The Kangaroo by Ergo Desktop and the VertDesk Converter by BTOD.com are two very different products. They aim to serve similar purposes but go about it in much different ways. This comparison is designed to highlight the differences between these two products so that you have all the information needed to decide which product is best for you.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
– Specs / Features / Pricing
– Color Options
– Delivery and Assembly
– Build Quality
– Making Adjustments
– Task and Keyboard Space
– Wire Management
– Bottom Line
Specs / Features
|Manufacturer||Ergo Desktop||Knape & Vogt|
|Country or Origin||USA||China|
|Sits on top of desk||Yes||Yes|
|Lifting Mechanism||2 Knob Gas Lift Assist||2 Handle Gas Lift Assist|
|Keyboard & Monitor Platform||Yes||Yes|
|Lifting Capacity||34 lbs.||35 lbs.|
|Product Weight||48 lbs.||40 lbs.|
|Height Position Options||Infinite||Infinite|
|Overall at lowest height||28”W x 24”D x 20.5”H||35.5”W x 22.5”D x 6.25”H|
|Overall at highest height||28”W x 24”D x 23”H||35.5”W x 32”D x 20.25”H|
|Base Dimensions||17.5”W x 16”D||29.25”W x 22.5”D|
|Keyboard Tray Dimensions||28”W x 24”D||26.25”W x 13”D|
|Monitor Platform Dimensions||16”W x 9.25”D||35.5”W x 15.75”D|
|Max Keyboard Platform Height||15.5”H||14.75”H|
|Max Monitor Platform Height||25.75”H||20.25”H|
|Min Keyboard Platform Height||1”||.75”|
|Min Monitor Platform Height||5”||6.25”H|
|Distance Keyboard to Monitor||4”||5.5”|
|Return Policy||30 Day Full Refund, Customer Pays Shipping||30 Day Full Refund, BTOD.com Pays Shipping|
|Warranty Period||5 Years Frame, 2 Years Moving Parts||5 Years|
The VertDesk Converter’s price of $299.00 is about 40% less than the $499.00 price on the Kangaroo. Both products include free shipping and the Kangaroo has a few accessories not available on the VertDesk Converter. The accessories on the Kangaroo are reasonably priced and provide good value for the usefulness they provide.
|Kangaroo||Black, White, Putty, Maple or Cherry|
|VertDesk Converter||Black or White|
Delivery & Assembly
|Order Processing Time||1-2 Weeks*||2-3 Days*|
|Shipping Time||1-5 Business Days||1-5 Business Days|
|Shipping Method||UPS/FedEx Ground||UPS Ground|
|Assembly Time||30 Minutes||None|
*Note: Due to huge popularity, the VertDesk Converter has been experiencing backorder delays. Please contact BTOD.com for current lead times. The Kangaroo has a long history is backorder delays. Check Ergo Desktop’s homepage for current shipping times.
The VertDesk Converter features a large monitor platform and a smaller keyboard tray that remain at a fixed height from each other at all times. The platforms are durable and have a nice finish. The VertDesk Converter has infinite gas locking cylinders with a double z shaped base design. As the platforms are raised, they move out toward you in an arcing pattern. You will be standing further away from your desk than when you are seated. The VertDesk Converter is very well put together with no wiggling parts, awkward noises and an aesthetically pleasing look.
The Kangaroo features a heavy duty steel base with a vertical column that produces a straight up and down movement pattern. A small monitor platform and large keyboard platform are mounted to the column. The platforms are decent quality. Both are independently height adjustable with movement done by aluminum extrusions and gas lift cylinders. Both platforms feature infinite position lock.
These are two very different products when it comes to design choices and build quality. Even though the Kangaroo is made in the USA, it does not feel like the better quality product. I think that the platforms are a bit better on the VertDesk Converter. The VertDesk Converter’s z shaped base design also operates more smoothly, compared to the aluminum extrusions used on the Kangaroo. The Kangaroo is also still using its original design from many years ago so it looks a bit outdated compared to the sleeker look of the VertDesk Converter.
To adjust the height of the VertDesk Converter, you will need to press both handles found underneath the monitor platform. Pressing the handles will unlock the unit, which will allow both platforms to adjust in unison. Releasing the handles will lock the unit. The infinite locking gas cylinders let you choose any height you’d like instead of being limited to a set number of predetermined choices. The height adjustment process takes a couple seconds but it is more difficult to perform downward height adjustments from the tallest heights. The arcing pattern requires you to push in, as well as down, which is more difficult than moving the unit straight down.
The Kangaroo has two separate, adjustable platforms. Both are adjusted with their own hand knob and they each have infinite position lock. Turning the hand knob will unlock the platform. When the platform is unlocked, the gas cylinder will automatically force the platform upwards. When you’ve reached your desired height, stop the platform and tighten the hand knob. To adjust the platforms down, you will need to push the platforms. The monitor platform is small and easy to adjust. The keyboard platform is much larger so you need to push down on the back of the platform (close to the column) to prevent damage by pressing down on the front of the platform. The aluminum extrusions used on the Kangaroo do not move smoothly. They produce a lot of friction that makes the beginning of adjustments difficult. Once it gets moving, it is much easier.
The VertDesk Converter has adjustable keyboard tilt from about -10° to +10°. Loosen the hand screw on the right side of the keyboard tray to allow it to tilt. Tighten the knob to lock it back in place. Make sure to tighten the knob periodically to prevent it from lowering unexpectedly when working.
