StarTech Cable Management Spine Review
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The StarTech’s looks will catch your eye, for better or worse. A 5-year warranty is excellent for a cable management component. The StarTech’s method for installing cables is nice in that you don’t need a special tool, but it otherwise falls short. You have to press cables into each link individually, taking a lot of time and potentially damaging larger cables. The mounting bracket is also a weak point.
|MSRP / List Price||$31.99|
|Where to buy||
Buy on Amazon
|Ease of Assembly|
|Quality and Aesthetics|
|Suitability for Treadmill Desking|
|Positives||A 5-year warranty is excellent, matching the best we've reviewed, and alleviating some concerns we had about the mounting bracket design. Some people will love the shiny, silver finish. One of the least expensive cable tracks you can buy.|
|Negatives||The push-through cord entry method will damage thicker cords and take a long time. Even though there's peace of mind with the warranty, we'd prefer a better mounting bracket design. Warranty returns are still a pain. Only 50" long so may come up a little short for some workstation setups, especially higher-reaching treadmill desks. Only comes in one color, not very likely to match your standing desk's base (even metallic gray ones).|
A cable chain or cable spine (or cable management vertebrae, these things are called a lot of different names) is along the same vein as a cable sleeve, but it’s a rigid structure instead of a soft one. Good cable chains will take into account how many times a standing desk goes up and down every day, how users add and remove cables, and how they look.
Beyond cosmetic tidiness, cable management is key for a safe and sane workstation as well. As we discuss more thoroughly in our primer on ergodynamics, cable management can help you avoid tripping and bending injuries, among other issues.
StarTech Cable Management Spine
One look at the StarTech Cable Management Spine and you’ll likely either love it or hate it. With a shiny, silver finish, it doesn’t look like your typical cable management component.
Like the VIVO Vertebrae Cable Management Chain we’ve reviewed, the StarTech cable chain features a push-through method for cord entry. The positive for this method is that there’s no tool to keep around. The negative is that the slots are not very big so any thicker power cords will have to be pushed through with some force, which can damage them and the plastic links themselves. Plus you’ll have to push the cords through every single link, which will take a while.
The mounting bracket that attaches to the desk is woefully thin and won’t last long (especially on a desk that’s moving up and down several times a day).
Because the bracket goes all the way to the desktop, there’s no way you’ll be able to get several cords in the chain without popping up above the desktop and being visible. This is why we prefer cable chains completely under the desktop (like iMovR’s Tucker Cable Chain), so cables can go straight from the cable tray to the cable chain and not show above the desktop.
The idea of putting cords into the cable chain without opening the links is interesting, but we’re not fans. It will damage thicker cables and doesn’t save you any time since you still have to push each cable through each link.
The mounting bracket is a problem but StarTech does have an impressive 5-year warranty on this product, which matches the best we’ve seen in this category, and helps ease some of the concern.
The silver finish will likely be divisive, with some loving it and some not even considering the product because of it.
Don’t Stop Here
Cable management is an excellent place to start but it’s best to think of your ergonomic setup as a work in progress. There are always ways to improve. Check our in-depth reviews on standing desks, keyboard trays, monitor arms, ergonomic seating and standing mats.