk converters.
Good Option for Tall People
The Kangaroo has a wide adjustment range of 16.5 inches on the keyboard platform. Combine that with 6.5” of monitor platform adjustment and the Kangaroo can accommodate users that are 6’4”. A lot of converters will not work for users over 6’0”, so the Kangaroo is a good option for tall people.
Made in the USA
Ergo Desktop LLC is a USA based company that produces the Kangaroo in their own factory. This means that you will be getting higher quality parts with better testing standards and quality control compared to products that are imported from China or Taiwan.
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What could be improved on the Kangaroo?
Difficult to Adjust
The monitor and keyboard platform each adjust independently with separate knobs. To adjust you’ll need to loosen the knob which will allow the platform to move up or down. When you reach the desired height then tighten the knob to keep the platform in place.
The main aluminum columns used create a lot of friction, 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 the monitor which was very concerning.
I found the overall adjustment process to be quite annoying. Using the knobs are 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 effort.
The difficult adjustment will be made worse for short people or people with less 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.
Note: Make sure to tighten the knobs as much as possible. There were a couple times that I thought I had tightened a knob enough only to have the platform move a bit on its own.
Small Task Space
If you’ve read my Varidesk Pro Plus review then you know how much I disliked the lack of space available for tasking and accessories. The Kangaroo is worse in my opinion.
The first problem is how small the monitor platform is. 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 monitor (27”), but not something that is out of the ordinary for the office these days.
Note: I recommend a 24” monitor or less if you are using the platform. For larger monitors, a Kangaroo Pro would probably be a better option.
The keyboard platform is also much smaller than I would have liked. Since you have no space on the monitor platform for anything but the monitor, everything else needs to fit on the keyboard platform. The space isn’t large enough to allow for much more than your keyboard and mouse. I wasn’t able to put my speakers, notepad, iPad, etc on the Kangaroo. This was a nuisance because I had to reach down to use these items on a different portion of my desk.
Ergo Desktop has recognized this problem and has added some accessories that can attach to the keyboard platform to increase your usable space. This is a nice option, but it will increase the price by $29 per side unit and could potentially decrease stability.
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 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 this issue would be a problem if you were using a smaller monitors as well.
This seems to be another problem that Ergo Desktop has tried to remedy. You can add a keyboard extension to the front of your keyboard platform. This helps to push you further from your screen and also gives you quite a bit more space for tasks. The keyboard extension is $79.
Shipping & Assembly
The lead time on the Kangaroo has been one of its biggest hindrances since it was released. The lead time has been as long as eight weeks in the past. Currently, it is more manageable at 1-2 weeks, but it is still one of the longest lead time out there for similar products. Most competing products ship within a few days or less.
There are some really great things to like about the Kangaroo. It is made in the USA, has dual ergonomics and does a great job with wire management issues. It is also very stable when adding the stability bar and adjustable enough for people over 6’0”. I think that this can be a very good product for people looking for something with more adjustability than lower priced converters have to offer.
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 for front and side extensions to the keyboard platform. I cannot justify spending even more money on the Kangaroo when it is already on the higher side for desktop converters. I think that products like the OFM 5100, FlexiSpot M2 and even the Varidesk Pro Plus provide a better value for the price.