This review will be comparing two heavy weights in the standing desk converter category. The Kangaroo by Ergo Desktop was not the first desktop converter to hit the market, but it was certainly the first to become extremely popular. This opened the door for many other products. VARIDESK® pounced on the opportunity, but put a larger focus on fast shipping and ease of use with the ProPlus™ 36. Both products are popular and have been well received, but they are very different. Let’s take a look at how the Ergo Desktop Kangaroo compares to the VARIDESK® ProPlus™ 36, and which option is best for your situation.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Specs / Features
|Ergo Desktop Kangaroo||VARIDESK® ProPlus™ 36|
|Country or Origin||USA||China|
|Sits on top of desk||Yes||Yes|
|Lifting Mechanism||Gas Lift Assist with Hand Screws||2 Handle Spring Lift Assist|
|Keyboard & Monitor Platform||Yes||Yes|
|Weight Limit||34 lbs.||35 lbs.|
|Overall at lowest height||28”W x 24”D x 20.5”H||36”W x 29.75”D x 4.5”H|
|Overall at highest height||28”W x 24”D x 23”H||36”W x 41.75”D x 17.5”H|
|Base Dimensions||17.5”W x 16”D||30”W x 24”D|
|Keyboard Platform Dimensions||28”W x 16.5”D||36”W x 14.25”|
|Monitor Platform Dimensions||16”W x 9.25”D||36”W x 20”D|
|Max Keyboard Platform Height||16.5”||14”|
|Max Monitor Platform Height||23”||17.5”|
|Min Keyboard Platform Height||1”||1”|
|Min Monitor Platform Height||5”||4.5”|
|Manufacturer’s Warranty||5 Years||5 Years|
The ProPlus™ 36 is going to provide over $100 in savings compared to the Kangaroo. The Kangaroo is available in two versions: a platform or vesa mount for the monitor. Both options provide dual ergonomic capabilities; however, the ProPlus™ 36 does not come standard with dual ergonomic functionality. To add this functionality, you will need to add a monitor arm system that will range in price from $125-$195.
|Single Monitor Arm||Free||$125|
|Dual Monitors||$100||$125 – $195|
Ergo Desktop and VARIDESK® both offer 30 day trials on their products. Both products need to be returned in “like new” condition and Ergo Desktop requires the Kangaroo to be returned in the original packaging. A full refund will be provided once the items are received back in good condition. To return a Kangaroo, you will be responsible for the return shipping charges while VARIDESK® covers the shipping charges for you.
The Kangaroo is made in the USA while the ProPlus™ 36 is made in China. The Kangaroo is made of higher quality parts which produces an overall higher build quality than the ProPlus™ 36. Products that are made in China typically go through less quality and testing standards than products that are made in the USA.
The Kangaroo also has a more technologically advanced adjustment system with more functionality. The linear actuator system with dual platforms are a step up in quality over the fixed platforms with spring assisted movement on the VARIDESK®.
Delivery & Assembly
The ProPlus™ 36 ships within 24 hours and then arrives within five days via FedEx/UPS ground. It arrives fully assembled and ready to go right out of the box. Simply unpackage the item, place it on your desk and it is ready to use.
The Kangaroo’s shipping times can vary from one to eight weeks depending on their factory workload. The Kangaroo ships FedEx/UPS ground and will arrive within five days of shipment. The Kangaroo will require about 30 minutes of assembly for a novice user.
Most standing desk converters are only available in a couple generic colors like black, white or silver. Ergo Desktop and VARIDESK® do a good job of offering a couple additional unique color options so that customers can have a little more customization with their desk.
|Kangaroo||Black, Cherry, Light Maple, Putty, White|
|ProPlus™ 36||Black, White, Darkwood, Butcher Block|
The overall design concepts of the Kangaroo and ProPlus™ 36 are very different. The Kangaroo has a heavy-duty steel base and a lift system that produces a straight up and down adjustment pattern. The Kangaroo also comes standard with a stability bar that spans vertically from your desk to the underside of the work surface. These factors make the Kangaroo stable at all heights. Things like keyboard bounce and monitor shake will be limited with the Kangaroo.
