noblechairs are not new when it comes to desk chairs. In fact I have reviewed the ICON and EPIC models in the past, and they scored very favourably, so when our friends at Overclockers UK reached out about a new model that employed a high airflow hybrid material that was not leather, but nearly as good as, I had to check it out.
At this point it is worth a mention that the features of this new HERO Black Edition are essentially the same as the EPIC and ICON models. Because of that, I won't spend too much time talking about features that are exactly the same as those other models as the experience using them is no different. What is different, however, is the new material and overall comfort, as well as the addition of lumbar adjustment on the backrest.
Having had the ICON and EPIC models since 2016, I am in an ideal position to compare the material and overall performance against the HERO Black Edition, and because the design, features and ergonomics remain very similar, any differences noted should be largely down to the new materials and subtle changes noblechairs have made to this lineup.
Let's get things rolling with a closer look at the specifications and features.
|Materials||PU + PVC hybrid|
|Height adjustability||49.5 -59.5 cm|
|Backrest adjustability||90° to 125°|
|Lumbar support||Tuning knob on right side of backrest|
|Armrest adjustability||Multi-directional 4D armrests|
|Neck support||Included pillows with elasticated straps|
Materials and Assembly
Straight out of the box the assembly of the HERO Black Edition was the same as the other models. Very easy to build without even reading the instructions. Everything needed is included, too.
My initial thoughts when unwrapping the parts from the plastic wrapping and feeling the material was that this feels like real leather. Firm to the touch but soft when pressed a bit harder. It reminded me of a modern sporty car seat. The smell was very faintly of leather too but this smell lasted only a couple of weeks before becoming neutral.
The PU + PVC hybrid material, at least on paper, looks set to offer a much improved experience when using the chair for long periods or heated gaming sessions in hot weather where moisture may be an issue. The seat and backrest surface were finely grained up close but not as textured as the ICON which has what noblechairs call Top Grain leather.
A small detail that is different from the EPIC and ICON chairs is that the included pillows no longer have gold stitching on the lettering. This was a nice touch I thought and kind of miss it. Gold gave a royal feeling, a noble aesthetic, if you will.
Ergonomics and performance
Having had this chair for several months now, I wanted to really test out the material and see if it lived up to noblechairs' claims. I am pleased to report that not only is it more breathable than both ICON and EPIC models, but comfort levels have not dropped over the months.
The foam used in the padding is not memory foam, but has remained firm and in shape all this time. The surface of both backrest and seat are also very easy to maintain and clean. Because it is a PU + PVC material, I have found that any cleaning product and a cloth is more than enough to keep it in great condition.
A nice touch that elevates the HERO above the other models is the solid metal handle to adjust the backrest angle. It is a small difference but aids in a more premium feel with something you are often touching and adjusting with.
However, one thing that is not so great is the adjustability of the pillows.
Due to the elasticated straps that mount the pillows to the backrest being the same as the ones that come with the ICON and EPIC models, they are not long enough to reach around the main backrest area and have the lower pillow providing additional lumbar support.
I ended up mounting both pillows as head and neck support and using the elastic nature of the bottom pillow to pull down when sat on the chair, then rest my neck on that. A process that has to be repeated each time as when you move your head, the pillow goes back up again.
It would have been nice if noblechairs included optional straps that were longer so the bottom pillow could be used as additional lumbar support.
The lumbar support knob does and excellent job of adding firmness to the backrest. This is a new feature that came to the HERO series and means the new model can be adjusted to greater levels, something which is important for long periods sat down.
It would also have been nice to see some side bolster and seat padding adjustments at this price. The seat base is quite wide so having either padding or bolster adjustments would keep you more snug in the seat.
With working from home for the day job, and working at my desk for gaming and photo editing, I have been able to put the HERO Black Edition through its paces and am happy to report that it met all the expectations set by the noblechairs marketing info.
Not only is the Black Edition comfortable for long sessions whether gaming, editing or just relaxing, but it also breathes as advertised. I have no memory of a single time where the backrest got uncomfortable because it was too hot or I got sweaty in the summer heatwave when gaming. I was genuinely impressed by this.
It is a shame that the pillow cannot be used for additional backrest support due to the length of the elastic strap, but the lumbar adjustment knob on the backrest does a good job or providing primary support as it is.
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