Being able to turn your existing desk into a standing desk, for a reasonable price, has made standing desk converters a very popular product category. This review will be comparing our very own desktop converter, The Duke, with the ever popular VARIDESK® ProPlus™ 36. The Duke comes in a platform version which is the most similar to the Pro Plus 36. It is also available in a Vesa mount system which allows you to mount your monitor to The Duke.
The goal of this comparison is not to convince you that our product is better. This will be an honest comparison to help you understand where the ProPlus™ 36 excels compared to The Duke and vice versa. We want you to be able to make the most informed buying decision possible.
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Specs / Features
|BTOD Duke Vesa
||VARIDESK® ProPlus™ 36
|Country or Origin||USA||China|
|Sits on top of desk||Yes||Yes|
|Lifting Mechanism||1 Handle Gas Lift Assist||2 Handle Spring Lift Assist|
|Keyboard & Monitor Platform||Yes||Yes|
|Weight Limit||30 lbs.||35 lbs.|
|Overall at lowest height||28”W x 24”D x 26”H||36”W x 29.75”D x 4.5”H|
|Overall at highest height||28”W x 24”D x 43”H||36”W x 41.75”D x 17.5”H|
|Base Dimensions||17”W x 15.7”D||30”W x 24”D|
|Keyboard Platform Dimensions||28”W x 16.5”D||36”W x 14.25”|
|Monitor Platform Dimensions||15”W x 11”D||36”W x 20”D|
|Max Keyboard Platform Height||17”||14”|
|Max Monitor Platform Height||26”H||17.5”|
|Min Keyboard Platform Height||.25”||1”|
|Min Monitor Platform Height||4”H||4.5”|
|Manufacturer’s Warranty||5 Years||5 Years|
|Return Policy||30 Day Guarantee||30 Day Guarantee|
The VARIDESK® ProPlus™ 36 provides $104 in savings compared to the Duke when looking at the base models. If you would like dual ergonomic capabilities by adding a single monitor arm to the Pro Plus 36, then the price will jump to $520. The Duke Vesa, which includes a single monitor mount for the price of $499, will provide a $21 cost savings compared to the Pro Plus 36 with a monitor.
If you are interested in dual monitors, then the Duke will be between $588-$598. You can use dual monitors on the ProPlus™ 36 with no monitor arms added if you’d like. To add dual ergonomics to the ProPlus™ 36 with two monitors, it will bring the total price to $520-$590, depending on the arm you choose from VARIDESK®.
|BTOD Duke Vesa
||VARIDESK® ProPlus™ 36|
|Single Monitor Arm||Free||$125.00|
|Dual Monitors||$89-$99||$125 – $195|
See The Best Standing Desk Converters For 2019
After months of testing 40+ sit to stand desk converters, the results are in!
The build quality on The Duke and ProPlus™ 36 are obvious in person. The Duke uses high quality aluminum extrusions and gas cylinder for smooth transitions. The ProPlus™ 36 uses a less sophisticated spring mechanism that is efficient, but only allows for twelve predetermined height positions. The Duke is made in the USA with good quality components, has better functionality and better quality control compared to the ProPlus™ 36, which is made in China.
The Duke is available in a black finish or a silver/white finish. The ProPlus™ 36 is available in the standard colors of black and white. VARIDESK® also gives customers the option for a bit more customization by offering two additional wood finish colors.
|BTOD Duke||Black or Silver/White|
|VARIDESK® ProPlus™ 36||Black, White, Darkwood, Butcher Block|
Delivery & Assembly
The Duke and ProPlus™ 36 ship within one business day via FedEx/UPS ground for arrival within five business days. Both items are packaged very well and include everything needed for installation in the box. The ProPlus™ 36 requires zero assembly time, while The Duke will take about 20-35 minutes to assemble.
|BTOD Duke||VARIDESK® ProPlus™ 36|
|Order Processing Time||Within 24 Hours||Within 24 Hours|
|Shipping Time||1-5 Business Days||1-5 Business Days|
|Shipping Method||FedEx/UPS Ground||FedEx/UPS Ground|
The Duke and ProPlus™ 36 have very different designs. These designs produce two very different products when it comes to stability. The Duke features a heavy-duty steel base with a vertical gas lift column. The movement is straight up and down and very smooth in both directions. Because of the steel base and the straight up and down movement pattern, The Duke is stable at all heights. There is very little wobble side to side or front to back. The keyboard bounce is also minimized because of the steel runners on the sides of the platform.
