The question of whether to go for full leather or other materials, when buying a gaming chair, is a tricky one. Leather can be uninventingly cold one day, and hot and sticky the next, yet it’s tough and wipe-clean, making it a practical option. Leather is also usually much more expensive than alternative materials.
As for faux leathers, a lot look and feel very different from the real thing, with an often coarse texture that’s decidedly less premium than the real deal. Could you make a material that combines the best of both worlds? The folks at noblechairs seem to think so.
The company has developed a faux leather that it claims not only looks and feels like real leather, but offers better airflow, comfort and durability. The hybrid vinyl-based material is supposed to be breathable and reduce that sticky feeling you can get with leather on warm days.
Noblechairs ICON Black Edition
In the flesh, apart from its matt surface having less sheen than leather, as well as a little more texture, the material feels indistinguishable from noblechairs leather-clad model.
The new material is available across all of the company’s chairs, including the ICON sample it sent us. The rest of the chair, though, is mostly the same as before. You get fully adjustable arm rests, with soft padded tops although, as with previous noblechairs designs, we’d prefer the arm rests to be a little softer. They can be adjusted horizontally in two directions, as well as up and down.
However, while the ICON is the smallest chair in the range, if you’re a small to medium-sized person, the arms can’t be adjusted inwards quite far enough to allow for full support when typing. I had to adjust the angle of my arms a bit to compensate, and eventually got used to it, but we’d like to see some alterations here in the future.
The rest of the chair is superb, though, with an adjustable, upright back and a good range of height adjustment. There’s no integrated lumbar support like you’ll find with the noblechairs Hero, but noblechairs includes cushions for the headrest and lumbar area to boost support, just like
most gaming chairs.
Building the chair is straightforward, if a little time consuming and, due to its weight, you may need a hand. We also recommend building the chair where you intend to use it, as you definitely don’t want to end up carrying it up the stairs.
The new material works well in action too. Sitting on this chair was no less comfortable than sitting on a leather chair, and both clothes and skin had far less tendency to get stuck to it in hot weather as well.
The noblechairs ICON Black Edition doesn’t offer too many new features over the original design, and there are one or two areas of adjustment that we’d change too – out of the box, it’s geared more towards medium to large people than smaller folks.
We love the new material though. While leather is generally the must-have premium material when it comes to chairs, the company’s new vinyl material is a big hit with us. It reduces the cost, and solves several issues with leather, such as its breathability and comfort on warm days.
It also looks premium too, and noblechairs offers some droolworthy colours. So, if you fancy a noblechairs gaming throne, but can’t quite stretch to a real leather version, the new Black Edition material is just as good in our eyes.
Verdict: The noblechairs ICON is still one of the best chairs around, and the Black Edition’s new material is cheaper and better than leather to our eyes.