The tCentric Hybrid Office Chair Is Pricey, Comfy, and Built Like a Tank

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Photo: Ergocentric

Some people swear by the Aeron. Others sit on balls. And others purposefully destroy themselves on chairs from hell. But one thing is certain: a good, solid office chair is your work-from-home friend.

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That’s what the tCentric Hybrid is: a good, solid office chair. Designed and built in Mississauga, Ontario, these chairs are mostly seen north of the border but have recently been spreading into the United States. The chairs are tanks. The model I tested, a black tCentric Mesh with a headrest, costs $950 and weighs about 50 pounds, all told, with most of the density in the heavily reinforced nylon base.

The rest of the package is what you’d expect from a heavy-duty, highly engineered office chair. The entire thing is made of hardened nylon plastic strung with mesh. The back features a prominent, inflatable lumbar support system, and there are three levers including height control and a lock to prevent recline. The armrests can turn 360 degrees and you can bring them closer or give yourself an Iron Throne-esque bit of elbow room. Once I got it into a position I liked, I definitely noticed postural differences and an increase in comfort, especially over other chairs—including a big blue yoga ball—I’ve used during the pandemic.

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As a long-time Aeron user, I can say this chair is decidedly different. As I noted before, it’s built like a tank, with buttons and controls that feel more at home on industrial equipment. The little button to inflate the lumbar support alone could do double duty as a bike pump, and the armrest buttons feel like bulbous knots until you press them with a delightful-feeling resistance. It’s a stronger, sturdier, and far more comfortable alternative to the comparatively spindlier chairs offered at Office Depot and even higher-end manufacturers.

That’s to be expected. The makers of the tCentric, a company called ergoCentric, has been making chairs for industrial environments since 1990 and this is the latest in a long line of seats designed to withstand apocalyptic conditions. Given that we’re all sitting at home these days, something like the tCentric is well worth checking out.

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The question, then, is whether this is worth the high price tag. ErgoCentric chairs are completely customizable, from the back to the wheels, and you can choose different configurations for different prices. The chairs come fully assembled and ready to ride, so you won’t have to attach the base to the seat or snap in the wheels. Finally, once you have it set up correctly, you’ll find it’s very comfortable. You can bulk order them for your nonexistent office or simply email the company for a quote. The tCentric starts at $900, which is definitely more than I would have dropped on a chair before trying this thing out myself. Now, since we’re spending hours in these things while doomscrolling and imagining how nice it would be to go to an office happy hour again, I can see the draw.

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As a sufferer of sciatica (among other things), the tCentric is a solid improvement over anything else I’ve sat in for the past few years. Because the seat is so solid and the actual size is so large, you definitely feel more cradled in this chair than a standard office chair. From afar, this looks like a captain’s chair on Star Trek rather than a puny desk chair. Obviously I’m assuming you have room for something as big as this, but ergoCentric does also offers home-office specific stuff if your nook is too tiny.

You spend a significant portion of your life in an office chair. It’s hard to begrudge your poor butt something as nice as the tCentric, especially if someone else is picking up the tab.

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README

  • A true throne for the WFH captain of industry.
  • Built like a tank.
  • Surprisingly comfortable.
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John Biggs is a writer from Ohio who lives in Brooklyn. He likes books, boardgames, watches, and his dog. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Gizmodo.

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DISCUSSION

Once I realized this WFH period wouldn’t be ending any time soon, I invested in a used Aeron. Found one from just 5 years ago for a good price at a local re-seller. Best decision I’ve made during the pandemic.

Seriously people, spend the money for a nice chair. It’s a gamechanger.