VARIDESK ProPlus™ 36 vs Humanscale QuickStand: Best in 2021


The QuickStand by Humanscale and ProPlus™ 36 by VARIDESK are about as different as two converters can be. They have little in common and focus on very different attributes. VARIDESK is focused more on fast delivery, easy set-up and proving the most customer friendly return policy in the industry. Humanscale is focused on making high quality products, with good ergonomic functionality and an aesthetically pleasing look. Even though they are polar opposites, they are each very well known and well liked. Lets take a closer look at how they compare side by side so that you can decide which product is best for you.


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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Specs / Features / Pricing
Return Policy
Colors

Delivery and Assembly
Build Quality
Making Adjustments
Stability
Ergonomics
Task and Keyboard Space
Wire Management
Safety

Bottom Line


  ProPlus™ 36 QuickStand
Manufacturer VARIDESK, LLC Humanscale
Country or Origin China China
Sits on top of desk Yes Clamp Mount Standard
Lifting Mechanism 2 Handle Spring Lift Assist No Handle Counterbalance
VESA Monitor Mount No Yes
Keyboard & Monitor Platform Yes Yes
Lifting Capacity 35 lbs. 30 lbs.
Product Weight 52 lbs. 55 lbs.
Height Position Options 11 Infinite
Overall at lowest height 36”W x 29.75”D x 4.5”H 30”W x 31.5”D x 28”H
Overall at highest height 36”W x 41.75”D x 17.5”H 30”W x 31.5”D x 35”H
Base Dimensions 30”W x 24”D 19.25”W x 13.5”D
Keyboard Tray Dimensions 36”W x 14.25”D 28”W x 11”D
Monitor Platform Dimensions 36”W x 20”D N/A
Max Keyboard Platform Height 13.75”H 18 1/8”
Max Monitor Platform Height 17.75”H 33” to Center of Mount
Min Keyboard Platform Height .75”H .25”
Min Monitor Platform Height 4.75” 10.25” to Center of Mount
Distance Keyboard to Monitor 4” Infinite
Warranty Period 5 Years 5 Years

Price

The Humanscale QuickStand starts at $789.00 with free shipping for a single monitor set-up with clamp mount and standard platform. The price will jump considerably if you want to upgrade by adding a monitor mount, freestanding base or large platform.

The ProPlus™ 36 is more than a 40% savings compared to the QuickStand and you do not have to pay extra to be able to use dual monitors or have adequate task space.

  ProPlus™ 36 QuickStand
Price $395.00 $789.00
Shipping Free Free
Single Monitor Arm $150.00 Included
Dual Monitor Arms $250.00 $120.00-$150.00

VARIDESK has the best return policy in the industry. You can return the ProPlus™ 36 within the first 30 days for a full refund. VARIDESK will pay for the return shipping and they will send you a new box if you no longer have yours.

You can return the QuickStand within the first 45 days. You will be responsible for the return shipping fees and a 5% restocking fee. All returns must be sent back in the original packaging and in resalable condition.

  Finish Options
ProPlus™ 36 Black, White, Darkwood, Butcher Block
QuickStand Black or White

The ProPlus™ 36 ships within 24 hours of processing your order and is ready to go out of the box. The QuickStand ships after about 10 days and will require installation.

The QuickStand is a complicated product with a lot of parts and a fully integrated wire management system. The installation process is quite lengthy and there are a few steps that are difficult to perform.

  ProPlus™ 36 QuickStand
Order Processing Time Within 24 Hours 10 Days
Shipping Time 1-5 Business Days 1-5 Business Days
Shipping Method UPS Ground UPS/FedEx Ground
Assembly Time None, Ready out of box 1 – 1.5 Hours

The QuickStand and ProPlus™ 36 are both made in China but their build quality is far from similar. The ProPlus™ 36 is on the lower-end of the spectrum. It features a double platform design that keeps the platforms at a fixed distance from one another through all stages of adjustment. The ProPlus™ 36 features a double z shape base that moves the platforms out, in an arcing pattern, as they are raised.

The movement is assisted by springs on both sides of the base. The metal components are lower quality and the platforms are made from cheap particle board. The handles on the ProPlus™ 36 feel clunky and the unit is prone to loud noises from the handles and springs.

