When it comes to themed accessories for gamers, products tend to land at the gaudier end of the spectrum, even at the best of times. However, the Noblechairs Epic Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team 2021 Edition takes the style of the legendary motorsports team, its mouthful of a name, and applies it in a way which is highly stylish while remaining reserved and functional.
Ostensibly, it’s identical to the rest of Noblechairs' Epic brand, which are available in Black, Java, White, and a variety of leathers ranging from faux to cow. The Epic chairs are currently sitting at number two in our list of the best gaming chairs around today, second only to Secretlab's stunning Omega. But the additions you get with this model (including its strictly vegan friendly production) are some premium brand-touches, purportedly developed in close collaboration with Mercedes-AMG Petronas’ Formula One Team.
There is, inevitably a price difference in all those extra touches, however, with the basic Epic PU leather chair costing some $389.99 (£299.99) while the Mercedes-AMF Petronas trim will set you back $519.99 (£399.99). How much of an F1 fan you are will determine whether that $130 (£100) is worth it.
The bolsters now sport a carbon fibre effect, outlined with a very neat, light sea green stitching - matching Petronas’ own logo. Fans of the team will certainly appreciate how closely it mimics the livery of the vehicle, as well as its UV, tear and hydrolysis resistant materials, meaning you can sit for a very long time before needing … a pit stop. Sorry.
Building the chair is simple enough, taking about 20 minutes. And while its weight is significant—a carpet protector is a must—once put together its rotating action is absolutely silent.
My only complaint during construction is the presence of one extremely volatile mechanism—the steel arm which handles reclining. It’s harmless once fitted into the backrest and there is a sticker to warn you beforehand. But for the absent-minded, releasing the lock on this spring loaded bar at the wrong time would guarantee a medical emergency.
I am fairly absent-minded... and though I completed the chair unscathed I wouldn’t have minded one or two more warning labels given its deadly impact potential. Other than that, there’s only a little excess armrest grease to concern yourself with.
Once you get right down to it, the sitting experience is pretty damn good. In life before PC Gamer, I worked shifts for a broadcasting company in a department active 24 hours a day— meaning the chairs provided to me and my colleagues were designed for 24 hour use, and while Noblechairs doesn’t make that claim, they weren’t as comfortable as this. It may not turn you into the next Lewis Hamilton, but you’ll be the comfiest driver on the virtual track. Again… sorry.
Additionally, the included lumbar support cushions, complete with Mercedes branding, do a great job showing you how you’re supposed to sit, in an inviting way. I’ve tried the chair with and without these accessories and despite my desire to slouch, there’s really no going back once you know the correct way can provide comfort and spine conservation all at once. Perhaps my days of reckless sitting are over, at least while at my desk.
Rest assured, if you opt for any of the Epic Series, you’ll be gaining a solid gaming companion for many endurance laps to come (it’s almost over), but the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team Edition provides just that little extra bit of style some fans are craving.
You’ll probably already know if that’s worth the extra $130 to you, but rest assured it’s a quality collaboration.