Secretlab is a brand known primarily for its gaming chairs but some years ago, the brand expanded its portfolio by manufacturing its own range of premium gaming desks, otherwise known as the Magnus lineup. For that matter, the lineup is further split into two size groups: the standard, non-standing Magnus version, and the Magnus Pro version.
In this review, I’ll be briefly looking at Secretlab’s updated Magnus Pro XL. a sit-to-stand gaming desk, and what really makes this piece of modern furniture stand out from the competition.
What Is It?
The Magnus Pro XL, as its name implies, is basically the plus-sized version of Secretlab’s sit-to-stand gaming desk. As with all sit-to-stand desks – such as the brand’s direct rival, Omnidesk – this desk comes with motorised legs that allow users to elevate it between a minimum height of 65cm and 125cm, all driven through a set of controls installed at the far-right edge of the desk that even comes with three preset buttons, all programmable and designed to store your preferred heights of the table.
The Magnus Pro XL is also quite expansive, what with it being 1.7m long and a width of 80cm. In terms of build quality, the entire desk and its chassis is made of steel, which is also the major reason why it is so heavy.
Is It Any Good?
There is a lot to like about the Magnus Pro XL. For a start, the desk, as with all other Secretlab Magnus desk as well, comes with a tray the length of the table, that is installed at the rear. This tray is used for cable management and if you splurged for the diffused RGB strip, adds a chromatic spectrum of colour, just below and at the edge of the table’s rear.
Further eschewing the Magnus Pro XL’s sense of tidiness, as well as the brand’s goal of reducing cable clutter, Secretlab has installed an integrated power supply column into the desk leg (the left one, to be precise), allowing owners to connect it to a power socket at the base, while allowing a multi-socket adapter to be connected and hidden within the management tray. Some of you may not think much of this feature but believe me when I say that after years of living with the nightmare of exposed cables, having all that clutter out of sight is simply liberating.
On top of that, building the Magnus Pro XL isn’t difficult, per se. Sure, you’ll need a second pair of hands to set up, but like all Secretlab products, it comes with very clear, concise, easy-to-understand instructions, you’ll actually have the table set up in just a couple of hours.
The Bad Stuff. Tell Me.
It comes as no surprise that the desk isn’t without its own set of flaws. Firstly, this desk isn’t cheap. Pricing starts from SG$899 (~RM2950) for the standard Magnus Pro, and this XL model costs SG$999 (~RM3278). Mind you, that pricing does not include a MAGPAD Desk Mat, and those start from SG$99 (~RM324) for the brand’s Signatures series, and SG$125 (~RM410) for the Esports Edition, of which only the Dark Knight motif is available for this desk size.
Beyond the MAGPAD, everything else for the Magnus Pro XL is optional extras, and they aren’t exactly what I would call affordable. That detachable magnetic headphone hanger? That cost SG$35 (~RM114). Got a VESA-compliant monitor but don’t have the monitor arm? Secretlab will sell you one Magnus-branded arm for SG$159 (~RM521) and a dual monitor arm for SG$269 (~RM882). Want to suspend your desktop PC mid-air from the leg of your desk? You can do that with the Premium PC Mount and all it’ll cost you is a paltry SG$99 (~RM324).
With regard to that last accessory, I think Secretlab may have missed its mark on the Premium PC Mount of the Magnus Pro XL. The DIY PC builder and enthusiast will know that virtually every desktop PC casing would have its glass panel situated on the left side of the chassis, allowing them to admire their handiwork and effort in putting the PC together.
And that’s the thing with the mount: because you can only mount it to the desk’s left leg, you basically block the view into the casing. I mean, sure: if your casing is being suspended underneath the table, the need to admire the view is less applicable, but I don’t understand why Secretlab couldn’t just come up with a PC Mount that hangs on the right leg as well. So, in my quest to assemble the desk as quickly as possible, I had repressed the memory of actually affixing the hanging mechanism of the PC Mount to the left leg, I had neglected the fact that you could actually do the same with it on the other leg. In any case, this was my mistake but to that end, it does speak of the table’s modularity, yet again.
Should I Buy It?
If you’re one of those folks that are enamoured by the idea of a sleek, all-metal design and the ability to adjust the height of their design at the touch of a button, and you like them big, then gaming desks such as the Secretlab Magnus Pro XL are clearly what you need in your life. Personally, the desk has always been an item on my shopping list and, at the risk of sounding crude, something of a wet dream.
Very few gaming desks take into consideration the idea of cable management and modularity like the Magnus Pro XL, and even fewer are able to pull it off just as well. Honestly though, even if the downside is its costly optional extras and the fact that it is heavy, that wouldn’t stop me from actually recommending that you spend that little bit extra for this piece of modern furniture.
Photography by John Law.