back to article Please be seated at your FOUR-LEGGED PC

The show floor at Computex bears a zillion gadgets all trying to catch your eye, but one that really stands out by offering a new way to sit down is the computer case/desk from Taiwan's Lian Li. The desk itself is unremarkable: it has four legs and a glass top. The desk's drawer is where things get interesting, because it …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That looks exactly like my nephews A level project in DT.

  2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    I used to have a "desk" like that

    I used to have a desk like that in the days when I did PC repairs for a living (when that was capable of providing a living - 17 years ago). The motherboard, cards, etc was all fixed to the desk structure so you could have an easy access to it.

  3. frank ly

    "The desk itself is unremarkable:" ?

    It's remarkably ugly. Or is this 'gamer chic', in which case I'd have expected a bigger monitor?

    1. TechnoTechno

      Re: "The desk itself is unremarkable:" ?

      I think the desk looks rather neat, but yes the monitor is terrible. Should be a 27" 1440p or Eyefinity really

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        Re: "The desk itself is unremarkable:" ?

        It's a 60" Super HD, just that the desk is 10 foot wide makes it look smaller.

        1. Steven Raith

          Re: "The desk itself is unremarkable:" ?

          "Dougal, these are small. The cows are far away"

      2. Kubla Cant Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: "The desk itself is unremarkable:" ?

        I don't think any professional computer user would be satisfied with a single monitor, anyway.

        And why is the keyboard on a stupid little shelf at the front? I thought that feature was confined to the tatty chipboard "workstations" found in furniture warehouses. Visit any modern office and you'll find everybody has a keyboard on their desk.

        I also notice that the stupid shelf allows no space in front of the keyboard for resting your wrists. Expect lots of RSI with this thing, then.

        1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

          Re: "The desk itself is unremarkable:" ?

          The keyboard itself has space to rest the heel of each hand on. However, I assume the keyboard isn't included since it's casually plugged into a front USB port. It's just there for the photograph. No, I expect you have to buy your own. Anyway, this isn't a computer to write a novel on. I'm not sure what it -is- for. Isn't the PC supposed to be dead? And even if it isn't, why do you want to be able to look at bits of it while you work?

          Also concerned about the electrical safety for the owner.

  4. Captain Queeg

    It's a bit...

    ... 80's porn mansion for my taste.

  5. Matt_payne666

    Another tech website stated these things were north of $1000! Granted, they are ready made... but I'm sure I could knock something up from an antique table and some tempered glass for that money.... with my carpentry skills it wouldn't be pretty, but then that isn't pretty either......

    1. LaeMing

      I have actually been keeping an eye out for an antique-looking (though obviously not monetarily or historically valuable) writing desk to make into an integrated computer + TV desk for my mum.

      Collecting lots of old valves (to bore out and LED-light) and some nice 'olde' meters, switches, dials and stuff too.

    2. JDX Gold badge

      If you could knock up a worse version for the same cost, and have to use a lot of your time, how can you complain it's expensive to pay the same for a better one and someone else's time?

      It's niche, but I like the fact people are bothering.

  6. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Next project, build one of these for <$100

    In metal, a bit tricky. In wood, not so much.

    I think the roller track for the draw may be a bit steep, but not impossible.

    Idea Excellent. Implementation. Meh.

    1. AMBxx Silver badge

      Re: Next project, build one of these for <$100

      I use an old, leather topped desk with drawers on either side. Would be a small matter to cut out the leather section and replace with glass. Then just cut a few holes in the back for ventilation and cables, job done.

      I saw a similar wooden desk in a furniture shop, but they'd merged all the drawers into one to allow a tower PC to sit in one side. Sadly, they'd forgotten about ventilation and cables, but easily enough done.

      There are plenty of antique desks in shops with worn out leather, they go for peanuts. If you're in Yorkshire, take a look at Tomlinsons - big warehouse of antiques in various states of restoration.

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: Next project, build one of these for <$100

        Question: how will you cut the glass? Doesn't it have to be cut before being tempered so you can't buy a sheet and cut to fit? Obviously a glasser (?!) could do this for you but suddenly your costs have trebled.

        Or is there a way around this? Of course, no reason it actually has to BE glass topped.

        1. dogged

          Re: Next project, build one of these for <$100


        2. Nigel 11

          Re: Next project, build one of these for <$100

          Of course, no reason it actually has to BE glass topped.

          Marble or Basalt (if heavy, hard and shiny floats your boat). Easier to source any size than tempered glass (and you really don't wan't to think about untempered)

          I've just run into the annoyance of a worktop so black that an optical mouse cannot "see" it, and for the first time in my life I had to find a mouse mat (OK, a sheet of A4 paper). Give me wood or wood-effect laminate any day.

          1. Stoneshop Silver badge

            Re: Next project, build one of these for <$100

            Marble or Basalt (if heavy, hard and shiny floats your boat).

            Marble or basalt may float if you actually shape it into a boat, but that's not very common. It won't float a boat, or help it float, unless you count keeping it stable as helping.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Next project, build one of these for <$100

              Don't know how everybody else gets glass, but I go to the local window place and wave a couple of notes about. With a project of this size there may -with a bit of luck- be a spare piece of about the right size in the shop that just wants a little trimming. You'll want to bevel at least the edge closest to you a little bit, so you don't cut yourself, but you can do that yourself with a dremel (outside and carefully, with eye protection).

              1. JDX Gold badge


                But it has to be tempered and surely you have to bevel (and do everything including drilling holes) before that?

              2. ChrisBedford

                Re: Next project, build one of these for <$100

                "...everybody else gets glass, but I go to the local window place and wave a couple of notes about..."

