Sunday, November 12, 2017

Review: Ikea VITTSJÖ Laptop Stand

Bare wood has been my calling for the past while. I'm kind of okay with metal furniture, but glass? Glass has been a no-no for me. It's not that I'm rough with things, it's the that I'm a firm believer in "stuff" happening. To be more specific, I would rather avoid having to clean up a hundred shards of glass, tempered or not. Avoiding glass hasn't been hard with all the alternatives around, but I thought I'd give the material a shot anyway for once and picked up the Ikea VITTSJO laptop stand.

Configuration
x1 - Ikea VITTSJO Laptop Stand: US$ 29.99 (CA$ 26.99)
Article ID: 903.034.46

Paid: ~CA$ 27

Video
In 65s: Ikea VITTSJO Laptop Stand Assembled
Ikea Nightstands: KULLEN vs VITTSJO vs NESNA

Assembly
I got my Ikea VITTSJO laptop stand delivered by courier and it arrived intact. There were definitely some concerns about the glass pane being destroyed in transit, but considering that it probably got to the warehouse after a couple weeks on an ocean, I shouldn't be -- assuming it was made and packaged in Asia or Europe.

Putting the VITTSJO together was pretty straightforward for me. I don't recall there being many parts, screws, or steps. The parts were easy enough to tell apart. Using the screwdriver gave me a little bit of trouble when adjacent parts made it difficult to get a good grip on the handle. Handling a fairly large pane of glass was the only other "issue" -- not hard just disconcerting to have something in my hands that could turn into a few hundred shards if improperly handled.

What'd I think?
As assembled without any modifications, the Ikea VITTSJO laptop stand has been okay so far -- after a few days of light use. I didn't even bother to check the height of the desk surface before ordering. After assembly, I put the VITTSJO stand beside my other desks that I'd been using for years already: it was the same height plus or minus a few centimeters. And these were desks that had customizable leg heights, meaning I set them there myself. Having used stools designed for sitting as improvised working surfaces, this "proper" desk height was much appreciated -- my back is probably going to remind me about all that leaning over when I get older.

I found the fully assembled size and weight of the VITTSJO to be reasonable to lift and move around fairly easily. The open area under the desk has also been nice to have -- fewer objects to bump into, more room to move around. I used a stepladder as a laptop stand for a weekend and those steps/legs got pretty uncomfortable after a while. The glass pane was approximately 30 cm x 50 cm and was large enough to fit my 13" laptop or an open textbook with room to spare. As a whole, the laptop stand looked pretty simple yet nice and the glass was a major part of that.

What I wasn't so sure about was the glass surface and how it wasn't fixed to anything -- pretty sure I didn't miss a step. Installing the VITTSJO glass pane appeared to consist of placing it on the six supporting tabs gently. I moved the entire laptop stand across a room or two and had to do it extra carefully. Having the entire stand get knocked or tipped over doesn't seem impossible, but I doubt a fixed pane would survive that drop anyway?

Conclusion
Simple, relatively cheap, attractive, and functional is how I felt about the Ikea VITTSJO laptop stand after a few days of use. The huge glass pane, however, is not something I'm comfortable with using on a long-term basis. I'm in the process of finding a wood panel to replace the glass top with and I may have found a cutting board at Ikea that may fit. This would increase the price of the stand substantially on a relative basis, but it seems like it could be worth it -- there are cheaper options but it would involve having to cut, sand, and buy/borrow tools.


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