Although I review a lot of hardware, the i-max Workstation is the first furniture I’ve rated. Despite it’s name, the desk is suitable for both iMacs and tower Macs.
As a kid I grew up visiting my dad at work in the Royal College of Art’s Furniture Design Department. Back in the 1970s, the projects included everything you could wish for. There were black-lacquer cabinets that would, at the touch of a button, transform Tracey Island-like into a cocktail cabinet. There were strangely shaped plastic chairs and tables that were straight out of the Clockwork Orange bar scene. But nowhere was there a computer desk, because the idea of a computer that fitted on a desk was ridiculous.
The i-max is both functional and good-looking. The flat-packed desk is sturdy – back-breakingly sturdy, in fact. It weighs a ton.
The package contains a scary number of pieces, but they are neatly packed. The instructions are easy to follow, and include all the tools and bolts needed. After about three hours, including a couple of beers in front of the telly, it was finished. Proficient DIYers would have had it done in 30 minutes.
The finished desk is something to behold: metallic, but not sharp. It’s tall, but because of its thoughtful design, it saves acres of space. Previously, I was using a simple desk with a sliding keyboard-drawer, plus a small coffee-table for a printer and another coffee table for a scanner. Frankly, it was a mess. Now it’s all neatly arranged – vertically.
However, it could do with a few improvements. Power cables can be hidden slightly, but I have half a dozen USB devices that leave trailing cables. Also, a slide-under drawer for things such as rulers, clips, and printer paper would be useful.
The i-max is a fantastic piece of furniture. It can easily handle my Power Mac G4, with all its peripherals. It could be overkill for a solitary iMac, though. The monitor shelf is big enough for most monitors, though 22-inchers and Cinema Displays will easily fill all the available space.
It may look out of place in less high-tech households, and its size may scare children, but I love the i-max. It’s a great use of space, though it lacks handy paper and book storage.