Lian-Li's DK Chassis Line is Part Desk, Part Computer Case, All Rad

Lian-Li's DK Chassis Line is Part Desk, Part Computer Case, All Rad

Lian Li Computer Case Desk 310x

Two new DK models start at $999.

Lian-Li has always been near the top of the PC chassis heap, making cases that are sleek, minimalist, yet highly functional.

But Lian-Li also has a penchant for the strange -- remember their Train Case? -- even if strange doesn't translate to a high-functioning product.

But its new DK chassis lineup seems to be a perfect blend of strange and functionality, putting a full-featured PC case inside of a clear-top computer desk. The two new models -- DK-01 and DK-02 -- aren't cheap ($999 and $1,299, respectively), but they represent a thoughtful combination of the two most important aspects of desktop computing.

The DK-01 can house all the necessary hardware for one PC, while the 02 has enough internal real estate for one full-size machines, as well as a second mini-ITX solution. Motherboard mounts (all sizes supported), up to ten 3.5-inch drives, banks of USB 3.0 ports, and tempered glass tops that can support up to 176 pounds. There's even built-in slots for slim-style optical drives. Both desks include lowered platforms for your mouse and keyboard, as well as hooks on the sides to hang your headphones on.

Are the DK cases going to cost more than your average $100 IKEA desk and $100 or so computer case? Sure, but if you have the scratch, and you really love eyeballing your PC hardware while you're...PCing, the DK case-desks might be worth a look.

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Eh, I've no complaints about the Azza I used for my build back in October but I have to admit I love the idea at work here. Simple, clean, effective, and from what I can see there's plenty of room for the parts to breathe too. Then again, my last rig had airflow / cooling problems so that tends to be the first thing on my mind when I look at cases these days. For pure aesthetics, the black glass does look damn pretty.

This seems like an awesome idea. It's still a touch expensive for me.

Also, where my computer desk is, servicing this bad boy would be a PAIN IN THE ASS.

Still do want do want do want....

Kieve:
Eh, I've no complaints about the Azza I used for my build back in October but I have to admit I love the idea at work here. Simple, clean, effective, and from what I can see there's plenty of room for the parts to breathe too. Then again, my last rig had airflow / cooling problems so that tends to be the first thing on my mind when I look at cases these days. For pure aesthetics, the black glass does look damn pretty.

That case is pretty nice, too. Mine's cheap as hell. I have case envy. >.<

Otherwise cool concept ruined by a terrible mouse and keyboard tray/layout.

Should have left that out and (if needed) just extended the glass desktop out a few inches more and added the USB connections to the rear of the desk.

Damn those are sexy. I would love to have one and just get rid of my old desk, but those prices are a bit steep. I'm definitely keeping it in mind for the future though. I hope these become popular and a bit more affordable.

I would argue this isn't "a perfect blend of strange and functionality". Is that tiny shelf in front really supposed to accommodate a keyboard and mouse? It looks like a desk for someone who never intends to use the computer. Or...just a really big computer case with legs.

It's interesting though, I've been thinking of making a prototype computer desk with the hope of eventually producing a commercially viable product. If this is the best that the industry is offering, maybe my plan is more practical than I previously thought.

Zachary Amaranth:
This seems like an awesome idea. It's still a touch expensive for me.

Also, where my computer desk is, servicing this bad boy would be a PAIN IN THE ASS.

From what I see, the slide-out tray would make servicing ridiculously easy. How would it be a pain? Is your desk wedged in a closet? Just curious.
I can't afford to sink a grand on a comp-desk like this, but I've considered picking up conduit pipe and lexan at Home Depot or something and building my own - numerous times. Maybe one day...

That case is pretty nice, too. Mine's cheap as hell. I have case envy. >.<

I wasn't too keen on a new case at all, initially, but as I said, airflow problems. In the end I decided my rig would last a lot longer if I just bit the bullet and found something that would vent properly. The Solano just ended up being the nicest one in my range I could afford - and wasn't discontinued.

The lowered platform for mouse/keyboard seems very...uncomfortable? I dont know how they suse their PC but my keyboard and mouse usually aren't at the front of my desk.
I hope that thing is optional...

jeesh, I haven't spent more than 20 bucks on furniture in the past 6 years, can't imagine spending anywhere near this price -_-

nice design though.

Man I would never want this. I could never get past the worry of spilling liquids on the desk. Also I'd wondering how much the pc inside a metal box with glass lid heats up. I have no interest in a space heater for my room in the summer. And as a desk this has all the visual appeal of one of the sheet metal desks from the 50's without the usefulness of actual drawers. A normal tower and a cool looking regular desk seem way better to me, and less than half that price.

Ugh.......I want this. I've always loved the idea of a PC embedded into a desk with a glass or clear surface. It's nice to see someone actually making one as opposed to the one off DIY's I've seen from people with carpentry skills. The price, while high, sorta makes sense.