The locking system is a basic pin system and it doesn’t always fully engage.  Sometimes the whole unit doesn’t lock in place. Sometimes one side will lock but the other one will not, which will force the platforms to tilt sideways. Some of the inner workings are hidden by plastic with logos but I would not consider the ProPlus™ 36 to be aesthetically pleasing compared to its peers.

The QuickStand has one of the highest build qualities I have seen on a converter. The QuickStand is a product that features a single vertical column that tilts away from you. There is a VESA plate to attach your monitor to the column. There is also a platform attached to the column that can be used for your keyboard, mouse and tasking.

The QuickStand features a counterbalance adjustment system that is customized to the weight of your items during the installation process. The monitor and platform are both independently adjustable.  The metal, plastic, and phenolic used all feel high quality and the parts fit together seamlessly. There are no awkward noises and the QuickStand is one of the nicest looking converters I have seen.

humanscale-quickstand

Adjusting these products is going to be very different. The QuickStand has several different points of adjustment while the ProPlus™ 36 only has height adjustment. The ProPlus™ 36 is adjusted by pressing two handles found underneath the monitor platform. Pressing both handles will release the locking pins and allow the platforms to move up or down.

You will be able to choose between 11 different positions. Once you reach your desired height, you’ll need to release the handles to engage the locking pins. Make sure the platforms are fully locked before letting go of them. The spring system used is basic but it makes the adjustment process very easy. It requires little physical effort to move the platforms up or down.

Adjustable the varidesk
Adjusting the Varidesk

The monitor and platform on the QuickStand are independently adjustable. They also feature infinite position lock instead of being limited to a pre-set number of positions. Simply grab the sides of the platform or monitor and move them up or down. There are no buttons, handles or static locking system. The counterbalance system will allow for easy adjustment and it will also hold them firmly in place at your chosen height. Along with height adjustment, the monitors can also tilt from front to back and rotate for a vertical monitor position.

Height Adjustment Quickstand By Humanscale
Adjusting the quickstand

Both products are very stable in the sitting position with no side to side wobble on either unit. The keyboard platforms on both products go all the way down to your desk. There is no room for the keyboards to bounce so they are completely stable. There is only a slight amount of monitor shake on the ProPlus™ 36 when sitting due to the monitor resting on top of the platform. The mounted monitor and flush keyboard tray on the QuickStand means there is no monitor shake when seated.

Both products lose stability when going to standing. They have some of the worst keyboard bounce out of the converters I have tested. The ProPlus™ 36 is slightly worse than the QuickStand and also shows noticeable monitor shaking. The one positive when standing is that they are both solid from side to side.

The ProPlus™ 36 took large deductions in the general stability category because there is the potential for the unit to tip when in the standing position because the product becomes top heavy and the weight is placed over the front of the unit. The unit doesn’t always lock, as discussed earlier. When the unit is locked, there is still a slight amount of bounce on the both platforms.

Product Sitting Wobble (10%) Standing Wobble (15%) Sitting Bounce (10%) Standing Bounce (15%) Sitting Shake (10%) Standing Shake (15%) General (25%) Total Score
QuickStand 100/100 88/100 100/100 50/100 100/100 77/100 82/100 83/100
ProPlus™ 36 100/100 80/100 100/100 40/100 90/100 45/100 40/100 64/100

The ProPlus™ 36 struggles in the ergonomics department while the QuickStand is one of the best converters out there. The ProPlus™ 36 has a fixed distance between the keyboard tray and monitor platform which means that the height of your monitor is tied to the height of your keyboard tray. This can make it difficult to find the proper ergonomic viewing angle and the proper keyboard height at the same time. In order to make the ProPlus™ 36 dual ergonomic, you will need to add a monitor arm for $150.00. The QuickStand has a separately adjustable keyboard tray and monitor, so it is dual ergonomic without adding any accessories.

When seated, the QuickStand only increases your normal typing height by .25”, while the ProPlus™ 36 increases the height by .75”. This may seem like a small amount but it makes quite a big difference in altering your normal typing position when sitting down. The ProPlus™ 36’s keyboard tray will go as high as 13.75” so it will provide and ergonomic typing posture for people up to about 6’0”. The QuickStand’s tray will go to 18 1/8” off your desk which will work for people up to 6’6”.

