I never thought about how important things like a keyboard, mouse, or even a chair were, until I got back into PC gaming. When I first assembled my current computer and started playing PC games more and more, I noticed how the experience was a little marred by using my Logitech K350 keyboard, M510 mouse, and my hand-me-down faux-leather office chair that has been ripped apart by my cat, who previously made a habit of using it as an express lane to the kitchen of my parents’ split-level home.
I eventually got my hands on a new keyboard and mouse, but the chair… Well the chair took a little more time, and here’s why: I’ve never had a truly good office chair. This is probably due to the fact that up until very recently, I haven’t worked anywhere that actually allowed me to sit down for longer than it takes to fill out a workbook or enter in close-out numbers, and I usually played games on a laptop rather than a desktop.
The thing is, I’m a picky customer. I do a lot of research before I make a purchase, and chairs are no different. Gaming chairs get much harder to find something that fits what I was looking for, because it seems like every manufacturer out there is only interested in making the same thing: a chair that looks like it came out of a teenager’s modded Honda Civic. If that’s someone’s style, I totally get it, but I wanted something better.
I also didn’t want fake leather, or real leather for that matter. The fake stuff would tear too easily (like my old chair), and real leather just would make me sweat like a nerd at Dreamhack. Not to mention that real leather chairs are expensive. Furthermore, I wanted something that sat high enough, but had enough adjustableness (that’s actually a word?) to accomodate me when I want to lean back or mess with the armrests. Also, durable. All things lacking on my old chair.
I heard about Secretlab through a friend of Jennifer’s (I guess he’s my friend too, but he was her friend first so…), who would colloquially be called a mountain of a man. He easily has at least a foot and a half of clearance on me, and I’m 5’ 10” (~178cm in developed countries). So the way I figured it is that if his chair is good enough for him, it would be good enough for me. I took a look at their site and they have a nice little tool to help you find the right chair for you based on height and weight, and the Omega was recommended to me.
It arrived three days later in one of the largest boxes I have ever seen, and once I finished consoling myself after reading the ominous warning to not sever my hand with the Backrest Recline Lever, I assembled the chair.
I ended up with the Secretlab OMEGA 2020 SoftWeave™ in Charcoal Blue, and I have to say that not only does it look wicked sharp, but it’s comfy to boot. The armrests are made of some truly sturdy plastic, and a majority of the supportive structure of the chair appears to be aluminum and steel (which explains why it’s so heavy). The seat and backrest are firm, but still comfortable, and Secretlab shipped my Omega with a detachable headrest pillow (held on with an elastic band) and a lumbar support pillow, both made of memory foam with some fancy cooling gel stuff inside. The overall package itself makes for a chair that actually looks like something an adult would own, and the trademarked SoftWeave cloth is soft and breathable, though I’m not about to start testing durability.
As for adjustability, I can honestly say that I’ve never considered sleeping in a chair, but the Omega is definitely one I could do that in. It can not only lean back into nearly fully reclined position, and the base can be set to tilt back as well. The armrests can be adjusted to toe-in or toe-out, as well as allowing for them to be moved narrower or wider based on your needs.
It’s also quiet as well, which is something you don’t really think about until you sit in a chair that’s actually well-built. When I roll across to the printer or push back from the desk, it doesn’t sound like an orecart barrelling down a mineshaft. Likewise, since the piston doesn’t have much give to it, and the cover doesn’t just helplessly dangle about, sitting down and adjusting the chair height doesn’t make a clattering sound. No creaking, no groaning, no sound of air trying desperately to escape compression by my looming hind-quarters… At least until I gain another 40 pounds or so.
As I’m sure you may have already guessed, or perhaps discovered first-hand if you looked at Secretlab’s website, all that quality comes with a large caveat; Secretlab chairs aren’t cheap. For reference, I spent more money on my chair ($379) than I spent on my graphics card.
Hey, I got my RTX 2060 on sale, okay?
While that does sound like a lot… it is. Still, I don’t sit for long periods of time on my graphics card (nor is it recommended, for multiple reasons); while it’s said that it’s important for your components to be properly seated, I don’t think that’s necessarily what that means.
Seal of Approval (?)
With all this in mind, you may be wondering if the hefty price tag for a chair is worth it, and that’s a good question to ask yourself. That’s a good question to ask yourself regarding just about anything you buy.
“Is this patty melt worth it?” (definitely)
or “Is this college education worth it?” (debatable)
This same introspection applies to chairs. So you must ask yourself, “Is this Secretlab chair worth it?” Well, while you can’t shouldn’t eat it, and it would be onerous to try to hang it in a frame on the wall, you can sit in this chair. Maybe not my chair, but your own chair, assuming you buy one. With their product line ranging from the “Throne” in their “PRIME™ 2.0 PU Leather” at $329, to the “Titan” in “NAPA Leather” at a whopping $799, it’s a question of what you value in a sitting experience.
As for my personal thoughts, I love my Secretlab Omega chair, but you probably could glean that rather easily from my ramblings here. The real test however was whether or not Jennifer would like it, because she saw the price tag. Since she’s been on maternity leave, she’s been using my computer on occasion to do some learning, and having sat in my old chair and remarked on how uncomfortable it is, she’s given the proverbial two-thumbs up for
my our Omega.
So, if you just want your chair to fulfill the basics of being a chair, then you probably don’t need to spend much. However, if you want something that’s sturdy (and backed by a 3-5 year warranty), isn’t the office chair equivalent of a race car bed, and rather comfortable, then you should take a look at Secretlab.
What’s your gaming setup like? Do you have a preference in seating? Do you even sit?