ThunderX3 shows off two new gaming chairs, an update to one of the best gaming chairs you can buy and a funky-looking mesh model

Like everything else in PC gaming, gaming chairs are ten a penny in the market, so it takes something special to stand out in the crowd. Actually, it doesn't. They just need to be well made, adjustable for all shapes and sizes and have day-long comfort. The original ThunderX3 Core was one such example, thanks to its sublime lumbar support and affordable price. Now there's a new version of the Core and it's just as comfy but also much cheaper.

We spotted the new Core Smart while at Computex and naturally, like everyone else there, quickly tested the ergonomics by parking our rears in the luxurious seat and cosseting our noggins in the '2-in-1' headrest. I'm not entirely sure what two things it does in one but who cares when it's "absolutely divine," to quote our Jacob.

Self-adjusting lumbar support might sound like a gimmick but in the case of the ThunderX3 chair, it really does work. That large pad you can see in the chair's back moves with you, like a pair of helping hands protecting your back, as you shift around. Add the cushioned armrests and you've got the perfect place to plonk your posterior as you play on your PC for…umm…ages.

A few minutes of well-earned rest from the hectic bustle of Computex is by no means a comprehensive review so our official word on how great it is will have to wait until we can get our hands (and everything else) on one in the office.

For now, though, let's just take a gander at ThunderX3's other new model—the Flex Pro, with more Ds in its spec sheet than you can shake a backrest at. It has 19D adjustability, with a 4D headrest, 5D armrests, 3D lumbar support, and a 3D seat. In case you're wondering what any of that means, the 'D' simply refers to dimensions of adjustments, so 3D would be up/down, forward/backward, and side-to-side.

The mesh version looks like it will be ideal for gaming in hot climates, though both Flex Pro versions look like you'll be able to sit back and feel thoroughly supported across your entire body. The design gives off a distinct space-age vibe to my eyes but I have to confess to not being a fan of mesh chairs or any chair that lacks substance to the seat and back.

Being of a somewhat slender build (read: starving stick insects have more meat on them than me), I find such chairs to only be comfortable for fairly short periods and the decline from ah to argh is very rapid. If I was spending my own money on a new gaming chair, it'd be the Core Smart that I'd choose over the Flex Pro.

And speaking of which, where the original ThunderX3 Core launched at $399 (not cheap but way less than other, less luxurious, gaming chairs), the Core Smart will have an MSRP of $299. Not sure when we'll be able to buy one but at that price, ThunderX3 is going to be shifting a whole lot of them.


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Nick Evanson
Hardware Writer

Nick, gaming, and computers all first met in 1981, with the love affair starting on a Sinclair ZX81 in kit form and a book on ZX Basic. He ended up becoming a physics and IT teacher, but by the late 1990s decided it was time to cut his teeth writing for a long defunct UK tech site. He went on to do the same at Madonion, helping to write the help files for 3DMark and PCMark. After a short stint working at, Nick joined Futuremark (MadOnion rebranded) full-time, as editor-in-chief for its gaming and hardware section, YouGamers. After the site shutdown, he became an engineering and computing lecturer for many years, but missed the writing bug. Cue four years at and over 100 long articles on anything and everything. He freely admits to being far too obsessed with GPUs and open world grindy RPGs, but who isn't these days?