Vari Standing Desk Review
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An electric standing desk that raises to 128cm and remains sturdy at high elevations, Vari’s sit-stand desk is certainly made for tall users. Even those of medium height may still find it useful due to its good build quality and high weight capacity. This Varidesk review examines our experience with using the product for the last few months.
The Bottom Line:
The Vari desk is about the easiest piece of furniture to put together and it comes with all of the manual tools your need to set it up in the box. The final result is one of the sturdiest desks that fit my tall frame better than the standard desk I use at work. Overall, it is one of the better standing desks we’ve assessed, particularly for taller people, and is also good value for money for those on a low budget.
Who Should Buy The Vari Standing Desk?
Slightly shorter than other standing desks, this is an ideal setup for someone working from home. My hybrid work schedule allows me to work from home most days, which means I need a sturdy desk, but not the largest desks as some of my office supplies are at the office. You might consider it yourself when you only have a small space for a new desk at home.
Pros and Cons
- Solid elevation up to 128cm is suitable for taller people.
- Sturdy at maximum elevation due to its T-shaped frames.
- Rapid free shipping across Australia.
- Ideal for a 2-monitor desktop setup.
- Only available in one size (122cm x 76cm).
- At a length of 122cm, it may not be an ideal choice for 3 monitor setups.
- Its main strength, the extra elevation, may not be important for shorter users.
|Place of Manufacture
|Electric single motor standing desk
|Free to anywhere in Australia
Varidesk Compared and Alternatives
What We Liked:
As one of the best standing desks available to Australians, the Vari standing desk has plenty of strengths.
- Exceptional height range for tall users – elevating to slightly above 128cm, this standing desk is ideal for just about any situation where all users need to work on a laptop or use a standard monitor.
- A sturdy work surface, despite the extra elevation – there’s a wobble of only about 1cm at maximum elevation.
- Decent load capacity – not class-leading nor bad, I like its 100kg weight capacity which holds all of my setup’s displays with ease.
- Compact footprint – the Vari desk is a balanced sit-stand desk and this is seen in its size. It’s not too large for small spaces nor too small for two monitors.
- Smooth elevation adjustments – its motors are smooth and quiet, slightly better than what you get from competitors.
What We Didn’t Like:
Here are some of the typical cons I’ve uncovered about the desk in case you’re interested in getting it yourself.
- Only practical for 1 – 2 displays – I’d say that 2 displays (of up to 30” each) are about the maximum for the desktop’s 122cm x 76cm surface.
- No anti-collision – you’d expect an AUD $1,000 sit-stand desk to come with anti-collision mechanism. This was an unpleasant surprise and something to consider if you’re using some types of drawers or cabinets under the desktop.
- No real wood desktops – Vari’s desktops look and feel nice, but their desktop materials are limited to engineered wooden surfaces and hardwoods are not available.
What Is Vari?
Established in 2013 and originally branded as Varidesk, Vari started out furnishing Fortune 500 companies with its range of office furniture comprising of standing desks, converters, seating options, and a base selection of accessories. They have a major presence in the USA, however, they are only fill the online space in Australia.
My Thoughts On The Vari Standing Desk
As with all sit stand desks, there are pros and cons to consider. You need to expect some great pros but also considerable cons when buying this desk.
Great height adjustments
The desks elevate considerably for my height. Short users might not feel as excited about the desk as tall users, on the other hand. You may consider the Vari standing desk yourself as a tall user and it might just be one of the handful of options with extra elevation on the Australian market.
Its legs are heavy and sturdy and connect to a sturdy frame. I can’t understand why Vari doesn’t offer 10-year warranties for the frame. Its compact size is on par with small and medium-sized desks in the Australian market and is ideal for small workspaces.
At a length of 122cm, this electric standing desk is just at the limit of what’s acceptable, even in a small space. The good part is its reduced size fits all types of small spaces in homes, apartments, or separate office corners at home.
