Office ergonomics have been around for as long as I can remember. From oddly shaped mice and keyboards to various ways of sitting or standing, office ergonomics have evolved over the years. The latest trend centers around standing desks, allowing office workers to mix up their work day in front of the computer by standing part of the time and sitting the rest, all while using the same workstation. Our Vari ProDesk 60 Electric review takes a look at the latest standing desk from the company, one they say is created with the highest quality, is the most stable, and easiest to assemble standing desk for commercial offices. Read on to see just how well it stands up (pun intended!).
NOTE: Updated 3/12/2020 to reflect the company’s name change from Varidesk to Vari and the new reduced pricing.
The Vari ProDesk 60 Electric Standing Desk has the following features and specifications:
- Commercial-grade adjustable height desk
- Heavy-duty laminate finish available in Black, White, Butcher Block, Reclaimed Wood, or Darkwood
- A steel stability crossbar for enhanced stability
- Assembles easily in 5 minutes or less without special or complicated tools
- Continuous height settings from 25.5” (64.5 cm) to 50.5” high (128 cm)
- Spacious 60” (152.5 cm) (W) x 30” (76 cm) (D) desktop
- Cable management tray included
- 3 programmable memory settings
- Control panel with energy-saving LED display screen
- Stylish chamfered edges
- Powerful, quiet motor makes it easy to go from sitting to standing
- Holds up to 250 lb (113.4 kg)
- This desk ships free to the lower 48 states with FedEx Ground for convenient delivery, and we also offer premium delivery services.
- GreenGuard Gold Certified
- UL-listed components
- Manual (non-electric) version also available
- Surface: 60 x 30 x 1 1/4″ (152 x 76 x 3cm)
- Leg base: 28 7/8″ (73.5cm)
- Crossbar width: 45 1/4″ (115cm)
- Height: 25 1/2 to 50 1/2″ (65 to 129cm)
- Weight: 141.5lb (64.2kg)
What’s in the box
The Vari ProDesk 60 Electric Standing Desk comes in two boxes, one with the desktop and the other with the legs. Both also contain various other components as outlined below.
- Desktop box
- 2x TheHook
- Reusable cable wraps (3x short, 4x medium, 3x long)
- Instruction booklet
- Leg box
- 2x legs
- Cable management tray
- Hex wrench
- Mallet hammer
- 4x bolts
- 4x washers
The first thing you’ll notice after unboxing and unwrapping the Vari ProDesk 60 Electric Standing Desk is just how nice the actual desktop looks. Our review unit came in the Reclaimed Wood finish and it looks rather fantastic in any setting. The desktop itself is 1 1/4″ thick, 60” wide, and 30” deep. The corners are rounded, which is a nice touch as you don’t have to worry about banging into corners when walking by the desk. The edges of the desktop are nicely chamfered with the top 1/2-inch or so being flat and then the rest of the edge angling slightly back for the rest of the thickness.
Just under the right side of the front of the desk is the control panel. Roughly 5″ across, it’s about 3/4″ in height, and is constructed from plastic. The control panel features six buttons labelled 1, 2, an up arrow, down arrow, 3, and S with a 3-digit LED panel centered in the middle. The panel is attached to the bottom of the desktop by way of a sliding mount which lets you slide the control panel out and into your desired position. Personally, I would have rather seen it more sturdily attached as it does feel a bit wobbly on occasion if it’s not pulled forward or pushed back fully.
The back of the desk has a cutout centered in the back, roughly 26 3/4″ across. This cutout allows you to nicely feed your cables through the back of the desk and down through the under-desktop cable tray. The cable tray is also plastic and is attached on hinges on the underside of the desktop. Roughly 21″ in width, it’s 4″ wide and 4″ in height with a hole on either end. These holes allow you to feed your cables through into the tray where you can easily store any excess before feeding it out through the cutout on the back of the desktop to plug in your computer, monitor, speakers, or whatever other devices you have. The ProDesk 60 can hold up to 250 pounds of gear while the ProDesk 48 can hold up to 200 pounds.
On the underside of the desk, the steel legs are attached by way of a 2′ long arm on either end of the desktop. Between these two pieces is a metal track that goes along the length of the desk. This track is where the legs slide into place and it also contains all the wiring and plug in components of the desk, keeping them tidy and out of sight. The legs themselves aren’t centered with the desktop and sit about 10″ on center from the back of the arms attached to the desktop. At first, this seemed a bit odd but when the desk is lowered for sitting, it gives the user extra leg room. You might think that being off-centered would cause stability issues but the feet, if you will, are 29″ in length and nicely stabilize the desk no matter the height.
The legs themselves are comprised of three smaller steel legs which slide into or out of each other depending on if you are raising or lowering the desk. Located 16″ from the floor is a steel crossbar 3″ in width that runs from the back of the left leg to the back of the right for added stability. I also found it useful for attaching my laptop power brick to with the velcro cable tie management straps that come with the desk. The desk also comes with a pair of Vari’s TheHook which slides over the edge of the desktop and gives you an easy place to hang your headset or anything else light that you might find a side desk hanging hook for.
One thing I’ve become accustomed to over the years is having my monitor sit slightly above my keyboard, unless I’m using a laptop of course. In my case, at least, the ergonomics make working in front of a computer all day just that much more comfortable. In the case of the Vari ProDesk 60 Electric Standing Desk, it’s just one flat surface. It would be nice to see a lower keyboard tray area like other standing or sit-stand desktop workstations offer. While Vari does offer monitor arms on their website, not all monitors are mountable and the company doesn’t offer a keyboard tray option either. Either way, it’s a minor gripe and can be easily fixed with a monitor stand.
