Should You Buy a Gaming Desk? Let‘s Weigh the Pros and Cons

Are you considering upgrading your gaming setup with a flashy new gaming desk? The specialty desks promise ergonomic designs and features tailored specifically to enhance your gaming experience. But are the high costs and drawbacks worth it compared to a basic desk? Let‘s dig deeper into the pros and cons.

Overview

Gaming desks cater to enthusiasts by advertising things like:

  • Built-in cable management
  • RGB lighting
  • Cup holders, headset hooks
  • Height adjustability
  • Spacious surface for multiple monitors

These specialized features come at a premium cost though, with gaming desks ranging from $200 up to $500 or more.

In this guide, we‘ll analyze downsides of gaming desks to consider before buying. We‘ll also cover an affordable alternative desk focused more on function over form.

Key reasons to avoid purchasing a gaming desk include:

  • Limited flexibility
  • Big investment for limited usage
  • Large footprint consuming space
  • Immature aggressive aesthetic
  • Compromised durability
  • Lack of portability due to bulkiness

Let‘s explore each reason in depth, then compare to a basic desk costing far less…

Gaming Desks Offer Little Flexibility

Gaming desks promise optimized gaming environments catered to your exact needs. But what happens when those needs change? Their fixed designs and specialized customizations make gaming desks far less flexible than ordinary desks.

For example, say you purchase a gaming desk with room for two monitors. A year later, you decide you want to upgrade to a triple monitor battlestation. Can you simply buy a bigger stand and hook it up?

Odds are, no. The desktop size and placement of stand brackets probably won‘t accommodate a wider triple monitor setup. And hacking away at the desk to make modifications would undermine its structural integrity.

With a basic desk, you enjoy the flexibility to rearrange components and expand your workspace as needed. For the triple monitor scenario, buying a larger basic desk or tabletop to accomodate extra screens becomes a simple solution.

Gaming desks constrain you to a fixed setup, while ordinary desks keep your options open to grow.

Big Investment for Limited Use

Gaming desks command premium prices for all their custom gaming features. But for mixed use, you may end up overspending for limited benefit.

For example, the high-end XRocker Nexus Gaming Desk spans 48.4 x 29.3 inches across steel frames. It encompasses Bluetooth speakers, an illuminated mouse tray, extra wide surface and more. This level of specialization comes at a steep $599 cost.

In contrast, the IKEA Malm Basic Desk spans a comparable 47 1/4 x 27 1/2 inches across its particleboard andABS plastic build. Despite lacking fancy gaming features, its minimalist design handles gaming plus daily work needs — all for just $179.

That‘s a $420 price gap for a surface space difference of less than one foot in either direction!

Here are prices of other popular gaming desk models:

Gaming DeskPrice
Arozzi Arena$399.99
Flexispot GC01$299.99
Evodesk XE Gaming Desk$689-$2,699

By spending up to 2X, 5X or more over a basic desk, are all the gaming-centric extras worth it for the average user? Before dropping big bucks, carefully consider how often you will use the specialty features. Maximizing value may mean opting for simplicity even if lacks flashy design.

Space-Saving Claims May Be Misleading

Gaming desks come loaded with racks, brackets, compartments and shelves to organize all your gaming gear accessories and keep cables neatly tucked away.

But while they attempt to save internal space, the external footprint of gaming desks dominates compared to ordinary desks. Their sprawling surface areas and wide profiles overtake sizeable portions of any room.

Here are some dimensions of two popular gaming desk models:

Gaming DeskWidthDepthHeightTotal Square Footprint
Eureka Ergonomic60 in29.5 in48.4 in max15.6 sq ft
Arozzi Arena63 in32.2 in2.8-31.1 in18.3 sq ft

By comparison, the simple IKEA Malm desk checked in at:

DeskWidthDepthHeightTotal Square Footprint
IKEA Malm47 1/4 in27 1/2 in29 1/8 in max11.2 sq ft

That‘s over 30% less floor space consumed by the ordinary desk! Before getting sucked in by images of gaming desks loaded with shelves and trays for hardware, compare the raw surface and room clearance you‘ll need to accommodate any prospective purchase.

Just because a desk promises internal space optimizations doesn‘t mean its external footprint won‘t dominate your room. Measure thoroughly before bringing one of these beasts home.

Aggressive Styling Isn‘t for Everyone

Edgy, attention-grabbing racing stripes. Bold prints resembling circuit boards. Hyperactive RGB light strips pulsating across builds aping high-performance race cars…

Gaming aesthetic often feels intentionally immature, geared towards adolescent digital speed junkies obsessed with loud, flashy appearances.

But not all gamers crave this look or want their workspace shouting "GAMERZ ONLY!" Assuming they do ignores more demure preferences that deserve equal representation.

