Today I will be discussing one of our very own products, The Duke. If you read my Kangaroo review, then you are aware that we used to sell the Kangaroo products. Unfortunately, the Kangaroo’s popularity caused extensive manufacturer delays which forced us to remove the products from our website. We needed to find an alternative for our customers. Products like the WorkFit and Winston weren’t going to cut it for everyone, so our President, Greg Knighton, teamed up with Bill Knighton and RightAngle Products to create something new. The goal was to create a sleek, easy-to-use product that was also highly adjustable and stable at standing height.
The Duke is not perfect. It has advantages and disadvantages compared to other products. In this review, I hope to present both the upsides and downsides to owning a Duke, so that you can make the most informed buying decision possible.
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Full Disclaimer: We are an office furniture dealer and sell some of the products we review. To learn more about the products we sell, our review process and why you can trust us, please visit: Why we’re different. Who is BTOD.com and The Breakroom Blog?
K&A Manufacturing, makers of RightAngle Products, produces the Duke for BTOD.com in Weston, WI. They have been in business for 30 years with a focus on ergonomic products, including their popular Myriad keyboard trays and NewHeights electric standing desks. K&A produces high quality products that are thoroughly tested to the highest quality standards.
Country of Origin
Made in USA
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Duke Vesa Quick Summary Video
Vesa Compliant Mounting System
Weight Limit: 30 lbs.
Weight: 44 lbs.
Overall at lowest height: 28”W x 24”D x 26”H
Overall at highest height: 28”W x 24”D x 43”H
Base Dimensions: 17”W x 15.7”D
Keyboard Platform Dimensions: 28”W x 16.5”D
Secondary Platform Dimensions: 28”W x 11”D
Max Keyboard Platform Height: 17”
Max Monitor Height: 26”H
Min Keyboard Platform Height: .5”
Min Monitor Height: 4”H
$555.99 + Free Shipping for Single Monitor
$626.99.00 + Free Shipping for Dual Monitors
|Dual Monitors up to 24”||$40.00|
Dual Ergonomics – work surface and monitor height adjust independently
Gas lift height adjustment with single handle
Monitors tilt front to back and rotate
16.5” of keyboard platform adjustment
22” of monitor adjustment
Solid steel base
2 color options: black or silver/white
Sits on top of existing desk
Straight up & down movement
Manufacturer’s warranty – 5 years
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The Duke ships within one business day of placing your order. It ships from Central Wisconsin to the lower 48 states and usually arrives within five business days.
The Duke is not the easiest standing desk converter to assemble. There will be slightly more assembly than the Kangaroo but less than the Winston. I would estimate assembly to be about 20-35 minutes, depending on your skill level.
There are two problem points during the installation and they both include the monitor mounting system. Lining up the two bracket screws on the sides of the column can be a tedious task. It can take a few minutes to get them lined up correctly to start falling down the column. The second task that is an annoyance is tightening the set screw to secure the monitor to the bracket. There is very little room to get your hand behind the monitor to tighten the screw.
Note: Using an L shaped Allen wrench will be the best way to tighten the set screw for the monitor.
Note: Using an L shaped Allen wrench will be the best way to tighten the set screw for the monitor.
It took me about a half hour of set-up time to get The Duke on my desk. To use The Duke, you press the button found on the top of the right side of the keyboard platform. Hold the button to allow the unit to move up and down freely. You can release the button at any time to lock the platform in place. The Duke has the easiest platform adjustment I have used on any converter, with the exception of maybe the Varidesk Pro Plus. The Duke is very stable while in motion and at standing height.
The truth is, I am probably a bit biased toward the Duke because it is our own product. We tried to make the best converter possible while still keeping it in the $500 range. I think we did a pretty good job, but it is not perfect.
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What do I like?
The keyboard platform and monitor adjust independently. This allows for you to have the correct amount of space between the two items, so that you can be in the correct ergonomic posture. This enables a large percentile of users to use the Duke while still being ergonomic. Lower priced options, with the exception of the 6400 TaskMate, will lack dual ergonomic functionality.
