The line between office chairs and gaming chairs seems fairly abstract, when you stop to think about it. After all, both types of seats are meant to keep you comfortable over long stretches spent staring at a screen, your fingers flitting away on one kind of quest or another. Saving a princess, bringing home the bacon — it's all the same to your keister when you're sitting on it.
But a gaming chair brings a different vibe to your home office than a traditional office chair does. Plop an office chair in the corner, and you're constantly reminded that, here in 2022, your work has followed you home like a lost dog, and it's never far away even when you're off the clock. Stick a gaming chair at your desk, and you'll be reminiscing about your college days playing Call of Duty and Halo every time you look at it.
So to see if a gaming chair could work for work as well as play, I took the reigns of one: the new Secretlab Titan Evo 2022. After a few months of testing two different versions — one clad in the "Stealth" trim's black-and-red faux leather, the other in the mottled gray-and-black fabric the brand calls the "Cookies & Cream" colorway — here's what I found.
What's Good About the Secretlab Titan Evo 2022
It's good for a wide variety of body types
Unlike many an office chair, the Titan Evo 2022 offers different sizes for different folks. There are three sizes to choose from, somewhat oddly dubbed Small, Large and XL; the first is meant for people under 5'6", the second for people between 5'7" and 6'2", and the third for people 5'11" and up.
Considering I stand 6'4" tall, I went for the XL — only to discover it was even more commodious than I expected once the chair was up and running. See, the XL is also meant for people who are, shall we say, extra-large in either height, width or both, so it's exceptionally wide for a chair. That's not a complaint; rather, it gives the Titan Evo 2022 a nice roominess to go with its supportive, aggressive bolsters. "Plus-sized racing seat" never would have been something I'd have thought of as supremely comfortable, but it turns out to be a delight.
It looks cool (for a chair)
Not in the way that, say, a Herman Miller or Steelcase office chair does, mind you. More in a sports car driver's seat kind of way — at least in the Stealth colorway, with its black faux leather, red stitching and cross-hatched accents that almost bring to mind carbon fiber trim. The gray-and-black fabric version looked more at home in my home, however; it's a bit more subtle, and blends in better with most walls, I'd venture.
Of course, if that's not to your taste, there are a vast array of other ways you can spec it, including clad in actual leather. Between the regular versions, the eSports league-themed trims and the ones designed to bring to mind fictional characters and their franchises (Batman, Superman, House Stark, The Witcher, etc.), there are 46 different colorways to choose from.
It's very comfortable
As a gaming chair, the Titan Evo 2022 is made for spending hour after hour in, and it's certainly comfortable enough to let you do so with ease. The cushions are supportive and firm, but with just enough give to cosset your back and bottom. There's also ample opportunities to adjust everything from height to backrest angle to lumbar support to how high your elbows sit when you're sitting.
In addition, the Magnetic Memory Foam Head Pillow accessory is every bit worth the extra $69 — not just for the comfort of the pillow, but for the clever magnetic attachment that lets you place it wherever you need. And the optional memory foam arm rests — also a snap-on magnetic attachment — definitely bring
It's large, solid and heavy
The substantial mass of the Titan Evo 2022 is wonderful when it comes to keeping the chair planted where you want it. No matter how aggressively you plop down or shimmy around in your chair, it's staying put unless you want it to move — so you don't have to worry about losing that perfect viewing angle or readjusting your mouse too often.
What's Not Ideal About the Secretlab Titan Evo
It's large, solid and heavy
Mass and size can be a double-edged sword, of course. You'll catch the bad edge of that blade when the Secretlab Titan Evo shows up at your house in a box that weighs roughly as much as a Chevy Suburban. Hyperbole, sure — but in all seriousness, in XL size, this chair weighs in at 82.7 pounds. Add in the packaging and included tools for assembly, and the box weighs in at close to 90. Moving this sucker up and down stairs counts as your workout for the day.
That resilient construction also means potential pain for your toes, as the military-grade metal base and its hard, sharp angles can cause severe tire damage if you swing your foot against it while sitting at the chair or going to sit or stand. I've blurted out more than a couple of George Carlin's Seven Words You Can't Say on Television after stubbing my toe on it.
The faux leather version isn't very breathable
Take a gander at many of our top office chair picks, and you'll notice a feature many of them share: a mesh or otherwise breathable back, designed to let air flow through it. The Titan Evo 2022's back, however, is one solid piece of metal and foam and leatherette — which means exactly zero molecules of air are passing through it. If the room is warm, you will get back sweat. (That said, the cloth version is significantly better.)
If you're gonna be spending hour after hour and day after day in an office chair, you shouldn't cheap out — spending a little more now will save you big bucks in physical therapy bills down the road. Still, at a base price of $519 and at $638 as tested, the Titan Evo 2022's pricetag is steep enough to make you consider what else you could snag. Our top office chair pick, the Steelcase Series 1, is less than $500, as are many great chairs from Branch and other good brands.
Secretlab Titan Evo 2022: The Verdict
At a certain point, a chair is a chair. The human body simply wasn't meant to sit for long periods of time, especially at the angles your frame folds into when seated the way we think of as "normal." Backs hunch, shoulders slump, torsos cave. Office chair design and technology has come a long way when it comes to mitigating some of those issues — but they can also bring back associations with, well, the office.
If you're working from home full-time (or even part-time, but regularly), you need a good chair. And if you don't want to be reminded of your job every time you walk by your computer, well, the Secretlab Titan Evo 2022 makes a fine substitute for a traditional office chair.