For those who prefer a subtle, sophisticated workspace, gaming desk designs miss the mark. Minimalist modern builds crafted from neutral-toned eco wood materials have their appeal too. Not every gamer wants to feel trapped inside a teenage underground street racing scene!

Fortunately, affordable basic desks ditch the extreme stylistic choices completely. Their understated, adaptive looks complement any room‘s existing visual identity rather than assaulting you with someone else‘s idea of radical gaming style.

Durability May Be Sacrificed

Aggressive racing Lines. Intricate graphical etchings along desktop borders. Undulating wave patterns carved across facades. Chromatic RGB light strips embedded seamlessly across builds…

No doubt, leading gaming desk brands imbue their products with serious visual polish and painstaking design details. But how much time do they spend on structural durability?

Cool-looking wave edges routed out of a desktop inevitably undermine its raw strength. Embedded lighting strips create points of failure as the components age. And intricate artistic embellishments don‘t contribute to a desk‘s longevity.

When aesthetics dominate design priorities rather than long-term stability and materials quality, structural compromises emerge over years of use. Seemingly badass gaming thrones slowly break down despite their outward swagger.

Ordinary desks made from tried and true wood materials like particle board, engineered wood composites and lamination avoid reliance on decorative frills. What you see is what you get — a basic work table built to reliably last decade after decade.

Their boring looks belie bulletproof builds able to withstand years of use that flashy gaming desks sometimes can‘t achieve. Function reigns over form.

Not Built for Portability

Let‘s face it — gamers accumulate a lot gear. Heavyweight towers, multiple monitors, peripherals… It all adds up. And gaming desks need to provide ample surface space for sprawling multi-component setups.

To both bear these hearty gaming loads AND remain stable, gaming desks run BIG. Extra thick surface boards plus reinforced internal framing result in formidable stationary objects weighing 100-200+ pounds!

attempting to relocate one of these heavyweights becomes a monumental chore. Forget sliding it smoothly across floors — you‘ll be awkwardly angling and tilting to inch the massive slab through doorways and around corners. Calling a full moving crew may end up necessary.

For permanent desk placements it won‘t matter. But future moves to new homes or offices will make you curse ever purchasing a colossal, static gaming table. Lighter basic desks around 50 pounds or less become much easier solo relocation projects, even if they can‘t hold quite as much equipment on their decks.

An Affordable Alternative: Ameriwood Dakota L-Desk

Instead of dropping $500+ on a specialty gaming desk, consider a budget-friendly alternative like the Ameriwood Dakota L-Desk:

  • $119.99 price saves hundreds over gaming options
  • 63.4 x 47.2 inch surface fits multiple monitors
  • Spacious 10 square foot footprint
  • Two open storage shelves for hardware, accessories
  • Sophisticated espresso black finish fits any room decor

For less than $120, you get an adaptable, modern workspace able to accommodate PC gaming and daily use. The neutral tone with wood grain finish looks sophisticated without shouting garish gamer aesthetics. Two open shelves provide storage for books, office supplies or PC accessories as needed.

While it lacks built-in features tailor-made for gaming, it‘s a fraction of the price of specialty desks — leaving room in your budget to customize further with added accessories. For example: external cable management boxes to organize wires, wall-mounted headset hooks, modular shelving units and more can all help optimize it for gaming…while retaining everyday workspace utility.

Alternatively, splurge on a sweet gaming chair for immersive play while enjoying extra savings from the desk itself. Just because your furniture takes a simplified approach doesn‘t mean you can‘t still deck out your gaming sanctuary in style!

And should future moves or layout changes arise, good luck hauling that 200 pound fixed-design gaming beast into your new place. The 63 pound Ameriwood desk disassembles conveniently for transport regardless of relocations down the road. Its long-term flexibility provides peace of mind no flashy gaming table can match.

It‘s tempting to invest in a highly specialized gaming desk decked out with custom features catering to your hobby. But before swiping that credit card, apply the brakes and weigh some potential downsides:

  • Fixed designs lack long-term flexibility
  • Premium costs offer limited value for mixed use
  • Bulky gaming desk footprint dominates living spaces
  • Immature stylistic choices won‘t suit all personalities
  • Fragile materials and decor may undermine durability
  • Good luck moving 200+ pounds in the future!

For most gamers, affordable basic desks offering reliable performance can prove smarter investments compared to overdesigned gaming thrones. Evaluate your specific workspace needs, stylistic preferences and future use scenarios before overspending on flashy furniture.

Sometimes the best solution hides in plain sight. A sturdy, minimalist desk simplifies your setup while keeping plenty of money in your pocket for other gaming gear investments. And leaves open way more options for rearranging things down the road!

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