The wire management system is very functional on the Duke. There is a vertical strip on the back of the main column to run your monitor wires. There are also holes in the back of the keyboard platform to run any wires that go to accessories on the keyboard platform. The wire management system isn’t very sophisticated, but it works well and is included with no additional charge.
The Duke is very stable at all heights. The steel base plate and wide adjustment column provide a ton of stability. The keyboard platform is supported by steel brackets that run along the sides of it. Once loaded with your monitor and all your accessories, the Duke has very little side to side shake and no swivel from the steel base.
The stability bar on the Kangaroo makes it the most stable unit for keyboard bounce, yet the Duke isn’t too far behind. I would put the Duke’s keyboard stability on the same level as the Winston and a step up from the lower priced import products.
Good Option for Tall People
The 17” platform height range, combined with the independent monitor adjustment, make the Duke a great option for people up to 6’6” tall. This is a real positive for the Duke since most lower priced items do not go high enough for people over 6’0”.
Made in the USA
The Duke is made in the USA which means that it has much better quality control standards than import products, like the Varidesk and OFM 5100 Converter. The Duke uses higher quality parts and hardware for an overall higher quality product.
Easy to Adjust Keyboard Platform
The gas lift height adjustment with the single handle is incredibly easy to use. It takes very little effort to move in either direction. The reason for such an easy movement is because there is a counter-balance system based on the weight of your monitor. This makes the movement far more easy than models like the Kangaroo and Winston. The movement is easy enough for me to move the unit up and down with one hand.
Large Task Space
The Duke has great usable task space. The primary platform provides a decent amount of space and an additional shelf to provide more. While it may not provide as much space as the Winston or 5100, it does provide plenty of space for all the things that I need readily available. This is a big upgrade compared to products like the Kangaroo and Varidesk Pro Plus 36 because I am able to be more efficient while using The Duke.
Note: The secondary shelf will not be very useful on the Duke Platform version. When using the Duke Platform, the monitor shelf will be low enough to limit the usability of the secondary platform.
What I don’t like?
Difficult Monitor Adjustment
The monitor adjustment is probably the worst feature on The Duke. To adjust the monitor, you need to loosen both thumb screws on the sides of the monitor bracket, which will allow you to move the monitor up and down. You then tighten the hand screws to secure the monitor in place.
This adjustment is difficult for two reasons. The first issue is that you need to reach around the monitor with both arms to get to the hand screws. This may be difficult for shorter people. The second issue is that as soon as you loosen one screw, the mount will fall to that side, unless you are holding it up. While this is not a problem on the vesa mount version, it is with the platform version because your monitor could tip off the side if you are not paying attention.
Note: Make sure to fully tighten the hand screws when you find the correct position. If they are not fully tightened, your mount may shift down.
Closer Viewing Distance
The distance between the monitor and your face is about 20”. The recommended ergonomic viewing range is 20″-40″ so the Duke will be have a shorter viewing distance than many other converters.
The assembly is not extremely long, but it can be tedious due to the pain points discussed above regarding the monitor installation. The Winston is the only product I have tested thus far that has a longer assembly time than the Duke.
The Duke also does not have the option to ship fully or partially assembled like some competitor products do. The assembly on The Duke may be a deal killer for people that either can’t or don’t want to perform the installation themselves.
Lack of Color Options
The Duke has a lack of color options compared to models like the Kangaroo and Varidesk. It is available in black or silver/white. It would be nice to have a larger color selection for more customization.
I think it is also important to note that the silver/white is not a pure white like the black finish. It is white with a wood grain. If you are looking for a pure white converter, then I would recommend looking into the Humanscale Quickstand.
The Duke’s assembly time is longer than other products in the category and it has a shorter viewing distance than some people may prefer. The difficult monitor height adjustment may also be a turn off for people that are making frequent monitor height adjustments during the day.
The Duke is a good solution for people that want to keep their existing desk but would prefer to have a higher quality product than the entry level standing desk converters out there. It is highly functional for almost any user because of its large adjustment range, dual ergonomic function and simple to operate height adjustment. The task space is more than spacious enough and the wire management system helps to improve the already sleek design while eliminating the chance for damaged cords.