Thursday, March 16, 2017

Ikea BESTÅ BURS Desk Impressions: Desk with 2 Drawers

Two drawers again? I was listing desks by price previously and thought the white desk with two similarly sized drawers theme ended at the MICKE and ALEX desks. Turned out there was another: the Ikea BESTÅ BURS desk. What set this apart and pushed the price up?
Unrelated infrared photo of a kettle.
Disclaimer: I had not had any firsthand experience with any BESTÅ BURS desk 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 BESTA BURS Desk First Impressions
Going for CA$ 229.00, according to the product page for the BESTA BURS Desk (702.453.39), this item was only available in "high gloss white." The product photos showed a rectangular table with two similarly sized drawers and two U-shaped legs that were open in the center. A lot of free space appeared to be available under the table which was something I really appreciated in a desk -- for cable routing and storage. Words that got my attention in the "Product description" were "Particleboard," "Fiberboard," and Steel.

The dimensions on the BESTA BURS' product page were 120 cm x 40 cm x 74 cm (width x depth x height). After looking at a couple desks from Ikea recently, the height was looking familiar. Both the width and height looked satisfactory for my uses. What didn't seem to work was the depth at just 40 cm. I had a 30 cm ruler nearby and mentally adding 10 cm wasn't difficult. That appeared to be big enough for a laptop, a "normal" sized textbook, or a letter-sized piece of paper. A keyboard and monitor setup, or a few books or documents laid out could be more cramped though. Something around 60 cm deep would be my ideal size.
And another infrared photo of a sink.
I checked out the "Assembly instruction" document and was initially concerned. However, going through it again, I realized that it wasn't that different than other ones I'd seen before. There did not appear to be a panel on the underside enclosing the drawers of the BESTA BURS desk -- potential aesthetic concern. And it looked like there were steps saying to peel off a protective film. Suddenly, the "high gloss" thing started making sense. Under the "Documents" section, I found a "Manual" that mentioned "Care and Cleaning" relating to the surface. This was coming off as a big deal. Was this the reason for the huge price differential between the MICKE and ALEX?

At the time, the somewhat similar MICKE was going for CA$ 99.00 in white and the ALEX was CA$ 169.00 in white. From what I could tell, all three desks were mainly fiberboard, particleboard, and steel -- as opposed to solid wood with a stain. Just a refresher on dimensions from the product pages: MICKE was 142 cm x 50 cm x 75 cm, and the ALEX was 131 cm x 60 cm x 76 cm (width x depth x height for both). So, all three were similar in size for the most part. The ALEX desk's design felt more finished and complex to me compared to the MICKE (e.g. panel on the underside enclosing drawers, rear panel door). This BESTÅ BURS desk was more like a MICKE with symmetric legs, so why the CA$ 229.00 price tag? Was it really just the gloss? I will admit that I did find the shiny surface attractive but not $130 attractive.

Final Thoughts
I liked the BESTA BURS desk for its clean and simple design, and the open leg area was a huge plus. But the price didn't really make sense to me. It was more than twice the price of a MICKE desk yet similar in size and supposedly made of similar materials. My impression was that the main attraction for the BESTA BURS desk was related to aesthetics.

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