Quickstand Features Low Profile Platform
Quickstand Features Low Profile Platform
Varidesk at seated height
Varidesk at seated height

It should be noted that the maximum monitor heights may not allow for the units to provide the correct ergonomic viewing angle for the maximum heights listed for the keyboard trays. People over 5’10” will want to use a monitor arm on the ProPlus™ 36 to ensure the proper viewing angle. People over 6’4” will want to use a 27” monitor on the QuickStand to give yourself some extra height to get closer to the recommended viewing angle.

Varidesk is too short for me
VariDesk being used by 6′ tall person

The recommended ergonomic monitor viewing distance is 20”-40”. This is the best distance to reduce eye strain. The ProPlus™ 36 will put you near the middle of the range. The monitor viewing distance on the QuickStand will depend on the size of the platform you choose. The small platform is only 11” deep so you will be well under the recommend range. The large platform is 17” deep which puts you somewhere on the low to middle portion of the recommended range.

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The monitor platform on the ProPlus™ 36 is a rectangle shape with a pronounced cut-out in the front of the platform. This cut-out is in place to allow for laptops to be used on the keyboard tray comfortably. The monitor platform is large enough for dual monitors and a few accessories. The cut-out takes away quite a bit of usable task space so you will not be able to use larger objects on the monitor platform. If you do not use a laptop on the keyboard tray, then there will be some extra space on the back that can be used for a couple small objects.

Varidesk Limited Desk Space
Varidesk ProPlus™ 36 Task Area

The task space on the QuickStand will be dependent on whether or not you choose the standard or large platform. Both platforms are rectangle with no cut-outs. The small platform will only allow enough space for your keyboard and mouse. If you are using a compact keyboard, you may be able to squeeze a couple small objects on there. The large platform will provide enough space for your keyboard, mouse and some accessories but larger objects, like catalogues, will not fit on the platform.

Humanscale Quickstand Working Area
Humanscale Quickstand Task Area

Keyboard Tray

The keyboard space on the QuickStand is plenty wide for almost any keyboard and mouse you would like to use. The standard platform is a bit narrow though so you will be limited to standard and compact keyboards. Oversized keyboards will hang over the front or back of the tray. Upgrading to the larger platform will allow you to use oversized keyboards because of the six extra inches of depth you get. The keyboard tray on the QuickStand comes with a nice padded palm support. It is soft to the touch and provides good support.

The keyboard tray on the ProPlus™ 36 is huge. You will have no problem fitting any keyboard and mouse combination you want to use. There will also be a lot of space left over on the tray that can be used for accessories you need within your reach. It features a curved front edge and an additional large space on the back of the tray. The curved edge is in place to make it easier to reach down when making height adjustments but it produces a weird position for your mousing hand. Since the edge is curved, you need to place your keyboard forward. But, the mousing platforms are not part of the curved edge which means that your mouse will be behind your keyboard. This forces you to reach your mousing hand back instead of letting your arm hang naturally.

In this category, these two products couldn’t be any more different. The ProPlus™ 36 does not have wire management tools. There is not a built-in system and VARIDESK does not include any clips or sheaths that can be added to the unit.

The QuickStand has the most in-depth and well designed wire management system on a standing desk converter. When you order your QuickStand, you choose what cables are used for your monitor(s). These cords are included with your QuickStand. When installation is complete, your cords will be hidden within the column and they will run off the back of the base and under your desk. They are almost completely hidden from view and provide a very clean look.

Quickstand wire management
Quickstand wire management
Quickstand wire management completed
Quickstand wire management completed

Safety

There are two risks to be aware of on the ProPlus™ 36. The first is the pinch points on the Z base. It is important to make sure objects or people are not around the pinch points before making adjustments. The second thing to be aware of is the risk that the unit can tip forward when in the standing position. Do not lean on the platforms or overload the unit when at standing height.

Z-lift on Varidesk
Z-lift on Varidesk

This is one of the most interesting comparisons I have done so far. These products share almost nothing in common but are still very popular in their own right. In terms of pure product quality, I think it is undeniable that the QuickStand is the superior product. It has a better build quality, is far more adjustable and provides better ergonomics. It also has an an incredible wire management system.

But, this comes at considerable costs. Not only is the QuickStand a lot more expensive but you will have to wait longer to get it and invest a good chunk of time installing it. You also have less color options and if you don’t like it, Humanscale isn’t going to take it back for a full refund like VARIDESK will.

At the end of the day, these products are for two very different types of customers. I hope this comparison helps you decide which type of customer you are and what product best suits your needs.

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