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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  • Beenthere - Monday, August 08, 2005 - link

    Sorry but it makes no sense to me. If it works for you great. You got a lot more time to waste than I have. Reply
  • tonyou - Monday, August 08, 2005 - link

    The idea of making an aluminum desk in which you can place a PC inside has already been done three years ago by Soldam:

    http://www3.soldam.co.jp/custom/prism/index.html">http://www3.soldam.co.jp/custom/prism/index.html
    Reply
  • uffda - Monday, August 08, 2005 - link

    3 things...

    OK, first off, I have to say the review was quite good and extremely thorough. Good job to the reviewer.

    Second, it's great desk, no doubt about it. And its nice to see people taking workstations seriously. I work in a Steelcase Cube...and I think this would be a solid competitor to that.

    Third, the price is simply too much for the normal user. However, for a business this is not an outrageous price.
    Reply
  • uffda - Monday, August 08, 2005 - link

    Hate to reply to myself...but with no edit option I must.

    One BIG problem with this desk is that it would not pass Ergonomics standards at many large companies...and with good reason, the legs don't have enough ability to move up and down... I won't even go into the side table which looks like an elbow whacker to me.
    Reply
  • wilburpan - Monday, August 08, 2005 - link

    If Lian Li was going to go to the trouble to build an aluminum computer desk, why not use the whole desk as a heat sink? With some creative placement and mounting of computer components right onto the aluminum parts of the desk, one could imagine a completely silent PC that is actually built into the desk. If you are going to put a multimedia port on the desktop, why not also a bay for an optical drive? You could mount the motherboard underneath the top of the desk or on the back panel and use heatpipes to cool the CPU, GPU, and North/Southbridges. This probably is not as crazy as it might sound -- I have to believe that a full size office desk has more heatsinking capacity than the http://www.zalmanusa.com/usa/product/view.asp?idx=...">Zalman TNN-500AF case.

    Now, that might be worth $3000.
    Reply
  • tukkus - Sunday, August 07, 2005 - link

    the review is fine, the only problem with it is the extra zero at the end of the price tag

    lian li looks like he just wants to make more money off of his name because i can't see how anyone can justify the price for that desk
    Reply
  • TrogdorJW - Sunday, August 07, 2005 - link

    Obviously I'm in the minority here, because I'm 32, married, and out of school. Trust me on this one: once you're older and looking at buying furniture for a house, $3000 for a nice desk is NOT uncommon. Does this desk qualify? It all depends on the person. My wife works as a salesperson at a furniture store, and many of their large wooden desks run up to $2000 with all the side tables and such. (One benefit of purchasing furniture from a nicer chain is that they'll deliver it to your house and set it up, which is something the Lian Li doesn't offer right now.)

    Basically, if you wouldn't even think about spending $500 on a desk, let alone $3000, just shrug your shoulders and move on. The desk looks reasonably nice to me, and it certainly beats the crap out of my computer desk. My desk it too short and doesn't allow me to stretch my legs - that's rather annoying for someone who's 6'3". Also consider this: how long will a $3000 computer last? Five years if you're willing to really stretch it, but it's going to be a rather mediocre PC for the last year or two. How long will a NICE computer desk last? Potentially decades!

    Those of you talking about the plastic shipping boxes with a large door over the top might think that's perfectly acceptable. Well, it *IS* among geeks. What would a girl think when she walks into your apartment? (Has a girl even been in there? Alpha geeks have issues with women sometimes....) Let's just make this clear: if you have a girlfriend that doesn't mind a pile of boxes with an old door serving as a computer desk, she's a very rare creature. Personally, I'd say you should find someone else that does give a damn, because I shudder to think about what type of children such a pairing would create. For what it's worth, two fashion-impaired/dumpster diver people are NOT the type of couple I'd want to have renting a home or apartment I owned.
    Reply
  • Zirconium - Monday, August 08, 2005 - link

    First, I'll address your ad-hominem attacks.
    quote:

    Those of you talking about the plastic shipping boxes with a large door over the top might think that's perfectly acceptable. Well, it *IS* among geeks.

    It's also acceptable for college students, many of whom have to pay their own way. The fellow I was describing was going to college on a combination of merit scholarships and financial aid, was working at a supermarket to pay for rent/books/food/etc., and had minimal parental help. If he could save X-hundred dollars by going with a cheap desk, he was.
    quote:

    What would a girl think when she walks into your apartment?

    Considering the female apartments I've seen while at school, I didn't think his was too shabby.
    quote:

    NOT the type of couple I'd want to have renting a home or apartment I owned.

    Gee, I wonder why people don't like renting to undergrads.

    Now onto the tangible arguments:
    quote:

    How long will a NICE computer desk last? Potentially decades!

    This desk may last decades, but would you like to have it around for that long? The case holder unit seems tailored to a specific case. Suppose Intel is successful in the transition to BTX? Suppose in ten years, tower-like cases go the way of the dodo? You are left with a desk that was designed for one thing, but that thing is no longer around.

    If I was to spend $3000 on a desk, I'd go with a large, solid mahogany one with no keyboard trays, monitor stands, computer bays, cable holes, etc. Just a desk with drawers that will be sure to last because it isn't designed specifically to be a computer desk.
    Reply
  • at80eighty - Monday, August 08, 2005 - link

    ...if you have a girlfriend that doesn't mind a pile of boxes with an old door serving as a computer desk, she's a very rare creature. Personally, I'd say you should find someone else that does give a damn, because I shudder to think about what type of children such a pairing would create. For what it's worth, two fashion-impaired/dumpster diver people are NOT the type of couple I'd want to have renting a home or apartment I owned...

    I do rather well for myself and have no issues with taste being raised against me, so your comment does'nt cover me -

    that said :- that was the most snobby POS comment i have ever heard on AT! if someone is 'fashion impaired' you aren't going to rent our your home to them!?! W T F?!?! One would think that age, marraige and being out of school would impart a sliver of tact in a person...


    /funny thing is i actually agreed with you uptil that
    //Crap like that gets a '4' ? - i'd rather be modded down!
    Reply
  • TrogdorJW - Tuesday, August 09, 2005 - link

    I guess that came off worse than I wanted. There are so many comments ripping on the price that my main point is people have different priorities. It was sort of a slam on college and younger kids, but let me explain. It's not that ALL college people live in their own little bubble, but a lot of the "OMG LOOK HOW EXPENSIVE!!!" comments are obviously thinking *only* their view of the world could possibly be right. It's not, just as my comments are not the only interpretation of things either.

    I'd edit out the last part if I could (what, no edit still!?), but the fact of life is that people *will* judge you by such petty things as fashion sense. Showing up to interviews in a tie is always a good idea, as is keeping your house clean. If you're using a piece of plywood on cinder blocks for a desk, does that make you a terrible renter? Does it make you a lousy person? Nope. However, don't be surprised if/when some people look at that and think, "this guy needs to get out more!" That's what I was trying to say.

    The comments about girls were more from the perspective that I think a good relationship should broaden the horizons of both people. Marrying (or even dating)someone that's just like you doesn't do much for me. It reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Jerry gets involved with a gal that's too much like him. If you can make such a relationship work, you're free to try, but *IMO* it's going to lead to a rather dull life.

    Now, don't get me wrong: *I* would never buy such a desk as this. I'd probably be looking at $1000 tops, and as someone else mentioned the chair is at least as important as the desk in terms of comfort. A balance needs to be maintained, though, as neither a crappy desk with a great chair or a great desk with a crappy chair are likely to provide the same overall comfort as a good desk with a good chair. $1000 for a desk and $250 for a chair seems reasonable. $3000 for a desk and $500+ for a chair is also going to appeal to certain people. Cheap/free chairs and desks/tables/boxes/whatever can work in a pinch, but long term they suck. (I too was once a college student, and I had a $50 desk with a wooden kitchen chair. My butt and back still haven't forgiven me....)

    Sorry if I overly offended someone. That wasn't the intent. I merely wanted to point out the contrary opinion and show that not *everyone* thinks $3000 for a desk is the end of the world. (I'm sure some are happy that my original post is locked at -1 now. Then again, few people are likely to actually notice this response in the first place.)
    Reply

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