For my testing, I set the Arena desk up in my office and setup our Lunchbox 4 build with a 34-inch ultrawide curved display. For gaming I can’t think of a better setup to have, I would be running this exact monitor on my personal rig if I didn’t use my 3+1 monitor configuration so much when working. That said I paired the PC and monitor up with the Logitech g502 Spectrum and a Cooler Master Masterkeys Pro S. With everything out on the desk I set out to get everything wired up, taking advantage of the holes built into the desk and the mesh net under the desk. While doing that I learned a few things about this setup. For starters, the holes are awesome, I ended up with just the cabled for my mouse and keyboard. Everything else was run right down into and then under the desk. Check out how clean it looks under the monitor and behind the PC.
Where things did get interesting though was getting everything in the mesh. For starters, I would highly suggest Velcro wire ties on all of your cables to wrap up any extra cord length to make it easier to put everything in the mesh. Beyond that I also think that you should mount a power strip to the bottom of the desk, it would be really cool if they did this for you, but who wants to have a bunch of power cords sticking out from their clean wiring. The other issue I ran into was when I plugged our monitor in, it has a large power brick and the weight of that brick pulled the mesh down really low and it looked bad. I ended up sitting it right over the middle support wire, but I think the mesh net needs a few more support wires. It is fine when you have a PC setup without any power bricks, but a lot of monitors are using them now, plus what if you wanted to hide a powered USB splitter or something similar up under here.
So here is a lower angled shot of the desk with everything installed. It looks very clean with no wires hanging down. At the lower angle, you can still see the mesh hanging a little low and more support would fix that, but it I don’t think most people would notice unless you looked for it. Now the messy wires to the right and left of the desk on the other hand, those are noticeable, but they have nothing to do with the Arena desk lol.
Beyond the wire management, I spent a lot of my time when testing out the Arena just focusing on the mouse pad top surface. I’ve seen people use large mouse pads under their keyboard and mouse, I’ve seen a mouse pad so big that it is used as a welcome rug, I’ve even used a big mouse pad as a lap warmer, but I’ve never seen a pad cover the entire top of a desk. There are a few benefits, the most obvious is that you don’t have to use an additional mouse pad and when gaming you never run off of your mouse pad. Tracking on the surface was actually really good, it is a standard soft mouse pad surface so most people will feel right at home using it. The surface gives a little padding under your keyboard and arms, this cuts down on noise when typing and is just a lot more comfortable when you have your arms up on your desk. The downside is that the padding is also up under your monitor and it may rock around a little more. It wasn’t super obvious in my testing and frankly the rest of the desk was so solid it was the only movement I saw.
The surface has the embroidered edge all around it to hopefully keep the pad in good shape. Soft mouse pads normally wear out first on the edges and start to peel up or fray. This should cut down on that, but I do still have some concerns about the long-term use of a mouse pad over the top of the whole desk. Having drinks on it not to mention spills could be issues. Add to that you will have your arms over it when they aren’t always perfectly clean, I have to wonder how funky the pad will eventually get for some people. Unlike a glass or wood desk, you can’t just spray it and clean up any mess.
When building the Arena desk I mentioned that the pad was about an inch too big. Well after a little time it did shrink slightly, the rest I was able to even around across both sides to get a good fit. You can see in the photo below that it doesn’t stick off the edge very much and the curve from the mat being rolled up dropped except back in the back where my modem was still holding it up until right before this photo.
At 63 inches wide, this is a large desk, larger than most of the basic office desks. But that is a good thing, gamers sometimes have large computers, use multiple monitors or in this case a really wide monitor, and they need a lot of room for their mouse. The Arena does give you all of that. In fact, the desk felt almost empty when using it in this configuration with the tiny Lunchbox build and a TKL keyboard. For part of my testing I actually also had our testbench sitting up on the left side of the table. You could also use the extra space for a hobby like one of the 3d printers sitting next to the desk in the photo below. There is enough room to have your PC and to make a mess. You can also make even more room if you put your PC under the desk and went with a monitor stand, my wife is most likely going to be using the Arena in that configuration in the future. The rounded front edge that slightly wraps around you helps give a little extra space and with the adjustable height, you can really tune the desk to fit perfectly.