This review marks the 40th standing desk converter that has been reviewed by BTOD.com. Even though we have tested many products, we still review converters that have designs and features we have not seen before. This is true for the Cube Corner® 36 by Varidesk. This is the first product we have tested that is designed specifically for a cubicle. Although the open office concept is getting more popular, cubicles are still a staple in a large percentage of offices. There are some obvious advantages to going with a product that has a specialized design, yet history has taught us that no standing desk is perfect. This review will point out the bad, along with the good, ultimately letting you decide whether the Cube Corner® 36 is a fit for your needs.
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Cube Corner® 36 Manufacturer
Varidesk, LLC is the manufacturer of the Cube Corner® 36. Varidesk was started in 2013 by members of Gemmy Industries when one of their co-workers needed a quick solution to get them standing for portions of their work day. Not impressed with the options available, they developed their own product and the company soon took off. Their focus on easy-to-use products that ship fast and require no assembly has been instrumental in their success.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
– Quick Summary Video
– 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 Cube Corner® 36 Quick Summary Video
Country of Origin
Made in China
Overall Weight Capacity: 35 lbs.
Unit Weight: 61 lbs.
Shipping Weight: 77 lbs.
Overall Dimensions at Lowest Height: 36”W x 34”D x 4.75”
Overall Dimensions at Highest Height: 36”W x 41.5”D x 17.5”
Base Dimensions: 24”W x 24”D
Monitor Platform Dimensions: 36”W x 23.5”D
Monitor Platform at Lowest Height: 4.75”
Monitor Platform at Highest Height: 17.5”
Keyboard Tray Dimensions: 36”W x 9.5”D
Keyboard Tray Lowest Height: .75”
Keyboard Tray Highest Height: 13.5”
Distance from Monitor to Front of Keyboard Tray: 24”
Two handle spring assist height adjustment
11 height options
Sits on top of existing desk
Dual Platform Design
Cord Clips and Velcro Strips for Wire Management
2021 Price – $495.00
You have 30 days to try the Cube Corner® 36. If you decide you do not like it, Varidesk will have the item picked up and they will give you a full refund. If you no longer have the box, Varidesk will send you a new one so that you can complete the return. This is the best return policy in the industry. One thing to keep in mind is that this policy only applies to orders placed directly on the Varidesk website. Buying from 3rd parties will typically require you to have the original packaging and you will be responsible for return shipping.
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As of 3/2/2018, the warranty on the Cube Corner® 36 is five years. There are no components that are excluded in the five year coverage period. For the first year of coverage, Varidesk will cover any shipping costs associated with a warranty claim. If you make a claim outside of the first year, then you will be responsible for any return charges to make the claim.
The Cube Corner® 36 will ship within one business day via FedEx ground. It should arrive within a few business days after it ships. It arrives in a large, flat box that weighs about 75 lbs. You will want to have another person to help you move the box into your office. The Cube Corner® 36 is packaged well with everything on the unit protected. There is very little chance for damage during transit.
The Cube Corner® 36 is another one of the many Varidesk products that arrive fully assembled. You’ll want to make sure to have someone available to help you lift the unit onto your desk. Once it is out of the box and on your desk, it is ready to use.
The Cube Corner® 36 is made in China. It has some good and it has some bad. I like that Varidesk does their best to make their products look nice. The Cube Corner® 36 has a uniform color throughout with all of the parts being black. Varidesk also uses plastic to encase a lot of the moving parts to make the unit more attractive. While the product looks nice, it is composed mainly of lower quality parts.
The Cube Corner® 36 is a fixed dual platform converter. It uses a double z shaped base that moves the platforms up and out, in an arcing pattern. The unit uses a basic pin locking system and two gas cylinders to assist with the movement of the platforms. The platform finish feels like it is lower quality and the undersides of the platforms have sharper edges than I would like to see.
The Cube Corner® 36 takes up a lot of space on your desk and will work best in corner set-ups and desks that are not pushed up against a wall. The reason for this is that the platforms take up more space than the base itself. The base is only 24” x 24” so that is the minimum space required to place the unit on top of. But, the platforms hang off the sides, front and the back. The amount of overhang on the back is the real issue. When the unit is in its lowest position, the back of the platform extends about 5” off the back.
