The best gaming desk can be as integral to creating the ultimate gaming experience as a quality chair. Sure, you can jam the best graphics card into your machine, perch the whole system atop a beer keg, and the frame rate is going to be the same, but we’re spending more and more time in front of our PCs so it’s in your best interests to create an environment that works for you.
And the best gaming desk is an important part of that. Maintaining the right body position at your machine will ensure those many hours spent staring at your monitor aren’t going to result in actual pain. Paired with one of the best gaming chairs, in these working from home times of ours, such a setup will keep you happy, healthy, and on top of your game. Whether or not you’re actually gaming.
There are many different options on offer when it comes to picking the best gaming desk for you. The first thing to consider is your body position—do you want to be sitting, standing, or have the flexibility for both? Sitting for hours on end can have a negative effect on your body, as can standing in one position, so if you are going to be stationed at your machine for a long period of time, it’s worth going for a flexible option.
You also don’t have to ditch your current desk either, if it already has the storage you need, for example. You can pick up a desk converter that will allow you to go from sitting to standing easily.
Then you need to think about space, price, and cable management. Like it or not, our gaming PCs come with a whole lot of wires to manage. We’ve picked some different gaming desk options and tested them on our own setups at home.
The Flexispot EN1B may not have the catchiest name here, but it makes for an impressively sturdy, motorised adjustable desk for anyone looking to upgrade their home/gaming/office setup. And it will do it all at a reasonable price. The Flexispot supports heights from 71cm (27.8in) up to 121cm (47.6in), which should have you covered for all comfortable sitting and standing setups. The control panel can hold three different height profiles in its memory banks, and moves smoothly between them. Or you can set your own height manually, with the current level shown on the three-digit display.
Of course the main thing you want from any desk is stability. If everything is bouncing along as you type, it doesn’t matter if you’re sitting or standing, you’re going to want to break it up. The good news is that the Flexipost is rock solid—even though I have an old screen, with a flimsy stand, it doesn’t move even with my most aggressive of emails. The smooth action when you raise and lower the desk instils confidence too, and it’s just as sturdy at its highest position.
Construction is a straightforward task as well, taking just over an hour to turn the two boxes into a working, versatile desk. A few more pre-drilled holes for the control box and the central beam would have been nice, but the surface is easy enough to screw into with a little elbow grease. The only downside to the whole desk is that there are no sensors to stop the motor if it hits an obstacle when it’s going down, which could be expensive if your chair gets caught under it. Or upsetting if it’s your cat. Overall, an impressive desk for sitting and standing, for really not much cash.
First things first, this thing is excruciatingly heavy; I had to get help rolling the two separate boxes into the living room for unpacking. Once there, however, it took me around two hours to get it all together. After one minor cockup, a dash of assistance, and a pinch of spice, we finally got there. Now in my living room stands this beautifully rounded monstrosity, with enough desktop real estate to take on the state of Alaska.
The adorable illustrations in the manual made the process streamlined, but I will say the machining quality was a little off, with some misaligned holes and parts not sitting as flush as I would’ve expected. The legs are sturdy, but consider the surface you’re going to place the thing on carefully.
It actually recommends rug or carpet placement, as opposed to a hard surface floor. It has settled nicely into my thick carpet, after some anxiety over precarious wobbles, but there’s still a fair amount of travel when I push up to get out of my chair.
The built in mesh hammock for cable management, however, is awesome. And I’m no longer vexed by constantly falling off the edge of my mouse mat, because the whole surface of the desktop is a mouse mat. I was also mesmerised by the hydrophobic surface and have to resist deliberately spilling drinks to watch the liquid ball up. And, perhaps most of all, I love having so much desktop space.
So, while the engineers in my family would have been a little distressed by the setup, I am pretty enamoured with the final beast. I can fit my gaming tower up top comfortably, alongside my two monitors and peripherals, with loads of space for coffee cups, open notebooks and even a lamp. I’d say that’s a win.
