Before we get this review going, it’s important to note that we’re looking at a high-end brand today. BDI makes a variety of office furniture with an emphasis on design and quality. The BDI Sigma 6901 is priced at $1179 USD currently, which might sound like a tall order compared to previous desks we’ve reviewed like the Flexispot Comhar EG8 or Ewin RGB Gaming Desk. The large initial investment on a BDI Sigma is certainly nothing to scoff at, but we can say with confidence that it’s worth it. Those who want something sleek and refined that feels comfortable and practical to sit at should give this product a serious look. Its quality materials, large surface area, cable routing options, and freedom from movement constraints make it a pleasure to use.
Simply put, your quality of life drastically improves when your everyday items excel at their intended functions. The little things can really add up, and the BDI Sigma 6901 made it painfully obvious how uncomfortable and impractical my previous setup was for work as well as gaming. Let’s dive into the specs and general features for this desk, then talk setup, build quality, and usability. We’ll then discuss the buying recommendation, overall conclusions, and score.
An overview of specs and features
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 BDI Sigma is technically not a gaming desk, so it avoids such trends, but it is still great for gaming setups.
|Desk width||66in / 168cm|
|Desk depth||24in / 61cm|
|Desk height||29in / 74cm|
|Desktop weight limit||75lbs / 34kg|
|Desktop materials||Tempered glass|
|Leg material||Powder coated steel|
|Drawer material||Manufactured wood|
|Storage||x1 drawer – centered, retractable|
|Drawer width||26in / 66cm|
|Drawer depth||13in / 33cm|
|Drawer height||2in / 5cm|
|Cable management||Full length concealment (magnetic) + leg routing cable|
|Power strip tray||Yes – hinged|
|Device power interfaces||No|
|Device/arm mounting points||Pressure mounts to frame|
|Matching furniture collection||Yes|
|Color options||Sepia / Strata|
When you first sit down at the BDI Sigma 6901, you’ll immediately realize that it has a huge surface area with plenty of space for your stuff on top and your legs below. The shape of the desk is just a simple rectangle, but the dimensions feel perfect for gaming. Whether you’re rocking triple monitors or want to get your desktop off the floor, there’s still plenty of room to where you don’t feel cramped.
The glass surface is smooth and easy to slide your fingers across unlike normal glass, and it’s designed to leave behind minimal smudges or marks. And since it’s glass, it’s easy to clean and won’t stain. The glass finish also has a low to medium gloss finish so light softly reflects off of it.
The Sigma only has a single drawer for storage, but it’s large enough to fit a laptop and additional accessories, or comfortably accommodate a mouse and full-size keyboard. Just pop the cover down flat and you’ll be able to use it for said peripherals. The drawer also fully slides out so you can easily remove anything from within. Bonus points for the grippy laminate liner.
Cable management is another selling point for this desk. As PC owners, we manage more than a few cords, and personally, I’d like to leave even more laying around if it didn’t look so unsightly. The BDI Sigma allows you to run bundles of cables if desired, and the desk features a retractable built-in power strip tray so you can consolidate everything within the spacious and full-length cable routing compartments below. The cable concealment panels are also detachable on both sides so you can easily manage your setup and place the desk in the middle of a room without looking unsightly. There’s even an included cable router for one of the legs to further reduce cable visibility.
The Sigma does come up short as far as electronics features go. It doesn’t have any power integrations like USB ports or wireless charging, there are no headphone hooks, and most certainly not RGB. But the sheer size of this desk and some creative thinking can make this more of a gaming desk if you want to go that route. We’ll get to that more in a bit.
There are a few things that set the BDI Sigma apart from your basic desk. Looks and surface area are givens, but the materials, build quality, ease of assembly, and quality of life features cannot be downplayed. Although expensive, this is a product that will make you feel like your money actually got you something worthy of the price, which, frankly, cannot be said about all desks.
Putting things together
The BDI Sigma could be the easiest desk you ever assemble. From the moment you take it out of the box, the parts are all quick to identify and organize. Directions can be a huge pain point with a lot of furniture, as there are often poorly drawn diagrams, a lack of explanations, and even missing information in grievous cases.
None of this is a problem with the BDI Sigma, as the directions are top notch. In fact, you barely even need the directions since the design is so simple. Everything attaches together with a single bolt type. BDI also preassembled the drawer sliders, which can be a nightmare to fool with. As someone that’s assembled a lot of furniture and other products, it’s very refreshing to see the user-friendly design. This also means no accidental assembly issues that result in backtracking. It’s just easy.