The ProPlus™ 36 uses a spring system and arcing motion when it raises. This means that the higher you raise the ProPlus™ 36, the further you stand from the base of the unit. This makes the ProPlus™ 36 less stable at standing heights compared to the Duke. There is significant keyboard bounce and monitor shake when using the Pro Plus 36 at standing heights.
Ease of Use
The Duke has two adjustments. The first adjustment is for the height of the whole unit. To adjust The Duke, press down on a single button found on the right side of the work surface. This will allow the unit to move up or down freely. Release the button when you are at your desired height to lock it in place. This adjustment is easy enough to perform with one hand and moves very smoothly.
The monitor adjustment is going to be quite different. You will need to loosen two thumb screws found on the sides of the monitor bracket. This will allow the monitor to move up and down. Once in the correct position, tighten the screws to lock the monitor in place. This adjustment process is difficult to perform because the screws are hard to reach and you need to support the weight of the monitor while making the adjustment.
The ProPlus™ 36 has a much simpler design. The only adjustment is the height of the whole unit. There is a handle found on each side of the monitor platform. Squeeze both handles to move the unit up or down. When in the correct position, release the handles to lock the unit in place. The ProPlus™ 36 requires very little physical effort and adjusts quickly.
The amount of task space that a standing desk converter offers is a factor that should be heavily considered when researching your purchase. If you’ve read my ProPlus™ 36 review, then you know I am not a fan of the way VARIDESK® designed their keyboard and monitor platforms. Both have large portions of the platform cut out from the front. This is more pronounced on the monitor platform and leaves an awkward space with little room to place all of your items.
The Duke has a more traditional shaped keyboard platform and an additional upper shelf that is separate from the monitor platform. Since there is not an awkward cut-out in the platform, the space is more user friendly compared to the ProPlus™ 36.
Dual ergonomics allow you to adjust your keyboard tray and monitor height independently. This gives you the ability to have the correct distance between the two items for a proper ergonomic position. The Duke come standard with dual ergonomic function. The ProPlus™ 36 does not have dual ergonomic functionality out of the box but you can add a monitor arm to give you that ability.
Another big advantage the Duke has over the ProPlus™ 36 is that the Duke has infinite position lock on both the keyboard tray and monitor platform. This means that you are able to have your keyboard and monitor at any height you would like. The ProPlus™ 36 gives you 12 different positions to choose from and both platforms remain at a fixed distance from one another. Since you cannot lock the platforms in any position, you may find that the most fomfortable spot is between 2 of the height options.
It is important to know the range of people a product will work for. This is especially important for customers looking to purchase standing desk converters for shared work areas. The ProPlus™ 36 has a keyboard platform that sits about 1″ off your existing desk, which could pose an issue for short people or people that typically use a keybaord tray below their desk surface. The ProPlus™ 36 offers a keyboard height range that will be ergonomic for people up to about 6’0″.
The Duke’s keyboard platform also sits on top of your desk and increases your typing height by 1/2″. This could also effect your typing posture. The Duke has an adjustment range to offer an ergonomic keyboard height for people up to about 6’5″. The moniotor adjustment range is low enough to touch the platform so it will work for shorter users. The monitor height is one of the largest in the converter category and will work for people up to about 6’7″.
The VARIDESK® ProPlus™ 36 is going to be the better option for price conscious shoppers or people that prefer to have something that is ready to go right out of the box.
The Duke is going to be a bigger financial investment and time commitment. But, the higher build quality, wider adjustment range and superior warranty are things that will make The Duke a more attractive option for some buyers.
The Duke and ProPlus™ 36 are part of the same category niche, but they are much different products. I hope that this comparison helps to shed some light on the strengths and weaknesses of both products, so you can make the most informed buying decision possible.
Standing Desk Converter Resources
- VertDesk Standing Desk Converter (Review / Rating / Pricing)
- Flexispot M2 35″ Sit Stand Desk Converter (Review / Rating / Pricing)
- VARIDESK® ProPlus™ 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