VariDesk Cube Corner 36 review: Rising to the occasion
I’d never used a standing desk before but, when given the chance to review the VariDesk Cube Corner 36, I rose to the occasion.
I’ve worked in offices where standing desks have been common. I even have a few friends who swear by them. Me? Never tried them. Still, I doubt I’m alone in wondering whether the grass is greener on the standing desk side of the modern workspace. I suspect that this is the case for many potential standing desk users. There’s a quiet but persuasive element of risk that oft-becalms the notion of buying one.
Adopting a standing desk is far from cheap and, looking beyond the price-tag, their nature is one that forces you to rearrange your workflow around them. You have to do a bit of work to make a standing desk work for you. And, given the chance to mess with one without the financial barrier in the way, how could I not jump at that opportunity?
The VariDesk Cube Corner 36 offered me the chance to venture beyond the precipice of my sedentary status-quo and, after a few weeks with it, I returned with a story to tell and a newfound sense of respect for those that walked this path before me.
When the box for the VariDesk arrived, I was honestly a little terrified.
My prior experiences with IKEA furniture have taught me that the more simple and elegant something appears, the more complex (and time-consuming) it is to put together. Yet, in spite of these expectations, the VariDesk actually arrived more-or-less ready to use straight out of the box. It was heavy to lug over to my desk but once I stripped and struck away all the various packaging elements, all I had to do was clear a space for it on my desk and away we go.
What did we like about the VariDesk Cube Corner 36?
I’m not nearly as well-versed in the science involved to make a solid claim one way or another as to whether a standing desk is better or worse for your health, nor is the validity of that science really something I want to tackle in this review. Still, my individual experiences with the VariDesk saw it prove unexpected-enabler to productivity.
By forcing me to stand, the VariDesk forced me to be more present and awake - even during the parts of the day where I’d ordinary slink and slide in the other direction. Obviously, your mileage is gonna vary here but I had a good time - even if it did become a bit more straining after two or three hours of it.
Of course, when that happens, you can just easily lower the VariDesk Cube Corner standing desk back down and use it while seated. A set of matching handles on the underside of the VariDesk make it super-easy to pull the VariDesk upwards and downwards as needed.
But even by the standards of standing desks, the VariDesk Cube Corner 36 holds its own. It didn’t take long for it to attract the attention of both colleagues who already had standing desks of their own and a few who didn’t.
Compared to many other standing desks, the VariDesk offers a surplus of space. You can easily fit both a mouse and keyboard on the lower tier and plenty more on the upper one. It’s dual-monitor compatible and can support about 35lbs of weight.
What didn’t we like about the VariDesk Cube Corner 36?
Sure, it might be an unavoidable side-effect of physics and how gravity works but I found that if I ever accidentally bumped the VariDesk, any objects on it would be subject a heart-wrenching and terrifying wobble. Nothing ever fell off the standing desk but whenever this happened, I found myself seriously worried that the whole endeavor would come crashing down around me like the Albert Speer and the myth of the Good Nazi.
A version of this product that holds itself in place more firmly wouldn’t go awry.
The other thing that disappointed me about the VariDesk was just how plain it sometimes felt. It nails the fundamentals but where's the flair? Gimme USB ports. Gimme the ability to slide away the mouse and keyboard when not in use. Gimme a built-in Qi charger. Again, the VariDesk Cube Corner does a deft job of handling the basics but it wasn’t long before I wanted more. And the price doesn’t help.
The VariDesk Cube Corner 36 isn’t as expensive as some other standing desks but it’s not cheap either. Still, given how baseline and barebones it feels, it’s worth noting that there’s a difference between the price you’re willing to pay and a price you’re happy to pay.
The Bottom Line
The VariDesk Cube Corner 36 was the first standing desk I’ve had any meaningful amount of time using, so feel free to take this recommendation with the requisite amount of salt. Regardless, I had a really good time here.
The seamless setup and simple design made making the jump to standing desks easier than I expected and, while the price of entry is high, it’s not insurmountable.
If you’re already looking at a standing desk with strong fundamentals, the VariDesk Cube Corner 36 makes a decent enough case for itself. If you’re after something a little more aesthetic or a little more advanced, it might not suit but, for most people, the VariDesk Cube Corner 36 is easy to recommend. As a product, it’s a little predictable but that might be what you’re after.
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