Monday, October 13, 2014

Alternatives to Ikea BEKANT Desk

The impossible, or so I thought, recently happened: the GALANT desk appeared to have been replaced by the BEKANT desk. I wrote "appeared" because it was listed as available on at least one Ikea country's website (United States) when I wrote this. Options were limited though. Didn't see this coming because the GALANT had been around for so long.

Regardless, the BEKANT now appears to be the new higher-end, modular office desk at Ikea. One major difference looks to be that the BEKANT is slightly less modular than the GALANT -- fewer parts or options. From what I understand (I've never owned a BEKANT desk), the BEKANT has fixed frame-designs and the only option may be the color of the desktop. Compare this to the option of A-legs or T-legs, color, and extension frames. To be honest, I never went beyond leg type, size, and color. I bought 3 separate tables and treated them all as completely separate units. Maybe they'll introduce more variations down the line since the BEKANT has just come out.

The good thing is that the fewer options make selecting an alternative potentially easier (i.e. there are fewer options to give up if you get something else). I did a write-up of alternatives to the GALANT before -- this is similar since the desks are similar. What I looked for was height adjustment and a good looking work desk.
Underneath an Ikea BEKANT Desk
Ikea Table Tops & Legs
The name of this series of desks has changed over time. Think it used to be VIKA, then Table Bar. When I wrote this, there were numerous names for different combinations of table tops and legs (e.g. GERTON, HILVER) on the Ikea site -- the names looked to be combinations of the separate table tops and legs. Long story short, the site showed numerous combinations under "Table tops & legs", both available for sale separately and in combination. Leg options included trestles, straights, a caster leg, and a height adjustable leg -- some of these were available in different materials. Table top options included painted fiberboard, real solid wood, and glass.

This series appeared to be the best alternative to BEKANT due to the large number of options. Prices also looked lower when using the cheaper options, but they still looked competitive when compared to the cheapest BEKANT desks. For example, the pre-selected combination of what looked like a solid beech 155cm x 75cm GERTON with four height-adjustable GERTON legs was US$ 199.99. For US$ 19.99, a preselected combination of a white 100cm x 60cm LINNMON top with four white ADILS was available.

Ikea GALANT Desks
This was still around on the United States website when I wrote this. Only white table tops in two sizes were available though: 80cm x 160cm and 60cm x 120cm. A-legs also appeared to be more readily available than T-legs. Even when these are completely discontinued, there will probably be some available on the second-hand market considering how long they were around. Maybe they'll even bring these back by popular demand.
Ikea GALANT Desk being built
Ikea FREDDE Desk
Neither price nor dimensions appeared to have changed much since last year -- dimensions appeared slightly different on the product page compared to the previous year. Regardless, here's a slightly modified rehash. At US$ 199, the desk came in at a maximum of 185cm x 74cm x 146cm (website info). It looked like a pretty good value considering the overall size and the number of shelves attached to it though.

There was a built in shelf on top of the desk with wings attached and more shelves below the table top. I also found cupholders on both sides of the table. Great for storage, but too busy for my liking. The website said that the desk was built with a combination of steel and particleboard. It didn't appear height adjustable. Personally, I found the FREDDE too busy with so much going on.

Another rehash... This was a stained solid pine desk that came in at a somewhat compact 119cm x 60cm x 74cm. If I didn't want a modular and larger desk, this would have been my choice. At US$ 149, it was neither cheap nor exorbitantly priced. It had four straight legs that left the bottom open for routing wires. And the built-in drawer unit at the front looked like a good storage area. The legs did not appear to be adjustable either. Simple but good looking desk.

Gladiator 6-Feet Adjustable Height Maple Work Bench
This is a new one. I found this over the past year. Have never owned it and have no plans to own it, but it appeared to be a good sturdy option. One important note though, it was noted to be a work bench and not a regular office type desk. The Amazon page said that it had a 3000 lb weight capacity and height adjustable legs. Price sat at US$ 479.15 when I checked so the sturdiness came at a cost. I also saw 4' and 8' versions. A bench (model GAWB66BAWG) without height adjustment went for somewhat cheaper at US$ 279.64. This one actually matched the more fixed design of the BEKANT desks rather well.

60" Crank Adjustable Height Sit to Stand Up Desk with Heavy Duty Steel Frame
Another desk on Amazon that caught my eye. This was available for sale on by the "Stand Up Desk Store". Again, no experience with it and no plans to get one. The desk appeared to be good for both standing and sitting, which was one of the big new features of the BEKANT electric height adjustment desks. Price was US$ 385.00 with shipping separate -- pretty pricey but cheaper than the electric BEKANTs. The desktop was divided into two surfaces, one higher than the other. And it had casters. I found the "crank" mechanism to be of interest. No power cord to worry about and no motor to die out -- mechanical things obviously still die though.

And there we have it. Hoping I don't have to do one of these again next year.

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