Monday, March 28, 2016

Ikea LISABO Desk Impressions: Simple, Looks Like Wood

Dealing with challenges and difficulties is a part of life. Once you get over the hill, there can be a pretty nice sense of fulfillment and joy. But what do I care when I'm just looking for a desk?

I hated my work desks. They were always filled with wall shelves, under-table cabinets, and holes for routing cords. Most were also screwed into cubicle walls or actual walls. And guess who had to clean all that stuff out when moving offices? Give me something simple, something light, easy to move, but attractive -- the last place I worked had a depressing color scheme that involved grey desks.

The current working surfaces in my home "office" are Ikea GALANT desks which are somewhat similar to the newer BEKANT and THYGE desks. I guess the GALANTs are kind of simple... Except for the adjustable legs, steel underframe, and use of steel and wood. Is there something in one material with legs that line up straight out of the box?
An Ikea GALANT Desk
Disclaimer: I had not had any firsthand experience with any LISABO products when I wrote this piece. Details were quoted from the Ikea United States website or Canada website in late March 2016. Details on this page are NOT guaranteed for accuracy.

First Impressions: The Ikea LISABO Desk, ash veneer
I stumbled across the Ikea LISABO series a few weeks ago when browsing the Ikea Canada site. The first item from the series I noticed was a side table or coffee table. It caught my eye because it appeared to be solid wood and had a fairly simple design: four straight legs, not overly thick table surface, and no major attachments or accessories. More LISABO items were found over time including the desk

The LISABO desk looked like a longer and taller version of the LISABO side table but with a drawer underneath. According to the Ikea Canada product page, dimensions were 118 cm x 45 cm x 74 cm (width x depth x height). The depth seemed to be on the narrower side -- my GALANT desks are 60 cm or more and I've found the 60 cm version to be just big enough. I have my desk heights in the 60 cm to 65 cm zone but I'm short and could just adjust my office chair height. It was listed at CA$ 179 (US$ 149).

There wasn't a list for product materials found in the product description, but I did see under "Key features" that the desk had an "ash veneer table surface and solid birch legs." Another detail I found was that the surface had a "protective coat of lacquer." So not completely solid wood like I thought. The "ash veneer" beside the product name should have been a giveaway. I do somewhat prefer bare wood, but I've found lacquered surfaces easier to wipe with a Swiffer pad. Anyway, it looked pretty good to me with its light color, rounded edges, and minimalist design.

The "Assembly instructions" were also found on the product page, and a quick look through revealed some interesting details. From what I understood, the legs used a ridged, sort of key-like lock-in mechanism that slid into the underside of the table. A separate mechanism was then used to lock the leg in further. Overall, it appeared to be simple, but I wonder how it would actually function if the ridges aren't aligned perfectly at the factory.

Having a small drawer underneath isn't my preference, but the one on the LISABO appeared to be fairly small and pretty nice from every angle -- I could see myself kneeing it daily though. One final detail: the "Package Information" noted "Weight: 31 lb 11 oz." Something much heavier was expected.

Final Thoughts
After reviewing the Ikea LISABO desk's product page, I was pleased with the details. It looked nice with its light wood color and simple four-legged design. The table surface may be on the narrower side with a depth of only 45 cm though. And it supposedly had an ash veneer table surface, so it wasn't quite the completely solid wood piece I thought it would be. Regardless, not bad, I'd give it a thought if I had to get another desk.

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