ThunderX3 Core gaming chair review |

Legitimately comfy, behind its silly 'CORE.RDY 360' branding.

There's a lot to love about the ThunderX3 Core, a gaming chair that mixes a professional appearance with serious lumbar support, good adjustability and a premium price point. Cougar Gaming Chair

ThunderX3 Core gaming chair review |

We were sent a sample of the £339 black PU leather version ahead of its launch - a design that avoids being too stereotypically 'gamer' in its aesthetics (which may be a preference to some - myself included), and instead guns for a more modern look with cross-stitching accents to its sides. (A fabric edition is also available for the same price.)

The standout feature? That'll be the lumbar support. ThunderX3 describes its so-called 'CORE.RDY 360' technology as one-of-a-kind, adding a support mechanism that tilts in every direction independently to the main seat. The impact this has on long gaming sessions is clear, especially by the day's end. Your spine stays neatly nestled in place - reducing the need to adjust your posture - making it a serious upgrade in comfort compared to most premium chairs I've tried for both gaming and video editing.

The Core model has plenty else to boast about. In terms of ergonomics we get the works. There are four levels of backrest resistance and a 'synchronous tilt' mechanism that tilts the seat back less aggressively than the back rest - thus preventing the dead legs that can occur when sitting on a steeply titled seat. You can also tilt the seat forward, which can be a nice alternative posture for moments of intense study where you want to be closer to the screen but still want to be supported.

Furthermore, there are armrest adjustments every which-way, an additional footrest, a detachable memory foam headrest, plus even a back pocket for storage. Foam padding is significant throughout and the whole unit is built on a steel base, backed by a hydraulic gas lift supporting up to 150kg in weight. In terms of flexibility, it's hard to ask for much more.

The only caveat to this Core model? If we're to nitpick, it's worth noting the padding and synthetic leather materials are what they are. During hotter summer months, these might not not ventilate enough for some. Fortunately, ThunderX3 has the £250 XTC model to cover this, replacing the lumbar support mechanism with a more breathable, mesh-based back - while still retaining features like the synchronous tilt, which is a nice alternative if you're inclined.

The chair is also fairly expensive at £350, putting it ahead of favourites like the £152 Ikea Markus and £320 Razer Iskur in our best gaming chairs guide - though it's far from the most expensive option on the market, with options from Corsair and Noblechairs at a similar price and the truly exorbitant Herman Miller x Logitech Embody Gaming - our top recommendation - costing around five times as much. There are still a good number of used gaming and office chairs available these days, as more home workers return to the office, so this option is worth considering if you're after a chair upgrade on a budget.

In just about every other aspect though, in particular for long gaming sessions, the Core model is an easy recommendation from me.

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Senior Staff Writer, Digital Foundry

32-bit era nostalgic and gadget enthusiast Tom has been writing for Eurogamer and Digital Foundry since 2011. His favourite games include Gitaroo Man, F-Zero GX and StarCraft 2.

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