Product Review: The Varidesk Pro Standing Desk

The Varidesk, from Coppell-based Gemmy Industries
The Varidesk, from Coppell-based Gemmy Industries

As has been mentioned earlier, I use a standing desk at work. Partly I do it because sitting is horrible for your health. If you want to die, go ahead and keep sitting. Me, I want to live. So I clack away at my computer while doing a very boring dance with something called the Kangaroo, manufactured by Ergo Desktop. Is it working? I’m typing this, aren’t I? Still on the right side of the turf, buddy! (For now.)

All of which I offer by way of a setup to a tale about the odd delivery I received yesterday at work. The receptionist told me I had a delivery. (Which reminds me. We have an immediate opening for a new receptionist. Our lovely Monica is moving to Canada for some mysterious reason.) Anyway, at the front desk I was greeted by a box almost big enough to contain the Big Hoss. In it, I found one (1) Varidesk Pro, manufactured by a Coppell concern called Gemmy Industries. Why had Gemmy sent me this fine piece of ergonomic furniture with a retail value of $300? No idea. The box contained no letter of introduction. Just a sales order packing list. Maybe I bought the thing late at night, drunk on Belgian beer, and I didn’t remember the transaction. But I don’t think so.

After fiddling with the Varidesk a bit, I summoned our IT support engineer and sometime dining correspondent slash photographer, Matthew Shelley. I said, “Hey, weren’t you asking me about my standing desk?” He said, “Yeah.” I said, “Want this?” And he carted off the Varidesk to his IT lair. Today, Matthew wrote the following review of the Varidesk:

Matthew Shelley standing at his Varidesk, feeling strong and robust
Matthew Shelley standing at his Varidesk, feeling strong and robust

I feel strong and robust while standing and working. My self-importance is escalating by the hour. I just turned around and looked at Jonathan [his assistant] sitting in his chair, helping a new employee add her email to her phone, and I thought, “Pfft, what meager duty is this he performs? I tower over such puny endeavors with my height and presence. I think I shall bite someone for pleasure.” I need to start attending more meetings and command my priorities and initiatives from a similar pulpit.

Now for the details. I love the desktop space of this contraption. There’s room for my tea, cashews, keyboard, mouse, 5×6 framed artwork and a stack of software. It’s the perfect height at full extension for my wrists to sit ergonomically on the keyboard. The ease of moving it up and down is also quite swell. Unfortunately, I cannot move in between sitting and standing because the rear of the stand at full height is already pressed to the back of my corner desk. I would have to pull the monitor forward, lower it, and then move the monitor back. Who the fuck has time for that? Speaking of the monitor, the surface height is too low for proper viewing. I am using two monitor stands hitting around 8 inches to get my eye line in proper position. Also, the monitor needs to be shoved backward almost to the point of falling off to be at a distance I’m comfortable with.

All in all, I would give it 4.5 stars out of 7. It’s spacious, attractive, and sturdy. The only negatives are the lack of monitor stand and depth. With the proper additions, this will be staying with me through all that is to come.

I echo Matthew’s sentiments. While my Kangaroo, compared to the Varidesk, looks like something I built in my garage, the Kangaroo’s desk height and monitor height can be adjusted independently. This is especially important if you use a tiny laptop, as I do.

Back to work, people. Remember to get off your bottoms whenever and however possible.

The somewhat janky-looking Kangaroo, with its tiny but necessary support leg under the desk and an adjustable monitor surface
The somewhat janky-looking Kangaroo, with its tiny but necessary support leg under the desk and an adjustable monitor surface