Friday, March 17, 2017

Ikea MALM Desk with Pull-out Panel Impressions: Long Name

The Ikea MALM Desk with Pull-out Panel. Had to see it again: that is indeed a long name. I had an Ikea MALM 2-drawer chest and knew it was a big product line but hadn't really paid attention to items for use outside the bedroom -- you would probably find desks in bedrooms in an average house. So, a MALM desk, huh?
A laptop keyboard in IR.
Disclaimer: I had not had any firsthand experience with any MALM Desk with Pull-out Panel products when I wrote this piece. Details were quoted from the Ikea United States website or Canada website in mid March 2017. Details on this page are NOT guaranteed for accuracy.

Ikea MALM Desk with Pull-out Panel First Impressions
Starting with the product photos on the product page for the MALM Desk with Pull-out Panel (602.141.83 in "black-brown"), I saw what I thought was a rather plain, rectangular table. Aside from the extra extension piece, nothing really stood out in my view. It looked like a long panel for a desktop, two shorter panels for legs, a shorter rear panel, and an extra two panels to make up the pull-out panel. Now put the word "rectangular" before every mention of "panel." Not to say it was ugly or unattractive, different things work for different people or situations.

According to the product page, the dimensions were 151 cm x 65 cm x 73 cm (width x depth x height). I assumed that the dimensions for the MALM Desk with Pull-out Panel did not include the extension piece because they didn't make sense to me otherwise. If they were as I thought, the depth was in my preferred range of 60 cm to 80 cm, and the height seemed satisfactory. However, if the main desk area was 151 cm wide, it was in the "too wide" range for my liking. Don't get me wrong, an infinitely long desk would be great, but the rooms my desks have gone into haven't been infinitely long -- I prefer the 100 cm to 120 cm range. My concern was to do with how much space it'd take up in a room, potentially not having adequate space, and difficulty moving it when necessary. If I wanted more desk space, I'd get a cabinet, side table, or extra desk. But that's just me.
Speaking of room issues, I did like the idea of the Ikea MALM desk's extension and being able to push it in unless needed. Having it on a different level than the main desk area wasn't an issue -- I had been doing the same for years with a second desk when I wrote this. The second desk was only used for storage. Going through the "Assembly instruction" document, nothing really concerned me and it looked like other Ikea projects I'd done before. It was interesting to see how the extension was mounted, and I saw what seemed like an option to choose which side of the desk to install it on. What I didn't see was a locking mechanism for the extension. The photos and instructions suggested that the pull-out was on wheels so would it move while working on it?

Some other notes: the MALM was available in "black-brown," "brown stained ash veneer," and "white." They were all CA$ 169.00 except for the "white" version which was CA$ 149.00. Items that got my attention under the "Product description" were "Fiberboard" and "Particleboard." The price seemed reasonable given the size, extension, and use of an "Ash veneer" according to the "Product description" for the "black-brown" desk. And I noticed a narrow shelf under the desktop at the rear in the photos and instructions -- mentioned under "Key features." One last thing I wanted to mention dealt with the panel legs: cables would have to go around the front or back which could be a minor issue.

Final Thoughts
The Ikea MALM Desk with Pull-out Panel wasn't my favorite desk in the store's line-up at the time. It appeared to be functional, the price and dimensions were mostly fine to me, having an extendable section sounded good, but I wasn't a huge fan of how it looked. The MALM desk didn't look bad at all, I just liked other Ikea desks more that were around the same price and competitive in terms of size.

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