IKEA “ALEX” Desk Review

There’s been a lot of interest in my ALEX desk lately on NautilusMODE, so it seemed like it was the perfect time to put out my review on the product. Here we go!

When shopping for furniture there are a few features I try to keep in mind, and those features are how I’ll be reviewing this desk:

  • sturdiness
  • multitasking ability
  • aesthetics vs. functionality


A little while back we filmed putting my IKEA desk together for our YouTube channel, and I wrote about it in “My New IKEA “ALEX” Desk” (if you need help with the hinges, we have a post and video on that, too. Feel free to ask other building questions in the comments on that video, or post). The process of assembly was super simple and took us under 30 minutes and we were able to complete it without injuring ourselves, which is always a plus.

At the end of our time-lapse building video, Trevor mentioned he was “a little disappointed with the quality of the fiberboard” and I have to agree. Its been three months and, already, there are large chips along the edges of the top piece. Quite honestly, I had hoped for better from this product and am extremely dissapointed.

Otherwise it has held up well. The hinges are fine, the drawers (although I have a protective layer in the drawers), the sides; everything else looks good. However, as I said, I am more than a little disappointed with how soon the tabletop has chipped and flaked.

Multitasking Ability

One of the main reasons I chose this desk over others was the cable management cubby on the back of the unit. I had planned to hide as many cables in there as possible, but it has proven to be more of a hassle than anything.

The drawers a cut-out handle on the top of the desk, which I’m sure is intended to allow charging and monitor cords easy access to your machine, but it exposes cords and wires to dust and such which can be a massive fire-hazard. It also means you have to either a) let your cords hang onto the top of your desk so you can get to them easily, or b) shove them into the cubby and open it every time you want to charge your laptop, or whatever.

So, for me anyway, this desk doesn’t really operate as intended. I just use it as a desk and store my laptop cables, which means it isn’t doing double-duty at this time. If I end up finding a way to use this in the future, I’ll let you know.

Aesthetics vs. Functionality

All of these things aside, I still find the desk to be extremely sexy. Clean lines, sturdy metal base, two large drawers for my stuff to hang out in, and the idea of easy cable management were all the reasons I picked up this desk.

I use it daily, and find that I have mixed emotions. On the one hand, it mostly functions the way I wanted it to. On the other, the cable cubby is a pain and wildly dysfunctional for me currently, which was a major reason I had purchased it.

Overall, the desk is functional, but it may not stand the test of time…especially if mine already has several chips after three months of wear.

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