Secretlab Magnus Pro review: The best sit-to-stand metal desk, bar none
Secretlab Magnus Pro review: The best sit-to-stand metal desk, bar none
Note: This article was first published on 25th August 2022 and is re-published as The Tech Show is now ongoing with offers for this product.
Do you hate messy and tangled cables? Well, I know I do. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Ethernet line, my wired Razer Viper 8KHz gaming mouse and my solid custom Hex.4B Dreamcore edition mechanical keyboard (yup, it’s wired too). But boy, do I hate the clutter of cables that run along, behind, and under my current Omnidesk – strewn around my PC, monitor, 2.1 speakers, and whatnot. Unfortunately, I’m terrible at good, proper cable management.
I also happen to like my Omnidesk standing desk very much. Until Secretlab sent over their newest Magnus Pro to me to review, the company’s first sit-to-stand gaming desk.
Like the 2021’s non-Pro Magnus before it, the Magnus Pro is a metal, magnetic vessel that is designed to not only help hide these pesky cables, but Secretlab says it’s also a response to customers who wanted a sit-to-stand function as well as more desk space. I will say this: The Magnus Pro’s cable management features are brilliant, and it keeps wires that are running on top of the desk and below it – all mostly concealed. Secretlab even has magnetic covers that allow you to hide any cables that run along the table legs. Say bye-bye to cable ties and scotch tapes.
The Magnus Pro comes in two boxes and unlike the original Magnus, is very heavy. You will likely need a second pair of hands to assist with the very heavy lifting - both boxes are nearly 70kg combined. Unpacking them can seem daunting as there are a lot of parts, but Secretlab labels every piece of the desk, and the included assembly instructions are very clear. If you have ever installed your own Secretlab gaming chair, then you’ll be in familiar territory.
Putting everything together took me about 40 minutes, and by the end of it, I was sweating bucket loads – and plenty of sorry excuses for not hitting the gym.
In terms of dimensions, the Magnus Pro is 150cm long and 70cm in width. In truth, only 58.5cm of width is usable as the hinged rear cover takes up 11.5cm, but that still provides plenty of space to fit my aforementioned 27-inch monitor, a desktop PC, 24-inch iMac, and usual accessories such as my 2.1 speakers and other desk ornaments (my Sephiroth figurine has a special spot).
The hinged rear cover is a key feature of the Magnus Pro. Separated from the main desk, it runs along the back and folds upward to reveal a roomy cable management tray. A power socket on the left allows you to plug a power extension cord inside the tray, and this is where you can hide most of the wires that run from your PC to your peripherals. No more power cables or wires dangling from below the desk!
That said, not being able to move my devices fully to the rear (there’s a warning sign against placing any substantial load on the hinged rear cover) feels like there’s 150 x 11.5cm worth of space wasted – which seems like an awful lot – although there’s no stopping anyone from placing their Amiibos, poster frames and other lightweights.
Secretlab has also launched two new accessories alongside the Magnus Pro. The first is the company’s very first monitor arm (I received the single-arm version), and unlike most monitor arms available on the market, has a fully rubber padded base to prevent it from grazing or scratching the Magnus Pro’s steel surface. And since it’s a part of the Magnus ecosystem of accessories, it fits perfectly into the offset gap of the desk’s cable tray. It even has magnetic sheaths that you remove to hide away the monitor’s cables.
The other is the PC mount, which, as its name suggests, allows you to mount your desktop PC below either side of the table. This allows you to save precious desk space, and since it’s affixed right below, there’s no need to worry about cables snapping whenever you need to raise the table level since the PC mount moves up and down along with it. There are a couple of limitations, of course. For one, the PC mount’s minimum height is 354mm, so small-form-factor casings will not fit. It also has a weight limit of 15kg, so owners with systems that come with jacked-up armoured motherboards or hefty graphics cards like the NVIDIA Founders Edition RTX 3090 should weigh their PC first.
Speaking of table heights. The Magnus Pro sit-to-stand function allows the table to go as low as 65cm from floor-to-desk, or up 125cm at its highest. A built-in capacitive touchscreen on the right controls the desk’s elevation along with three preset options. There’s even a power switch for you to turn off the control and save on electricity – good timing, considering how our utility bills are going northward.
One of the great things about the Magnus Pro being a magnetic desk is that it allows for a slew of customised accessories that you can use to hide or organise cables, or add-ons such as a headphone holder, without having to meddle with screws or clamps (the monitor arm gets a pass here). Want a coaster? Secretlab has, oddly enough, a magnetic coaster to hold your coffee mug in place. The company has even partnered with Nanoleaf to make MagRGB, a custom diffused RGB light strip that, yup, sticks onto the Magnus Pro via magnets.
Then there’s also the MagPad desk mat, which I cannot recommend highly enough, for aesthetic and practical reasons. Not only does it make the Magnus Pro look more luxurious, but it can also function as a mouse pad or cushion for your wrist when typing. This leatherette surface magnetically sticks to the top of the table and never slides around. With it, you won't have to worry about the all-metal desk getting scratched, or worse, scuffing your gadgets.
The accessorising potential doesn’t stop with Secretlab’s own solutions. I also have an NZXT magnet puck lying around that I can stick onto one of the desk’s legs to hang a second pair of headphones (a reviewer’s job hazard, you know). Want to jazz up the all-black design of the Magnus Pro? Go wild with magnet stickers. Basically, as long as it’s magnetic, it will work. And it’s so easy.
Is the Magnus Pro the best sit-to-stand table in the market? I think it really is.
Height adjustability was obviously a key feature that many owners of the original Magnus desk craved for, and while Secretlab could have just easily slapped height adjustable legs onto a new desk, I have to applaud them for thinking beyond what’s already available in the market (like the Omnidesk and the countless replicas of the same design) and innovate a sit-to-stand desk that rivals any other that I have seen. I’m especially impressed by how easily you can hide those pesky cables and even more, how you can power all your devices and the desk with just one single cable running from the leg of the desk. A quality steel build also means the table is much less likely to warp over time under load - unlike wood.
There's certainly room for improvement. For instance, I would rather the table have built-in power points inside the tray and USB ports along the desk. There’s a lengthier version, the Magnus Pro XL, which is longer at 177cm, but I really do want a Magnus table that has more depth to accommodate my 32-inch gaming monitor. Knowing Secretlab, I’m sure these were already considerations – perhaps for a future Magnus desk?
The Magnus Pro desk starts at S$899 (the longer Magnus Pro desk, S$999) at launch, and once you stack on accessories such as the desk mat, cable anchors, and the MagRGB, it balloons to S$1,122. That’s an awfully high price for a cable-mess-free height adjustable metal desk. But for someone like me who hates to fuss with zip ties and velcros fastening strips, and loves keeping the desk as clutter-free as possible, the Magnus Pro and its magnetic ecosystem is the perfect solution.