While people are becoming more and more accustomed to standing while they work, there is an increasing number of people that want to be able to stand wherever they work. Some have a limited space that is oftentimes used for other applications. Being able to have a portable solution, that is easy to use in a variety of locations, allows these people to have a standing desk. One popular product for this application is the Laptop 30™ by Varidesk. Here are my thoughts on the Laptop 30™ standing desk converter.
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Laptop 30™ Manufacturer
The Laptop 30™ is made by Varidesk LLC which is a sit stand furniture company that started in 2013 out of Gemmy Industries. Gemmy has been in business since 1984 and was responsible for Big Mouth Billy Bass. Varidesk LLC has since grown to be one of the largest sit stand furniture makers in the world. Varidesk LLC operates independently of Gemmy.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
– Country of Origin
– Specs / Features / Pricing
– Return Policy and Warranty
– Build Quality
– Making Adjustments
– Task and Keyboard Space
– Wire Management
– What I Like
– What I Don’t Like
– Bottom Line
VariDesk Laptop 30™ Quick Summary Video
Country of Origin
Made in China
Weight Capacity: 15 lbs.
Unit Weight: 17 lbs.
Overall Dimensions at Lowest Height: 29”W x 15”D x 1 ¼”H
Overall Dimensions at Highest Height: 29”W x 15”D x 15”H
Base Dimensions: 23 ¾”W x 11 ¾”D
Base Dimensions: 24”W x 11 ¾”D
Worksurface Dimensions: 29”W x 15”D
Flat Section on Work surface: 29”W x 10 ¾”D
Worksurface at Lowest Height: 1 ¼”
Worksurface at Highest Height: 15”
Sits on top of another surface
11 different height settings
Sized for laptops and smaller workspace
Slanted front and back worksurface edge
2020 Price – $175.00
Varidesk offers the best return policy in the business. You are allowed to return the Laptop 30™ within the first 30 days for a full refund. Varidesk will take care of the return shipping. You also do not need the original packaging. Varidesk will send you a new box free of charge if you tossed yours.
The Laptop 30™ comes with a one year warranty. There are no exclusions.
The Laptop 30™ arrived via UPS ground 3 days after I ordered it. The box was flat, rectangular shaped and slightly larger than the product itself. The box was easy to handle so I had no problem moving it into my office. There was not very much packaging but the unit was still very well protected. It had no damage and arrived in perfect condition
The Laptop 30™ arrived fully assembled and ready to use right out of the box. I just got it unpackaged, placed it on a solid surface and was standing in seconds.
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The Laptop 30™ is a very basic product. It has a single surface that is made of a durable plastic with a nice finish. The base is made of metal. The unit looks sleek but it does make some noise when making adjustments. You can hear the unit sliding when you change heights. The height adjustment is a modified X shape and it is the first of its kind that I have seen. Instead of the entire x working together in unison, Varidesk has separated the x into two individual pieces.
The pictures will make it easier to explain what I am talking about. The big benefit to their design is that the base moves from the top only, where the base connects to the underside of the work surface. Most x bases move from the bottom and the top, like an ironing board. Since the Laptop 30™ moves from the top only, the bottom of the base remains stable in its place, instead of having to slide across whatever surface you have it place on. This means no re-adjusting the unit when changing the height to make sure it has proper footing. The movement is assisted with springs that are concealed within the work surface.
The footprint on the Laptop 30™ will remain consistent at all heights. The base dimensions are 23 ¾”W x 11 ¾”D so the spot that you place the unit on should be slightly larger than those dimensions. The worksurface is larger than the base so the entire unit will require a space slightly larger than 29”W x 15”D to fit properly.
Mobility is a category that the Laptop 30™ excels in. The unit is lightweight, at around 15 pounds, and collapses down to 29”W x 15”D x 1 ¼”H. This product is very easy to place under your arm and carry to a new location. It is also easy to collapse and store the unit way to use the space it was occupying for something else.
Adjusting the Laptop 30™
The Laptop 30™ has a single adjustment which is the height of the unit. There is a handle underneath each side of the work surface. Pressing and holding both handles will unlock the unit and allow it to move up or down. Once you’ve found your correct height, release the handles to lock the unit in place. Since there are a limited number of positions, make sure to move the unit up or down after releasing the handles to make sure it locks in place. The unit is very easy to adjust. The springs force the unit upward when the handles are released but it is still easy to adjust the unit down.
One thing to note is that Varidesk advertises that there are nine different height positions to choose from but my unit has 11 different positions. I am not sure if this model has been updated or if maybe I got a unit with a couple more options than I am supposed to have.
I had to modify the stability ratings compared to the way I typically do the scoring with standing desk converters. I didn’t think it was fair to grade this unit on both monitor and keyboard stability since this is made for laptops or tablets. I elected to go simply go with “Bounce” instead of keyboard bounce and monitor shake. I also removed the rankings for the sitting stability categories since this unit is meant for standing only.