Like with any big piece of furniture, you definitely want to put it together in the room where it will eventually reside. However, the BDI Sigma will fit through standard US door frames provided you don’t need to make any tight turns. Assembly of this desk generally only takes one person, though you’ll definitely want some help when moving the glass top.
The most difficult part of assembly was just getting the bolts lined up, which is typically how all of these things go. BDI provides a hex tool for screwing in the bolts, which is all you need for assembly. Notably, the hex tool was surprisingly difficult to snap into the bolt heads, but you won’t strip anything at least.
Once you get the frame together, the rest is a total breeze. The cable management panels feature magnets that attach to the frame which makes the final few stages of assembly feel easy and rewarding. Lastly, you just need to lower the glass top into place. Don’t forget to adjust the height on the feet so the desk sits level on your floor.
The assembly process is just so easy compared to other products. The only negative thing that can really be said is that the tape was a bit loose on one side of the box when the desk arrived. Fortunately, nothing was damaged.
Exceptional build quality meets smart design
While the above tagline sounds like it came straight from a marketing department, the BDI Sigma really lives up to the statement. Cheap pieces of furniture often aren’t built to last and tend to have questionable design choices that can at times make you wonder why the manufacturer even bothered. Everything about the Sigma works and feels like it was designed with careful attention to detail and a build quality to match. It could easily be the last desk you need for a long time due to how well it stands up to wear.
The Sigma feels like a desk that can be put together and taken back apart numerous times over without problems. Oftentimes, cheap hardware will only fit together at its best the first time. This is particularly true of particle board. Cheap bolts/screw heads can also wear if you apply too much torque (sometimes even just a normal amount of torque can strip the heads).
This is why we found it so refreshing when assembling the BDI Sigma. There are no cheap materials which will wear out or get dinged up. The bolts are made of high quality metal that doesn’t strip even under high torque. The metal frame is totally sturdy and protected by a scratch-resistant powder coating. The manufactured wood is flexible, dense, and scratch-resistant as well. Even the drawer slides and hinges open (to become a keyboard tray) without any play whatsoever. We also noted that this desk is manufactured in Turkey.
For stress testing, we implemented our usual methods of testing surfaces for physical abuse, checking overall frame integrity, and looking for potential wear points. The Sigma doesn’t have any wear points to speak of and there’s zero play or rattle in the frame when assembled. The thick powder coating also resists marks from any clamps you might want to use for things like microphone or webcam arms. As for strike tests, we were able to leave marks in the powder coating, but we couldn’t expose any bare metal. The same can be said about the manufactured wood surfaces. Keep in mind we use the sharp edge of a flat-head screwdriver plus a reasonable amount of force, so the Sigma is pretty tough. The scratch marks are only visible in direct light, so the chances of marring the appearance in everyday use are very low.
The BDI Sigma is by no means indestructible though, so don’t go flipping tables if you lose a particularly intense match. That glass top is only about a quarter inch thick. Perhaps the only complaint we have about the materials is the thickness of the glass. While we’re no materials engineers, it does seem like something slightly thicker would be preferable and could strengthen the design. At just 75lbs, the maximum weight limit could be a point of concern for some.
That’s still more than enough to handle a full size PC, 27-inch monitor, peripherals, a lamp, and two laptops though as I’m writing this. As long as you’re not trying to load the desk up or lean on it with your full bodyweight while already under load from your hardware, this limit shouldn’t ever be an issue.
A triple digit weight limit would be preferable, but we can at least say the glass is tough and resists scratches. We used far less pressure, but did impact it a few times with the screwdriver and it didn’t leave any noticeable scratches. Just don’t go testing your luck. If a freak accident does occur though, BDI offers support for ordering a replacement glass top so you’re not stuck with a ruined desk.
We’d also like to call attention to a couple more things including the magnetic cable concealment panels. This excellent solution makes the panels toolless and effortless to remove and put back. It also circumvents the need for bolts that could wear over time. Digging further into the cable management compartment, you’ll find slits with heavy-duty felt material for concealment and keeping the cable routing orderly.
Should you find any manufacturing defects with the Sigma desk, BDI also provides a three-year warranty and support.
