Vari Essential series standing desk and file cabinet review

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REVIEW – Our dining table was taken over with paperwork, so my wife decided she needed a dedicated workspace in the guestroom. Something nicer than the folding table! Fortunately, Vari had just the answer with the Essential series of Standing Desks and File Cabinets.

What is it?

The Vari Essential Electric Standing Desk is a sleek, adjustable height electrically-motorized standing desk that fits into almost any decor. The matching File Cabinet is also from the Essential line. Out of an odd communication mixup, I was sent a black desk, and a white file cabinet.

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Hardware specs

The tabletop is height adjustable from 27-1/2″ to 47-1/5″ high. The file cabinet stands at 23-1/2″ high and tucks easily under the table.


  • Easy-to-Follow instructions with all parts clearly labeled
  • Laminate desktop is durable and easy to clean
  • 4 programmable memory settings with LED display
  • T-Style legs for stability
  • Smooth, two-stage lift from 27.5″ to 47.2″
  • 48″ wide
  • 150 lb weight capacity
  • Not compatible with Vari Cable Management Tray

File cabinet:

  • Secure drawer lock
  • Roll-and-lock casters
  • 3 Drawers with included accessory tray
  • Space for your letter- or legal-size hanging file folders
  • Stability caster for additional support

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We’ll start with the file cabinet first. It comes pretty much fully assembled. Just attach the casters.

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There are four casters and one stationary wheel that moves with the lower drawer. Two of the casters lock in place.

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Simply use the supplied wrench to attach the casters.

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There’s a locking top drawer that has a little accessory tray. Comes with two keys.

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The table itself is a little more involved. Here are the legs packed in foam. The legs and tabletop come packed in two separate boxes.
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Assembly wasn’t difficult. I got some help from the household teenager.

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You can see the metal-colored shaft to the right of my son’s hand. This connects the two legs to raise and lower in unison.

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There’s a rather cheeky warning reminder on the tabletop. Maximum weight is listed at 150 lbs, or 2000 pencils.

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The control panel has several memory presets (like a radio in the car) and an LED readout that displays the height in inches. The numerals vanish behind the plastic when dark. It’s a neat trick.vari essential desk and cabinet 16

I measured a maximum height of 47.2 inches, which is in line with the specs (47-1/5″). The tape measure shows a little higher, because I stuck some felt feet at the bottom to avoid scratching the hardwood floor.vari essential desk and cabinet 11

At first the tabletop read a tilt of 0.4 degrees. That’s when I realized the floor was also sloped the same way. vari essential desk and cabinet 13


The motor for the table isn’t very loud, and the table moves smoothly. I did encounter an error code E01. This indicates some kind of thermal overload protection. Even after a reset, the error code would pop up frequently even with the smallest height adjustment.

I reached out to my contact at Vari and I received a replacement leg/motor assembly. Presto! Problem solved.

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We decided to use the file cabinet as a printer stand (left) and position a computer monitor on a rolling stand to create more open space on the tabletop. Ready to work!

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What I like

  • Simple style fits into any decor
  • Motorized lift with presets lets you set the height to whatever you need: standing or seated
  • Easy assembly

What I’d change

  • Had a controller issue but was resolved by Vari (thank you!)

Final thoughts

I never thought I’d like a standing desk, but even if you don’t use it for standing, the adjustability is a great feature. I really like the presets for different heights or just different users.

Price: $499.99 (desk), $224.99 (file cabinet)
Where to buy: Vari for desk and file cabinet. Also available from Amazon
Source: The sample of this product was provided by Vari.

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