Aside from that, however, the Vari ProDesk 60 Electric Standing Desk is a very solidly constructed and very attractive looking desk — at least in the case of our brown Reclaimed Wood finish and grey painted steel legs. The core material used in the ProDesk 60 Electric is a medium density fiberboard with a laminate wood finish. For those of us who are environmentally friendly, the desk has also achieved GREENGUARD Gold certification for low chemical emissions.
Vari claims that you can assemble the Vari ProDesk 60 Electric Standing Desk in about five minutes. It’s also easier with two people, although if you are careful and take your time, you can do it with one but it is a bit of a pain to flip a 140lb desk over by yourself. During our installation, it took about half an hour but we were taking notes and images at the same time. Still, I’d figure it would take a first timer about 10 minutes to set everything up, but once you’ve set one up it’s a very simple process and could probably be easily done in a few minutes.
The desk comes in two boxes: one for the legs and one for the desktop. Opening the box with the desktop in it, you’ll see that the desk bottom is face up with the metal rail exposed. Grabbing the legs, which are marked L and R, simply slide the appropriate one into the 4 notches in either side of the rail. As soon as you slide the leg into these notches, they actually slide down and roll into place. A quick push will ensure they are snapped into place and then two bolts secure the outside of the frame to the leg.
After the legs are attached and screwed into place, slide the steel crossbar into the slots on the back of the legs and use the included mallet hammer to gently bang it into place using the red line on the attached sticker as a guide (note: this step is omitted in the video below). Once the legs are in place and the crossbar is attached, connect the wiring harnesses to the wiring on the underside of the desk. Next, slide the cable tray onto the mounting plates at the back of the desk and push it forward slightly to lock it into place, no screws required.
This is the part that’s best with two people. Once the legs and cable tray are in place, flip the table over and move it to where you will be using it. If it’s a bit wobbly, the feet have round adjustable discs under them — one at each end for a total of four — to level the desk out.
Once in place, plug it in and once it’s powered on, hold the up and down buttons on the control panel at the same time to initialize the desk. The desk will lower, then raise up slightly before stopping. Once it stops, the desk is ready to use.
Ease of Use
The Vari ProDesk 60 Electric Standing Desk is super simple to use. Simply hold the up arrow to raise the desk to the desired height or hold the down arrow to lower it. The height will be displayed on the LED panel in inches. Once you’ve figured out your desired sitting height, press the S button to save the height to one of the shortcut buttons. When the S button is pressed, the display will start blinking. Press 1, 2, or 3 to save the height to the desired button and the display will stop blinking. Once saved, press and hold the number that corresponds to the height you’re after and the desk will rise or lower and stop at the desired height.
For my use, I set the three options to sitting height, standing height, and not in use height which was a little higher than sitting height so that my chair tucks under it nicely.
As far as performance is concerned, a desk really is a desk as long as it’s solid. In this case, the Vari ProDesk 60 Electric Standing Desk is definitely one solid and heavy desk. Once you’re set up and good to go, using the number buttons to quickly move the desk to your desired height works as expected. The one thing I found a bit odd, however, was that the number button has to be held the entire time the desk is moving. It would have been nice to have these buttons move the desk to the desired height with just a single press and not having to hold them down.
As for loudness, the ProDesk 60 Electric is pretty quiet and isn’t going to be a distraction when being raised or lowered in your typical office setting. When fully lowered (25 1/2″), it takes about 15 seconds to fully raise the desk (50 1/2″). These heights are plenty acceptable for most people. I’m about 6′ and find that 28 1/2″ is perfect for sitting while 41 1/2″ is good for standing. I’m not sure what giant would use this desk fully raised, but if you’re taller you should be able to find a comfortable standing height with no issues.
As of February 2021, the Vari ProDesk 60 Electric Standing Desk has an MSRP of $650USD — which has come down in price since we reviewed it. It’s unlikely you’re going to be picking up something like this for your home office unless you spend a lot of time there. Given the price of standard office desks though, which can be up there in price as well, the quality, ease of use, and value of having a standing desk are definitely there. If you’re looking to add a monitor arm to it, you’ll be adding between $125 to $195 to the cost as well.
In addition, the desk ships free to the lower 48 states and also comes with a 30-day risk-free trial. Vari also backs the ProDesk Electric series with a 5-year warranty which covers surfaces, hardware, mechanical parts, and components, including motors and electrical components outside of normal wear and tear.
Standing desks aren’t for everyone but after having used sit-stand converters and standing desks for the past couple years, I definitely see the benefit of having an adjustable standing desk that lets you sit or stand at your leisure throughout the workday. If you have the space for a full blown standing desk, the Vari ProDesk 60 Electric Standing Desk is a great looking, solid, quiet, easy-to-use desk with plenty of desktop space.
*We were sent a sample of the Vari ProDesk 60 Electric Standing Desk for the purposes of this review.
Vari ProDesk 60 Electric$650 USD
Ease of Use10.0/10
- Attractive looking desk
- Solid construction
- Easy to assemble
- Quiet operation
- Large work area
- Cable management tray
- Save up to three height adjustments
- Holds up to 250lbs (ProDesk 60)
- Free shipping, 30 day risk-free trial
- No keyboard tray option
- Control panel could be a bit more secure
- Definitely on the pricey side