Monday, April 04, 2016

Ikea PÅHL Desk Impressions: Another Desk

There was the GALANT, then the BEKANT, the SKARSTA, and now the PÅHL? Maybe not.

A large batch of new products showed up on the website recently and a few things caught my eye. The PÅHL desk was one of them, but I'm trying to decide if I stopped to look because I was impressed or puzzled.
Ikea GALANT Table legs... because.
Disclaimer: I had not had any firsthand experience with any PÅHL products when I wrote this piece. Details were quoted from the Ikea United States website or Canada website in early April 2016. Details on this page are NOT guaranteed for accuracy.

First Impressions: The PÅHL Desk in white
Big important note first: this appeared to be a product designed for children even though it was put under the regular "Desks & computer desks" section. The "designed to grow with your child" part in the "Product Information" kind of gave it away.

So, the PÅHL desk. It was available with white, blue, green, and pink upper legs. There were two sizes available based on desktop size: 128 cm x 58 cm (width x depth) and 96 cm x 58 cm (width x depth). The heights listed were "Min. height: 59 cm" and "Max. height: 72 cm" for both sizes. There appeared to be an asterisk attached to the heights though. Noted under "Key features" was talk of "three different heights" and how it could be "adjusted to 23 1/4", 25 7/8" or 28 3/8"." In metric, those three heights are about 59 cm, 66 cm, and 72 cm, respectively.

Terms that caught my eye under "Product description" were "Particleboard," "Fiberboard," "Steel," and "powder coating." The smaller PÅHL table was listed at CA$ 89.00 (US$ 69.99) and the larger was CA$ 99.00 (US$ 79.99).

What to make of all that? My preference for tables is about 120 cm x 60 cm for table tops, and they're usually set around the 65-ish cm high mark. These PÅHL tables appeared to satisfy that. The materials used were acceptable to me, not preferred, but acceptable. However, it did not really please me aesthetically. I could see the appeal for the different colors for a kid's room, but the overall geometry -- that sounds so pretentious -- didn't work.

The height adjustment span seemed narrow with a minimum height of 59 cm and maximum of 72 cm. Just 13 cm at three fixed locking points? Good for me, but good for you? A random BEKANT desk I looked up supposedly could go between 65 cm and 85 cm, the THYGE supposedly could do 60 cm to 90 cm. For CA$ 89 (US$ 69.99) and up, a cheaper non-adjustable Ikea Table Bar system seemed like a better choice -- or an adjustable-leg configuration for a comparable price to the PÅHL.

Final Thoughts
A new, height adjustable table from Ikea in the form of the PÅHL desk. It appeared to be designed for children, but I didn't see any major design decisions that restricted it to kids. Can't say it was super impressive. I knew of similarly priced or even cheaper Ikea desks that had similar features. The overall design also wasn't agreeing with me.

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