I have to agree with others in that the keyboard/mouse tray seems awfully small. That's the main thing that would give me pause if I were to seriously consider buying it. So very, very cool.

devilmore:
The lowered platform for mouse/keyboard seems very...uncomfortable? I dont know how they suse their PC but my keyboard and mouse usually aren't at the front of my desk.
I hope that thing is optional...

The main picture for the DK-01 on their website shows the desk without the keyboard tray. Looks like it can be left off even if it's not easily removable.

Addendum: Another picture on the site shows what looks like a removable/cleanable dust screen that fits in front of the bank of cooling fans in the back. That's a particularly awesome design idea (since I have dogs... that shed... constantly).

That DK-02 desk...

image

For the money that is not something I want on display in my home. The legs look cheap as hell. I'm pretty sure you could make a superior looking desk for cheaper. I say that but I already have the tools.

Looks like Lian Li saw all those DIY case mod desks I've seen over the years and thought "Oh, here's a sub-market we can tap." A couple things they forgot are many of those custom desk cases were made to fit into one particular spot in a certain room's layout to utilize as much space as possible and those weren't made with space for a keyboard and mouse as an afterthought.

The hangers for headphone and cords and the drawer with all the components are very nice, though. Most of the mods I've seen require removing everything of the desk to access your parts. And since these are Lian Li cases, they will definitely be high quality.

Still, these will probably be almost as niche than their crazy spider ITX cases. The mouse pad will either need to go on top or someone will have to make their own improved shelf. It's too bulky too move around much. It doesn't look like a particularly good water cooled case. There's no full 5.25" bays so no neato reservoirs or fan controllers. On the DK-01 it looks like there's room for one 360mm radiator and the DK-02 might have an additional 240 along with the 360. (I can't tell for sure since half the pictures on their site don't work at the moment.) Probably not enough internal space for a water cooling enthusiast's needs(especially on a case that costs a grand). And no one wants to spend a lot on a beautiful case to throw an external rad on top. This is most definitely for a modder[1] to play with or for a guy, with no fabricating skills but plenty of money to throw around, who thinks a PC built into his desk would be neat.

[1] If one showed up at my door, I'd put a beefy PC in it with lighted water blocks all that jazz, but for now I'll stick to my future TJ-07 project and put down a layer of acrylic on my desk with a lit image of Samus and Gordon Freeman fighting Dr. Breen riding Ridley or some other crazy awesome image etched into it.

i'm with everyone here on the size of the keyboard space. far too crampt.

that said, havent those desks been around for a while now?

EDIT: yeah that Red Harbinger on Scan looks better thought out.

Petromir:
Much prefer the build on this beast......

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/red-harbinger-cross-desk-desk-and-extreme-pc-modding-chassis-system-see-info

I was just about to post that. The Red harbinger looks amazing. Apparently there is one in a architect's office next to where a friend of mine works. By all accounts they are just as fucking impressive as you would expect. Those Lian-Li cases look a little ugly in comparison actually.

Honestly...? It looks like something I might find at Target for $60. I'm actually really surprised at all the gushing over it considering 1) anyone with the slightest DIY aptitude could do way better for way cheaper, and 2) it looks horrifically unergonomic, and aside from the case's internal volume, horribly customization-unfriendly.

By the latter, I mean a conventional tower is at least modular in how you mesh it with the rest of your furniture and peripherals. My tower takes up a fraction of the space, and unlike a desk I can put it almost anywhere. Two years ago I hooked my PC into an HD TV, and I've never looked back. I lounge in an easy chair with the keyboard on my lap and the mouse on an end table level with the armrest. If I were to mount the TV to the wall (only reason I haven't is I've never gotten around to budgeting for the wall mount hardware), the total footprint of my setup would literally be 90% chair, and it's so much more comfortable and ergonomic than a desk that it's not even funny. The idea of a desk being the ideal or "right" way to use a PC in any context outside of a business office now just seems quaint to me now. The idea of a case actually integrated into a desk is like a charmingly impractical retro-future concept from the 80s.

But even if I thought it wasn't a daft idea, the design is all kinds of flawed ergonomically. What's with the crap little shelf on front for the KB&M? That's what the TOP of a desk is FOR. If you're trying to keep the top clear to show off your hardware through the glass, you're negating the (already BS) space-saving argument. If the top is too high to be ergonomic, well, that's why normal desks keep the top thin and put the tall drawers to the side. It seems like a design clusterfuck of problem-creating "solutions" to non-existant problems.

Also, and this is just a matter of principle: even relatively ordinary cases are already waaaaaaayyyyy overboard on the prestige pricing. Given what they are structurally and materially, no case should ever cost more than, say, 60-80$ at most, but it's not unusual to see people pay as much for their case as they do for a GPU. It's effing ridiculous. People willing to pay thousands for what looks like an Ikea desk with case fittings in the drawer? That's batshit.

Couple issues with this deskchassis:
1. I don't want a 7" thick desk as the top of my legs is high and I want the bottom of my keyboard low. This is the same complaint I have with keyboard trays.
2. It couples the desk with the chassis in terms of noise, heat, cost, etc.

 

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