Viable for work and play
BDI originally designed the Sigma with work in mind, but then realized that gaming is awesome and that there are plenty of professionals that actively game. And while it may be a subject of debate on how much adulting players actually do at times, you can probably agree that your office doesn’t need to look like an RGB-enhanced gaming den if you use the room for dual purposes. You can minimize the gaming aesthetic with this desk, or at least present yourself as a classy gamer. Nothing is going to hide that flashy desktop PC though if we’re being honest.
As already mentioned, the dimensions of this desk and the range of motion make it fantastic for work and gaming. Thanks to the desk’s depth of 24 inches, I can work on a laptop comfortably with room for my 27-inch monitor behind it. Once I’m done working on the laptop or need a larger display, it’s as easy as moving the laptop out of the way and pulling my desktop keyboard and mouse up.
Thanks to the length of 66 inches, I can also work with a laptop to the side of my desktop setup if necessary or roll back and forth to each device as needed while maintaining excellent posture. This would simply not be possible with a desk that had lower cabinets, and the thin legs flush with the end of this desk further enhance the range of motion.
Once you’re ready for some gaming, the BDI performs just as well. The surface area of the desk allows for any size of keyboard and mouse to be used. You also have plenty of room for large mousepads, and the smooth glass surface provides plenty of grip to prevent your peripherals from sliding around. If your preferred input is controller, you’ll like that the desk is about 2.25-inches thick, which allows you to sit relatively close without having to worry about bumping into anything below. However, you will not like that the same thin profile results in a drawer too shallow for a controller to be stored in. Keyboards, mic, and plenty of other things do fit in this space though.
Then there’s the matter of getting your PC off of the floor. Having the desk real estate to fit a full-size case at the end is a game-changer. This not only lets you show off your glorious battle station, it also gets it away from hazards. That includes pets, kids, dust, and accidents. Even with a large desktop, you can still manage a dual-monitor setup with room to spare.
If you like accessories, it’s also worth looking into some racks or magnet systems for additional device and cable management. There’s a lot of deskspace and the extensive steel frame to work with that can help the Sigma meet your needs better. If this suggestion sounds familiar, it’s because Secretlab markets various accessories with its Magnus desk it launched last year. We are talking added costs to something already expensive, but this is one way to give the Sigma more of the “gaming” features if those are important to you.
If you’re a content creator this desk is a little more difficult to justify, but it could still work for you. You will have some limitations with mounting points for clamps since glass is the last thing you want to apply pressure to, but the steel side rails which are part of the frame are perfect for pressure mounts. You also might be able to pair up certain hardware combinations like how the Corsair Xeneon monitor features built-in mounts for peripherals. Just check around.
Should you buy the BDI Sigma desk?
Although the BDI Sigma is not the ultimate desk for gaming tasks due to things like the 75lb weight limit, shallow drawer depth, and the lack of mounts for streaming peripherals, it is still a very nice desk overall. It feels worthy of the price tag given the potential for productivity, the quality, and wealth of space. There will be those unable to justify the price tag, but it does feel like a good investment for anyone working from home or interested in creating a fancy gaming space. The quality of life improvements are clear, and you can easily make this desk work in a dual purpose role to give your gaming setup a lift.
The height of this desk is something to consider though if you’re particularly tall. The Sigma only measures up to 29 inches, which means tall folks might run into some posture issues. At 5 foot six inches, the Sigma feels fantastically comfortable for me. We also had a test subject that was 6 feet tall try the desk and they thought it was reasonably comfortable still. We can’t say for sure that anyone above this height will agree though, as desk height preferences can be subjective.
It might not hurt to look at one of the standing desk models from BDI if you like the quality but are concerned about sizing. However, we haven’t reviewed the standing desk models and those are even more expensive. From what we’ve seen with the Sigma desk though, BDI seems like a very competent furniture manufacturer. It also makes plenty of matching furniture if you want to pull the room together around this desk. The Sigma also comes in a cheaper, more compact size or the option to convert the 6901 version into a corner desk for even more surface space.
You shouldn’t buy the Sigma if you’re strapped for cash or have concerns about the glass top. As we’ve already shown, it can handle a full setup, so the weight limit shouldn’t stop you from thinking it’s impractical. If you just want something with as much surface area as the Sigma, there are plenty of cheaper options online. You’ll sacrifice looks, build quality, and features though.
The Sigma 6901 just feels awesome to work and game at. You’ll definitely feel more comfortable, and likely more productive as well. $1179 USD is a chunk of change for sure, but then again, people don’t seem bothered about paying that for a graphics card these days. This desk will last you a lot longer.