Writing the Secretlab Magnus Metal Desk review isn’t easy, not because there’s a lot of criticism. On the contrary, when a product is as good as the manufacturer says it is, it’s hard to reach that word count. It makes for a very short review if you can only say really positive things about a product. And that is exactly the case here.
Gaming desks are similar to: gaming chairs in that most of the ones you’ll find there, especially the “more affordable” ones, are really just bells and whistles. Many manufacturers can dress up the chair with a bucket seat design to give it that competitive look, add some nice trimmings, give it some hinged armrests, and spice it up so they can charge a little more. But in reality it is not more comfortable than a regular one office chair with a cheaper price tag.
While that doesn’t mean there aren’t excellent gaming chairs, it does mean you can pay the same price for a more durable, ergonomic office chair and get a lot more out of it.
Gaming desks are somewhat in the same boat. There are many that are all show and no content, which is why it’s hard not to praise when something like the Secretlab Magnus Metal Desk comes along, and it delivers on both fronts.
Of course, that doesn’t mean this is the absolute perfect game agency. The under $500 / £400 price tag will give budget-conscious gamers a break, even if it’s not overly expensive either. And if you’re looking for something with automatic height adjustments, you’d better check out standing desks instead of. Plus, setting up and assembling is really more of a two person job for safety.
But that’s really more of us right now. As it is, the Secretlab Magnus Metal Desk is the gaming desk that all gaming desks should aspire to.
- Not cheap but good value
- Add-ons cost more money
Weight: 92.6 pounds
Dimensions: 59.1 x 27.6 x 29 inches (L x W x H)
Height adjustment: 0.8 inch or 20 mm
Maximum payload: 220.5 pounds
Price: $499 (£399, AU$679)
The Secretlab Magnus Metal Desk, available immediately in the US, UK and Australia, has an entry-level price of $499 (£399, AU$679). By entry-level price we mean the basic desk without all the accessories and other add-ons.
That puts it right in the mid-range market, as I’ve seen (or tested) more expensive options that will set you back over $1,000/£1,000, as well as cheaper options on Amazon that will set you back under $200/£200. The Mojo Gamer Pro, which to its credit has a maximum payload of 330 lbs and is a standing desk, is more than twice as expensive.
Meanwhile, the less modular, less rugged Cougar Mars Pro 150 is in the same price range as the Secretlab Magnus. That means by going with the Magnus, you’re essentially going for the more economical choice.
However, there is one caveat. None of the available add-ons and accessories designed specifically for the Secretlab Magnus Metal Desk are included in that base price. Even the Secretlab MagPad Desk Mat, which we believe is an integral part of the desk, will cost you a little more money.
So if you don’t really think you need those add-ons and that 220lb payload, this might not be the right choice for you. As good as it is.
- Simple, albeit not one-person assembly
- Effortless to assemble
The Secretlab Magnus Metal Desk comes in a very neat packaging. The foam padding used is not Styrofoam, meaning no mess, and some of the larger parts, such as the legs, are packed in cardboard boxes so you don’t just have to pull out all the individual parts at once. However, these cardboard boxes are open at both ends, which makes pulling those parts out easier.
Before you commit to setting this up yourself, you should know that the tabletop is quite heavy. It’s not so heavy that a petite 4’11” person, aka this author, couldn’t lift it alone. However, it would be grueling if one person turned over once the metal frame and legs are attached.
This author managed to put it up and turn it around themselves, but that was only by putting it on their bed and using the edge of that bed as leverage. We would not recommend this process to anyone. Attaching the frame and legs is effortless and a one person job, but enlist the help of someone else when turning the frame right side up.
When you get the Secretlab MagPad Desk Mat, which we highly recommend, follow the instructions carefully for a more seamless fit. Not that it’s difficult – the hardest part of installing the mat is when you have to tuck the edges into the supplied sleeves – but it’s a magnetic mat, and following the instructions will just save you time.
- Made of medium density steel and fiberboard
- Highly modular gaming desk with a magnetic ecosystem
The Secretlab Magnus Metal Desk may not be the largest desk out there, but at 59.1 x 27.6mm, there’s more than enough desk space for a dual or even triple monitor setup with a laptop and various accessories inside. That’s while maintaining an impressively slim profile.
