The Bottom Line
- + Soft cloth material
- + Tons of functionality
- + Unique lumbar support
- - Padding thinness
- - Pilling
- - Lumbar support
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Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
When it comes time to buy a chair for use with the PC, many will agree that a chair is a chair. While they come with many styles and adjustments, you typically get the basic components with levers to adjust the back and maybe even adjustable armrests. However, while there is much more to a gaming chair, and we are oversimplifying things now, that is the basic idea. That was until our glorious leader Cameron sat in a chair during Computex and urged us to look at what Thunder X3 had going on.
It only took a few seconds once on the product page to agree, as the choir we have today does take things well beyond what many would expect from a gaming chair manufacturer. The glaringly obvious points that stood out to us were the 4D armrests, the unique lumbar support system used, and even looking at the mechanism under the chair showed us that there were extras we hadn't expected. As silly as it seems, we also love that this chair came with a multifunctional footstool, amongst a few other finer details.
As we take a close look at the Thunder X3 Ultimate Core Loft in gray, we will be giving you a look at all of the finer details of what makes this Thunder X3 solution a standout in the massive crowd of gaming chairs. We also took a bit longer with the Ultimate Core Loft, as some of the features we wanted to ensure were fully tested. That being said, Keep your eyes peeled as we review the Ultimate Core Loft from Thunder X3 so that you can judge if it should be the new product to support your bottom side and back.
A glance at the specifications chart shows that there is much to absorb, and since you are reading this review, we also assume you can read what is in the chart. Rather than fine-combing every detail, we will review the prominent points and discuss the newer things listed within it.
We already know that the chair is called the Ultimate Core Loft and that we opted for the loft gray model while a black version is available. As a hefty lad, we like that the chair can support up to 331 pounds on the steel frame, supported by the strut, with 100mm of travel, that sits inside an aluminum star base. The seat, arms, and back are padded but thinner than those we have previously reviewed. But the Ultimate Core Loft glides well on the 75mm PU scratch-resistant wheels.
The SYNC6 mechanism is unique compared to what we have seen in our long PC career and different than those found in previous samples. It offers a way to adjust the back of the chair, and it also provides seat tilt and the ability to slide the seat away from the back of the chair. What makes the Ultimat Core Loft especially extraordinary is what they call CORE.RDY 360 Tech, which has to do with the lumbar support. While many would give a bump at the bottom of the back of the chai8r for lower lumbar support, the Ultimate Core Loft offers a system where the bulk of the seat back is designed with a covering panel with a ball and socket in the center, allowing the back of the chair to move as your body does.
While the Ultimate Core Loft is not yet available in the US, we did some digging to see the cost of such a unique product. While many out there will dig deep into your bank account for chairs without as many features, we calculated the price in the UK and translated that to US dollars. We came up with $420.73 based on the £339.95 pricing we saw at Overclockers UK. One huge factor to chairs seems to have slipped by Thunder X3, and nowhere on site or in the packaging is the warranty length mentioned. The manual shows how to make a claim and what you will need to do, but again, we do not find a number of years of coverage. While we would assume it to be at least two years, as that's standard from box store offerings, we do not know the actual term.
As many will do, Thunder X3 uses plain brown cardboard to pack up the Ultimate Core Loft gaming chair. On the left, we see this is the loft gray version, while to the right is a rendering of the chair with some seat width and back height measurements. The opposite side of the box is identical, so we will show it just this once.
The smaller ends of the box are also identical, and while we get the company name, logo, and model and that it is made in China, this is also the only place you will find the 67.2-pound weight.
On the top of the box, we find the logo, Thinder5 X3, Core Loft, and that it is loft gray in color, along with a crap ton of tape to ensure it arrived in one piece. We also see that you want to keep this dry; it is heavy, and we suggest some help when moving from your porch, although nothing inside is "fragile."
Inside, we find a ton of dense foam between the components, bubble wrap on the arms of the chair and a couple of other parts, and everything inside is wrapped in plastic, ensuring nothing is damaged or that the fabric and painted surfaces take on no damage in transit.
Thunder X3 Ultimate Core Loft Components
The first major component we pulled from the box is the back of the chair, which we see is covered with a woven gray fabric with leatherette as the trim in a slightly lighter gray color. Between the wings, we see the Thunder X3 name embroidered into the leatherette, right above the CORE.RDY 360 Tech lumbar panel. On the headrest is a large Thunder X3 logo, again sewn onto the woven material.
We flipped the back of the chair over to show that the CORE.RDY 360 Tech is separated from the main back portion of the chair, allowing it room to move and swivel on the ball in the center of it. It is also free from the sides, so the back follows your movements when you lean in the chair.
In the back, there is some white trim to match the logo at the top, but we also found a pouch at the bottom with the Thunder X3 name, which can be used to store anything that fits.
The seat of the Ultimate Core Loft comes with the armrests already installed. The same materials are used on the padded armrests, while the frame is painted black. The bottom of the seat goes along with the rest and is yet another place where you will find the Thunder X3 name.
