How We Tested Gaming Desks
I’m Alex Kane, an editor at Reviewed and the author of the Boss Fight Books volume on Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Before coming to work here full-time, I spent five years covering pop culture and video games for publications like Fangoria magazine, PC Gamer, Polygon, Rolling Stone, StarWars.com, and Variety. I work from home in west-central Illinois.
Focusing on just one product at a time, I assembled and tested each desk in my home. For a minimum of 16 hours apiece (often a lot more), I used them as workstations for my normal day-to-day duties, taking extensive notes about my experience with each one. I also spent a lot of time playing computer games like Magic: The Gathering Arena, listening to podcasts, and reading comics the way I would if I’d purchased the desk myself.
Perhaps most importantly, I filled out spreadsheets with answers and ratings for various subjective and objective criteria—such as assembly time and comfort level—and used those to score each product as accurately as possible. I factored in my own personal preferences, too.
What to Consider When Buying a Gaming Desk
What Is a Gaming Desk?
A good gaming desk is one with ample space for you, your gaming rig, and anything you might need to facilitate your video-game habits. Do you want space for two monitors? Three? Are you playing on a large gaming PC or a small console? Consider what decorative items or accessories you might want close at hand. The right gaming desk will look like a reflection of your gaming life but also feel invisible when you’re focusing on a heated multiplayer match or gripping story. If you get one that doesn’t suit your habits and preferences, it could put a serious damper on your gaming life—and leave you with a case of buyer’s remorse.
Types of Desks
There are two main types of gaming desk: traditional, standard desks and L-shaped ones. L-shaped desks can be symmetrical or simply offer a little extra space on one side—which makes a great place to put a CPU, for example, if you prefer to keep it up off the floor. And every desk will have slightly different dimensions and geometry, so you’ll want to read reviews to get a sense of how people are using a given desk, how comfortable it is, and so on.
Size and Shape
Before you pull the trigger on a new gaming desk, take some time to consider your posture. How do you tend to lean for comfort during long sessions at a desk? How do you position your arms, elbows, and wrists? Believe me, a sharp edge digging into your wrists gets old fast. Ask yourself whether you want the desk to have an L-shaped design, a deep central work surface, or a particular texture. The slightest variation in shape can make a real difference. How might the desk you’re considering accommodate your keyboard, mouse pad, and gaming rig? And the bigger your desk, the more likely you’ll need help transporting it and putting it together.
Adjustability and Usage
There are three main ways that the popular gaming desks let you adjust for comfort and usability. If you’re not of average height, for example, you may want one that lets you increase or decrease the height of the work surface; this feature isn’t as common as you might expect. Second, different flooring types or rooms can cause issues with stability. If your desk is wobbling or sliding around, a good product will usually let you tighten or loosen the pads under the legs to level things out.
And, finally, some desks offer special monitor stands or other optional accessories to help you get the most out of your space without giving up the parts of your setup that matter most. You’ll probably want a desk that offers at least one of these conveniences.
Other Gaming Desks We Tested
More Articles You Might Enjoy
Checking our work.
We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.