Over the past three years, Varidesk has grown to become the most well-known standing desk brand available. Their product design allowed customers the opportunity to quickly turn any desk in a standing desk. It was also one of the first options that shipped fully assembled. With such an easy option for those new to standing desks, it’s clear to see why it has continued to win over so many. While the Varidesk has proven to be a quick fix for standing desks, a list of problems do exist within their line of desks. Today, we will be addressing the top nine problems with the Varidesk Pro Plus series.
Limited Range Of Motion On Varidesk
A common problem that exists with most convertible standing desks is the limited range of motion they provide. Because most will rest on top of your desk, they are limited to how low they can adjust by the existing desks height. The average height of an office desk is between 29” and 30”. You can then add an additional inch added for the thickness of the Varidesks keyboard and mouse platform. For users under 5’6”, this will likely be too tall. The opposite problem exists for taller users. The max adjustment range on the Varidesk pro plus is 14”, which will only provide a standing desk tall enough for a user up to 5’11”.
Solution: For shorter users there are convertible standing desks that will allow you to type lower than the desk surface. Many of these models use clamp systems that will mount to the front or back of your desk. Some of these products include the Healthpostures Taskmate Go and Ergotron WorkFit-S. For users that are over 5’11”, many of the post and base systems will raise 16”-18” above your desk’s surface. The Winston by Innovative will raise high enough to accommodate users up to 6’6”.
Small Working Space
Having a working space that is large enough to support items like a phone or notepad is important. Constant reaching outside your neutral reach zone can create neck and shoulder pain. It can also be an annoyance to not have the flexibility to use those items when standing. The cut out in the Varidesk wastes a lot of space that could be utilized for items like this.
Solution: Going with larger versions like the 48” will provide more space, but they will take up more of your existing desk. Adding a monitor arm to the Varidesk will free up more working space on top of the converter. Varidesk alternatives, like the OFM 5100 and Flexispot, provide more working area and take up about the same amount of desk space.
Varidesk Takes Up A Lot Of Desk Space
While the Varidesk Pro Plus 36 doesn’t provide a lot of working space, it still takes up a ton of desk real estate. Depending on the size of your existing desk, this can be an issue.
Solution: Depending on your requirements for a converter, having one that provides a decent working space will almost always take up a lot of your existing desk. Alternatives like the Ergotron Workfit A and Duke Mount will take up less space, but will only offer enough space for computing tasks. Some post and base systems, like the Kangaroo and Duke, will utilize a smaller footprint, but can still take up a fair amount of space.
Varidesk Lacks Wire Management
The lack of an actual wire management system is a big problem. The design of the Varidesk uses a spring assist mechanism that collapses the support bars as the desk is lowered. This creates a pinching issue with your wires for things like the monitor arm keyboard/mouse.
Solution: We recommend using a cordless mouse and keyboard for the Varidesk Pro Plus and other similar desktop converters. Other converters in it’s class also utilize a scissor or z-lift system that will pinch cords. Post and base systems, like the Duke Vesa or Kangaroo, offer better wire management systems that will not pinch your wires.
Read Our Alternatives Post
Varidesk Is Expensive
When the Varidesk Pro Plus first came out, it was one of the least expensive standing desk converters available. Since that time many competitors have launched products that are very similar for up to $100 less. If you decide to add a monitor arm to your Varidesk the price will increase another $125, bringing you pretty close to full standing desk.
Solution: As mentioned above there have been plenty of alternatives to launch since the Varidesk was first introduced. Products like the Flexispot MR2 and OFM 5100 are some of the best Varidesk alternatives we have found. While they do require some assembly, they will be about $100 less and offer the similar functionality.
Dual Ergonomics An Extra Charge
Dual ergonomics provides the proper separation between your keyboard/mouse and the monitor. Having this separation is important for creating good posture. Without this separation you will find yourself looking down at the screen or reaching too high to use the keyboard. Both problems will create neck and shoulder issues. Unfortunately, dual ergonomics is a problem for almost all of the scissor and z-lift converters.
Solution: Adding an accessory like a monitor arm or even using books to prop up your monitor will work. Unless you’re in a shared working environment, you should be able to find the proper separation and then leave it. The distance between where you type on your keyboard and view your monitor remain the same while seated or standing.
Varidesk Is Not Stable
The Varidesks best stability can be found when in a low position. Once it is raised up it becomes bouncy and that only increases the higher the unit raises. When it is fully extended it moves up and outward, creating additional stability issues.
Solution: The Varidesk Pro Plus is inherently unstable when extended to standing height. Unfortunately, converters will only be as stable as their weakest link; the desk that they rest on. While the Varidesk isn’t the most stable option, it can be improved upon by making the desk, it rests on, more stable.
Varidesk Has Awkward Raising Motion
The Varidesk Pro Plus 36 has a lifting motion that actually moves up and then out towards the user. This not only creates stability issues, but limits where the product can be used. If you are in a cubicle or small office with limited space this will be an problem.
Solution: Depending on how your office is designed, the easier solution would be to move your existing desk to create additional standing space. If you are in a small office with limited space, products like the Ergotron Workfit T utilize a better vertical adjustment motion.
For the Varidesk to have one of the weakest warranties in its class is a little surprising. With only one year coverage, there isn’t a lot of backing from the world’s leading standing desk company. The warranty also excludes any shipping costs associated with replacement parts.
Solution: The good news is that the Varidesk is a basic product. There really isn’t a lot that can go wrong on the product. The chances that you should need to replace parts are fairly limited, as long as it is used properly. If the lack of a warranty is a concern, Flexispot and OFM 5100 provide five year warranties on their competing products.
While the Varidesk Pro Plus series has been one of the best options to provide an easy switch to standing, recently many alternatives have surfaced. Varidesk has done a great job offering a product that ships fully assembled and easily adjusts from sitting to standing. Unfortunately, they have failed to recognize problems that have existed within their Pro Plus Series and others have capitalized on this. Awkward raising motions, limited working space and a short warranty are all things that could easily be improved. The Varidesk Pro Plus will continue to be a very popular product, but for those looking for a better alternative, other options finally exist and some even cost less than Varidesk.
Standing Desk Converter Resources
- VertDesk Standing Desk Converter (Review / Rating / Pricing)
- Flexispot M2 35″ Sit Stand Desk Converter (Review / Rating / Pricing)
- VariDesk Pro Plus 36 Stand Up Desk Converter (Review / Rating / Pricing)
- Top 6 Most Stable Standing Desk Converters
- Top 5 FlexiSpot Alternatives and Competitors
- The 5 Best VariDesk Alternatives and Competitors