Bottom line: Standout design and a magnetic ecosystem make this desk the ultimate choice for any gamer.
Immense build quality
Super cool design
Elite cable management
Plenty of space
Magnetic ecosystem of accessories
Lots of upgrade options
Very big and heavy
Awkward for mounting monitors
Very expensive for the full package
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After six months of intense use, the Secretlab MAGNUS desk remains every bit the incredible piece of hardware engineering I suspected it was in my intial review. It's build quality remains unrivalled, and the functionality of this desk have served me during every waking moment that I've used it.
The Secretlab MAGNUS offers users incredible styling and a rugged gamer aesthetic with unparalleled durability and functionality. There's a price to pay, but it is definitely worth it. Secretlab now also offers a host of newer add-ons and upgrades including a new smart lighting version of its MAGRGB strip that works with Nanoleaf, and a full L-shaped extension.
Here's our rundown of Secretlab's MAGNUS desk, including its awesome array of unique magnetic accessories and features.
Secretlab MAGNUS: Price and availability
Secretlab's Magnus desk is available from Secretlab.co. Thanks to their direct pricing, you'll never find it cheaper anywhere else. It is available in the U.S, the UK and Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and a host of countries in Asia, including Singapore, Japan, and South Korea.
Prices start at $499 for the 59-inch model (there is only one size). You can add a MAGPAD Desk Mat to that package, an optional but essential extra that comes for just $39 when you bundle it. It is definitely worth doing. There are more expensive versions, such as a Dark Knight version and a couple of Esports editions.
There is also a $44 cable management bundle, or you can buy the magnetic anchors, sheaths, and fastening straps separately from $13-$29. Other accessories include an RGB strip ($59, $79 for the smart version), magnetic bumpers ($19), and a magnetic headphone hanger ($25). It comes with a 5-year warranty and a 49-day refund/return policy (fees apply), and shipping isn't free.
Secretlab MAGNUS: What I like
Secretlab has made its name building very expensive and very good gaming chairs, such as the OMEGA and Titan, and this year's new TITAN Evo 2022. With its MAGNUS desk, Secretlab has put every bit of expertise and premium touch into it, making it the perfect companion to any of its chairs and a great foundation for any office.
The first thing you notice about the desk before it's even out of the box is its immense build quality. That's because the Secretlab desk weighs some 92 pounds; a beefy combination of MDF and steel across the top and legs make this desk utterly bombproof, a terrifyingly rugged workspace foundation that should last a lifetime. It's good for loads of up to 220 pounds and has more acronym-based certifications for durability than you could ever possibly imagine. Every corner, hinge, and piece of this desk oozes unshakeable build quality that will never let you down in the heat of battle, or at 3:30 pm on a Friday afternoon at work.
The rugged durability is complemented and indeed enhanced by the awesome design of this desk. It screams elite gamer from the matte metal finish of the legs to the etched logos and red accents all around. Our desk came with Secretlab's MAGPAD, an optional-but-necessary extra that takes the form of a flexible leather top for your desk. Even this has a beautiful design with neat red stitching and a wicked MAGNUS logo on it.
The overall design also shines out alongside the detail. The desk is very wide and spacious, and also deep enough to be useful to anyone. Some space is lost at the back to the folding cable management hinge, but the tradeoff in tidiness here leaves nothing to the desired. The MAGNUS comes with a very spacious cable trough mounted underneath that can be accessed from below or above, letting you hide away all your cable while maintaining access through the hinged mechanism, which is about as sturdy as the door of an airplane hangar. This also means your desk can sit flush against the wall.
One fantastic new upgrade to the MAGNUS since my initial review comes in the form of a full l-shaped upgrade, complete with a short-side cable tray that completements the full-length one of the original desk. Now, this is a $449 add-on, but you can now choose to double your desk real estate with an identical matching desk extension that comes with all the same hells and whistles as the original MAGNUS. Minus one leg so it doesn't obstruct you as you sit.
So the MAGNUS shines thanks to its awesome gamer aesthetic and elite build quality, but this isn't all just for show. Cable management is a dream because of the rear tray's design, but the MAGNUS also has some very (ahem) attractive tricks up its sleeve.