The second issue with the Cube Corner® 36 is that the platforms extend outward when raised. At the tallest height, the platforms will move toward you about 15”. This means that you will need to have quite a bit of space behind you to be able to step back when you want to stand. Overall, the Cube Corner® 36 has a massive overall footprint, when taking into consideration the large sitting dimensions and the even larger standing dimensions.
The Cube Corner® 36 is not a standing desk converter that was designed to be mobile. It is large, weighs over 60 pounds. and is awkwardly shaped. It is possible to lift it by yourself but I would not recommend it. I would always recommend moving the Cube Corner® 36 with two people. The Cube Corner® 36 is also not a good product for desktop mobility. The weight of the unit, along with rubber stoppers under the base, make it difficult to move on your desk. The Cube Corner® 36 is meant to be placed on your desk and left there.
Adjusting the Cube Corner® 36
The Cube Corner® 36 only has one adjustment for the overall height of the unit. The adjustment is controlled by two handles found underneath the monitor platform. The handles are used to lock and unlock the unit. Pressing and holding both handles will unlock the unit and allow it to move up or down. Releasing the handles will lock the platforms in place. There are 11 different positions to choose from. The adjustment system is assisted by gas cylinders.
The Cube Corner® 36 is the only Varidesk converter I have tested that has gas cylinders to assist with the lifting instead of springs. I asked Varidesk why they chose to use gas cylinders and was told they recently made the switch from springs because customers were complaining that the original model was difficult to lift. The gas lifts do make it easier to raise the unit but they also make it more difficult to lower it. I think that the ProPlus™ 36 is easier to adjust in both directions than the Cube Corner® 36 so I have to question the decision to use gas lifts on the Cube Corner® 36.
When sitting, the Cube Corner® 36 is really stable. The keyboard tray lays flat on your desk so there is no keyboard bounce. There is a minor amount of monitor shake and no side to side wobbling. When moving to standing height, the Cube Corner® 36 has a bit more side to side platform tilt but nothing that would impact your work. There is still considerable keyboard bounce and monitor shake at standing height,. The higher the platforms are raised, the more bounce there will be. This is mainly due to the arcing lifting pattern. Having the platforms extended so far from the base makes them bounce quite a bit.
For similar reasons to the Pro Plus 36, the Cube Corner® 36 received some deductions in the general stability category. The locking system is inconsistent and does not fully lock the platforms. Aside from the lowest and highest positions, the platforms will have some bounce when locked. The locking system is inconsistent because it does not always lock in place and sometimes you need to press the platforms down or pull them up to get one of the sides to engage.
The platforms are also not too stable when making adjustments. Similar to the InMovement DT2, the Cube Corner® 36’s platforms can tilt and twist when they are unlocked. This is one of the reasons that the locks are inconsistent. You can be adjusting the height but one side can be taller than the other when you release the handles. That’s when you need to push the platforms to get both locks to engage.
|Sitting Wobble (10%)||Standing Wobble (15%)||Sitting Bounce (10%)||Standing Bounce (15%)||Sitting Shake (10%)||Standing Shake (15%)||General (25%)||Total Score|
The Cube Corner® 36 is not going to be a good product when it comes to ergonomics. The good thing that it has going for it is that the monitor viewing distance is within the recommended viewing distance of 20”-40”. From there, it will be tough for most people to be in an ergonomic typing and viewing position. The first problem is that the platforms remain at a fixed distance from each other at all times. This means that the Cube Corner® 36 is not dual ergonomic. Having dual ergonomics is important to help you have the proper typing height and monitor viewing angle.
The second problem is that the Cube Corner® 36 does not have infinite position lock and instead has 11 predetermined positions. Your preferred height could fall between two positions and you may need to choose to be a bit higher or lower than you’d like.
The final problem is he keyboard platform’s height adjustment range. On the low end, it will raise your keyboard when sitting. This will alter your normal typing position. At the high end, it will only go tall enough for people up to 6’0”. People taller than 6’0” will have a downward typing angle.
The monitor platform is oddly shaped because of the tapered back and the cut-out in the front. The back of the platform is tapered to make it fit better in cubicles or corner desks. The cut-out in the front is there to allow you to use the space on the keyboard tray for tablets or laptops. While the shape is awkward, there is still enough space to fit dual 24” monitors or a monitor and laptop combination. You will also have some space leftover for your phone, a notepad, or other small accessories. The cut-out in the front does take a bit of task space away but it is not as large as the cut-out on the Pro Plus™ 36.
