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When you’re working while you’re traveling, office space is never something you can guarentee. All too often you’re at the mercy of hotel stools, bedside tables, and you have no idea what the height will be.

It’s not been uncommon to have spent half an hour searching a hotel room for items I can place under my laptop so I can raise the height and see the screen; pillows are never sturdy enough, ironing boards are a bit awkward, so it usually ends up being books and magazines!

In my home office I have a sitting standing desk solution; the VARIDESK Pro Plus 36, which is a height-adjustable workstation that turns any desk into a standing desk with the push of a lever. It’s my favorite piece of office furniture, but you wouldn’t dream of traveling with it – it’s massive!

Nevertheless, I do find that when I’m hunched over a sorry excuse for a hotel work station, or sitting with five pillows under my seat, that I do quite miss my height adjustable desk, and wish that there was a compact version of the same I could travel with.

As it turns out, there is!

It’s called the ‘Laptop 30‘, and I ordered one immediately!

The Laptop 30 from VARIDESK

A Compact Standing Desk Solution to Travel With!

Varidesk Laptop 30 Review Compact Portable Standing Desk

It may at first seem a strange proposition – recommending travel with an office desk. But I’ve previously recommended traveling with a washing machine, as well as road tripping with a microwave, so why not throw in a height adjustable work station!

The Laptop 30 is the most compact standing desk solution from VARIDESK; it’s lightweight, portable, and minimalist, made for ease of movement, and sized for laptops and smaller work-spaces.

It pops up and down with the push of a lever, and been purpose-built to allow office workers to move around with their workstation; to take it to different desks or conference tables. But as a digital nomad I’ve taken this a step further, and found that it’s also great for moving your desk between countries!

So, as a traveler you’re probably wondering ‘just how compact is ‘compact’?’

Well, I’m glad you asked me!

How Compact is ‘Compact’?

Varidesk Laptop 30 Review Compact Portable Standing Desk (9)

The Laptop 30 is a single, slim work surface that is 30 inches wide, perfect for laptops or tablets. When it’s up, it stands on a base of thin metal rods to a maximum height of 15 inches (38 cm); it has an X shape based which has a straight up and down lifting pattern.

When it’s not being used, it folds down to a flat state, with a very slim profile, which makes it easy to store away – place it in a closet, under your desk, in the car; where-ever you store it, it’s completely flat, so doesn’t get in the way.

You can hold it under one arm when you’re moving around with it, or place it in a suitcase that has at least 30″ W x 15″ D. Because of its length you won’t fit it in a regular sized briefcase or day bag, but once you unpack it’s very easy to move around and manage.

Think of a breakfast tray or an ironing board, though one that has been specifically created as a work surface for your laptop, with a beautiful, sturdy, and durable design.

Specs of the VARIDESK Laptop 30

➤ Weight capacity (safely holds): 15 lb / 6.8 kg

➤ Desk size: 30 ” (W) x 15 ” (D) / 76 cm (W) x 38 cm (D)

➤ Weight of the desk: 11 lb / 5 kg

➤ Extension Height: 1.4 ” – 15 ” (3 cm – 38 cm)

➤ Height settings: 9 (within the above range)

➤ Colors: Black

➤ Cost: $250 AUD / $175 USD

The work surface measures 30 inches wide (76.2 cm) by 15 inches deep (38 cm), and it’s the easiest solution for changing the way you work – you place it on any existing surface or desk, and it has 9 adjustable height settings – it pops up and folds down in seconds with the push of a lever.

Just squeeze the handles and it raises and lowers within seconds; its height adjustment mechanism is a lever locking system which doesn’t require any plugs or cords, so you truly can take it anywhere.

Visualizing the Specs

Photos of the Height Difference

Varidesk Laptop 30 Review Compact Portable Standing Desk (13)

Varidesk Laptop 30 Review Compact Portable Standing Desk (12)

Sturdy Despite Being Lightweight

Despite being very lightweight (weighing in at 5 kg), the laptop 30 is also very sturdy. It strikes the perfect balance between being heavy enough to stay steady, but light enough to quickly carry into another room.

A lot of the weight has been centralized in the high tension spring mechanism, which means that you don’t need to exert much force to raise the desk, and whatever you put on it remains stable even at its highest position.

As opposed to full size height adjustable office desks, which often spring forward in an arch and limit the floor space, the Laptop 30 moves vertically straight up and down. It’s easy but it’s also very safe to use.

While it’s best to place it on a sturdy, level surface, I found you can sit with it on the floor, take it into the outdoors, or use it while sitting in bed, like a breakfast table, but for using your laptop. It remains supported and evenly balanced even while on padded surfaces, like a rug or a mattress.

Additionally, the legs have rubber covers which protects the surface that you’re placing it on, and also makes it slip resistant.

All One Piece, Already Assembled

Like all VARIDESK products, the Laptop 30 comes full assembled, ready to use straight out of the box – you literally pull it out, and choose where to place it.

Fortunately too, it’s very simple and self explanatory. There are no complicated instructions or tools required; you sit the Laptop 30 on your desk, add your laptop, and you’re ready to go.

When you feel like standing, adjusting the height of the desk is simple; there’s a spring-loaded boost mechanism, and all you need to do is squeeze the dual handles on either side (at the same time), and raise it to your desired height.

It’s quite like an ironing board with how the desk moves up and down within seconds, and there are 9 different height settings, so you can easily find something that’s comfortable. When fully extended, the display surface reaches a maximum height of 15 inches (38 cm).

The set up experience is low maintenance, no fuss, and so quick and seamless that you don’t realize just 10 minutes ago you weren’t using it!

Cost Effective

Varidesk Laptop 30 Review Compact Portable Standing Desk (13)

The laptop 30 has the lowest price of any Varidesk model. It costs $250 AUD ($175 USD), which is a great price for a sitting / standing desk solution that allows you to vary your posture.

While this is something you can claim as a business expense, ultimately, it’s an investment in your long term health. Because your workspace matters, even if you work for yourself. 

The benefits of standing have long been proven as the best way to work productively without straining your body. Standing, even for a short 20 minutes a day, can alleviate work-related problems including back and neck pain.

That said, with this design they’ve actually acknowledged that a standing desk that forces you to stand all day can be just as harmful as continuous sitting. You want to be able to switch between sitting or standing and keeping the body moving to avoid the health complications owing to a static position.

If you have bad posture generally, these issues can become exacerbated when you travel. Anyone who’s ever had to sit through a 15 hour flight with back pain will agree with me.

Back pain occurs from prolonged inactivity and sitting, so simply correcting it can often make a world of difference. For me, all it took was introducing the Laptop 30 into my (traveling) workspace.

In a Nutshell

Varidesk Laptop 30 Review Compact Portable Standing Desk (5)

The VARIDESK Laptop 30 is a height-adjustable workstation that turns any desk into a standing desk, meaning your work can be comfortable, productive and energizing again.

When you need to sit, you sit, when you need to stand, you stand. There are a range of different height settings, but best of all, it’s super easy; with the pull of a lever you go from sitting to standing, and vice versa, in three seconds flat.

It requires no assembly, is easy to adjust in height, and is portable and light enough to travel with. It’s essentially a desk converter, perfect for mobile minimalists like digital nomads!

No longer will you need to resort to having your laptop propped up on a hotel ironing board, simply because you want to give your back a break from sitting.

Click here to buy, or visit to read reviews and browse more of their amazing office furniture. If you jump to you can view all their desk converter options.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.



  1. I love the small size and weight. These make it portable. It’s definitely a dedicated travel companion.

    • Absolutely – my favorite thing about it too! Thanks for reading my review :)

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