The ProPlus™ 36 is designed with a spring system and arcing pattern when lifting the unit. As you raise the unit, you are pushed further from your desk. There is little support for the keyboard and monitor trays when extended to standing height. This produces a lot of monitor shake and keyboard bounce.
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The ProPlus™ 36 has a single adjustment. The entire unit moves up and down by squeezing two handles found underneath each side of the unit. Squeezing the handles will allow you to move the unit up or down. Releasing the handles will lock the unit in place. You have eleven different positions to choose from. The spring system takes little effort to move the ProPlus™ 36 in either direction.
The Kangaroo has two separate adjustments. The keyboard and monitor platforms have the same adjustment system, but they are performed independently. There are two hand screws found on the side of the column for each platform. You will need to loosen the hand screw, which will allow the platform to move freely. When you reach your desired position, tighten the screw to lock the platform in place.
The column on the Kangaroo’s gas lift system produces a lot of friction so it will take more physical effort to move the Kangaroo than the ProPlus™ 36’s spring system. The adjustment time will also be a bit longer on the Kangaroo since you need to loosen and tighten the screws, while the ProPlus™ 36 locks in place by simply releasing the handles.
The ProPlus™ 36 has large keyboard and monitor platforms, but both platforms feature large cut-outs in the front of the platforms. The cut-outs produce awkward spaces which make it difficult to use something like a notebook or iPad. The task space can be improved by adding a monitor arm to help free up some space.
While the space on the ProPlus™ 36 is awkward, the space on the Kangaroo is limited. The monitor platform on the Kangaroo is very small. It is barely large enough to fit the base of your monitor. You will not be able to use the monitor platform for any tasking applications like you can with the ProPlus™ 36. The keyboard platform on the Kangaroo is much larger than the ProPlus™ 36 keyboard tray, but it is the only space that you have. Ergo Desktop does offer the option to purchase keyboard platform additions, but it comes at an additional charge.
Ergonomics is an important consideration for a lot of customers. Dual ergonomics means that you can adjust the height of your keyboard and monitor independently of each other. This allows you to create the proper amount of space between the two so that a good ergonomic position can be achieved.
The ProPlus™ 36 has a fixed height between the keyboard and monitor platforms. This cannot be changed which means that the ProPlus™ 36 base model is not dual ergonomic. You are able to add dual ergonomic functionality to the ProPlus™ 36 by purchasing one of VARIDESK®’s monitor arms.
The Kangaroo has dual ergonomic capabilities with their platform or vesa mount versions. This functionality comes standard and does not require any up-charges or product additions.
Another advantage the Kangaroo has over the VARIDESK® ProPlus™ 36 is that it has infinite position lock on both the monitor and keyboard tray. Infinite position lock allows you to lock the monitor or keyboard at any height you want. The VARIDESK® ProPlus™ 36 gives you 11 different height options to choose. This is a disadvantage to infinite position lock because you may find that your most comfortable position in between 2 of the height options offered.
Scope of Users
The Kangaroo is going to be a better option for taller people. The ProPlus™ 36 will work for users up to about 6’0”. The Kangaroo goes higher than the ProPlus™ 36 and will be good for users up to 6’4”.
Both products have keyboard trays that sit about 1″ off your desk. This can pose an issue for short people or people that typically use their keyboard below their desk surface. Raising the minimum height of your keyboard may alter your normal typing posture or create an upward typing angle when seated.
While these products aim to serve the same purpose, they do so in very different ways. The Kangaroo is a higher quality product that offers more adjustability and stability. The ProPlus™ 36 costs less, ships faster, requires zero installation time and has a better money back guarantee. The ProPlus™ 36 is also more user friendly because of the simple adjustment process.
If you are willing to spend more time installing and adjusting your standing desk converter, then the Kangaroo is the better product for you because of the wider adjustment range and added product stability. But, if you’d prefer to have something that is ready to go right away and easier to adjust, then the ProPlus™ 36 is going to be the better option.
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