The tabletop is less than an inch thick, while each leg is only about 1 x 2.3 inches, meaning there’s plenty of room underneath and therefore great potential for gaming peripherals storage. It’s just a shame that Secretlab doesn’t have storage solutions under the desk. However, if you want to use all that space for storage, there are many third-party options that will do the trick.
If you’re concerned that slim profile can’t handle all that weight, don’t. The table top is made of MDF or medium density fibreboard, which is dense, designed for stability and resistant to termites, wrapped on top with steel. It’s that steel top that allows the Secretlab MagPad desk mat, Secretlab magnetic cable anchors, and other magnetic add-ons to stick and secure to the tabletop. Meanwhile, the frame and legs are made of the same steel. All those together give you a maximum payload of 220.5 pounds.
There is a cable management tray that extends the length of the table and attaches to the back. It’s also made of metal, which means that all of the cable management add-ons – the cable anchors and the cable jackets – stick to it neatly and effortlessly. The Secretlab Cable Management Bundle, which contains these anchors and sheaths and 10 cable ties, is not a cheap addition. They’re well worth it though, especially if you really want to show off your organizing skills and keep all those cables perfectly organized and out of sight.
Not that you need any of those add-ons, as the drawer keeps everything tucked away and out of sight. And yet they remain within easy reach, thanks to the tailgate accessible from above and the magnetic front cover accessible from below. The front is a nice detail, but it’s the rear that is brilliantly designed.
Instead of using hinges that snap it back into place, it minimizes finger injuries by using hinges that you have complete control over. You can open this tailgate/door as wide or as small as you want and it will stay in place. Although, in case you’re the clumsy type, Secretlab has also put warning stickers on the cover.
Just above the drawer on the underside of the tabletop is a metal tab to which you can attach the Secretlab MAGRGB, an RGB light strip co-designed by Nanoleaf and one of the latest additions to Secretlab’s growing family of magnetic extensions. It’s made so perfectly for this metal desk that even the controller has magnets so you can attach it to one of the legs, out of the way yet accessible.
The desk itself has no RGB lighting; however, this dynamic light strip is a great lighting solution, especially for people who really want to light up their gaming rig. It’s customizable via the Nanoleaf app and should be able to expand its functionality over time, such as perhaps the ability to sync or integrate with other RGB ecosystems like Razer’s Chroma or Corsair’s iCue.
- Maximum payload of 220.5 pounds
- No wobbling or warping
Although we have only been using the Secretlab Magnus Metal Desk for a few weeks, we are happy to report that it performs as promised. The whole thing is made so well that the individual parts fit together perfectly, minimizing problems that game agencies face, such as uneven legs or wobble.
It’s also so incredibly robust and strong that it won’t suffer from warping – at least not in the short term. Carrying all that weight for years can cause it to warp a little in the middle, but you can minimize that and extend its life by distributing the weight evenly. What we can say for sure is that thanks to its 220.5-pound capacity, we’ve seen it carry the weight of a 32-inch monitor, a 34-inch monitor, a 15-inch gaming laptop, two gaming headsets, and others. peripherals, plus this reviewer’s 120-pound frame.
The magnets Secretlab uses for its accessories are also incredibly powerful, keeping them in place. That includes the desk mat, which should be welcome news for people who are so tired of having to re-adjust their desk mats on a daily basis.
Speaking of which, this mat is made from durable yet soft-touch faux leather that not only feels great against your skin, but also works beautifully with any gaming mouse. If you’ve had trouble finding a mouse or desk pad on which your mouse can glide smoothly, purchasing this mat as an add-on is your best bet.
There aren’t many flaws that we can really talk about in this Secretlab Magnus Metal Desk review. But if it is already there, it is the height adjustment. The height adjustment of this desk is only 20mm and has to be done manually, meaning if you need to raise or lower it at any point during use, you have to remove everything from the desk. That’s a bit inconvenient.
It’s not a deal breaker, though. It’s designed to have what Secretlab claims is a carefully calibrated height of 29 inches, which is apparently the ideal desk height for most people for an ergonomic position. That’s about the same height this reviewer set his standing desks to.