As a frequent browser of such topics as Lifehacker’s amazing workstations, I’m constantly looking for new and incredible desks and ways to keep things clutter-free. Enter Bluelounge, creators of magnificent, inexpensive bags and Mac-related accessories. It has done some stellar work with its StudioDesk, and I’m lucky enough to have one for a review.
The StudioDesk is built around a single idea – keep things clean. In view of that, its defining feature is a compartment under the desk surface where you can store power strips, cables, accessories and a slew of other nicknacks that would typically clutter your work surface. Toward the rear of the desk there’s a thin slit, wide enough for USB and most power cables, but the unit is otherwise bare.
Another noteworthy point about the StudioDesk is its construction. The top is solid wood, as are the legs. There’s no pressboard crap that will chip and flake with age. The work surface is covered in a classy, white, Formica-type material, providing the strength that it needs to stand up to abuse without adding unnecessary density.
What’s probably most surprising to me, however, is how the desk is shipped. When you open the box (which will be delivered via a shipping service, rather than parcels such as FedEx or DHL) you’ll notice that the desk is almost complete. You simply tighten on the legs, screw in the bottom panels to the pre-drilled holes and you’re finished. It took me roughly 15 minutes with a manual screwdriver and the included wrench.
Given that I work from a recording production desk, the StudioDesk’s job was to clean up my wife’s existing area, which was a haven for cables and didn’t really provide much space. The StudioDesk comes in two sizes, and we have the larger version which measures 150cm by 70cm at 75cm in height. The smaller is 120 x 70 x 75.
The Challenge – Clean Up This Mess!
After finishing the very minor assembly, I slid back the center of the top surface (which is, again, comprised fully of real wood and jointed together nicely) to fill the rather-cavernous center section with well-organized cables, a large power strip and even an external hard drive. We had no difficulty in fitting everything inside, though a word of caution is needed — If you have something like a USB power adapter, which will cause your cable to stick up high, it might cause problems with the lid closing. There’s ample room, but there are of course limits.
You’ll notice in the image above that there is a hole in the corner (in this view, you’re looking at the right side of the desk at the top of the image). Predictably, that hole is there to provide you passage for your power strip’s cable so that you can plug it into the wall. It’s plenty large, and should easily accomodate international-voltage plugs, such as the 220v UK version. You can see, in the image below, our cable passing through to the wall:
The top portion of the desk is, quite frankly, huge. Granted, we did get the XL version, but I’d imagine that the normal StudioDesk is going to provide ample space for most users. Once all of our cables were in place it was time to set the computer back to its position. The results, I think, speak for themselves:
Now we don’t have a rat’s nest of cables in the floor, everything is very simple to access inside of the storage compartment, and there’s still plenty of room to spare if we need to add more at a later date.
The StudioDesk does come with a faux leather surface that slides over the center, but we opted to not use it. If you tend to do a lot of writing, or if you want a slightly softer touch for your wrists, it’s probably a great option to have available.
At a price of $599 for the regular version, or $799 for the XL, the StudioDesk is not an investment to be taken lightly. But with craftsmanship that reminds us of when people cared about their work and an exquisite attention to detail at every turn, it’s well worth the money that you’ll spend. I’m so enthralled, in fact, that I’m considering the purchase of a second unit for myself.