The Herman Miller x Logitech Embody chair.
Enlarge / The Herman Miller x Logitech Embody chair.

Sam Machkovech

Just lately, our protection of the work-from-home universe expanded to incorporate “gaming” chairs. It is because, regardless of their branding, they are not a lot completely different from common workplace chairs—and in a 12 months when distant work has turn into ever extra commonplace, they’re typically a competitively priced home-office possibility.

However what concerning the inverse concept of a standard office-chair firm launching a gaming chair? That is the concept behind Herman Miller’s newest line of Logitech-branded chairs, which caught our eye when the corporate reached out with a loaner chair. Herman Miller’s a long time of $1,000-and-up chairs have by no means beforehand included a gaming-branded product, whereas Logitech, higher identified for peripherals like keyboards, mice, and headsets, has by no means produced its personal chairs. We had been curious what the mashup would produce.

The short reply is easy sufficient: it is an current Herman Miller chair mannequin with a light aesthetic tweak. And whereas it is as strong as you would possibly anticipate from a $1,499 house workplace chair, its game-specific branding would not fairly add up.

Unboxing and (lack of) meeting

The very best half concerning the Herman Miller x Logitech Embody chair is the unboxing expertise—if your property is appropriate for it.

When reviewing a pair of gamer chairs in October, my colleague Jim Salter obtained every chair as its disassembled elements, and his preliminary setup included two completely different variations of the unboxing-and-assembly course of. HM, conversely, ships the Embody in a larger-than-average, 40-inch-tall field, and its unboxing course of is decidedly easy: open field, pull off a single cardboard mount, and roll the chair out, already assembled.

Ought to your ideally suited workplace or gaming setting be simple to achieve out of your most well-liked outdoors door, then it is a matter of lugging the chair (38-inches tall, 26-inches large at its most shrunken state) inside. But when it’s worthwhile to transfer the chair via slender doorways or over stairs—or if you happen to ever wish to ship it in a smaller field sooner or later—be warned that there isn’t any official solution to neatly disassemble and reassemble the Embody. Herman Miller solely affords Embody consumers a “recycling” disassembly guide, which requires, amongst different issues, quite a lot of Torx bits and a hammer to tear it aside.

Adjusting for workplace use

Weirdly, the mannequin I obtained included a “welcome” booklet printed on fancy paper inventory, however that booklet included zero directions on find out how to regulate the chair to my liking. Since this chair has a number of distinctive levers and a trippy grid of bracing factors on its again, I opted to look the Web for a setup information. After I obtained the chair in October, I might solely discover a non-Logitech guide for the older Embody mannequin on-line, although Herman Miller has since uploaded a Logitech-branded guide.

Unsurprisingly, these manuals are practically similar, pointing to the identical seven factors of customization. The place the Logitech guide differs is its lack of suggestions. The conventional Embody guide factors out ideally suited or correct tweaks, accounting for issues like when your toes contact the bottom or how your shoulders should not raise when elbows contact the arm rests. The Logitech model’s guide doesn’t.

The whole lot that has confirmed time-tested concerning the Embody applies to the Logitech mannequin. Its adjustable seat depth, specifically, is a customization godsend, guaranteeing that greater and taller customers can take pleasure in as a lot under-thigh leverage as they could want. I simply discovered a perfect tilt adjustment, which implies I can take pleasure in a mild, comfy curve of accelerating resistance as I lean again.

Most of my early testing on the Embody revolved round engaged on Ars articles at my desk, and this was the extra comfy approach to make use of the chair. Its arm rests fan ahead in a approach that promotes sitting upright and resting elbows whereas typing, and its again assist revolves round a “flat or curved” adjustment dial. The latter basically operates as a lumbar adjustment, nevertheless it works much less as a pad to sink that portion of your decrease again into and extra like an lively assist meant to advertise even posture whereas actively utilizing a pc.

Quibbles with gaming use

As soon as I moved my consideration to gaming on the Herman Miller x Logitech Embody chair, alternatively, I bumped into private usability gripes.

My largest is with the armrests, that are designed to information the correct hand both to a keyboard or to very gentle mouse use. If I am taking part in video games at my desk on PC, my proper hand is locked onto a mouse, however the particular form of the Embody’s armrest is sloped and weighted in such a approach that my elbow is not supported if I’m going past micro-movements with my mouse. I am shocked that the Logitech model of the Embody would not let customers change the arm relaxation’s angle in order that an arm’s rotation towards a mouse pad is healthier supported.

Worse is the armrests’ clear deal with upright mouse-and-keyboard use, which is fantastic for a median day’s duties on a pc however much less so do you have to lean again and maintain a gamepad. Doing this exposes the armrests’ shallower bases nearer to the chair’s again. If I am not sitting at Herman Miller’s most well-liked “upright” place whereas holding a gamepad, my elbows slip off. The answer has been to regulate the back-support curve in a approach that leads my elbows to the armrests’ candy spot, however even after I do this, my posture continues to degrade over time with a gamepad. That is when my forearms fall again and turn into my arms’ resting level, which is worse by way of posture. A deeper place for elbows to relaxation comfortably would repair this and show higher for my again.

Greater than any of that is the sense that the Embody is designed to maintain you forward-and-upright whereas sitting, which is arguably the correct name for an hours-every-day workplace chair. However at any time when I turned the chair away from my desk and towards my lounge TV, I all the time felt like I used to be at work. There’s nothing on this chair that manages to mix best-in-class posture assist with coziness. The adjustable again assist both pushes firmly into your again to make sure lumbar assist, or it provides approach as an uncomfortable curve. And there isn’t any headrest that my noggin can splash again on when issues go awry in a difficult, trendy sport like Demon’s Souls.

Aesthetics, material, and backside line

In excellent news, the aesthetic touch-up is according to Logitech’s extra tasteful strides lately. You possibly can barely inform it is a “gaming chair” from the entrance, because the solely indication is a “G” marker on the chair’s face. (The letter receives a unique black stitching than the remainder of the black chair, so it is seen, however gentle.) On the again, the Embody’s plastic back-support grid is about off with a daring teal coloration, and the black-and-teal grid will probably be as much as private style. I am personally a fan, as this shade of teal would not look significantly garish or clashy, however the colour makes it simpler to inform that this can be a plastic grid than you would possibly discover with the identical grid in black.

In any other case, once more, that is similar to the default Embody, with an obvious exception to its material building. Although I would not have one other Embody to match with, I’ve seen experiences concerning the material used on the Logitech mannequin, together with a light tweak to its padding—sufficient in order that devoted Herman Miller customers have known as the Logitech replace a preferable possibility of this mannequin for anybody set on the Embody as a house chair possibility.

That is assuming you could have $1,499 to dedicate to a brand new chair, both in your house workplace or your favourite gaming room. And after we take a tough have a look at ergonomics in a chair you employ incessantly, the Herman Miller x Logitech Embody hits many essential notes—adjustability on a number of axes, room to comfortably shift, and promotion of correct posture. The factor is, you’ll be able to doubtless discover these in solidly constructed chairs for a whole bunch much less, whether or not or not they embrace gaming logos or branding.

I loved testing this model of the Embody, as it is a reliable chair with out points like uneven wheels, squeaky joints, or different issues which are simple to take without any consideration. And I appreciated that it left good-enough alone as a substitute of including questionable updates like “racer”-minded redesigns. Nonetheless, I did not ship the loaner again satisfied that I wanted to swap out my current chairs or that Herman Miller had solved issues within the gaming-chair spectrum.

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