Gaming chairs or work from home chairs? Ars tests two under $500


557
557 points

Once assembled, the omega blew me away from the moment I sat. The faux leather has very fine, low-profile grain and feels very high quality. The padding is incredibly solid – the chair looks a lot like the driver’s seat of an expensive sports car. There was no hint of crackle or looseness in the chair itself or its wheels as I rolled it out of the garage, down the sidewalk, and then carried it home.

One word of warning: both of these chairs heavy. Office chairs usually weigh around 25-35 lbs – Secretlab Omega weighs 66 lbs, and the Anda Fnatic we will cover in the next section weigh 72 lbs. Having a partner to help with lifting and carrying when necessary makes life a lot easier, especially if you have stairs to navigate.

You are your fanatic

Opening the box for Anda Fnatic doesn’t have the same “wow factor” it had for Secretlab Omega. The package offering is best described as “everything crammed in there is fine,” and there are no fancy foam blocks with custom cutouts or custom boxes for the tools provided.

However, Fnatic’s actual assembly process is much smoother and easier. The traditional two-step assembly booklet is easy to follow with only 2 steps per page. There are no terrible warnings about the pieces you shouldn’t touch, all screws are the same size, and the included Allen wrench provides a lot of leverage to tighten properly.

There was also no struggle to crush the seat back with the base while screwing them together; For the most part, this installation was very smooth. The only hassle I ran into were with the little plastic dust caps, covering the screws on the side of the chair. It looks like they don’t fit the chair at all – that’s because, technically, it doesn’t fit them.

It looks as if the dust caps should be blown off the sides of the chair, then secured with one screw per piece. In fact, they just don’t get attracted – they don’t even fit –Even The screw is tightened down completely, deforming the soft plastic cover to lie flat on the side of the chair. Once figured out, the dust caps are fine – but finding out took a while, and I think more than one Fnatic owner has ditched the dust caps and threw them away.

Once assembled, Fnatic didn’t give me the same “wow factor” that Omega had. Its faux leather upholstery has coarser, raised grains that can be seen easily and reminded me of a basketball court. The filling, although very thick and comfortable, is not as durable as the one found in Omega. There was some noticeable crackle from the wheels and the arms of the chair as I rolled it down the sidewalk to the front door.

On the plus side, the openings above the chair provide excellent anchorage to the included neck pillow – and the special chair design makes that cushion more functional than Omega, with a more pronounced curve to the chair back. The lumbar pillow also feels like an integral part of Fnatic, with Omega looking like an afterthought.

As with Secretlab Omega, this is a heavy chair – it weighs about 72 pounds, which is twice the weight of a typical office chair or more. Consider having an assistant available to move it once assembled, especially if you need to carry it up or down stairs.

Conclusions

Both are excellent chairs, although they look and feel very different. For the first week or so, I greatly preferred Secretlab Omega, with its simple good looks, soft cap, and super-firm padding. But after several weeks of use, I fell asleep in the orange and black Fnatic chair – it’s now my favorite chair.

Although the Fnatic is a bit loose and chill in build up compared to the Omega, it’s noticeably more comfortable – especially for long periods of sitting. Sitting for a long time in omega without a break can cause red streaks to appear on your thighs if you wear clothes like this. This isn’t a problem at all with Fnatic, which remains comfortable for hours on end – even if you forget (or refuse to) wake up and take hourly breaks.

We should also talk about the suggested height and weight limits for each chair. Secretlab Omega is designed for people from 5’3 “to 5’11” and 240 pounds. If you are taller than 5’11 ” you will probably want to upgrade to the more expensive one Titan (Up to 6’7 “and 290 pounds at $ 460) or Titan XL (Up to 6’10 inches and 390 pounds, $ 540).

Anda Fnatic is designed for people from 5’10 “to 6’10” and supports up to 330 lbs (recommended) or 440 lbs (maximum). Younger people may do better with Omega – its relatively straight back makes it more tolerant of people who are not tall enough to reach the top of the headrest. But people tall enough to fit them properly will appreciate the deeper spine curvature of the Fnatic and the combined lumbar and neck cushions better.


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