Maxnomic Commander S Impressions
Anyone interested in a gaming or PC enthusiast chair needs to know that out of the box the foam used on these chairs is incredibly firm. I am 5’11” and about 155 pounds. The first time I sat in this chair I could not believe how firm it was. I thought that with all of the cushioning it would be more akin to plunking down in a Lazy Boy rather than into a fold up event chair, but it was more like the latter. The one overwhelmingly important detail that Maxnomic seems to have failed to inform consumers about is that the foam used in their chairs needs a break-in period to achieve a uniform responsiveness and softness. I have chatted with other gamers using both major gaming chair brands and have found each and every one to have experienced the same thing upon first use and many, including myself, found that a couple months of break-in was necessary to achieve a pleasant softness.
Currently I sit on this chair almost every day for at least a few hours and have found that it took me about three months to fully break in the foam in the seat and back to a level that I now find comfortable. Mind you the seat is still on the firm side, but due to the excellent ergonomics, I no longer experience any of the initial discomfort. Just know going in that these chairs require quite some time to break in fully.
Adjustability and Functionaliy
Adjustability of the Commander S BWE (like all Maxnomic chairs) is impressively varied and comprehensive. This chair has a very long vertical height range, unlike my last Herman Miller chair. Being designed for taller people and to accommodate additional weight, the seat is wider and the cushioning thicker than other models. At my height of 5’11” if I adjust the vertical height of the seat to the maximum, my feet float above the floor by about 5”.
The reclining spring adjustment found on the underside of the seat is rather limited and I found that even when adjusted to minimum resistance, the chair is quite difficult to recline if when it is in a near vertical position. If the back is adjusted and locked into a position that results in the occupant slightly reclining, the chair is much easier to push back than when the seat is perfectly upright. I generally keep the back of the chair upright and find that even with my feet flat on the floor I have to really push hard to get the chair to recline, but once I have achieved some recline, if I release my leg and torso muscles the chair angrily returns to the upright position due to the strength of the spring.
The chair does lock into a few reclining positions though, which are quite comfortable if you can kick up your feet up on something. Keep in mind that your personalpositioning options may be limited, if you don't have my clearance under you desk for your legs. That being said when I have used the chair to watch TV from across the room, away from my desk, I have found the locking recline feature fairly easy to use and very comfortable.
On the right side of the seat is a handle to move the seat back into several positions. The handle is easy to reach and is not difficult to pull, and gives you the ability to recline nearly flat without tipping over. I did test trying to tip myself over by raising up my feet and sure enough I succeeded, but in normal usage even at full recline the seat keeps you safely planted.
On the right side of the back you'll find the Commander S' lumbar adjustment knob. Lumbar support is achieved by dialing the knob with a welcome ratcheting feedback either clockwise or counter clockwise. When the lumber support is at a minimal protrusion the back feels rather flat while pushing my spine against it, but as soon as you give the knob a few clicks a convex lumbar bar pushes out from the back and immediately corrects your lower back posture. The lumbar range is very impressive, but I found it to be harsh at higher levels, because the padding between the lumbar bar and your back is only about an inch or two deep and feels pretty hard. Overall the lumbar adjustment is an excellent feature and one that other manufacturers should uniformly implement, but individual tastes may vary.
One area where the Maxnomic Commander S really shines is in regard to its armrests. The armrests are simply amazing. I never thought I would gush about armrests on a chair, but Maxnomic really got their right. First off, you can adjust them up and down, and as you will see in my photos I have them adjusted all the way up. The amount of vertical travel on the armrests is much longer than anything I've seen on a typical office chair. All of the other chairs I have used or tried have had annoyingly limited vertical arm rest travel. There are two easily accessible black buttons on the inner sides of the arm rest also. One of them allows the surface to be slid front and back, locking the preferred position upon release of the button. The other button allows the surface to be slid away or closer to the center of the chair and locks again with a release of the button. Finally the surface is padded, but the inner edge is set at two right angles stepping down and is quite firm if you happen to rest your elbow on the edge. I say that the arm rests also rotate which sounds great until you move the arm rest against the edge of your desk and they shift out of position.
Last but not least is the plush neck pillow. You are probably scoffing at such a superfluous addition to an already heavily padded chair. I initially reacted that way too and can tell you now that this simple soft fleece pillow is one of my favorite features of the chair.
Unlike the DXRacer, the Maxnomic neck pillows can be slid up or down over a much greater range and the soft fleece against my neck is more comfortable than DXRacer’s leatherette neck pillow.