The MAGPAD is so named because it's magnetic and can be used in conjunction with these awesome magnetic cable tidy brackets that snap into place anywhere you want on the desk. Magnets can also help hold two cable sheaths on the rear legs that tidy away any rogue cables by your feet, and the magnetic headphone bracket attachment is the coolest hunk of metal I've ever seen.
The MAGNUS is a joy to sit and look at. I've never been prouder of my setup, nor have I ever enjoyed sitting at it so much. The use of steel, magnets, and tasteful design accents probably make the MAGNUS the most outstanding desk in its class and the most recognizable piece of office/gaming hardware on the planet. Thanks to a few different MAGPAD designs and the modular magnetic activities, there is also a nice degree of customizability that you get with the MAGNUS you won't get elsewhere. Finally, of course, it is the perfect companion to any of Secretlab's gaming chairs; the two fit together like a glove.
Secretlab MAGNUS: What I don't like
There are some tradeoffs to owning a desk this good, and this big, so let me highlight some of them. The obvious starting point is the price. Secretlab has always been a premium brand with prices to match, so you're going to be paying a lot of money for the MAGNUS.
The MAGNUS starts at $499, and that is all desk. The MAGPAD I mentioned (which is extra but not really optional, in my opinion) is another $39. Custom ones are as much as $69, but at least this is discounted when you bundle it with the desk, down from the usual $80. The Secretlab cable management bundle is another $44; the magnetic anchors are $19 separately, and the sheaths are $29 on their own. The RGB strip is another $59, the headphone hangar is $25, and bumpers to protect your wall are $19.
All of these are optional, but the full experience will cost you a lot more than the original $499 price tag. However, this also means you can add to your desk over time, and being able to change the MAGPAD that tops the desk for a new one or a different design is definitely a bonus.
The desk only comes in one size (for now), so look elsewhere if you don't have a 59.1-by-27.6-inch space to put it in. The height is nice, and the legs have a small degree of adjustability, but this is only about 2cm. The MAGPAD is held in place by metal brackets at either end, and I found these sort of spoil the aesthetic at the edge of the desk just a tad.
One other quirk I found was mounting a monitor, which is hard because of the cable tray. It leaves barely enough space to fit a monitor arm bracket to the rear of the desk. If you rely on a lot of monitor mounts or an arm, this might prove to be a struggle. I did get my arm in, but I had to really force it. The sides of the desk are not conducive to mounting monitors, and the mounting issue as a whole is the only design inconvenience I ran into.
As mentioned, one optional extra is a $59 RBG strip, but I found this a little underwhelming in terms of how much light it puts out. It looks cool, but you could save a lot of money with a DIY solution. The newer MAGRBG with smart lighting is similar in terms of output, but at least offers the functionality of Nanoleaf's smart controls so you can use it with your smart lighting, including any options you might already have in your office.
Secretlab MAGNUS: Competition
When it comes to price and build quality, the MAGNUS is really in a class of its own. If you want a "gaming" desk that's a little cheaper but still comes with some cool features, then you could check out the AndaSeat Eagle 2. If the gamer aesthetic isn't for you, then there is the Flexispot EG1 standing desk that comes with electric height adjustability.
f you're short on space, then check out our roundup of best small desks or our best desks for students if you're on a tighter budget.
Secretlab MAGNUS: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You're a hardcore gamer
- You have plenty of money to splash on a setup
- You want great build quality
- You want a desk that will stand out
- You need a lot of desk real estate
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You're limited on space
- You're on a budget
- You want something understated
The Secretlab MAGNUS is the perfect desk for anyone with some spare cash who wants an awesome gaming aesthetic, ultra-tough build quality, and a distinctive design. This is the perfect foundation for any big gaming setup. However, if you want something a bit more subtle, this will definitely clash with a vintage globe and leatherbound books. It is also very expensive, so probably out of reach for those on a budget. It is also on the larger size if space is at a premium.
Ultimately, the MAGNUS is a very well-built and very impressive gaming desk. I'd happily stake that it is the greatest gaming desk money can buy. I only wish that you got a little more for your money, or the same for just a little less. That being said, it is almost impossible to fault this desk in terms of design, convenience, build quality, and looks.
Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9
By Tammy Rogers