Introduction

Every once in a while, a new product so different enters the computer market such that we actually have to deviate a bit from our normal article categories just to write about it. Since the summary of this article on the front page has already given away the fact that this is about a computer workstation, it is plausible that one would think, "but there is nothing new about desks...they have been around for a very long time." This is most certainly true to an extent, but the Lian Li F1 and F2 are not your average computer desks by any stretch of the imagination.

When a technology enthusiast thinks about the perfect workstation, what do they have in mind? What would they deem important to have in their "dream" desk, and what would they rather do without? These are exactly the kinds of "bigger idea" questions that the design teams at Lian Li surely had to ask themselves in the planning and development stages of this desk's construction.

This article ended up in this category of our site because Lian Li essentially answered that second question with, "it should perfectly accommodate a computer, of course", and what better way to provide that answer than to include one of Lian Li's latest tower cases, the PC-V1000. Coming soon will be a large case roundup where we will see how the V1000 compares to several other tower cases from various manufacturers. Today, we are just going to focus on the desk, since it is absolutely possible that one could put other cases into the F1 / F2.

How else Lian Li answered these questions will be the subject of this article, but for starters, let's just take a look at what the manufacturers themselves have to say about their new product:

Material:
  • Aluminum alloy, solid and durable, easy to clean, elegant, light and will never get deformed
  • Surface is hard-anodized, wear-proof and long-lasting.
Features:
  • Wire collection system makes all cables invisible.
  • Genuine leather plate on desk offers a comfortable working space.
  • Coasters, business card holder, note box
  • A place to store your keyboard.
  • Front bezel design available for placing speakers or other computer accessories
  • Sliding drawer with lock in the middle and individual tanks inside for storage of stationary and other small accessories
  • Drawer with elegant handle design and concaves inside for loading CDs
  • Multimedia port on right side of desk for easier access and operation (USB2.0 x 2, IEEE1394, MIC x1, EAR x 1, 12-in-1 card reader, internet LANx1)
  • Spare power plug for easy access for electrical appliances
  • Stand for printer with box in the bottom for paper storage (A4 size) offers more space for use.
  • Foldable stand and hook for hanging your bag or other personal belonging
  • Place for computer case, available for Lian Li PC-V1000
  • Adjustable feet enables desk to be placed at uneven ground (1 inch adjustable).
  • Optional side desk can be used as a simple meeting place - space and work efficient.
  • Optional file folder enables user to collect everything in one location for a convenient working environment.
Be sure also to check out the manufacturer's official product page.

Also, a special note regarding the photography in this article:
This is one of the most graphically intensive reviews here at AnandTech to date, and due to the nature of the finish of this unit, flash photography was a necessity. This can cause other features of the surrounding environment to look overly exposed or 'washed out' - which is why we generally strive to avoid the use of a flash - but please keep in mind that the focus of the pictures is the unit itself, and to show the detail of the hardware in pictures viewable over the internet, we felt that it was best to take our pictures this way. We hope that you will agree and can appreciate the time and effort that goes into photographing something of this size and finish.

The Parts – The Top
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  • islandtechengineers - Saturday, August 20, 2005 - link

    the begining of a new era? so within the next 20 years instead of seeing old pc's on the street corners ( in which the waste management will not take) I'll see these creations. I, not downing it, but im still a fan of customized pc's. I love a great desk/chair, but its a little wierd to change the desk simply if you want to swap a case. Reply
  • mongo lloyd - Thursday, August 11, 2005 - link

    Sorry Lian Li but this product is too late... ION Storm Dallas is no more. Reply
  • rjn17960 - Tuesday, August 09, 2005 - link

    For all of you complaining about the price, just check out the link at the end of the review, right before the link to the comments:

    Find the lowest prices or Buy it from Monarch Computer Systems for $189.00


    Way to go Monarch!
    Reply
  • blackmetalegg - Monday, August 08, 2005 - link

    Since when is stealing milk crates from supermarket considered legal?? Reply
  • Zirconium - Monday, August 08, 2005 - link

    Who said anything about legal? Reply
  • yacoub - Monday, August 08, 2005 - link

    You know you're a computer geek when... 'd? Reply
  • yacoub - Monday, August 08, 2005 - link

    You know you're a computer geek when... 'd? Reply
  • piasabird - Monday, August 08, 2005 - link

    Who wants a cheap metal desk?

    I can just go buy a used desk and drill a round hole in the back for the cords.

    This desk did not seem very inventive or revolutionary. I have seen some nice desks with glass tops that looked nicer than this. For $3,000 you expect an LCD to rise up out of the back of the desk or maybe a flush mounted LCD that is part of the desktop. Yah it looks fairly nice, but it is just so bland looking.
    Reply
  • TheGee - Monday, August 08, 2005 - link

    Like the idea of the distributed components to use the alluminium as heatsinks. How about a copper one for 5K? That would be great in the colder areas such as Alaska where using a pentium D would create a built in handwarmer for those 'minus' days!
    I don't like desks personally and I built a large unit on tha wall which has every thing behind doors except the box which is a pullout section underneath and the main screen area where the two screens are, I also took the trouble to create a large pullout that holds the intuos tablet to the right and the mouse pad to the left (made myself use mouse left handed from day 1) but still use mouse on right with 1P shooters. Doors were salvaged and CD racks were cheap and I refinished them. Also got room for phono deck to get all my old albums on to CD. Probably cost $200 and no problems where to fit it.

    If the desk itself had some style about it it might be worth the money but as it looks like an anodised cladding sheet it's a bit much so I can't see CEO's takin' to it either.
    Reply
  • UltraWide - Monday, August 08, 2005 - link

    Well, first things first; the review itself is very good. Nothing to pick about the actual review or reviewer, both are top notch.

    Now, the reason why everyone is laughing at the price is because this desk has no real market IMHO. People that build-your-own are (almost)always looking for most-bang-for-the-buck. I mean who is going to get that Dell XPS for $3,000 when you can get a build--your-own that would be 2x faster right? Well, hence LianLi's problem. Their desk houses a case/system that is geared towards those who don't actually buy this kind of product.

    From the opposite side I can somewhat understand the argument, but again it's self-contradicting. I used to build my own computers until about 3 years ago. Then, I started to work and didn't really have the time or energy to research and get best and greatest or keep up with the changes in CPUs , GPUs, etc. But, 1 thing did change and it was my income. Now I have more disposable income for "toys" and I just buy a Dell because it's easier, it may not be the fastest but it's reasonably fast, quiet and with decent service. So, now that I can afford more stuff and go out looking for a desk. I see it as furniture and try to match it to the rest of the furniture in the house, I see this LianLi F1 and decide to give it a try, wait... my Dell XPS (alienware, voodo, whatever you prefer) doesn't fit in there! So I just move on and never give it a second thought...
    Reply

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