When Singapore-based gaming chair maker Secretlab told me it had something new, I didn't expect it would be radically different from its current lineup. After all, the last design refresh the company did was introducing fabric to its Omega, Titan and Throne chairs, which were very nice.
What Secretlab had, however, was radically different -- the company is making office chairs, called NeueChairs, with a 12-year warranty to boot. The NeueChair is made up of top-grade aluminium alloy and comes in silver or obsidian, with the latter sporting extra plating on the frame for corrosion resistance.
These chairs feature a three-layer mesh to keep you cool, and has ergonomic support that you'd find on the company's gaming chairs as well higher-end office seats to boot. Other features include an adjustable back rest position and a tension knob to control how springy the chair feels when you lean backwards.
One cool tweak that made a lot of sense, at least to me, was to shift the height adjusting lever to just below the right arm rest. Usually you have to reach underneath the seat to do this, and putting it under the arm rest is such a great idea, I don't know why I've not seen it on other chairs. On the left arm rest is another lever; this one controls the back rest lock, click it once to lock it in place when you want to sit upright and focus, click it again to loosen it so you can lean backwards.
I tried out a sample NeueChair for a few hours, and while I liked the features offered, I just couldn't get used to the fact it wasn't a Secretlab Omega. I'm just so used to the the comfortable padded feel of the Omega I've been using in the office and its high backrest that the NeueChair felt slightly uncomfortable.
But if you've been using an office chair without any ergonomic features, the NeueChair feels like a substantial upgrade, and it's not as big as the Secretlab gaming chairs, which can be a plus if you're lacking space. The design is also pretty high-end and should fit in great in most offices.
The NeueChair is available for $549 (silver) and $649 (obsidian), with prices set to go up once the launch sale ends. In Australia, the prices are AU$849 and AU$949 respectively, while in the UK it will go for £499 and £599 at launch. It's expensive, but it is a high-end ergonomic chair, and those normally don't come cheap.