The keyboard tray on the Cube Corner® 36 is rectangular with a small curved front edge. I am not a fan of curved edges on keyboard platforms because I think it takes away valuable space and also makes it awkward to line your keyboard and mouse up to. The keyboard tray is wide and deep enough to fit oversized keyboards. The back middle of the keyboard platform extends a few inches, giving the platform more depth. This section can be used for a tablet or other small accessories, like your phone. This space also allows you to use a laptop on the Cube Corner® 36 by removing your keyboard and placing your laptop there instead.
There is not a built-in wire management system on the Cube Corner® 36. Varidesk includes some cord clips and Velcro strips to help you organize your wires. There are a few pinch points on the Cube Corner® 36 but you should be fine if you run your cords straight off the back of the unit.
My only safety concern with the Cube Corner® 36 is the pinch points created by the double z shaped base. Varidesk tried to minimize the potential for something to get damage or for you to get hurt by covering areas of the mechanism with plastic but it is not possible to cover all the areas. You just want to make sure that the area is clear before making adjustments.
What Do I Like?
Ships fully assembled
The Cube Corner® 36 ships fully assembled and is ready to go out of the box. This saves you a lot of time because you do not have to install the product yourself. This is great for people that are not handy and for companies packing large orders.
30-day money back guarantee
Varidesk is one of the only companies that offers a true risk-free trial. There is no return shipping charges or restocking fees. This is great for people that are on the fence or would just like to try a standing desk.
Varidesk recently changed the warranty on the Cube Corner® 36 from one to five years. I think this is a fantastic change. The Cube Corner® 36’s warranty is now on par with other industry leading brands.
What I Don’t Like
Not dual ergonomic
The Cube Corner® 36 is not dual ergonomic because of the dual fixed platforms. This will pose a problem because it will not be possible for everyone to have their hands and viewing angle at the proper ergonomic positioning. To make the Cube Corner® 36 dual ergonomic, you will need to add a monitor arm.
No infinite position lock
The Cube Corner® 36 only has 11 different height options and each one is an inch or more from the previous. There will be quite a few people that find that their most comfortable position is between two options.
Limited height adjustment range
The height adjustment range on the Cube Corner® 36 will only go high enough for people up to 6’0”. Unfortunately, there is not a fix that can be added to remedy this. Adding a monitor arm will help with the viewing angle but the keyboard tray height cannot be altered.
Poor stability when standing
When standing, the Cube Corner® 36 has noticeable keyboard bounce and it contributes to a similar level of monitor shaking. I think that the movement is enough to negatively impact your work.
The footprint on the Cube Corner® 36 is going to be specific to cubicles or corner desks only. Trying to use this product with a standard desk return will be awkward because of the amount of overhang the platform has in the back. I am not a fan of the large arcing pattern because you are pushed so far from your desk when standing.
Raises minimum keyboard height
The final thing that I do not like about the Cube Corner® 36 is that the keyboard tray raises your minimum keyboard height by about an inch. This may not seem like a lot but it will alter your normal typing position. This is an even bigger problem for short people or people that like to have their keyboard tray below their desk.
The Cube Corner® 36 is a uniquely designed product because it is meant for a niche within a niche. This product was made specifically for people that want a standing desk converter and need to place it in the corner of a cubicle or on a corner desk. The tapered back edges of the monitor platform allow it to fit nicely in a corner while still providing useful space. The unit arrives fully assembled, has a strong warranty and can be returned for no cost to you if you decide it doesn’t work for you.
While the Cube Corner® 36 is a nice concept, I cannot recommend it. It is not very often that we comment on price or value in our reviews. That is typically something that we like to leave up to the reader but every once in a while, we come across a product where value needs to be addressed. I think that is the case here because I feel that the Cube Corner® 36 provides poor value for its $495 price point. The downside heavily outweighs the upsides, in my opinion. The lack of ergonomics, small adjustment range, limited height options and poor stability are all factors that will affect most users. I also think that the huge footprint and large arcing pattern are a big detriment to the product. The Cube Corner® 36 takes up a ton of space, both on your desk and the standing space behind your desk.
If you need a converter for your cubicle and want a Varidesk product, then the Cube Corner® 36 might be a good option for you. But, I think there are better options out there that provide more bang for your buck. Products like the Humanscale QuickStand Eco and Ergotron WorkFit-S are similarly priced but are much better quality products.