Computer Desk question

I’ve been suffering with two office depot folding tables put together (one holding my monitors, the other my keyboard and bunches of books and papers and crap) for years. Although the system works ok, the tables are about an inch or two too high, so either my arms are at an angle or only the balls of my feet are touching the floor (not ideally ergonomic for a life at the computer). Seeing this article on Anandtech about the new Lian Li F1 desk got me thinking that there is something better out there. In a bit of convergence, I also recently got an ikea catalogue, and although ikea has kind of sucked in the past, I was wondering if anyone had any experience with the galant desk (I can’t get the link to work right…here’s ikea. Scroll down and search for galant. Sorry). I figured I could recreate my folding able idea at the appropriate height.

I also thought this Steelcase Height AdjusTable was interesting. I like the idea of being able to computer standing up if I want to.

Or is there something better? What is everyone using for a computer desk?

In response to those ikea desk prices:


<ahem> To the topic, I recently picked up a new desk since my previous one was like 7 years old (and I only had about two of the original pieces left). Found a charming little number at Staples: here. $60 (free delivery if you order online) and worth it. Once I get a somewhat smaller PC case, as I currently have one of those mega-old school supertowers with 6 5.25" bays and all that, it will be perfect.

I’ve got a big laminate board on top of two adjustable sawhorses, all from Ikea. I got the whole rig for around $100 and it actually looks pretty nice, to boot. The trick to Ikea is buying in person. A lot of their low-end furniture does not handle wear and tear (although the price usually makes up for it), but you can take a look at the floor model and get a good idea of how it’ll do.

That said, the only real advice I can give you is to be prepared to spend a decent amount of money if you aren’t going to DIY. At the very least, make sure that whatever desk you get assembles with bolts, not screws. That way you’ll be able to actually disassemble it when you move, instead of just chucking the whole thing because it folded in on itself in the moving van.

I’m using this hideous press-board think that has been reassembled and repaired so many times it is now held together in permanent stasis by scores of wood screws. I can either keep it or kill it, there is no moving it intact. But it has scads of shelf and drawer space, so I’m less than thrilled about trying to find another one for my small home office.

What I really want is gravimetric repulsion technology that will simply hover the components where I want them.

I picked up mine from Staples ($250-300 Can, iirc). It’s a rather huge “C” shape (without the rounded corners), honey-oak finish with dark green side boards. It comes with a hutch (which I have on the right side of the “C” when my back’s to the opening; the hutch/shelving can be moved around as it’s not attached), has a couple of drawers with one that can hold file folders, and the sliding/hiding keyboard tray. Plenty of room, which I love, and it fits neatly in my office room. It’s 3x the size of the old desk I had, and built solidly. Each side is 5’ long and 2’ deep with the opening being 42" wide.

So, what’s my point? Well, get the largest desk you can fit comfortably in the space you have. There’s nothing worse than feeling cramped and uncomfortable at your desk, especially if you spend a lot of time at it. I have bookshelves for holding most things other than what needs to be on the desk, so that keeps it clear of clutter, and I’ve a nice adjustable, wheeled, swivel, office chair.

From the look of things, though, you are going in a different direction, with a simple and easily portable setup so perhaps my advice won’t be of any value. I just see too many people all cramped at their desks and feeling frustrated and annoyed all the time that I have to suggest that bigger is better, when it fits.

I second the staples thing… them or frys are your bestbets.

I have a couple of ikea desks that are almost exactly like the Galant desks you linked to. Its some model that’s discontinued now, but really the only difference is in the shape of the legs. I am very happy with them, they are 6 years old, and still in good shape. I got the curved L-shape desks, which I prefer to a regular rectangle.

About the height thing, check the legs on the galant desks (or any other desk you look at) to see how adjustable they are. Mine have a hollow tube for the legs, with a big plastic blob you screw in to make a foot. You can screw it all the way in if you are short like me, or leave it with a couple of inches sticking out, if you are taller. Not as adjustable as the steelcase desk you linked, but not bad for much less money. Someone at my office has the steelcase desk, because he likes to work standing up. He seems very happy, but he only got it a month ago, so no idea about its lasting power. They’re pretty expensive from what I understand.

If you dig on corner desks, I suggest this motherfucker right here. O’Sullivan desks (Office Depot sells them, for one) are rock solid. I have three, a corner one similar to the one I linked (that sale price is killer), a regular desk (I work partially from home), and I bought my girlfriend this one, which is from O’Sullivan’s Elements line, which I believe is being phased out (you can get rolling small filing cabinets, long filing cabinets, and 3’ and 6’ shelves all from the same line). All of the desks are solid (i.e. heavy) and tricky to assemble without a second pair of hands in the final stages, not to mention move, but they’re pretty awesome.

Took me forever to find something I liked, but I think I just now found it. I have 4 computers, 2 of which are laptops. Lotsa space needed.

Finally, a desk for more than one computer!

Even better!

Holy shit Alex, those desks are the tits.

How does your coworker like the Steelcase desk?

I never had much luck with those corner/hutch desks, because I had one 19 inch monitor, and now I have two. (I can’t recommend a second monitor enough if you work at your computer.) Of course, with the Steelcase, I might have to switch to LCD or back to one monitor or something…

And, Alex, you don’t have trouble with the monitors being too high? I like them to be a little below eye level.

I’m thinking I might run out to Ikea this weekend to check their desks, as Jojo recommended and maybe have a look at that Staples one, Equisilus. Thanks for your help, everyone. If anyone has any other ideas, I’m still open to them. :)

I have this one:

I do have a problem with the height of the monitor, and that when I open up the keyboard tray I’m too far back from the monitor. I can deal with it though, and being able to have the manual open in front of me is a bonus.

I don’t have the computer in the center, either. I sits on top of the right shelf.

i have a ikea jerker desk. like it a lot. it is rock solid, totally adjustable, several modular accessories. and it can be configured to be a standing desk (though you can’t switch back and forth).

The Ikea Jerker desk linked above is awesome. I’ve got two of 'em - one is the older 40 pounds of sharp steel design, and one is the newer, people-friendly one shown above.
The adjustable shelf means you can place your monitor at the right height for your eyes, and provides a nice area to hide the keyboard under if you want to use the desk surface for writing.
There’s lots of surface area to rest your arms on too, which I find important for long gaming sessions

I picked up a Steelcase (tm?) desk at a local used office supply store, and it totally embarasses the crap I’ve bought from Staples or whatever over the years. Support structure is, der, steel… Top is some hard composite stuff. The thing is a tank. L shaped, 3 filing drawers, 2 “other” drawers…

Plenty of room for a keyboard tray and/or big ass chair to slide under it.

Bought it for about $200. Drawers have nice solid looking locks on them as well.

Found the USB cable for my camera, so here is the pic: