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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  • Kensei - Sunday, August 07, 2005 - link

    Even though it's very expensive, I think this was a great item to review. The concept of building a desk to house a particular case is turly unique offering possibilities that couldn't be realized when the two are manufactured indepently of each other. I suspect more synergies will emerge in the future. IMHO, the desk doesn't provide enough value above other much less expensive options to be worth the $3K price tag, but the market will decide if there is demand for such a desk.

    Regarding the writing, here are some things that should have been caught. For example, the second sentence states... "Since the title of this article has already given away the fact that this is about a computer desk,..." How would I know from the title, Lian Li F1, that this article is about a computer desk?

    Also, there is no explicit description of the price. There is a sentence at the end of the article which states... "A better question then emerges; would the F1 / F2 drive someone who is looking for a very nice desk (but perhaps around the $1,000 price point and not the $3,000 one) to consider..." This is the only reference to price I could find so I guess the price of the Lian Li F1 is $3000. Is there another reference I missed?

    I could go on but I'll stop here. If this were the blog of a college sophmore, I wouldn't care. But, this is professional journalism from one of the largest hardware review sites on the entire internet. It should be much tighter.

    Kensei
    Reply
  • UltraWide - Sunday, August 07, 2005 - link

    It looks nice, but what makes it $3000? I don't see anything really special about it. I mean it doesn't even come with the computer case or anything.

    http://www.officemax.com/max/solutions/microsite/f...">Modular furniture

    I think that for around $1,000 you can build yourself a very nice work space with that above. I have the corner and the shorter table to create an L shape and it's great. It has cable management rails and optional keyboard drawers. The finish is durable and very high quality.
    Reply
  • Kensei - Sunday, August 07, 2005 - link

    I don't think we disagree on the price issue. As I stated in my original posting, I don't think the workstation brings enough additional value to the party to justify the 3K price tag. You'd have to ask Lian Li why they think it's worth 3K.

    On the other hand, just becuase I think it has little "bang for the buck", doesn't mean I feel it shouldn't have been reviewed. It's a very interesting design concept (well, at least to me) that may or may not be adopted in the future by other manufacturers at probably much lower price points.

    Regarding other less expensive options, The F1 is not competing against "do-it-yourselfers". My guess is that the F1 may be attractive to people who don't have the skill, time, or desire to build their own desk workstation but do have significant disposable income. 3K is not a lot of money to some people. Whether or not there are enough of those people for Lian Li to turn even a small profit on this desk has yet to be determined.

    Kensei
    Reply
  • Tamale - Sunday, August 07, 2005 - link

    It does include a case. The PC-V1000 is included, which retails for right around $200 normally. Reply
  • Penth - Monday, August 08, 2005 - link

    Perhaps more people would consider this if that case had 2 7800GTX in SLI, an Athlon X2 4800+, 2GB RAM, a Raptor, and an X-Fi.

    Honestly though, $3000 for that desk is pretty rediculous. We custom built an oak desk that wraps around our 2 walls of our computer room, running around 24 feet and it only cost a few hundred dollars. That includes stands for each computer, and soon a stand for my multiple monitors. A much better value, and probably functionality.

    I think this desk is a few years late and probably would have done well during the .com bubble paired with an Aeron from Herman Miller.
    Reply
  • imaheadcase - Sunday, August 07, 2005 - link

    That is such a waste of money if you don't get a longer keyboard tray. The standard kwyboard tray is fine if you just do plain work on computer. But if you play games you need a long keyboard tray for huge mousepad, mouse and keyboard.

    Personally you can get a better desk if you built one yourself. Home Depot, Lowes sell desk material in diffrent shapes and sizes you can make one yourself. Heck find a cabinet maker and he can make a nicer one for cheap but practical.

    That Li desk is WAY overprices, let alone practical.
    Reply
  • Zirconium - Sunday, August 07, 2005 - link

    quote:

    Anyone who has ever used a computer long enough will surely attest to the difference that a nice desk makes.

    I won't attest to that. Of all the desks I've used, I still prefer the good-old simple kind. One of the most useful desks I've seen was at a friend's house: two milk crates stacked on each side, and a door placed over them. That sucker was huge, had a nice hole to run the cables through, since it was so cheap, he didn't mind screwing power strips and other things to the underside of it, and guess what? IT WAS FREE: 4 milk crates he stole from the supermarket where he worked, and a solid door someone was throwing out. A little cleanup, and he had a pretty nice desk, albeit without the bells and whistles.
    Reply
  • semo - Sunday, August 07, 2005 - link

    now that's what a computer desk should be!

    but seriously, the best "computer desk" for me personally is one that is wide and has only 4 legs. that way you have easy access to your case and cables. ironically, those simple old design desks are often really expensive. most computer desks come with those flimsy keyboard trays and special higher levels for the monitor which cause neck strains since you should be looking down on a monitor not up.

    and exactly why do you need a special compartment for the computer case? what's it for? what's the idea? what am i missing? this is not the only desk i've seen this on.
    Reply
  • Hacp - Sunday, August 07, 2005 - link

    Theres a 5000 version out there isn't there? Reply
  • retrospooty - Sunday, August 07, 2005 - link

    If so I can't see many people buying it. It's a nice PC desk for $500, but $3000 is rediculous. I have been shopping around recently, and beleive me, there are many other desk's out there that have nice cable management and even better features for alot less money. They have no multimedia ports, but seriously, you can but a 12 in 1 reader like that for $30, the value added to have it mounted on your desk is just not worth the extra $2500 you pay LOL

    Reply

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