I’ve found that when it comes to gaming seats, you can get a lot more chair for your buck. The majority of these seats are designed to accommodate bigger and heavier individuals than standard office chairs, making them ideal for lengthy durations of sitting. And they should do it without breaking the bank.
I knew I needed a new chair when the lockdown at the Salter home occurred early this year, and the $1,069 price tag for a Herman Miller Aeron was out of the question. My final decision to purchase the $420 Secretlab Omega came after doing extensive web research and reading reviews posted by Reddit users. Anda contacted me shortly after my order came to ask me to evaluate its $450 Fnatic, which worked out well since I have two offices (one below where I can hide from my children while I work, and another upstairs where I can concentrate on my job without interruptions) (for working, but staying accessible to the kids).
Top-Secret Lab’s Omega
a picture of the Secretlab Omega (2020 Series)
Codename: Secretlab OMEGA (2020 Series)
Secretlab Prices Start at $419
When you first take the Omega out of its packaging, you’ll see Best SecretLab Alternatives foam blocks with precise cuts for each component of the chair, as well as a compact toolbox that’s just as well organized. The assembly instructions are a single, huge poster-sized document printed in full color with accompanying images.
The actual process of putting the chair together may be a little chaotic, especially if you try to do it alone as I did. The instructions put me on edge unnecessarily when they warned me not to move the seat back adjustment lever until the chair was properly assembled, but I later found out that the lever was locked in place. You won’t mess up anything unless you deliberately try to do things backwards.
However, there were a few serious issues with the assembly: the Allen wrench given for the purpose proved to be insufficient, and it took a rather Herculean effort to get the back compressed close enough against the seat to attach the two together. I had to use my own set of Allen wrenches to correctly fasten the seatback to the seat base since the two sides of the Allen wrench are sized differently and the bolts that only fit its long axis required more tension than I could provide them.
Those complications aside, building was easy.
Once it was finished being put together, the Omega really blew me away. This fake leather has a fine, flat grain and an impressive appearance and feel. This chair’s cushioning is so thin that sitting in it is like sitting in the driver’s seat of a racecar. Nothing about the chair or its wheels rattled or seemed loose as I rolled it from the carport, down the walkway, and into the house.
Warning, though: both of these seats are rather heavy. The average office chair weighs between 25 and 35 pounds, while the Secretlab Omega is 66 pounds and the Anda Fnatic that we’ll discuss later on is 72 pounds. It is far more convenient, particularly when dealing with stairs, to have someone to assist with the heavy lifting and carrying.
So, Anda Fnatic
Photo of the Anda Seat Fnatic Edition
In the Anda Seat Fnatic Limited Edition
SEAT ANDA FOR $450
Anda Fnatic’s box reveal lacks the same “wow factor” as Secretlab Omega’s. There are no fancy foam blocks with special cuts or custom boxes for the tools given, and the overall presentation is best summarized as “it’s all squeezed in there just fine.”
The actual process of putting up Fnatic, however, is far simpler and more straightforward. Conventional assembly instructions, which typically have just two stages per page, are significantly simpler to follow. All the bolts are the same size, there are no warnings about parts you shouldn’t touch, and the Allen wrench that comes with it gives you enough of power to get the job done well.
There was no squishing of the seatback against the base throughout the fastening process, and the assembly went together without a hitch. The little plastic dust covers that go over the bolts on the chair’s side were the only real annoyance. They don’t look like they’d fit the chair, and in fact, they don’t.
The seat coverings seem to attach to the chair with a single bolt after snapping into the armrests. In truth, they don’t snap on—they don’t even fit—until the bolt is tightened down sufficiently, which deforms the soft plastic cover to rest flat on the side of the chair. Once you figure it out, the dust covers are fine—but figuring that out took a long, and I imagine more than one Fnatic owner has probably given up on the dust covers and simply thrown them away.
When everything was put together, the Fnatic didn’t wow me as much as the Omega did. The texture of the fake leather on the seats is more pronounced and rough than that of a basketball, which is an apt comparison. Although the cushioning is substantial and pleasant, it isn’t as firmly constructed as the Omega’s. As I moved the chair down the walkway to the front door, I could hear a distinct rattling coming from the wheels and the chair’s arms.
The through-holes at the top of the chair create a great mounting point for the supplied neck pillow, and the form of the chair itself makes the cushion more functional than the Omega’s does, thanks to the chair’s more pronounced curve. Fnatic’s lumbar pillow is well-designed and integrated, whereas Omega’s is an afterthought.
As with the Secretlab Omega, this is a hefty chair—at around 72 pounds, it’s double or more the weight of a standard office chair. If you need to carry it up or down stairs after it’s completed, you may want to get some assistance.