The different design choices produced similar results through my stability testing. Both products are extremely stable when sitting and maintain their stability at standing heights. The VertDesk Converter is a bit more stable across the board, except for standing keyboard bounce. It is important to note that the Kangaroo comes with a metal stability bar. This is a separate part that is only used when standing and must be stored away when sitting. The stability bar is meant to run from the underside of the keyboard platform to the top of the steel base. Without the stability bar, the Kangaroo has a lot of issues with keyboard bounce, monitor shake and front to back rocking. For this reason, the Kangaroo took a deduction in the general stability category.
The VertDesk Converter is wider than the Kangaroo and also features legs under each side of the monitor platform with support on all four corners. The base on the VertDesk converter is stationary and not meant to move. The Kangaroo has a large steel base and a single column. The steel base has pads underneath it that are meant to allow the Kangaroo to be slid and swiveled on your desk. The single vertical column is naturally more prone to things like sway and rocking. The platforms on the Kangaroo are connected to the column with no brackets running underneath them for support. This is why the stability bar is required for the Kangaroo to be stable.
|Product||Sitting Wobble (10%)||Standing Wobble (15%)||Sitting Bounce (10%)||Standing Bounce (15%)||Sitting Shake (10%)||Standing Shake (15%)||General (25%)||Total Score|
The Kangaroo comes standard with dual ergonomics. You will be able to adjust the monitor to its own height to ensure that you have the correct monitor viewing angle. The VertDesk Converter does not come with dual ergonomics. The monitor platform height will be tied to the keyboard tray height. In order to make the VertDesk Converter dual ergonomic, you need to add a monitor arm, which comes at an increased cost.
Both products will increase your normal desk height by about an inch which will affect your normal typing posture when seated. The Kangaroo’s keyboard tray goes as high as 15.5” off your desk while the VertDesk Converter goes 14.75” off your desk. The VertDesk Converter will work for people that are up to 6’1” tall while people up to about 6’3” tall can make the Kangaroo work.
The recommended ergonomic monitor viewing distance is 20”-40”. The distance from my monitor to the front of the keyboard tray is 13” on the Kangaroo and 17” on the VertDesk Converter. Most people’s viewing distance will be around 6” from the front of the keyboard tray. The VertDesk Converter will be in the low to mid ergonomic range. The viewing distance on the Kangaroo will be on the low end or possibly out of the ergonomic range. Adding the front keyboard extension to the Kangaroo will remedy the problem with the short viewing distance.
The VertDesk Converter’s keyboard tray has negative tilt of about -10 degrees, which allows you to achieve a neutral wrist position. It is important to note that you will need to use the VertDesk Converter about 1”-2” lower than you normally would to utilize the negative tilt option correctly.
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The VertDesk Converter’s task space is the area left on the 35.5”W x 15.75”D monitor platform after adding your monitor(s). This platform is large so you will have a good amount of task space, even when using dual monitors. There will be plenty of room for numerous accessories to keep within your close vicinity. The monitor platform also features a standard grommet mount that can be used to mount your monitor(s). Putting your monitor(s) on a mounting arm will provide even more task space on the monitor platform.
The task space on the Kangaroo is the area leftover on the 28”W x 24”D keyboard platform after adding your keyboard and mouse. This platform is fairly large but it has a very pronounced taper in the back, which removes a huge chunk of the platform that would be used as task space. This causes the task space to be limited when compared to the majority of standing desk converters. The amount of task space available can be improved by adding front or side keyboard extensions.
The keyboard tray on the Kangaroo is the 28”W x 24”D platform discussed above. This allows for a lot of space for your keyboard and mouse. I had no problem fitting my oversized, ergonomic keyboard and mouse. Although the keyboard tray is large enough to allow for almost any keyboard and mouse, I would recommend using a compact keyboard on the Kangaroo. This will help to increase your task space and will also help with the naturally close monitor viewing distance.
The VertDesk Converter has a smaller keyboard tray at 26.25”W x 13”D. Another limiting factor is that the keyboard tray sits in between the legs of the base when in the seated position. This restricts your hand movements and makes the tray feel smaller than it is. It is large enough for standard sized keyboards but oversized keyboards like mine will have overhang or not fit at all. The back of the keyboard tray has a plastic clip that is meant to keep your mouse from sliding off the tray when using it in a negative tilt position. This clip can be moved to the other side for left handed users.
The only tool for wire management on the VertDesk Converter is the grommet hole. It will only be useful when using dual monitors, unless you use a single monitor in an off-center position. The Kangaroo doesn’t have any wire management solutions included but you can buy brackets for $5 a pair. This will help to keep your cords tidy.
The VertDesk Converter has a couple pinch points that you need to be aware of. Your cords should be safe from them as long as they are run straight off the back. Your hands are not near the pinch points when using the product or making adjustments and they are marked with warning stickers. The Kangaroo does not have any safety concerns. There are not any pinch points and it does not feel like it could tip over.
The Kangaroo and VertDesk Converter have much different upsides and downsides. It is important to identify which characteristics you value most when deciding which converter is best for you.
The Kangaroo is made in the USA, features dual ergonomics and has a slightly wider keyboard height adjustment range.
The VertDesk Converter is much easier to adjust, has a larger task space and better monitor viewing distance. It also offers keyboard tray tilt adjustment, arrives fully assembled and costs much less.
I hope this comparison helps you to decide which standing desk converter is right for you.