Varidesk ProDesk 60 Electric Review
Varidesk is one of the original standing desk converter industry giants, and this is their first foray into the electric standing desk market. They've always been known for their massive branding budget, as well as their high prices. The difference with this product is that it's not an industry leader—it's late to the party with outdated features and a very high price point.
Free shipping with FedEx. Premium upgrades
5 year warranty
Programmable controller with three height presets
60" W x 30" D only
Black, White, Butcher Block, Darkwood, Reclaimed Wood
60" W x 30" D
Assembly is easier and quicker than most standing desks. Stability and lift capacity are good, and the tabletop laminate finishes are thermoformed around contoured edges (though only five are available.)
While it may have the recognizable Varidesk brand name behind it, the ProDesk 60 Electric's outrageous price tag makes this desk hard to recommend. An outdated "kneecrusher" crossbar between the legs of the desk is a bizarre design choice for a product at this price. The lack of available customization options leaves us further baffled.
Note: The following is a forensic review. We have not yet tested this product in our lab.
An Unimpressive Debut
Varidesk, an innovative pioneer in standing desk converters, is known for its popular, pricey, and heavily advertised series of desktop risers. With the ProDesk 60 Electric, Varidesk has decided to throw their hat in the ring and slug it out with a few hundred incumbent electric standing desk manufacturers, albeit with a rather unremarkable design.
We’ve reviewed so many standing desks that it’s often hard to rank one copy-cat design relative to its nearest peers. In this case we were not so challenged. There’s no way to say this other than to be quite blunt. At $999 the ProDesk60 Electric is simply too high for this product. For a thousand dollars you’d except an American-made, high-tech desk with a solid warranty, not an outdated design with low-cost Chinese parts. Don’t be fooled by the marketing glitz and outlandish claims on the Varidesk website, or the surprisingly well-written and error-free user reviews. This is another instance of brand name power masking an underlying lack of quality.
What Varidesk calls a “stability bar” is a band aid for a wobbly set of legs. Standing desks that you could buy ten years ago usually had one, but they were hated by customers because you’d bang your shins against this bar every time you scooted forward in your seat. The term “knee crusher” came to be bandied about so pejoratively that most manufacturers removed them from their desk products years ago. Almost all modern-day desk designs that are worth their salt in stability have moved this stabilization bar to just under the desktop, usually screwed to the wood as a “crossbar,” to provide lateral stability to the desk.
And in fact, the Varidesk also has crossbars attached to the desktop, and since it’s only 60” wide that should provide plenty of stability. The fact that an additional stability bar is required to span the lowest of the telescoping linear actuator tubes is jaw dropping. All this points to the likelihood that the precision-manufactured “glides” between the telescoping tubes—the single most important component of any sit-stand desk—are of such poor quality as to need "belt and suspenders" to maintain stability.
One Size Fits All
In this day and age, any good standing desk will come in a wide variety of sizes and colors. However, Varidesk has limited their offering to only 30” x 60”.
As colors go Varidesk gives you the choice of Black, Butcher Block, Darkwood, Reclaimed Wood and White, which sounds like a nice palette until you realize that these are all just different images printed on the same thermoformed laminate. Don’t expect real “reclaimed wood” or “butcher block,” though there’s no disclaimer on the website to tell you so. The only specific information they give on their laminate technology is that it’s “hardened,” whatever that means. The base color is tied to the tabletop color: Silver bases are paired with white tops, and Slate bases are paired with everything else. So, all in all you’re looking at five options—just the desktop color—as compared to the thousands of size/shape/color combination options you’ll find on something like the American-made iMovR Energize.
The desktop features a 26.75" W 0.75" D indentation in the back, allowing you to cleanly run your cables down the back of your desk while your desk is positioned flush against the wall. This comes in lieu of grommet holes which accomplish the same purpose, and at this price point would certainly be expected. Aesthetically, the Varidesk's indentation is a simpler solution—the trade-off is that you lose the ability to outfit your desk with grommet-mounted accessories, such as desktop power nodes, wireless phone chargers or certain monitor arms.
Varidesk’s claim that the desk “Assembles easily in 5 minutes or less without special or complicated tools” is flatly unrealistic, but it is easier than many other standing desks. While the crossbars come pre-mounted to the desktop (a definite plus), you still have to position the legs in the receiving sockets and secure them in place with Allen bolts using the provided Allen wrench, attach the pigtail cables to the power supply, attach the stability bar to both legs, and then finally install the cable tray before flipping the desk over. It’s better than the assembly process on many desks, for sure, but “five minutes” is a serious stretch.
The lift rating (250 lbs), hand controller with three programmable height presets, height adjustment range and other specifications that Varidesk discloses are all respectable for an entry-level standing desk. However, at $999, these are unimpressive specs.
You’re used to hearing the term “Limited Warranty,” but the five-year warranty on this ProDesk60 Electric takes the cake. Here’s what’s explicitly not covered in the warranty for the ProDesk (in fact, all Varidesk products):
- Normal wear and tear
- Changes in surface finish, including color-fastness or matching of colors, woodgrains, or textures
- Dye transfers caused by external contaminants
- Modifications made by the user
- Products that were not installed, used, or maintained in accordance with product instructions and warnings
- Damage or marking of surfaces caused by sharp or foreign objects
“Normal wear and tear” seems to be a get-out-of-jail card for any warranty coverage at all.
Save your dough
The Prodesk 60 Electric is another Chinese-made, me-too desk at an American-made Cadillac price. Its specs are indeed adequate, but the outdated knee-crusher crossbar below the desk combined with the lack of customization options makes it tough to recommend this product. If you’re going to go with an imported desk, there are cheaper options that offer comparable specs, and if you’re going to pay a grand for a desk, you might as well go with something with a better warranty, better componentry, and more available options.Where to Buy
- Dimensions: 60" W x 30" D
- Height range: 25.5" - 50.5"
- Weight capacity: 250 lbs
- 3 programmable height presets
- Colors available (laminate): Black, White, Butcher Block, Darkwood, Reclaimed Wood
(Image courtesy of Varidesk)
5 year warranty, with circumspect limitations as noted in the review
Free shipping with FedEx. Delivery upgrade options available.