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ThunderX3 CORE Black Edition Gaming Chair review


The last gaming chair I reviewed was the noblechairs HERO, I highlighted the ergonomics of the HERO, so how does the new Core by ThunderX3, sent in by our friends at OverclockersUK, go one step further and offer something even more ergonomic? Let's find out...

ThunderX3 is well known for its eSports products, it has chosen a simple approach to the problem with backrest ergonomics, I'm quite surprised it's not more common with other similarly priced gaming chairs.

ThunderX3 Core

The inner middle section of the backrest on the Core pivots on a central sprung joint on the outer main section of the backrest. This allows the inner part where your back rests on, to freely move around by a certain amount, and no matter how you sit, the backrest hugs your entire back from the base of the spine up to the shoulder blades for someone my height (5ft 8").

At first, I found this a strange sensation, but very quickly got used to it, and now I cannot imagine using a chair for long periods of time that doesn't have this one feature.

ThunderX3 Core Gaming Chair

After a whole day sat in it (working from home in the day, then editing during the night) I can comfortably say that this is one of the coolest features I have experienced in a chair costing £340. Typically, you could be forgiven for marking this sort of thing off as a gimmick, but genuinely speaking, this does appear to be a great feature.

In terms of reclining, there is a backrest tilt feature, but it is quite basic in implementation. Unlocking the twist handle on the left side enables you to physically tilt the backrest with your back to some degree, although nowhere near to almost horizontal found on other chairs. The spring action is quite tough, meaning some force is needed to get the tilt to where you need, then you must twist the handle back to lock that position. Some gymnastics is necessary to perfect this process.


Primary material PU leather
Armrests 4D adjustable padded
Mechanism Six-way SYNC6 system
Backrest width 59cm / 23.2"
Backrest height 91cm / 35.8"
Armrest height range from floor 66-83cm / 26-32.6"
Seat base width 55cm / 21.7"
Seat base depth range 48-55cm / 19-21.7"
Seat base thickness 12cm / 4.7"
Max load 150KG
Price £349 / €398

Long-term performance

I've had the pleasure of testing this Core Black Edition for a couple of months. This was an important factor to consider as material finishes can wear quite quickly, so it's important to be able to test over a good few months of day/night use and over various weather conditions too, to see how the finishing lasts.

ThunderX3 Core Gaming Chair

I am happy to report that there are no signs of the PU leather wearing out, cracking, or fading with the kind of use I've been giving it. The quality of the material appears to be high. The chair has been getting used for at least 7 hours during the day and another 3-4 hours during the night for 5 days a week during this testing period.

The only sign of use appears to be where the seat base gains some flex over time. This seems to un-flex itself if left unused for a while though so only appears to be short-term. This is also a trait seen on other chairs, so isn't exclusive to ThunderX3 chairs.

ThunderX3 Core Gaming Chair

The armrests are quite thick and padded very well. The foam used is extremely comfortable on the arms and elbow especially. These have these thickest padding I have seen on any chair. The padding does not appear to be memory foam, but the bounce-back is eerily like memory foam.

The range of adjustments for the armrests are welcome, although this is not an exclusive feature here, as plenty of other chairs have 4D adjustment too.


The Core doesn't just set itself apart with the pivoting backrest, though, it also offers a few more surprises. The headrest is detachable, secured only by an elasticated strap, it wraps around the back of your head/neck and the foam on this is memory foam to my surprise. It has quite a bit of heft to it compared to other foam headrests on similar chairs.

ThunderX3 Core Gaming Chair

Also bundled into the package is a foam footrest, just standard foam here but it does the job perfectly of raising the height of your feet and legs to promote blood circulation whilst aiding comfort. I found myself using this more than using a height footstool, for example. Whilst the headrest outer material is a soft fabric, the footrest is velour.

ThunderX3 Core Gaming Chair

A nice touch from ThunderX3 is that behind the chair is a large pocket to store items, maybe a pair of headphones or a laptop/tablet etc. It does not have a zip, so over time dust will need t be cleaned out properly, as there is no vent at the bottom to it to escape. Still, a nice touch all the same.

I don't think I have ever seen a chair with storage space, in fact how cool would it be to have storage built into the armrests or attached to the base of the chair? Food for thought, literally!

ThunderX3 Core Gaming Chair

The not-so ergonomic...

No product is ever 100% perfect, though, and the Core certainly has some issues that I discovered early on, but over the months have learned to tolerate or adapt a different usage for.

Take for example the metal legs, very nicely machined as they are, the end edges are rather sharp, and I found myself scratching my feet on them multiple times for the first few days before muscle memory kicked in and then adapted to avoid them.

ThunderX3 Core Gaming Chair

ThunderX3 should have rounded off the edges to avoid potential injuries. I can only imagine what the pain is like hitting one of these with my pinky-toe one day when in a rush, a small chance, but a chance all the same.

The finer details

PU leather is what features on all the outer surface areas of the Core, there are some detailing touches though to break apart the otherwise plain-black aesthetic. Along the top edges and side joints on the seat base are textured in an almost carbon-fibre styled layer of PU leather joining the main sections together. This is purely for aesthetics it seems as there are no vent holes for ventilation.

ThunderX3 Core Gaming Chair

Speaking of ventilation, the seat base has no holes to exhaust heat. I found that during hot weather, the seat base could sometimes get a little too warm with body temperature.

The noblechairs I reviewed in the past offered a means for the material and base to breathe, but with the ThunderX3 Core, this doesn't seem to be the case, at least not to the same degree. There is a fabric grey model of the Core however, and this will not have this issue due to it not being PU leather. It would have been nice to see the seat base be vented on the PU leather version all the same.


The Core Black Edition from ThunderX3 has several unique and useful features. The pivot system of the backrest is genuinely excellent and is of course the highlight of this model. The memory foam headrest is equally impressive along with the inclusion of a free footrest.

ThunderX3 Core Gaming Chair

There are however a couple of issues with the Core, the main one being that the PU leather doesn't appear to have a means to breathe under warmer climates which can result in some discomfort, although everyone will have a different experience here. I found this area fine, but it is an observation I made all the same, and it's worth pointing out.

The sharp edges of the legs are another point of concern. Whilst I may have adapted to avoid hitting them with my toes now, if I have my young nieces and nephews over, or if I ever get a pet, they may not get so lucky if they're playing around in the same room!

ThunderX3 Core Gaming Chair

The lack of full recline on the backrest might be an issue for some, but personally I have not missed it at all after seeing just how good the pivot system is on the inner backrest, but on rare occasions I do wish I could just fully recline the backrest, put my headphones on and sink away into that memory foam headrest and back-hugging pivot section with some music.

It does seem that ThunderX3 have a more professional workstation orientated line called the XTC, which looks to solve the negatives I've found on the Core, but at the same time the XTC does not have the pivoting backrest, or extremely well padded armrests. Perhaps a sidenote for ThunderX3 to incorporate a combination of the best bits from these models into one Frankenchair? I am a gamer, but I also work professionally at my desk when not gaming, so would love a chair that has the best bits of Core and XTC combined.

Overall, a very good chair, usable for more than just gaming and priced rather decently, too. Just watch those toes.

Very good
ThunderX3 Core Gaming Chair
Pivoting backrest ergonomics Armrest comfort Range of adjustments High quality materials
Sharp edges on the legs Limited backrest recline PU leather not vented Storage pocket traps dust
£349 / €398


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