Today we have something a little different for you. In the past we have done some chair reviews with the majority of them being new brands coming into the market. This new chair is actually from a huge global brand that specializes in office furniture and competes in the market with the likes of Herman Miller, Steel Case and others. The company is Okamura and this is their first gaming chair called Striker, and I have some thoughts about it. To make it even more interesting - we also have their best selling office chair which retails for two thousand Singapore dollars as a comparison.
If you have never heard of Okamura, I can’t really blame you. Their focus has been on business clients rather than end-users. They are pretty well known in the corporate world with some major clients in Singapore, like Casio and Fujifilm offices. To those who are not familiar - Okamura is a Japanese company established back in 1945 and has a large manufacturing portfolio with a big focus on furniture. As I mentioned before, Okamura is one of the big players when it comes to office furniture just like Steelcase and Herman Miller so when they introduced their new chair we were very intrigued.
We also jumped at the opportunity to compare it with their best selling chair - Contessa version 2. We will compare them and see which one is better. Let’s first cover general specification for the new Striker chair.
It comes in three different colors: all black, black with blue accents and black with red accents like we have right here.
While there are no options for chair size, I personally fit in it rather comfortably and that is saying something, as I am both tall and on the heavy side. This chair does have a very striking feature - the headrest has these blinder looking things. I have mixed feelings about it - they are too far away to lean on, but yet still visible in the corner of the eye when you use the headrest. I find them a little distracting, especially while talking to someone just to the side of me, forcing me to turn the whole chair rather than just my head.
Feature-wise this chair has most standard adjustments. Let's start at the bottom and work our way up. There is a well dampened piston for the height adjustment so the chair does not just shoot up. I do like the adjustable recline mechanism which can be used to lean back or even lean forward if you do some gaming on the phone or want to rest your back while maintaining good posture.
On the right side there is a knob to adjust tension should you prefer it to be easier or harder to recline. Personally I normally set my position and lock it down. Our unit did have a small issue with the tension knob, there is a sharp edge left from the mold. Not a huge deal, but thought to mention.
The seat itself has depth adjustment and here I wish it was a few centimetres longer to be more inclusive for taller people.
As expected, the armrests have height adjustment, can be moved forward or backward as well as turned to the side. I like that they are rigid with slight padding. I never had my elbows feel uncomfortable. After a month of using, we do have signs of wear and tear so keep that in mind.
And lastly there is a headrest which to be fair is probably one of the better ones I’ve had the pleasure testing.
The Contessa chair has a very similar feature set. It is missing the tilting forward mechanism and does not have headrest but does gain an extra sideward adjustment on the arm rest and also features a much more slick version of height and tilt adjustments under the armrests. This is a pretty unique and definitely more premium feeling system.
To test these chairs for comfort I used them interchangeably for over a month now and, honestly, I like them both, but for different reasons. Both chairs feel comfortable to sit in for long periods of time, the cushion is made in such a way that it is more dense in the middle where it receives more weight and it has a softer front part for comfort.
As mentioned earlier I like the armrests, they are great on both chairs, but I would give the edge to the Contessa chair due to them being bigger and also that extra adjustment level. Generally this is ok, but when I do a lot of typing the right armrest is a little too far for me on the Striker chair while with Contessa I can adjust it accordingly.
For the backrest, I like Striker as it covers the whole of my back and also features a headrest. 95% of the time it does everything I want it to do - it supports my back and feels comfortable, I also noticed that it's making me sit more straight. In the other 5% of the time I would prefer the Contessa, not due to its size but due to its mesh. It holds well and is more breathable which comes in handy in prolonged intense work meetings or gaming sessions.
Another thing I want to cover is aesthetics. Both of these chairs look and feel premium. Striker, of course, has this aggressive design which is more suited in a personal space such as your home. On the other hand Contessa is a very minimalistic and elegant chair designed for formal use. It has a nice clean look and very pleasant controls. When adjusting the chair with the paddles it almost feels like you are changing gears in a supercar, it is very satisfying.
To quickly summarize - many people when looking for chairs start with the price. These chairs are definitely premium with a price to match. The thousand Singapore dollar price tag for Striker is very steep, especially considering that it does not feature real leather which would be more durable and that makes it a hard sale, but if it makes you sit more straight and actually feel comfortable then the price may not matter as much. Your mileage may vary.
The retail price of Contessa is twice that, which may sound insane for many end-users, but it is very much in line with what other big brands charge. Enterprise clients buy in bulk so their pricing is considerably lower. When it comes to the general public - is this chair worth two thousand dollars? The answer is - it depends. If you have a home office which needs a very comfortable and good looking chair then yes, if on the other hand you are looking for a good value chair then you better off looking elsewhere.
Overall, I feel like Okamura released some good chairs for the premium market and we look forward to seeing what they bring in the future.