Haworth Chairs have become one of the top dogs in the high-end office furniture space. Being a poor boy, I had never considered one in the past until I saw they were collaborating with Xbox, starting first with a slick-looking Halo-branded version of their Fern series of chairs. After hitting up their PR and shockingly enough being sent a review unit I can see why Haworth has become so popular. Featuring an elegant and open design, high build quality, and a plethora of movement and setting options this is one of the most comfortable chairs I’ve ever used. It’s not cheap though, retailing pricing starts at an eye-searing $1499. Let’s break down what makes this chair brilliant and who should be interested in buying one.
The first thing that grabbed my attention was the style. This is a great-looking chair. Despite being “gamer” in nature it’s not gaudy. It’s a sleek, muted, but instantly recognizable Halo design. The front of the chair is a green mesh and the only “Halo” part of it is the high quality 117 stitching on the headrest. We were sent (free of charge) a chair with the optional lumbar support, and the back of the chair has a UNSC patch at the top and a gorgeous gold UNSC symbol at the bottom.
The seat cushion is a ridiculously comfortable dense cushion surrounded by soft but breathable leather. As someone working from a home office, the breathability of a chair is key, as I can easily spend 12+ hours a day in it when work is busy. When long titles like Persona 5 Royal hit and I was in the chair for 14+ hours at a time I never once felt overly warm or uncomfortable. This is helped in large part due to the 4D armrest design which allows for movement vertically for the arms, and then both in and out and side to side for the armrests. Those armrests are a high-density but flexible material that provides ample support while never feeling too stiff.
The only part of the chair that I had to assemble was the headrest. The chair arrived in a large box weighing in at 75 lbs. It was shipped through FedEx who beat the package to hell and back. Thankfully it is packaged extremely well with thick cardboard positioned throughout that protected it from the most likely underpaid and overworked delivery company workers. The headrest itself is the same mesh as the seat back and is similarly “firm but flexible” in its design.
Firm but Flexible
I had a meeting with the PR team at Haworth after getting the chair and one of the main things they wanted to talk about was the open design of the chair. Gaming chairs tend to be large, boxy, and mostly made off of the same main mold. The Fern series from Haworth goes for a far less in-the-way design with your legs, arms, and back rarely hitting different parts of the chair as you move around in it. The way they do this while still supporting your back is through their clever design of the back of the chair. The Fern name comes from how the plastic acts almost like a spine, with a central support column branching off to the left and right in differently wide sections. This allows the chair to feel like it’s supporting you properly while still being flexible as you move around.
I had a decent office chair before, one that retailed for roughly $500 and while it’s still comfortable it’s simply not in the same league for any longer work or gaming sessions. Ultimately that is where I think the Xbox and Haworth collaboration chairs fit best. Work-at-home individuals that also use the same desk space for gaming. If you’re going to be in a chair for 8 to 14 or more hours in a day then the $1499 to start (on sale at the time of this review for nearly $300 off) price tag makes sense. It’s a similar philosophy to saving up for a nice bed. You’re spending 6-9 hours a day sleeping in it, so it is beneficial to try and make that time as comfortable as possible.
The Feature Set
Another area that sold me on the idea of such an expensive gaming chair is the feature set built into the controls. On the right side, you have a multi-facet arm that can set the distance on how far back you want the chair to go and how much resistance it should offer when leaning back. You can set the backward distance from zero to all the way flat with a medium and deep setting in between. The tension for the backrest is a crank with a lot of play when going from firm to loose.
The other control on the right side is your basic up and down for the seat of the chair. Nothing fancy but it feels well-constructed and never once felt loose. On the front left side of the seat bottom is the control for seat tilt. I wasn’t sure what to make of this at first but when in a gaming position I ended up using this a lot. It’s a front or back positional change with no in-between settings on offer. Last on the left is the seat depth lever which allows you to slide the seat itself back and forth from the backrest of the chair. Being a tall boy, I ended up with it to the front so that my knees were in the most comfortable and supported position.
Every part of the chair feels well designed though I did rough up the sliding back and forth part of the armrests by pushing myself up off the chair with them too much. They’re not broken but they’re definitely far looser than they were when the chair was brand new. Most of the chair is metal with far less plastic than your average, cheaper gaming chair. The casters and wheels are the best I’ve used on an office chair, and if you have any warehouse distance competitions on sliding-in office chairs (you KNOW these are a thing!) then you’re going home in first place on this bad boy.
Warranty-wise you get a mix of lifetime and 12-year limited coverage. The lifetime part requires you didn’t beat it up and treated the chair nicely. Things covered include Lifetime “Everything not covered by the 12-year section”, well then what is in the 12 warranty? 12 Years – The Seat (framework, mechanisms, seating foam, cylinders, mesh, glides, casters, plastic components). If you get the chair with any defects in its design, you have 30 days from purchase to return it. At first glance, it appears to be a decent warranty, though only time will tell how things go as people get deep into the life of their chairs.
The Haworth x Halo: Fern Gaming Chair is a thing of expensive beauty. If it is worth the cost will come down to just how much you are going to use it. If you’re the work-at-home type that can potentially spend 10+ hours most days sitting at your desk then I think it makes sense to save up or finance an item like this. It is the most comfortable thing I’ve ever sat in, has impeccable build quality, and is backed up with a solid warranty.