Under the seat, we can see where the arms are mounted, but we also see that the material uses clips to keep the cover on it. There are cloth straps that go side to side for added support, but the bar at the bottom is made of steel like the one the arms are mounted to.
Getting to the star-shaped aluminum base we saw on top of the packed components in the box, we find it to be much like we typically see, just that it is painted black this time. We also have the mounting brace for the back of the chair, which comes with a pleather sleeve to hide the black steel used.
The SYNC6 mechanism is a beefy module with three arms. The left side allows users to adjust the chair height; the second is for seat bottom tilt. The lever on the right will enable you to move the seat from front to back, and the cap at the end of the arm locks the back at the angle you choose; otherwise, it is free to move when leaned on.
We then run into the 331-pound capacity strut, the five 75mm diameter wheels with carbon fiber print, and the plastic container with the hardware and Allen wrench.
The manual is multilingual and covers every step of the build process. Once done with that, it also shows what the levers on the mechanism are for and the buttons and levers on the arms. It also covers the headrest and footstool, cleaning, maintenance, and how to address a warranty claim.
The headrest is made from the lighter-colored leatherette and is formed to keep your head centered on top of the memory foam pillow. Since it will cover the logo on the seat back, Thunder X3 puts another on the headrest.
To keep it in place, it comes with an elastic strap that can be adjusted, but it also has rubber dots to help keep it from moving against the woven fabric of the chair.
We then get to the multifunctional footstool. It can be set on the floor as seen or flipped over so that the angle adjusts to your feet. It can come open where the line is at the bottom, making for a place to set a laptop or tablet, or it can be used as-is on a table as support for your arms.
Assembly and Features
Following the manual, we are first told to mount the SYNC6 mechanism to the seat bottom using the larger screws from the hardware package. Thunder X3 also recommends you use this for a week, then go around and ensure all the screws are still tight.
We then used some of the smaller screws provided and installed the seat back bracket to the underside of the seat bottom. Once installed, ensure the pleather sleeve is slid down to cover all the exposed steel.
We are then told to jump to the base. After press-fitting the five caters into the base, you flip it over and set the strut into the center of it.
The next step is to grab the chair seat and set it on the strut. It will go easier if you have some help, as the seat and arms are weighty and can be tough to do by yourself.
While here, we got closer to the arms and found a black lever on the outside. Lifting the lever raises the arms to fit each user specifically for the utmost comfort.
Inside the arms, we find a chrome button and a black button under them. The chrome button allows the armrests to swivel in and out, whereas the black buttons allow the armrests to slide in and out from the user.
With the chair fully assembled, we like what we have in front of us, and We cannot wait to get in it and play around with everything and see how well all of the toys Thunder X3 offers in this Ultimate Core Loft.
The headrest contrasts with the woven material behind it, but it does not slide in the least unless physically moved by hand. The strap and rubber dots do very well in keeping it right where you put it last.
We also wanted to show the amount of tilt the Ultimate Core Loft offers. While not as much as some we have seen in the past, it is enough for typical usage but nowhere near enough to take a laid-out nap in it.
We have had quite a bit of time with the Thunder X3 Ultimate Core Loft, and while we love the color and all of the unique components, it is not all good news, but let's start with what is. The chair is quite comfortable for the first bit of use, but it is an odd feeling to have the back of the chair move as you do. It took some getting used to, but the CORE.RDY Tech is something we would like to find in other chairs; it is that good. We like the 4D armrests, as this is a chair for bigger users, and we did need to shrink things down a bit to fit us better.
We love the color and softness of the material used, and the memory foam headrest and footstool are some of the best we have used. The Sync6 mechanism also took some time to get used to, but with seat tilt allowing users to hunch over the desk with more comfort, and the fact that the seat moves toward and away from the back is something we have yet to see, and can be handy for the larger users of this gaming chair.
As mentioned, with the good comes some bad things, too. The first is the short time the woven material starts to pill. The seat bottom and left armrest are covered with them after only a few months of use. To us, that is not something we expect from a chair found in limited locations and not available with other box store "cheapo" offerings. The second downfall to this design is that the back portion that moves, while cool and all, has a pair of points in the frame that poke through the padding and can be visibly seen and felt in your back. The last thing we must address is that even with the straps across the seat bottom, we are already feeling the frame or the steel bars in our bum.
It may be a good thing that Thunder X3 and their Ultimate Core Loft are not yet available in the States, as it gives them a chance to look over what we mentioned and possibly fix said issues before anyone buys one and finds out what we have. On the flip side, the Core Loft is nearly half the price of some of its competition, and while we should give them some leeway on that fact, we cannot sue to the short duration these problems showed their ugly heads.
If this were priced at $200 to $300, we would expect more of these things to pop up, but at over $400, we expected more. It is sad, but to us, the best part of this design, aside from the cool CORE.RDY 360 Tech is the footstool, and that says all you need to know about this gaming chair from Thunder X3.