Gamer chairs – the butt of the joke in a lot of gaming spaces – are often seen as extra, over-the-top and unnecessary, especially when office chairs can be, usually, acquired quite cheaply.
But I started looking into a good-quality ergonomic chair after mine began to tear. I never wanted a gamer chair, but one ended up on my shortlist of ergonomic chairs to consider and somehow it ended up being the cheapest option.
That’s how I justified the Secret Lab Titan Evo 2022. I’m no gamer chair enthusiast, but this thing? It’s pretty great. I’ve got some thoughts on it. Hell, I’ve got enough thoughts for a 1,200 word review on it.
The Secret Lab Titan Evo 2022 (Softweave Fabric)
WHAT IS IT?
What is it? The latest gaming chair from Secret Lab.
$724 (Leatherette), $764 (Softweave Fabric) and $1,439 (NAPA Leather). Alternative styles/colours can cost more.
Very comfy, lots of sitting options, nice back support and a decent range of styles available. Parts are easily attached and assembly is quick.
Arms can feel a bit flimsy and aren’t entirely removable. The price might be a bit steep for some.
How I ended up with a gaming chair
Let’s start with a debrief, so you know where I’m coming from. I’ve always been the type of person to use secondhand furniture over buying something new. My living room table and chairs are secondhand, as was my previous office chair (a chair that I snagged from a decommissioned mining support workshop – long story).
This is the first office chair that I’ve ever bought. Going into buying mode for something I’ve always tackled quite cheaply, I wanted to make sure I was getting a good quality one. It needed to have good ergonomic support to comfortably sit in throughout a long day, considering I work from home a lot and most of the time play games in the same chair (and spot) in the house. It also needed to look good, considering my apartment is quite small and generally, like all people, I like when things look nice.
Turns out, probably to nobody’s surprise, ergonomic chairs are pretty expensive. Like, over $1,000 expensive. Between the $500 and $1,000 mark, however? That’s a winner.
Queue the Secret Lab Titan Evo 2022 with ‘softweave’ fabric, a gaming chair that set me back $764. It kind of ticked all the boxes.
Work and play comfort
Comfort goes a long way. I’ve been using this chair for the past week or so, and I’d be happy to say that this is one of the most comfortable working experiences I’ve ever had. Its strong back support, arms and adjustable backrest, along with an adjustable seat tilt, really lets you sit in this chair however you want (minus removing the arms, which I’d like to be able to do, beyond the armrests).
While most gaming chair buyers will vie for the leatherette or leather options, I purchased the softweave fabric option, simply thinking of how hot and sticky gaming can get in the Australian summer. I’ve also found it to be more comfortable than previous leather chairs I’ve owned. This was definitely worth the extra $40.
Sitting in the chair, I was immediately in love with the ability to adjust the seat tilt. I adjusted it all the way inward and became a gamer prawn. I then tilted the chair into a lying pose, resting on it as if it were a narrow, ergonomic gamer bed. This was also comfortable.
Why would you want to do this? Well, the bed mode (not what it’s actually called, but what I’m going with) is actually pretty cool if you’re playing a game with a controller. I had a lot of fun sitting this way, playing Forza Horizon 5 and the recent Assassin’s Creed DLC.
Conversely, prawn mode (also not the official name) is how I’ve found a strange amount of comfort in writing day-to-day, keeping my back well-supported. This is enhanced by the inbuilt lumbar support, which is adjustable by the knobs on the side of the backrest.
Did the gamer chair offer higher frame rates? No, I’m afraid not. What it did offer, however, was a lot of chair colour options. Seriously, look at all these splashes of colour!
I got the Cookies and Cream option because I was worried about the chair looking gross after years of use, however the pastel pink and blue look great. Of course, the more popular leatherette option has widely more styles to choose from.
The parts (the lift, arms, seat and backrest) also move quite quickly, although I’m going to remain a bit cautious of how long it will take for something to go wrong in this chair, be it something that just stops working or plastic breaking. Keep in mind that I’ve only been using it for two weeks now. Part of this review is definitely the long-term results, so stay tuned.
The setup process
Secret Lab has really mastered the setup process for an office chair. Arriving in a large box, the chair only took me about 20 to 30 minutes to set up, with tools provided. Instructions were provided on a large, laminated poster.
The individual parts aren’t so cumbersome that you need a friend to help you build the chair, but it would definitely help (as the instructions recommend). Everything is neatly laid out too, limiting what you can get confused by.
Alright, let’s talk about some downsides
While I’ve (so far) had nothing but praise for the chair, let’s talk about some downsides. Firstly, for as widely customisable as the chair is, I wish there was more to it. For instance, I’m the kind of computer user that likes to sit with his legs crossed from time-to-time.
This chair, while it doesn’t restrict crossed leg movement, makes it somewhat difficult when the arms aren’t entirely removable. I understand build quality may suffer if this were an option, but it’s something I would have liked.
On that, another problem I had with the arms was the arm rests (the bits your arms stay on when you’re idling at your computer). While they’re soft and good for resting your arms on, they’re annoyingly easy to jiggle around, which might annoy someone after a stable surface to rest their arms.
The magnetic head cushion at the top of the backrest is a nice touch, however it’s not indicatively clear where the dead zone for the in-backrest magnet is (as such, when sitting down, it can loosen and fall off if placed incorrectly).
That’s… Kind of where it ends for grievances, though I’ll definitely be taking note as to how my mind changes around this chair. I hope it doesn’t break, or something turns out to not work so well after so long, but I’m keen to find out.
The secret is out
I can definitely tell that the build quality is strong with the Secret Lab Titan Evo 2022. It’s robust, comfortable, customisable and a really nice looking gamer chair that isn’t super cringe to look at (unlike many other gamer chairs).
For that, I can recommend the Secret Lab Titan Evo 2022 chair at the price it is offering, provided that you’re going to be sitting in this chair a lot. Like, working-from-home and gaming a lot, because that’s why I bought it. Had I a lesser need for this chair, I might not have considered it.
If you’re looking for a chair with more limited uses (for example, simply gaming or simply home office use) then I don’t think this is for you. Though it’s good quality and definitely an option for anyone with the cash to spend, it’s a bit steep for limited use.
Let’s see what I think a little down the line.