The Lian Li DK-04F is the ultimate gaming desk, simply because it will essentially also be your PC and its security device too. It’s going to be incredibly hard for any would-be thief to make off with your rig should it be housed inside this weighty beast. With a 1 metre width, this beast is actually the smaller sibling too; Lian Li also makes the DK-05F, in which you can fit two discrete gaming PCs.
At its heart it’s a motorised standing/sitting desk with telescopic legs that can adjust at the press of a button. It’s endlessly tunable to hit the perfect height, and has four programmable height profiles, as well as manual adjustment buttons. Then it’s also a space-saving gaming chassis, as inside you can fit practically any PC components you could wish for, and it’s surprisingly easy to build into as well.
The desk itself is not that easy to actually build itself, however. The individual legs are super heavy, and the metal ‘chassis’ isn’t much better. You’re definitely going to need a hand building it, or maybe an engine winch.
It’s classic Lian Li too, by which I mean my fingers were striped with bloody slices once the chassis-on-legs was built. There were also some misaligned screw holes on my review sample, though that has not impacted it’s impressive solidity. In the end, even with a couple of monitors mounted directly on the desktop it’s a robust desktop, even at its full height.
Then there’s that tempered glass top. It’s frosted, which makes the included RGB strips look great when your system’s fully built, but at a single button press it can be made crystal clear so you can gaze adoringly down into your PC’s insides. It’s completely unnecessary and I love it. Though it’s a blessing and a curse because even the best gaming mouse will need a good mouse mat with that glass surface beneath it.
But, at $1,500, it’s insanely expensive, and with just a one year warranty that feels a little stingy too. And that’s also without any of the components needed to actually build a PC into it. All told that’s a hell of a lot for a gaming desk, and a lot for a PC chassis. But it absolutely is a lovely, lovely thing for the serious enthusiast.
You may not want to completely replace your office furniture—or even be able to if it’s not actually yours—which makes a converter, such as VariDesk’s Pro Plus range, a great option. The Pro Plus is available in different sizes and is able to sit atop most desktops and immediately gives you the ability to switch from sitting to standing.
It’s also one of the simplest ways to get yourself a standing desk; it requires no setup and doesn’t impact the desktop you place it on. The VariDesk Pro Plus comes ready to roll straight out of the box. All you need to do is place it on top of your current desk and you’re good to go. You’ll just need some strength to get it there as this thing is not light.
Though, once it’s set up, that’s not an issue and means it’s an impressively sturdy solution at each of its 11 height settings. We’ve been able to run a pair of monitors on the top section with the extended lower section ideal for mouse and keyboard. Okay, it’s not ideal for a mouse, because the surface does not play nice with most sensors. We actually had to jury rig our own shaped mouse mat to get a decent experience, but the two-tier stepping still makes for a great desktop.
The VariDesk isn’t motorized, but it uses a spring-loaded mechanism with twin handles to make it easy to quickly move from sitting to standing. The action is smooth and doesn’t require a huge amount of force to shift, even when there are multiple monitors and peripherals sat on top of it.
The first thing you’ll notice is that the BDI Stance is gorgeous. The satin-etched tempered glass surface and powder coated steel legs put it leagues ahead of cheaper standing desks which often use a laminate surface that’s easy to scratch. BDI claims its glass finish offers protection against scratches and fingerprints, and our experience mostly validates that claim.
Assembly took a little over an hour, and we recommend having a second person around to help get it upright since it weighs over 100 pounds. The 48 x 24-inch desk was more than enough space for me, though if you need the extra room, these desks also come as large as 66 x 30-inches.
The only big negative against the Stance as a gaming desk is that there is a noticeable lack of storage. The optional keyboard drawer is a great place for hiding away a keyboard and mouse, since there are little cut-outs to run cable through. For day to day use, the surface on the keyboard drawer is an unflattering textured rubber that doesn’t make for a great gaming mouse surface. If you do skip the drawer, invest in a giant mousepad to give you all the gaming surface you need without smudging the glass.
Sure it’s super-pricey, but if you have about $1,400 burning a hole in your pocket, and are looking to class up your work and play space, the BDI Stance electric lift desks are seriously well-crafted and stylish.