There is a slight amount of side to side wobble on the work surface but it is pretty minimal. There is also almost no bounce on the unit while typing. The base of the unit has rubber on the areas that contact your desk so the unit stays in place nicely when you are working. The Laptop 30™ did receive a very large deduction in the general stability category. Even though it is solid when working with your laptop, it still has the capability to move on your desk, when bumped into, and can even tip over if you accidentally run into it hard enough.
|Standing Wobble (25%)||Bounce (25%)||General (50%)||Total Score|
The Laptop 30™ is not going to be a good choice when it comes to ergonomics. It is really hard to get into an ergonomic position with a laptop which means that the Laptop 30™ is naturally going to struggle in this category. Most people will position the work surface at a comfortable typing height. This is good because at least your arms and elbows will be in an ergonomic position. But, this will mean that you need to angle your laptop screen back and look down at it while typing. Tilting your head this much is not recommended because it can cause neck and shoulder strain. The monitor viewing distance will also be closer than the minimum recommended ergonomic range of 20”. It is difficult to create this distance when using a laptop.
The Laptop 30™ has a decent chunk of task space, especially if you don’t use a separate mouse. Most laptops will take up about half of the platform which means that you can use the other half to have a couple objects near you while you work. Things like notepads, smart phones and headphones will be able to on the platform. Keep in mind that there is a 15 lbs. weight limit so heavy objects need to be left off the unit. The front and back of the worksurface is slated, providing a nice smooth edge.
There is no wire management but since this is made for laptops and tablets, most people will not have cords running to and from the unit.
There are two safety concerns I have with the Laptop 30™. The first is when you are lowering the unit all the way to its lowest point. There is very little space where you need to press the handles so your fingers can come into contact with the desk when the unit gets to its lowest height. Make sure to lower the unit slowly and softly so that you do not pinch your fingers.
My second concern is with the way the base releases when it is not sitting on top of a desk. If the buttons are pressed without the unit sitting on top of something, the legs will shoot out with a lot of force. You will want to be careful not to move the unit by the handles or the legs will come out unexpectedly.
What do I like?
The most attractive feature on the Laptop 30™ is its portability. Being able to easily fold the unit up and store it is extremely useful for small space like apartments, coffee shops and even dorm rooms. It is also useful for people that may have a smaller desk space. You can use the Laptop 30™ to stand and then fold it up and place it against a wall, in a closet or under your desk until the next time you’d like to stand.
Risk Free Trial
Being able to try a unit for free is a very attractive feature. With Varidesk’s return policy, that’s exactly what you get. If you don’t like the unit, then you only lose the few minutes of time invested to unpackage and repackage the unit.
Fast Shipping & No Assembly
Being able to receive the unit within a few days from ordering it is something I have only seen on a handful of items. Couple that with the fact that the unit is ready to go out of the box and the Laptop 30™ becomes one of the fastest standing desk converters to be ready to use from the time that you order it.
What don’t I like?
The Laptop 30™ is not going to be a good product for ergonomics. Being made to be used with laptops makes it almost impossible to use the Laptop 30™ ergonomically correct. There is just not enough adjustability or separation between your keyboard and monitor to provide an ergonomic experience.
Limited Height Options
The height adjustment options are a bit limited on the Laptop 30™. The maximum keyboard height is 15” off your desk. This will provide a comfortable typing position for people up to about 6’2” but anyone taller than that will be reaching down considerably to type.
The other downfall is the limited number of height options. With the unit having 13.75” of adjustment range and 11 different positions, it meant that each position was 1.25” apart on average. If the unit had 9 positions, as advertised, then the height position options would be more than 1.5” apart. This can create a problem for people that find their preferred height to be in between two of the available options.
The final feature that I am not a fan of on the Laptop 30™ is the short warranty coverage period of one year. The industry standard is quickly moving to five years so getting one year of coverage from one of the largest standing desk companies in the world feels quite lackluster. My concerns are tempered by the low price point and simplistic design which means that there is not a lot that can go wrong with the product.
Awkward Sitting Position
The Laptop 30™ is not going to be the best converter for sitting because it raises the height of the desk it is placed on and the slanted front edge means that you cannot get your keyboard flush with your desks’s front. It puts your keyboard positions in this weird forward, raised position. The Laptop 30™ is best suited for standing only.
When I placed my order for this product, I had really low expectations. I had only reviewed one other product like it before, the AmazonBasics, and it received the lowest score I had given a standing desk converter. It was a very pleasant surprise to find that the Laptop 30™ is a huge upgrade to the AmazonBasics Converter. I am actually really impressed with the product. Is it the same quality as the higher priced units with dual platforms? No. But, it is a good product for what it is designed to do and it has a low price point.
It is meant to get you standing in situations that you otherwise would not be able to. For short periods of time, with smaller devices like notebooks and tablets, the Laptop 30™ excels. I feel comfortable recommending the Laptop 30™ to customers looking for an inexpensive solution to use with their laptop while standing.