                For a worktop, that's just an injury waiting to happen.

                I know that in the "Tired to death of Elf 'n Safety" Nanny State that might sound like just another mindless parroting of the littany, but until you have seen the effect on a 10-year old's hand of ordinary window glass, please don't disregard.

                Seriously, never make furniture out of window glass. Not even if you don't have a 10-year-old. Multi-layer safety glass, perhaps, but that is also expensive (no idea how it stacks up in price against temprered though) but also very difficult to cut to a specifi size - and, once cut, it has a finite life (air creeps in from the edges and it starts to de-laminate, especially in damp climates, and it looks crap).

            2. hplasm

              Re: Next project, build one of these for <$100

              " It won't float a boat, or help it float..."

              My Neutronium-hulled yacht floats very well indeed on the basalt seas of... wait!- I've said too much already...

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Next project, build one of these for <$100

            "I've just run into the annoyance of a worktop so black that an optical mouse cannot "see" it,"


            Some years ago, while installing new thin clients in a lab, we spent some time going in and out through the airlock and changing overshoes/paper lab coats etc before realising the perfectly smooth and bright white lab worktops had no texture visible to the new optical mice and it wasn't a faulty mouse or terminal.

          3. jonathan keith Silver badge

            Re: Next project, build one of these for <$100

            Was it the Spinal Tap "Smell The Glove" worktop?

  7. Caff


    So what if you spill your drink?

    Would some guttering be of use at the glass edges to catch drips?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nice.. shame it doesn't go up and down

    I've gotten used to stand up desks now as the last couple of places I worked had them for the devs. Seems no matter how much you pay for one though the cable conduits are a bit rubbish. Putting the motherboard in the table top fixes that though.

    I hope there is more than one monitor mount on there too.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Nice.. shame it doesn't go up and down

      Up and down desks are incredibly pricey. I looked a while back and they all seem to run from about £2000! Self-building with hydraulic rams and servo motors is beyond my confidence and the parts are not cheap so I instead made a Heath Robinson effort for my home office which involves a tray-table with folding legs from Argos.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just think how it will look 5 yrs down the line

    after all of that dust has settled inside and things start to grow ...

  10. Robert E A Harvey


    Is the glass metalised to reduce radio frequency interferrence?

    And yes, it is pug-ugly and needs to go away.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: EMC

      Ah, the typical arrogant nerd. Nothing is subjective, things are either X or Y and since I think it's X, that's how it is.

  11. DropBear

    Oh, so are PCs built into humidors chic again? I'll just go get my tools then...

  12. JimmyPage
    Thumb Up

    plus ca change ...

    Back in the early 80s, this was the *only* way you could have a decent computer for a small business. A friend of my Dads got one, and used to sit behind it. It had 2 8" floppy drives which took up one half of the drawer space.

  13. Arachnoid

    The desktop is dead!!!

    Long live the desktop

  14. Simon Harris


    "as the pegs you can see on the right of the desk/case are designed to let them hang their special explosion-sound-enhancing headphones"

    Damn... I was hoping you were going to say it doubled up as a table-football table!

    1. Matt_payne666

      Re: Pegs...

      now this has got my mind working....

      Gut an old pin ball table.... install PC, enjoy watching the ball bounce about off capacitors, heatsinks and hard drives....

  15. ukgnome

    Thanks for the bootnote - although cantilevers are pretty cool.

  16. NogginTheNog


    I'd be worried about how soundproofed this was if stocked with a decent rig with plenty of fans!

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge

      Re: Noise?

      That's what the headphones are for.

  17. Stoneshop Silver badge

    Prior art

  18. imanidiot Silver badge

    Ugly and unergonomic

    With that stupidly narrow keyboard shelf I'd be having cramped wrists in no time flat. On top of that it's not exactly pretty.

    Swing and a miss as far as I'm concerned.

    1. Robert E A Harvey

      Re: Ugly and unergonomic

      Watch out. I said something similar and was roundly condemned for having my own views!

      1. ChrisBedford

        You seriously can't tell the difference between your comment and the one above?

        "Watch out. I said something similar and was roundly condemned for having my own views!"

        No. You were roundly condemned for saying "It needs to go", implying that your opinion was the only one that counted.

    2. Helldesk Dogsbody

      Re: Ugly and unergonomic

      While they aren't exactly my thing I can appreciate the work that's put in to some of the deask/case combo builds - do an image search for "l3p desk" or just go to to see what one looks like when done properly. These one just appears to be a half arsed attempt to cash in on what's sprung out of the above project (ie the Red Harbinger Cross desk).

      Lian Li used to be brilliant back in the day, now they appear to be churning out marginally more minimalist versions of the same tat as everyone else. A shame really as the TJ07 really was the king when it came out but they've steadily been losing the crown since then.

  19. defiler


    So we're back to the Encom mainframe.

    1) Does it talk as it displays messages?

    2) Is the screen 20 text-columns wide?

    3) Is it going to digitise me?

    4) Where does the floppy drive fit?

    Important questions, I'd suggest.

  20. Stevie


    Since the drawer (singular) is full of powered-up electronics, where do you keep your red stapler, your IBM document portfolio c/w calculator and your biros?

    1. Tim Bates

      Re: Bah!

      I wondered the same thing, although in my version, I was more worried about someone accidentally opening the drawer and quickly returning a half-open box of paperclips or staples they borrowed yesterday.

      Personally I prefer the woodgrain look many DIYers have done in the past. Looks more like a desk and less like a portable BBQ.

  21. Mr Grumblefish

    Just the thing to go with my Cray 1

    Though I might need more than one.

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