When the thought of setting up a gaming area comes to mind, most people first think about things like TV vs monitor display, the gaming chair that'll best fit their behinds, what parts are going into the new PC, etc. One of the most important things that sometimes gets overlooked, however, is the desk that will be holding all of this stuff. Secretlab has a solution in the Magnus, the company's take on what a "gaming desk" should entail complete with a wire bay for those pesky wires, a headset holder, and of course RGB lighting. I got a chance to build one for myself, and the Magnus fits the bill in every way possible.
- Current Price: $499 (Secretlab)
First and foremost, this thing is sturdy. It's a heavy sucker, coming in at over 100 lbs, and made of heavy-duty and durable metal. Granted it's not infinitely durable, there is a weight limit of about 220 pounds, but that's more than enough to hold anything and everything you'd need. Right now I have a 49-inch TV, three consoles, and multiple accessories and there's no sign of weakness at all. As long as it's not holding me personally, the desk will get the job done.
Building the desk was so incredibly simple, I'd go so far as to call it "idiot-proof." Lay the desk's top on the floor, screw in the clearly marked legs with the clearly marked screws and tools, add the wire bay, flip it over, and attach the magnetic pieces. That's it. In fact I'd say it took me longer to get my tech situated on top of it than it did to put the dang thing together, which is pretty impressive.
My favorite feature is easily the wire bay, a shelf underneath the desk specifically designed for keeping wires out of sight. Any time I add something to the desk I can just push the wire down into the crevice, run it in whichever direction the plug is going, and never have to see it again. The mess of wires and nonsense in my previous setup is gone, hiding from my eyes and giving me a clean setup that just makes me so happy. As someone who sometimes gets stressed out by messy things, I am very happy to have that mess out of my field of vision.
Optional accessories include a headphone hanger that just attaches to the bottom of the desk via a magnet, a magnetic RGB light strip that adds some extra flair, and a magnetized wire management system that lets me contain the sea of wires. I didn't need the wire management system--the wire bay proved sufficient to keep everything contained--while the RGB light strip is a neat little touch. I especially like the little accompanying controller that lets me change the light's movement, color scheme, and more.
The headphone hanger is the best addition though, as I can attach it wherever it's comfortable and have easy access to my headset. Those who own multiple headsets--like a couple who games together, for instance--will need to invest in multiple hangers though. The part simply isn't big enough to hold more than one.
That said, there's one optional piece that, while serving an honorable purpose can only be described as infuriating: the MagPad desk mat. The MagPad is a massive magnetized pad, designed to protect the top of the desk by stretching all the way across it. The directions make it seem like the install is simple, but ohhhhhhh no...this part is painful. Installing the MagPad requires pinpoint precision, first attaching two metal bars to each side and then rolling it onto the desk. If one teensy bit is out of alignment, no matter how miniscule the shift, the mat will hang off the lip of the desk and you'll need to start over again. Frankly, installing the MagPad sucks and I hated every second of it, taking multiple tries to get it where it needed to go. That said, however, it is worth the trouble of putting it on. I never have to worry about my tech scratching the top of the desk, which is a peace of mind worth the trials of MagPad installation.
There is an unintended consequence to using this magnetic pad, however, and this goes for anyone who uses wireless keyboards and mice: the magnets will mess with your accessories. I had been using a wireless Logitech mouse before building the Magnus, and it works fine on any surface I use it on (including my own leg). However, since building the Magnus and installing the MagPad, the mouse would stutter as I moved it, making it hard to smoothly move the cursor around the screen unless I used another surface (like my own leg). Once I replaced the wireless mouse with a wired mouse I no longer experienced those issues, meaning this is limited to wireless tech. If you're dependent on your accessories being wire-free, maybe think of another way beside the MagPad to protect the Magnus.
All told, the Magnus is a very impressive piece of equipment perfectly suited for your designated gaming area. It's a sturdy sucker, creating quite a presence once it's found its new home. It's durable too, holding just about anything you can place on it outside of your own body. Building and installation was super easy outside of one incredibly frustrating (yet optional) section, and the myriad of accessories only heighten the experience. If you want a desk that is built to last for however long you need it, even if it's a decade, the Magnus is a fantastic option.The product described in this review was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.