Low End Mac Reviews

Ambassador Computer Desk

Dan Knight - 1999.03.30

From a strictly functional standpoint, I've found it very difficult to find the right computer table. Based on years experience at home and in the cubicle, my specifications included:

  • minimum 30"/75 cm depth
  • sturdy
  • inexpensive

I don't care too much about appearance or pigeon holes or CD racks. I just want something to hold a bunch of computer equipment.

I have a lot of computer desks that are 20-24" deep, but that either means the computer sits off to the side or the keyboard hangs off the front. The 30" depth was the most important item.

Ambassador desk

I had a design all worked out in my head. The desk would fit in a corner with a 4'x4' piece to hold my main computer. It would have wings 30" deep on each side. And of course the corner piece would have a corner cut off to match the 30" wings.

A few weeks ago, I found almost exactly that at Office Depot. It's the Ambassador Desk (01991) by Fournier Furniture - and it has 30" deep work surfaces. At $200, I put it in the back of my mind. But last week, it was on sale for $170, so I bought one.

The design is remarkably practical. Three work surfaces (a corner piece plus two wings), four supports, a keyboard drawer, and some bracing. Setup was very easy, until the head broke off a "minifix" bolt. A quick call to customer service and a replacement is en route.

So my desk is 80% built. The corner unit holds my Quadra 660av, topped by my 17" monitor, as well as my SuperMac J700, a MoniTerm switchbox (see review), my Zip drive, and a 3Com ImpactIQ ISDN "modem."

To the right, the wing holds my scanner, the network hub, and our OfficeJet 600 - a short term replacement for the StyleWriter 4100 undergoing repair. (I'm using PowerPrint to run the otherwise-Windows only printer. Again, see our review.)

I don't know just what will go on the left wing when the bolt arrives, but we'll figure that out as we go along.

The Ambassador Desk is remarkably sturdy, affordable, and, to top it off, it looks great. Even the keyboard drawer, a feature I usually hate, is solid and large enough to hold a keyboard and mouse.

If you're looking for an attractive, functional, and affordable computer desk, this one merits a look.

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