“ Brand: Gecko / Model: Ref1100 / Type: TV Stand „
A short insight into the rationale that led to purchasing the GECKO TV Cabinet. We did already have a glossy black stand with glass shelves that was really nice and served the purpose of housing appliances, however, due to the recent addition of a surround sound system (which was needed to improve the definition of speach from the TV and add some wonderful sound effects too) we quickly discovered that a Reciever was not going to fit into the snug dimensions of our stand. We also became aware of the fact that our particular Reciever needs adequate air flow as it does produce alot of heat so therefore we had no choice but to search for another stand for the TV and equipment.
Being the sort of person who likes everything in it's place I requested a cabinet type stand that had a smoked glass front so that you could use the remote without opening the door but also not see all that lies behind it - so if we want to put all manner of clutter in there we can do and then close the door.
We decided what our requirements where :
At least four shelves that where adjustable in height in order to store plenty of appliances and provide adequate air flow for the Reciever.
Adequate air flow at the rear via holes for all appliances.
Not too high as that would mean the TV would be raised higher than we would want it to be.
Wide enough to fit a 37" TV on top of it with space for a small speaker at either side.
Attractive and easy to clean and maintain - High quality.
I don't think that is much to ask for - do you? Well the search led to all manner of websites that offered so many cabinets but finding one that would offer enough space for ventilation was proving difficult until I spotted this Gecko Stand. We sized it up and checked it out and it met all of our requirements -513mm in height, 1100mm width and 440mm depth was great! The only snag was that it would be self assembely and we would have preferred a constructed cabinet. But it was what we where looking for and the RRP was £449 but a few places had it on sale at £199! So we decided on the Gecko and hoped it would be all that we needed it to be.
NOT HEARD OF GECKO BEFORE?
I had not seen this brand before but what reassured me was that the company have high standards and strive to provie an ergonomically well designed piece of furniture that will house products safely and provide 'growing' room for future purchases to fit into aswell. As things are changing and more systems are being used through the same reciever eg TV, Music, Games, Ipods etc - it makes sense to design a media storage cabinet that is capable of changing with the times. This really appeals to me as I like things to last as long as possible and get my moneys worth. Gecko design media storage with 'strength, safety and performance' as priorities - this really did sell it for me and I am now fully aware of the Gecko brand as it is sitting in my living room!
The Gecko arrived flat packed in a large and very heavy box, the guy from DHL had to ask what it was as it was so heavy! So that is something to be aware of if you consider ordering a Gecko - make sure a person with adequate strength is available to recieve deliviery.
It came very well packaged and quite rightly so as there where large glass pieces within the pack. First impressions where good as the pieces all looked and felt solid and good quality.
The first job was to find the assembly instructions and check that everything that should be in the box was present and correct - you don't want to get half way through construction to discover that a piece is missing. All was present and I particularly liked the way that they provided the small items like screws - they were in a clear plastic bag, each kind separate in their own compartment of the long bag. You could see plainly what was their and count them easily and this made the task simpler.
The Assembly sheet was on an A4 size paper and double sided - my husband found this to be adequate but struggled at times to see the smaller details - just a minor niggle but one worth mentioning. We also recieved a yellow A4 sheet which detailed the instructions for the 'Soft down stay' mechanism on the door, this was single sided and perfectly adequate.
The assembly consisted of 9 steps and the all went smoothly until it was time to attach the hinges to the cabinet interior and the front of the door (on each side). After puzzling for a while and attempting a few times my husband realised that there was no way the screw holes would line up doing it the way that was on the instruction sheet, so he decided to attach the hinge to the cabinet first, on each side, and then see if the holes lined up on the door - this worked a treat. We don't know why it didn't line up when done the way as shown on the sheet? But all was well when done the opposite way around - worth knowing about if you consider buying the Gecko. Following this little set back the assembly was really straight forward and took about an hour and a half to two hours as we cleaned and dusted it during different stages too - so it could probably be done quicker but we were not in any rush. We purchased 4 black rubber door stops to use as the feet as the ones provided sank down into the carpet and that meant that the air flow holes at the base of the unit were flush with the floor. We took a screw with us to the diy store and then selected the door stops that would fit tight and secure. When insitu they make excellent and sturdy feet and allow the cabinet base to be raised enough off the floor which allows air flow. That was just another minor niggle to note and as we have a Reciever it is important to get the air flow right. Finally the cabinet was assembled and we were really impressed with it. It is strong and sturdy and looks really shiny and great quality. The slow release door is really good too, though a bit stiff at first until it has been used a few times.
GET YOUR KIT OUT
The next thing to do was install the equipment. The TV sits beautifully on top of the black glass top that has the Gecko logo to the front. Two small speakers sit nicely at either side and one centre speaker at the front of the TV. I looks really good. Within the cabinet you have holes down either side of 2 compartments where you can fit glass shelves to your own requirements. The Receiver has one side to itself at present but there would be room for something slim to sit above it in the future if necessary. On the other side is the Virgin box and DVD player and plenty room below for storing dvd's or games etc. In the centre are some narrow shelves that we sit our remote controls on but once again you could store a few dvd's or games in these slots. Another niggle was that if you place a dvd player for example on the bottom of the stand you won't be able to use the infrared control as the border of the glass fronted door covers the player and you would have to open the door to access the player with the control. We know this as that is where we put the dvd player originially but now have moved it to the top shelf. The top shelf is a good place for the dvd player to be actually as you don't have to open the door all the way to pop in a dvd which is better. The door is a bit stiff initially though will loosen with age. The only other very minor niggle that we had with the Gecko is that there are holes on the inside that are there for you to select where to install shelves - it would have been good to have some black hole covers for the ones that are not in use as it would have finished it off better, this is only a minor niggle and you can't see them when the door is closed.
EXPERIENCE THE GECKO
The cabinet houses the appliances really well and is generous with the amount of space and options for shelving, you could even buy more shelves if necessary and it would look good. The fact that all is behind the glass door means that I don't see lots of boxes and dvd's etc so that is a big plus. The stand affords plenty room for a 37" TV and surround speakers and it is attractive with its high gloss finish. The stand is contemporary in design and fits in with our room nicely even though we also have our more traditional looking items too ( I like indian Jali pieces). The assembely was straight forward on the whole with just a few minor niggles, the instruction sheets where adequate but could be a bit clearer for the smaller parts. All in all we are very happy and impressed with the finished product, it is very high quality and adds to the ambience of the room whilst being functional and providing safe housing for media and entertainment goods too.
WHERE TO PURCHASE
There are plenty places online to buy this from at this time and prices range from £199 - £449 (as off 26/02/2011)
These are just a few examples of where you can purchase and a quick google search for the Gecko Reflect ref1100 will reveal more results.
This was a great price at £199 for a quality cabinet that was RRP£449 so off to a good start. We would have preferred to avoid self assembely but it was easy enough to assemble and worth the effort. There were a few small niggles along the way but this wouldn't put us off purchasing the Gecko. The border around the glass fronted door is restricive if appliances are situated behind it so you need to bear this in mind. If you have a Reciever to house this is a great option for space and ventilation but remember to check how close the base is to your floor as the air flow needs to be allowed through the base of the unit too. We are very happy with our Gecko and would recommend to others. Even though we love the look and it is all we wanted it to be I have had to give 4 stars due to the little niggles during assembly and the width of the band around the glass door.
May I take this opportunity to thank you for reading my review, I hope you found it helpful.
The review will be on CIAO under my username Dawnymarie.