A lack of desktop materials to choose from
Electric sit-stand desks come in a variety of materials, however, Vari standing desks are only available in a laminate tabletop. Unlike more popular sit-stand desks such as the UpDown PRO, Aussie Active Desk, and Zen Space Pro which offer many more options, you can’t go with hardwood or sustainable and recycled material such as bamboo. Instead, Vari gives you the option of choosing from four finishes – white, black, and two wood-like surfaces.
If you prefer the premium and long-lasting finish of a hardwood desktop, then Vari is not for you. The lack of more desktop material offerings is not surprising since Vari initially started out as a fitter of commercial workspaces.
Not the most sustainability-friendly choice
Vari doesn’t use recycled materials or wooden desktops from sustainable sources. This can be a problem if you care about your carbon footprint. Even more, I’m aware there are now better desks to support sustainability out there. The XDesk Encore is made with sustainable materials and features additional certifications for its toxic-free materials. In fact, we’ve rated the Xdesk as one of the best sustainable standing desks in the market.
Value for money could be better
While not the most expensive standing desk on the market, the Vari desk is expensive for what it offers with its starting price point of $1,050. If it wasn’t for the extra height adjustments, this desk would struggle in front of more affordable and maybe better-looking alternatives.
At more than AUD $1,000, the Vari desk is one of the more expensive compact to medium-sized standing desks in Australia. It might not be the desk for you if you’re on a budget. You can get an Artiss standing desk and save a few hundred dollars. The extra money you save can go towards buying standing desk accessories such as a cable management tray and arms to get the best monitor height for your standing desk.
Still, the price is fair given the build quality of the desk as it has a minimum wobble, even compared to other premium alternatives.
Design & Aesthetics
For a steel-frame and laminate desktop desk, the Vari electric standing desk looks amazing. I like the angled profile of the desktop, its rounded edges, and the smooth laminate surface of the desktop. It looks sleek and modern and I’ve chosen it over other desks also due to its design. The last thing I want is to spend $1,000 on a desk that needs to be upgraded in a few years.
Ease of Installation & Set Up
Vari claims a 5-minute installation with this desk. I found this to be false. While my skills in office furniture assembly aren’t the best, I don’t think you can put it together in less than 30 minutes.
All of the manual tools needed to put it together come in the box. You may even find it easy to assemble since its motors are already in the legs and since you only need to attach the top stability bars to each leg to form that stability-improving T-shape for the desktop.
Even more, the desktop’s weight and size mean you can put it together yourself. This isn’t a lightweight desk but its desktop isn’t hardwood, which means you can easily flip it back on its legs once properly assembled.
Built like a tank, this standing desk feels solid for its size. Stability is key when it comes to a good-standing desk. This essential electric standing desk feature shouldn’t be overlooked. You’d be surprised to discover even some of the premium brands of other standing desks or office chairs come with poor assembly which leads to wobble.
Its 3-element legs are durable and made to last. Sure, the warranty is only 5 years, but the legs themselves are heavy and feel like they’re going to last for a long time.
A simple but effective digital controller is how you move the desk up and down. The control box has two buttons for moving the desk up and down on the left side while its 4 memory presets plus the ‘M’ memory reset function are located on the right side of the control panel. Both the materials and the design of the control box check the right quality boxes.
Performance & Functionality
Now that you know the quality feels sturdy, here’s how it performs.
Ease of adjustments
You simply move the desk up and down based on the up and down arrows on the control box. There’s even a height display (in inches) showing you the desk’s current elevation. This can be problematic if you want a display showing your current height in centimetres, a non-problem with Australian-made standing desks, or with those that feature an option for both metric and imperial measurements.
Standard controllers with 4 memory presets are offered by Vari Desk. These are helpful as go-to height settings for the ideal standing desk height. Speedy adjustments aren’t something Vari can brag about. This is a single-motor standing desk which may be slower than some of its dual-motor competitors. Similarly priced, the Omnidesk Pro series features a dual motor design and is only 3cm shorter.
