It seems like there’s a product dedicated to just about anything these days, especially when it comes to gaming. There’s no doubt that it comes down to personal preference for something like a desk. All it really needs to be is a flat surface that’s big enough for your monitor, mouse, and keyboard to rest on. That’s really just the bare minimum though, and if you spend more time at your home computer these days, you probably want something that makes the daily experience better. We’re going to take a look at the Anda Seat Masks 1200 gaming desk today to see if it can do exactly that, as well as how it holds up for review.
The first thing to establish about the Anda Seat Masks gaming desk is that it comes from a brand that is most known for its high-end gaming chairs. The Anda Seat chairs are good, but they do command a premium price. The same appears to be the case for this desk when it comes to pricing. This desk will set you back $360 USD, which is a considerable amount to spend on something like this. As such, the Anda Seat Masks gaming desk needs to justify that price tag in this review.
Commodities like enough surface area, cable management options, interfaces for additional devices, adjustability, range of user movement, and storage options all come to mind as useful and common features for a modern computer desk. Things like sleek styling, headphone rests, and RGB also come to mind for gaming setups. The Masks gaming desk does deliver on some of these things, but it falls short of its overall potential. This is due to a lack of features, but also the cheap build quality.
Design, specs, and features
When you first see the Masks gaming desk, it looks relatively sleek and stylish. It features angled legs with a flashy carbon fiber print on the desk board. In addition to that, it has aesthetic paneling that wraps around the desk board which gives it an aggressive, sporty vibe. There are also a few extra handy features like the dual headphone hooks, cable routing ports, cable management rack, optional cupholder mounting brackets on both sides, and of course the RGB lights. Anda Seat even threw in a free wide-style mousepad that’s pretty decent quality and more than functional.
I discovered a few things along the way while setting this desk up that I think give the Masks desk some deserved design points. For starters, you can adjust the feet by slightly unscrewing them to get it perfectly level on flat surfaces, so no wobbles here. Additionally, the wall-facing side has a panel that breaks up the outline of the desk for some of those sleek looks, but doubles as a wall-stop so your cables have a small passthrough corridor to get below the desk. The desk has cable-routing ports built into it, but you will undoubtedly need to run some larger cables, like those for monitors and PSUs, through the back.
The concept of built in headphone hooks is another good consideration for something like a gaming desk. Adding them to both sides also makes sense for several reasons. However, the hooks on the Anda Seat Masks gaming desk are far too narrow. When considering the padding on any headphones, these narrow hooks are sure to leave imprints over time, which means the only other solution is to hang the headphones at angle that won’t interfere with the padding and damage it.
Not so lit
The RGB lighting is another point of concern. Billed as a major feature for this product, the RGB presentation comes off as cheap and disappointing by today’s RGB lighting standards. The clear plastic housing from which it shines through has a dated appearance about it. It looks like something you’d see in a car headlight from the ’80s. As for the lighting itself, there are hardly any LEDs inside. This combined with the clear housing results in a dim, uneven effect that’s generally disappointing. You can choose between about six different colors, but there are no rainbow/other effects or software sync options for the rest of your lighting. This is something you’re honestly better off without.
Is this your fit?
Surface area is another thing that you won’t get a lot of with the Anda Seat Masks gaming desk. This desk measures in at just 47 inches (119.4 cm) in length and 23 inches (58.4 cm) in width. Anyone looking to get their full-size desktop off of the ground and away from dust and other hazards will want to look elsewhere. However, if you’re limited for space and looking for something compact and portable to fit into a dorm, the Masks gaming desk is a great size.
There is plenty of space for dual monitors, your basic peripherals, some gaming décor, and even a console, laptop, or ITX PC. Anything larger than that is not recommended though, as the space will definitely begin to feel crowded. This desk comes fixed at a height of 29 inches (73.6 cm), so your chair will have to compensate for tweaking height comfort. Whatever the case, you will want to consider your current and future needs for space and comfort before buying this or any desk.
The design and features of the Masks desk check off a number of boxes that are typically relevant to gamers, but the competition is actually quite fierce when it comes to gaming desks. If anything, this is an entry-level product with nothing particularly standout about it. Other brands offer features like modern USB docks, built-in power strips and wireless charging pads, RGB-sync software integration, and even magnetic desk clamps for cable management. With these features in mind, the Masks desk feels basic.
