There are few who put in more time behind a computer than gamers, except maybe YouTube trolls, Facebook addicts, or your friendly tech reviewer.
If you fall into the gamer category and are looking to upgrade the cushion under your tushy from that generic chair purchased at the office supply shop, there are a lot of gamer-oriented offerings available today.
Wading into this rapidly expanding market is Tesoro, a name that hopefully most gamers will at least have heard of given its sponsorship of eSports events and teams around the world.
The Taiwanese company burst onto the scene, seemingly out of nowhere with a lineup of gamer-oriented keyboards, mice, surfaces, and headsets. The latest product to bolster an already impressive product portfolio is the Zone Balance gaming chair, which we’re looking at today.
Available in black and white, black and red, or all black as our review sample was, the large box that it ships in could be too heavy for a single person to maneuver. After helping the courier bring it inside and opening the box we found that it was well packaged with foam lining each side of the box, which saved the squishy bits from a nasty looking puncture during delivery.
We’ll start this review with a look at all of the pieces, then outline how the assembly was performed, noting any cool features or possible snags along the way.
The first piece pulled from the box was the seat cushion, which will no doubt see the most action. On the main portion of the cushion is a stamped geometric pattern that lends a bit of style to the chair, while the thicker padding on the sides comes up to support the hips and thighs.
At the rear of the cushion are the steel supports for the seat back which we’ll look at shortly. On the underside of the seat we see the foam and faux-leather cover is held in place by thick, stretchable bands and heavy duty metal hoops.
The slightly padded arm rests come pre-installed onto the cushion as shown in the previous shots, and feature three degrees of motion. They slide forward and back in 4 positions, up and down in 7 positions by squeezing up on the tab on the outside edge, and rotate allowing them to be angled in or out. Also found on the right side of the cushion is the lever used to recline the seat back, which can go all the way back 180 degrees.
Tesoro has continued the geometric design up the center of the seat back. At the very top is the company logo, while the opening just below it allows for the headrest cushion to stay in place without sliding up. Flipping the back rest over we find more Tesoro branding.
For some additional comfort there are removable, and therefore adjustable lumbar and head support cushions. The lumbar support cushion attaches with an elastic strap and plastic buckle behind the cushion on the seat back, while the head support cushion has an elastic strap that goes over the top of the headrest.
Next up is the metal mounting plate that also holds the combination seat height and tilt lock lever, and the tilt tension dial to increase or decrease the resistance of the tilt.
The Zone Balance gaming chair also features a steel, 5-wheel base that will hold the wheels and the piston.
Finally we have the bits and pieces consisting of the right and left covers used to hide the metal seat back supports, the class-4 piston that allows for height adjustments, and a three-piece cover for the piston that extends or retracts based on the seat height. There’s also the five racing-wheel-inspired, polyurethane coated wheels, and a package of bolts and washers, as well as a combination Allen wrench and Phillips screwdriver.
Assembly of the Tesoro Zone Balance was quite easy, with the total time taking around 30 minutes, but some of that time was snapping progress shots, so depending on how handy a person is, they might be able to do it in less time.
First we secured the seat back to the base-plate using a pair of bolts, split washers, and standard washers on each side. The included Allen wrench meant that there were no trips to the tool box to find the correct size for each tool, and it was just long enough that we could generate enough torque to fully tighten the bolts with minimal effort.
Next came the controls under the seat cushion. Again this was attached using the same bolts, split washers, and standard washers, with one set going in each corner.
We then covered up the steel supports on both sides of the seat back using the plastic covers, however this time we did need the assistance of a separate screwdriver as we weren’t able to create enough force to get the screws to catch. This was not a big deal, but rather a small inconvenience.
The next step was to push the wheels into the holes at the end of each leg on the base, then set the piston into the center hole, and place the three-piece cover over it.
Then it was simply a matter of putting the two pieces together so that the hole in the controls on the bottom of the seat cushion sat down over the top of the piston. The strap for the lumbar support cushion was clipped behind the cushion on the seat back, and the strap for the head cushion was slid over the top of the back rest, completing the assembly.
Next up, we take the chair for a spin and see if it can hold up to some hardcore sitting… and reclining. A gamer’s gotta nap too, ya know!