I spent 14 days using the NeueChair exclusively to get an accurate assessment of the chair’s performance. Can a gaming chair company really produce a worthy ergonomic office chair, and how does it stack up with one of our all time favorite mesh chairs, the Quantum Pro 9000? Find out in this review.
Watch the Video Review of the NeueChair
Specs and Dimensions at a Glance
Let’s start by looking at the main specs of the NeueChair:
|Seat Depth (Adjustable)||16.5” – 18.5”|
|Seat Height Range||18.5” – 22”|
|Armrest height (from ground)||25.6” – 31.1”|
|Backrest Height (top of backrest to the floor)||38”|
|Backrest Tilt and Recline||Backrest tilts between 85 – 130 degrees. Tilt angle lockable.|
|Armrests (3D)||Pivots inwards and outwards 20 degrees. Not lockable.|
|Weight and Capacity||64 lbs/ 240 lbs capacity|
Now this is How All Mesh Should Feel Like
If there’s one thing worth highlighting on the NeueChair, it’s the mesh upholstery on the chair.
The truth is, when you purchase a mesh chair, you never really know what you’re getting in terms of sitting experience. Mesh is a loose term for any upholstery interwoven to create pockets in between. The actual materials used and how it’s woven makes all the difference.
Well, I can say the mesh material on the NeueChair is perhaps the most comfortable I’ve tested yet. There’s a velvety quality to it that almost feels like regular fabric to me. It’s literally enabled me to sit in my boxers and shirtless (sorry for the imagery) sometimes, as the upholstery doesn’t feel scratchy at all. Previous mesh chairs I’ve tested such as the DXRacer AIR, and to a lesser degree, the Quantum Pro 9000, both come with a coarser mesh that are only truly comfortable when there’s a layer of clothes in between.
According to Secretlab, the mesh on the NeueChair consists of three layers of polyester fibre and DuPont yarn. The multiple layers plus extremely tight weave are what give it that smooth texture. While it’s too early for me to judge its durability, the material has apparently passed all ASTM tensile and tearing strength tests with flying colors.
NeueChair Adjustments and the innovative ShiftControl
The NeueChair comes with a few high end features to be expected at this price range such as a sliding seat and depth adjustable lumbar:
- Tilting Mechanism: The backrest on the Neuechair tilts and locks into place at any angle between 85 – 130 degrees. There’s a “Focus Mode” that actually works quite well, and is activated by setting the backrest past upright to 85 degrees, and the lumbar support to its maximum forward position. At this hyper upright position, I find it easier to maintain focus on important work.
- Adjustable lumbar support: The lumbar support is padded, and can move up and down around 3”. Its depth can also be adjusted around 1.5”, by bringing the bottom of the backrest closer or farther away from you.
- Sliding Seat: By depressing a button on the left side, the seat’s depth adjusts around 3”. This creates a seat depth of between 16” to 19”.
- 2D Armrests that pivot: Apart from being height adjustable, the wide armrests also pivot in and out 20 degrees. Unfortunately they don’t lock into their new positions, and syncing the height of the two armrests is an exercise in frustration. See “What Could be Improved Below”.
What stands out though are the controls, which are all designed to be accessed without ever getting out of your seat. The one that really stands out is called ControlShift.
ControlShift refers to the two controls located on the underside of the armrests. They remind me of the paddle shifters inside high end sports cars. Shift the left control once to put the backrest in free tilt mode, shift again to lock its angle. The right control takes care of adjusting the seat height.
Apart from just looking damn cool, ControlShift makes tilting or changing the recline angle of the backrest truly frictionless, by putting those controls literally at your fingertips. I find myself adjusting the backrest angle a lot more frequently as a result throughout the day depending on whether I’m working, watching a video, or relaxing.
What Could be Improved
After two weeks with the NeueChair, two things stick out to me that could be improved:
- Lack of neck support by default: As a high end ergonomic chair, I would have expected the NeueChair to come with a headrest by default. The company does offer one as an accessory, though it costs $100 extra. For long hours of sitting, proper neck support is a must in an ergonomic chair.
- Finicky armrests: Secretlab set the standards for the best armrests in their Titan gaming chairs. On the NeueChair however, they are poorly implemented. The armrests do not come up high enough, and adjusting their height relies on a rather meaningless “notch” design that makes lowering or syncing the heights of the two armrests difficult. They are also 2D only, unable to adjust for width or length.
NeueChair vs the Quantum Pro 9000
If you’ve read my review of the Quantum Pro 9000, you know it’s one of my favorite mid back mesh chairs of all time. So how does the NeueChair compare with this heavy weight?
Firstly, the NeueChair is about $150 more expensive than the Quantum Pro 9000 (at time of writing). That’s a big deal.
In terms of build quality, both chairs are rock solid, with a heavy duty metal exoskeleton that extends to the backrest to form one solid foundation. Both are stunning aesthetically as well.
Where the NeueChair trumps the Quantum Pro 9000 is in the sensation of the mesh, plus the more robust backrest recline. One of my biggest gripes with the Quantum Pro 9000 is how little the backrest reclines (120 degrees). On the NeueChair, the extra 10 degrees recline really makes a big difference if you use your chair for more than just work.
The biggest advantage of the Quantum Pro 9000 is its larger dimensions. This makes it a lot more comfortable for bigger folks. The seat depth on the 9000 for example can extend all the way to 21”, whereas on the NeueChair, it’s a very modest 18.5”. Out of the box, the Pro 9000 offers slightly better back support as well due to the taller backrest.
In other words, the NeueChair can be thought of as a smaller version of the Quantum Pro 9000 with arguably better comfort.
NeueChair vs Secretlab Titan Evo
So what about NeueChair vs Secretlab’s flagship Titan Evo? How do the two compare?
The fact is, comparisons between two different categories of chairs can be tricky. The NeueChair is a bonafide ergonomic office chair, while the TItan Evo despite the corporate feel is still a gaming chair at heart. In other words, the two chairs are designed for different people with different expectations. However, comfort is comfort, and value is still value.
With the head rest attachment, the NeueChair is supremely comfortable, at least on par with the Titan Evo I would say. Both won’t leave you with any regrets in that deparment.
Where the two chairs diverge in on value. In that respect the Titan Evo clearly offers more bang for the buck. The Titan Evo retails for just under $500, which is $100 less than the NeueChair without the headrest. At this price point you are getting a gaming chair that needs no additional tweaking to feel complete. From the supportive seat, excellent armrests to the magnetic neck pillow, it has you covered from head to toe out of the box.
Should I get the NeueChair?
The biggest selling point of the NeueChair for me is the extremely comfortable mesh upholstery. If you have sensitive skin, this chair will serve you better than most mesh chairs on the market, including perhaps even the Herman Miller Aeron that costs twice as much.
For other segments of people, there are better options to be had.
The two main drawbacks of the NeueChair are its high price and rather small size. For anyone over 200 lbs or 6’1″, the seat may start to feel cramped even with the seat depth fully extended.. It also lacks proper upper body support due to the short backrest, which can be rectified with the excellent headrest attachment, though that’s another $100 extra. Out of the box, this makes comparable chairs like the heftier Quantum Pro 9000 or SAMOFU ergonomic chair better deals.
In a perfect world, the Neuechair would be $150 less, slightly larger to fit a wider range of people, and come with the superb headrest attachment by default. At such a proposition it would smoke any competitor in that price range.
See Also: Best Mesh Gaming Chairs