Putting things together
The Anda Seat Masks gaming desk arrives in a solid packaging arrangement. There’s no excess waste, and there’s a low chance of the product getting damaged from shipping. However, I will note my unit had some scratches on the desk surface, which likely happened prior to packaging. This signals poor quality control.
Getting everything unpacked and sorted is easy enough. The problems begin once you get to the instruction manual, which is a classic example of vague directions that lead to frustration. There are no written instructions, and you instead have to rely upon diagrams that don’t offer much context about orientations and what specific screws go where. As such, I decided at one point to use my own screws and washers to ensure a solid connection between the frame and the board. That may not have been necessary, but it wasn’t until later that I realized which screws went where. All in all, this is an issue that a customer should never have to deal with.
I also have to bring up the random screwdriver that came with the desk. While it seems like a nice gesture, it doesn’t fit any of the screw heads. I have to wonder why the manufacturer even included at all.
This assembly process came as a stark contrast to how easy it was to follow Anda Seat’s assembly instructions for its gaming chairs. In retrospect, the Masks gaming desk is very easy to assemble when done right, but it’s not explained whatsoever. As such, I got it wrong several times and had to retrace my steps. This turned a 20-30 minute setup process into an hour and a half ordeal.
In a day and age where we have online platforms like YouTube, it’s inexcusable that Anda Seat doesn’t offer an official video on how to easily assemble its premium desk. While the product itself comes up lacking, the customer experience should not at this price point.
The build quality leaves much to be desired
By now it shouldn’t come as any surprise to learn that multiple cheap components mar the build quality of the Anda Seat Masks gaming desk. This is largely in reference to the plastic panels that give the design some of its flare, though that doesn’t paint the whole picture.
As already stated, the poor assembly experience can lead to errors along the way. If you have to back screws out multiple times, you might not be able to securely fasten them again which can affect how solid the unit feels. The screws weren’t as tight after sinking them back in the second time, which is certainly a reason not to break this unit down if you ever intend to move it. Despite this, it does feel quite solid when everything is put together aside from those plastic panels.
For $360 USD, this desk needs to be all metal in design. The plastic not only looks and feels cheap, but also detracts from the perceived value of this product. I anticipate the plastic breaking at some point. Probably if the desk were ever to be moved and accidentally dropped or banged around much. I reference the cheap feet as a good example, because there was oddly one extra foot included in the box. After taking a hammer to it with a medium amount of force, it crumbled in two hits. If someone were to accidentally drop the desk, damage would likely happen. Lastly, I don’t recommend even attaching the plastic covers for the lower legs. They don’t fit properly and just rattle every time you brush up against them.
Fortunately, I can say good things about the carbon fiber laminate, which I was initially concerned would be cheap. Here’s the great news. You can leave puddles of water on it for hours and beat it with the tip of the screwdriver without breaking through the material. It’s tough, well implemented, and looks great. The only thing gripe I have is that it tends to accumulate some light oil smudges. You can clean the desk with some degreaser though and the leftover is barely noticeable.
There are still a few other pain points to talk about in other areas. For one, the LED button feels cheap and unsatisfying to press. It appears the manufacturer gave up on the cable management for the included lighting too. They just taped part of down, while the rest just hangs loose under the desk. I also noted that the Anda Seat logos on the desk legs appear uneven and blurry. That’s the last you’d think any company would overlook. It truly makes me feel that the company really didn’t give much care to this product.
The Anda Seat Masks gaming desk is another case of a product that doesn’t live up to the online pictures or the quality of the company’s other offerings. While it looks solid and sleek in the online images, the mock-ups don’t translate to the final product. Truth be told, it looks great. But the excitement I had for this desk quickly dwindled upon receiving it and I can’t recommend it.
The Masks desk simply feels out of date for its price point. 15 years ago, it might have been hailed as an impressive gaming desk. But there are simply way more impressive and higher quality features that can be had in desks these days. Often times for much less money. I found plenty of suspiciously similar desks at various online merchants under other brand names for a fraction of the price. I suspect Anda Seat customized the Masks gaming desk for its brand, but the parts come from the same manufacturer that the other brands use.
With that said, Anda Seat seems interested in making good products, but this is not one of them. The company is best off retiring this model and moving on to something that actually competes in the higher end of gaming desks. If you’re looking for something much cheaper with similar features, we can recommend the Atlantic Viper 3000. For a little more mullah though, you can grab the Ewin 2.0 RGB Gaming Desk and at least get some decent RGB effects.