“a consumer reports for the cheap” — the new york times

Office Chairs Performance (continued)

Office Chairs Durability.

Consumers spending up to $150 on office chairs expect them to last a while -- at least longer than a year or two. One discount office chair that seems likely to hold up well is our pick for the best office chair in the budget price range, the Office Star Space 5500.
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Users posting reviews at OfficeMax rate this chair very highly due to its high-quality materials and durable feel. One user posting a review on Amazon confirms the quality and durability, saying the chair is still in great condition after five years of frequent use. While reviews of the Staples Vocazo don't say much about durability, it is the only chair we found in the budget range with a warranty. It comes with a one-year limited manufacturer's warranty.

Users posting reviews of the Alera Nico Mid-Back Chair on Amazon have high praise for the chair's sturdy design and high-quality materials. One user says you can tell by the look, feel, and weight of the chair that it is durable. Conversely, durability seems to be the main issue with the Z-Line Designs Task Chair ZL1001-01TCU. Users posting reviews at both Amazon and JR.com report a faulty seat back. In the worst-case scenario, that means the back of the chair actually falls off, which is a huge injury risk, and in the best-case scenario, the screw attaching the back to the seat continually works itself loose and makes the seatback wobbly and unstable. The same problem applies to the Techni Mobili 0097M. Numerous users posting reviews at both Amazon say when they put just a little bit of pressure on the back of the chair it snaps off completely. One user reports that several employees were nearly injured, while another user says he had the part replaced and it happened again. Some users also say the staples and piping that hold the mesh backing in place pop out often.

Ease of Use.

Ease of use covers how easy it is to assemble and adjust an office chair, how easily it rolls, and generally how easy it is to work in the chair. Again the Office Star Space 5500, the best office chair among our picks, scores high with users. Users posting reviews on Amazon say it rolls easily on carpet and is simple to assemble. They also admire the adjustability of the seat and armrests. Users posting reviews at Staples.com say the Staples Vocazo is super-easy to put together, with clear, easy directions and all the necessary pieces. Users find it moves easily as well.

Review continues below

While the Alera Nico Mid-Back Chair gets high marks for comfort and durability, users posting reviews at Newegg note that assembly can be frustrating. Some had to resort to grinding and sanding to get certain parts to fit together. Once the chair is assembled, most users seem to find that it adjusts and moves easily. Many also seem willing to overlook the assembly issues considering the chair is so comfortable. Ease of use, like comfort, is simply not addressed in reviews of the Techni Mobili 0097M, which instead focus on the problem with the seatback. As for the Z-Line Task Chair, with the exception of one positive review stating that the chair is easy to work in, most reviews on the J&R site are negative.

by Raechel Conover (Google+ Profile)

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