Standing desks have always been the pinnacle of ergonomics in any office. With many people having shifted to working from home in recent years, different kinds of at-home standing desk have slowly crept onto the market. They range from super cheap and tiny things, to massive L-shaped desks the can boast a hefty price tag.
That said, if you're reading this, then you're probably a gamer. As gamers, we don't need wood grain topped or L-shaped desks. We want a single all-metal slab, bedecked in vibrantly coloured lights that might somehow boost to our in-game FPS and skill. That's where Secret Lab comes in with their MAGNUS Pro line of electric standing desks. They sent me the MAGNUS Pro XL, and a whole suite of accessories to show off just how swaggy this desk actually is.
All joking aside, this is definitely not a cheap desk, but it doesn't compromise, so if you're looking for a new desk set up and have some cash to burn, then read on for our review of the Secret Lab MAGNUS Pro XL.
What I got and how much it cost
The first thing we need to go over is what all I got from Secret Lab, and how much it's going to set you back if you wanted to pick up the same bundle yourself.
- MAGNUS Pro XL: $949
- Signature Stealth MAGPAD: $49 (Preorder), $89 (Full Price)
- Cable Management Bundle: $49
- MAGRGB XL Smart Lighting Edition: $89
- MAGNUS Dual Monitor Arm: $249
- Premium PC Mount: $89
For all of those goodies, you'd be looking at a grand total of just over $1.4k. Now there is a bit more available for you to get should you fancy it, but this package was designed to provide a pretty broad spectrum of Secret Lab's offerings.
Packaging and Assembly
In typical Secret Lab fashion, everything was incredibly well packaged. Each box contained tons of dense cell foam, and each piece was perfectly encased within its packaging. As for how everything arrives at your door, well, the accessories all came in one large box, with the individual boxes inside. The desk itself came in two separate packages. The first box contained the top, the tools, the cable management tray and the top cover for it. The second provided the feet and motorized legs.
A word of caution to any buyers out there. If you live on a second story of an apartment building, or intend on having this desk set up in a basement or upstairs bedroom, definitely have multiple people on hand to help you move the box with the XL top inside. This box weighed in at 60kg (around 132 lbs), and I made the mistake of lugging it up a flight of stairs on my own.
Assembly is actually very quick and easy. The instructions lay out each step very clearly, and the tooling for the pieces makes them all fit together perfectly. Again, assembly with two people is advised here, but doing it on my own took me about two hours in total. Adding the accessories took roughly another hour or so.
Before we talk about the desk, I'll touch on and rate each of the accessories. First off, let's start with the monitor mounts. They are all solid metal with red accents, and very easy to put together. You get a few different screw options depending on the monitor that you're mounting, which is nice. One other thing that I love about these is that the cable routing shrouds in each arm segment are magnetic, which makes routing cables through them very easy. There is a hole to pass cables through on the base arm, but in order to route a monitor's power cable through, you'd have to pass the 'monitor end' of the cable through the hole, rather than the 'wall power' side.
My only gripe with the dual monitor arm setup is that I'm someone who likes to have a central main monitor, with flanking monitors. Unfortunately, the dual mount isn't wide enough to allow for this, without having to rotate my flanking monitor to be vertical. For reference, I have a 27" monitor as my main screen and a 24" side monitor. On top of that, the bottom half inch of my left monitor was left lurking behind my main monitor. Luckily, it has a bottom bezel, so that's not a huge concern. That being said, if I were to do this again, I'd definitely go with multiple single arm mounts over the double I received. I'm giving the dual monitor mount an 8/10.
Next, let's talk about the MAGPAD. It's a desk-sized mouse pad that has two metal sleeves on each end, which you'll need to attach yourself. This is to help align the MAGPAD on the desk. I initially thought that those sleeves were what was magnetic, but no, it's the entire desk pad. This made actually getting it aligned rather challenging. That being said, if I'd followed the directions to the letter, it would have been a little easier. Though I got mine about as perfect as I could get it, there were still a few raised sections on the edge, though that didn't bother me too much. The pad itself is made of a leather material that's very similar to Secret Lab's chairs. This makes for a nice and grippy surface, but that's not necessarily ideal for a mouse pad. I'd love to see a cloth MAGPAD in the future to make the aesthetic even cleaner. The MAGPAD gets a 7/10.
The Smart RGB Light strip is awesome. The coil is a wonderfully thicc strip of colour with a nice diffusion barrier. Installation is very easy, as it's magnetic, so it just sits under the desk. The manual control box isn't magnetic though, which I would have loved to have seen, but it's a non-issue since it just sits in the cable tray. The colours looked bright and powerful against my white wall, and controlling the lights with the Nanoleaf app makes everything a breeze. I'll probably be getting some Nanoleaf panels in the future to go with the desk. The lights get a 9/10.
The PC Mount is actually very nice. It's very easy to set up. I don't have a tower, but I used my wife's as a test, and the mount did a great job holding the tower in place, even while the desk was in motion. It's solid value for money and I've got nothing bad to say about it, making it a 9/10.
The last accessory was the Cable Management Bundle, which came with three magnetic cable anchors, two magnetic cable sheaths, and a handful of cable fastening straps. This little package provides the best value out of every item in the kit of accessories. While you do get some cable straps with other parts, you can never have enough. The magnetic anchors and cable sheaths help to hide away any unsightly cables or tame the few stragglers on the desk. 10/10. If you buy any of the accessories to go with your desk, get these.
Now we've arrived at the main event, the desk. Honestly, there's not much to say other than that it's incredible. It's incredibly sturdy, even at standing height, so I never had to deal with any sort of shaking issues while gaming on my feet. The motors are incredibly quiet in motion, and the max height the desk can go up to makes messing around with anything underneath it much easier.
The cable management tray is big, and even includes a plug for a power strip, to keep the cable clutter under the desk to a minimum. The lid also flips up nice and easily, making access to the tray very convenient. The panel that activates the motors is a bit too touch sensitive, but it lays flush against the front edge of the desk and just looks clean. There's even enough of a gap to allow space for other desk-mounted items, such as a microphone, to fit in cleanly and with ease.
You may have noticed that a lot of the accessories are magnetic. The entirety of this desk is magnetic, from its legs to its top. That's one of the big gimmicks of this desk, and it can be rather handy when coupled with the cable anchors or cable sheaths.
Personally, I think that the XL provides the perfect amount of space for your gaming setup. Even if you have a tower that's sitting under the PC with the mount, the 70" wide desk top can support 3 monitors comfortably, and still have enough room for ancillary items, without feeling cluttered. The non-XL version of the desk is about 10" shorter, and for me, that wouldn't be big enough.
Yes, the desk alone costs almost $1k, but you can pay around that much for less value in today's market. The quality of the product that you get with the MAGNUS Pro XL, along with all its features, makes for a top tier electric standing desk that can handle all of your needs.
Once again, big thanks to Secret Lab for sending this out, and if you want to pick up this desk for yourself, you can head over to the Secret Lab website to create your own unique desk setup.