I’ve seen some weird and wonderful gaming chairs in my time as a tech writer. From those with fancy footrests, to one with a fan-laden backrest, and even a McDonald’s gaming chair with a heated nuggie holder. But none have distilled the utilitarian essence of ergonomics into a premium gaming chair quite like the ThunderX3 Core.
I discovered this chair after a long day of trudging around Computex in the Taiwan summer heat, and while any chair would have sufficed in my bedraggled state, I stumbled upon this—one of the most innovative gaming chairs I’ve seen to date. But how could a gaming chair possibly improve upon a heated nuggie holder, you ask? Well, for one thing it has a wiggly backrest.
Hear me out. I know it sounds like a gimmick, but something that hit me when I sat down in this chair was that I’ve never actually sat up straight in a gaming chair. No one does. We wiggle around, we lean forward, we pull our legs up. But the ThunderX3 Core loft’s many mechanisms are able to adapt to all this tomfoolery, and I honestly don’t think I’ve had this much support for my bones since I was a wee baby coddled in my mammy’s arms.
Seriously, though, ThunderX3 has put a great deal of time and effort into forcing ergonomics on even the least ergonomically inclined. Aside from the Lumbar 360° tech backrest feature that moves around with you as you shift in the chair, it’s got smashing, well-padded, 4D armrests, and a Sync6 mechanism I’ll explain in a moment with plenty more ergonomic tricks than your average gaming chair.
Seat type: Racing seat
Tilt: ⁓45 degrees
Features: 360° lumbar tech, Sync6 mechanism, 4D armrests, multipurpose footrest (included in the UK, sold separately elsewhere)
Weight capacity: 150kg / 331lbs
Available colours: Grey or black
Warranty: 3 years
That little black Sync6 box provides something called synchronous tilt, which essentially keeps the chair seat more level so even short queens like me can keep their feet firmly on the ground when they lean back. The only issue there is that the armrests don’t come with it, so leaning back you have less support for your arms.
There’s also forward seat tilt, so you can lean in when you realise your opponent is better than expected. Adjustable seat depth also means you can slide yourself forward to get in closer. The latter might be the least useful of the lot, but it comes in handy if you gotta get cosy with your PC but can’t roll any closer.
The head cushion is super plush, and has side support for all my dodgy sitting positions. And the multipurpose cushion is a fantastic addition, too. It gives a little attention to the fact that not everyone will be able to touch the floor when their chair is at the right height. Not only does it have a rounded side so you can rock your feet, it also separates into two cushions and can double as an armrest, for when you want to use a controller or put your laptop actually on your lap.
You can also lock the ThunderX3’s backrest at four angles, and while you can’t lean all the way back like with a lot of gaming chairs, I don’t think it takes away from the practicality. I’ve never used those full recline features anyway, except to show off.
The Sync6 mechanism is an oddly simple solution, considering how versatile it is, and one that had me expecting a much more complex assembly process. Usually it takes me about 45 minutes to put together a chair. This one? Just over sixteen minutes, unboxing and all. That’s partially thanks to the arms already being attached, and the packing foam not being sellotaped on tightly enough to strangle a boar like some. There was also no need for those awkward cover plates you get on a lot of chairs to hide the mechanisms and joinery. I didn’t even have to worry about the deadly spring mechanism a lot of gaming chairs threaten me with, since the backrest just slotted in neatly to a little sleeve—there were no bare mechanisms at all, in fact.
Somehow the ThunderX3 Core Loft manages to look sleek, and aside from the ridiculous, throne-like wings on either side protruding as if to say “Oooh, look at me”, it’s not an ugly chair by any means.
✅ You need versatile ergonomics: If you tend to sit awkwardly, and suffer from back pain as a result, this chair has enough adjustability to keep you supported in any dumb sitting position you choose.
✅ You’re looking for something refined: The ThunderX3 manages to capture that swanky, kinda industrial look, while still being super practical.
❌ You’re happy with the basics: This chair goes above and beyond but the mass of features could be overwhelming if you just want a simple, straightforward gaming chair.
It comes in three styles: Racer, with an embossed pattern on the backrest and seat, comes in plain black or with turquoise go-faster stripes; Modern, which is a little more refined and consists of three muted colourways; and Loft, coming in either black or grey. The Loft and Modern are the plush fabric versions, whereas the Racer comes wrapped in a stark leatherette. All are relatively restrained—even the Racer, considering some alternative gaming chair designs.
There are a few more colours on the way, including a white version, says ThunderX3. For now there’s at least some choice—and all Core styles come in at the same price, too.
Price was also my main concern when I initially sat in a chair with this many greebles.
Slap an ergonomics label on anything, and you can usually expect it to cost a premium. Somehow, though, the ThunderX3 Core has kept that price down to $399. It’s not cheap, but consider that less ergonomically superior chairs have been priced over $600—I’m looking at you, Noblechairs Legend. Generally something with as much comfort and adjustability as the ThunderX3 Core would set you back more than a grand, like the Herman Miller x Logitech G Embody for example, so it’s impressive to see this one coming in at under $400.
Set the ThunderX3 Core Loft against our current best gaming chair, the Secretlab Titan Evo, and it becomes even clearer why this is a best gaming chairs contender. Not only does it come with the same three year warranty, it’s oozing with features the Evo couldn’t dream of, thanks to that Sync6 and Lumbar 360° wizardry.
Moreover, while it doesn’t have the magic of magnetic pillows, for me the ThunderX3 actually manages to surpass the comfort of the $520 Titan Evo. And that’s really saying something when it comes in at $120 less in all its styles.
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