Vari offers a cable management tray that can be easily installed on its standing desk. But there are no other products to improve cable management beneath the sit-stand desk. At $75, the tray comes in either black or white depending on the colour of your frame and legs.
But unlike other cable management boxes which are typically longer and spanning at least 3/4s of the desk length, Vari’s version resembles more of a bucket than a tray. With the dimensions of 54.5cm (length) x 10cm (width at the base), you can just fit a 4-pin power board and several cables as long as they are coiled together. The disadvantage is that you can’t have a lot of devices to use. The power and HDMI cables from two monitors, the computer or the laptop itself will already fill the space of the tray. If you run speakers or another device then you may find the cables spilling over the edge. Whilst most of this won’t be visible, it is enough to personally annoy me.
However, the design of the Vari tray has a significant advantage over its competitor’s versions – easy access. All vari standing desks have a small cut-out at the rear. Combine with the lowered position of the tray and the ease at which you can access cables is far superior to most others. Most other standing desks will have their longer but shallower trays tucked away where access is only given if you raise the desk and go underneath.
Whilst Vari’s cable management tray will need some thought before you buy it, the monitor arms are well worth the money. These might just be the most beautiful monitor arms I’ve seen to date. Sure, you will pay around $400 for Vari’s Dual Monitor Arm, but it’s a high-quality product well worth the investment. Of course, other models are also compatible with the desk if they use a standard clamp system. But they don’t feel as smooth.
Warranty & Returns
30-day free returns are offered by Vari which might be useful in certain situations. For example, you might not be satisfied with one of the four different finishes of the desktop and you can simply send it back for another one.
On paper, the 5-year warranty is definitely not the best certainty going around. Take UpDown and Desky standing desks as alternatives. These desks come with a 10-year frame warranty plus an option to send the desk back for free within 100 days free trial policy. Vari still has some ground to cover in terms of customer service.
My Customer Experience
Everything went smoothly with the purchase of the desk. A confirmation email was sent both when I placed the order and when the desk was dispatched. After doing my research, this was one of the things I was after with my new desk, especially since brands such as XDesk still suffer in terms of good customer service.
One of the overlooked parts of standing desk purchases is checking the reviews. I can only assume other buyers are also interested in the reviews of the Vari standing desk as I was.
For me, it was Amazon reviews that convinced me to buy it. The desk has a perfect 5 out of 5 rating on Amazon based on over 2,000 reviews. This speaks for itself. It’s the little statements such as ‘the only standing desk on Amazon worth buying’ or ‘sturdy and classy’ that convinced me to get this desk and not another standing desk.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can load the Vari standing desk up to 100kg which is moderate compared to other desks where up to 140kg is the norm.
Varidesk’s standing desk can hold 1 or 2 monitors. I’d consider it with an ultrawide 34”+ monitor plus the laptop as well. My ideal setup for the desk is based on 2 smaller 24” monitors or 2 larger 27-28” monitors. However, 2 monitors of the same size may confuse you on which is dominant. This is why I’d consider only getting one larger monitor and one smaller display for everyday office tasks.
The Varidesk elevates to a maximum height of 128cm. Its minimum elevation of just over 60cm makes it ideal for almost any type of commercial office chair when sitting.
Simply put, the Varidesk is not worth the $1,050 price tag. Although it is a very serviceable product that is built to last, the laminate-only desktop does not feel like a premium material compared to standing desks that come with elegant hardwood finishes.
Final Thoughts On The Vari Desk
You win some and you lose some with Vari Desk. Its common wins include a very good height range for tall users as well as very sturdy build quality. Its drawbacks include a rather short warranty, a lack of hardwood desktops, no collision sensors, and choice of tabletop sizes. If you aren’t shopping on a budget, you may find it to be the only suitable option for tall users. However, its multiple and considerable limitations may make most people look elsewhere.
|3 / 5
|5 / 5
|3 / 5
|4.5 / 5
|Value for money
|3.5 / 5