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X-Chair X2 hands-on: I upgraded to a fancy office chair and I'll never go back

It turns out, there's something to be said about more comfortable office furniture.
Written by Jason Cipriani, Contributing Writer on

For nearly a decade, I spent most of my working day at a standing desk. I enjoyed the freedom standing allowed me. In addition to being able to pace as I pleased, I found that I had more energy throughout the day. 

Over the past year or so, I've been fighting the urge to change my work setup. Namely by lowering my self-made standing desk and turning it into a conventional desk complete with a chair. 

There's no rhyme or reason for the change, other than a desire to switch things up. Then, in early April, I received an email from X-Chair offering to send me a test sample of one of its ergonomic office chairs. I figured it was a good opportunity to make the change and hopefully learn a thing or two about ergonomic chairs. 

Now, to be clear, when it comes to shopping for office furniture, I'm known to err on the cheap side of the equation. I know and realize office items like a chair or desk are used daily, for hours on end, and their comfort -- or lack thereof -- can have an impact on how I feel at the end of the day. But, still, my approach has been "the cheaper, the better."

Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

After lowering my desk and sitting in the X-Chair X2 for the past three weeks, however, I'm starting to see the value in splurging on more expensive office furniture. 

The X2 has more knobs and levers than any chair I've ever sat in, and it allows for adjustments to the headrest, armrests, something called dynamic variable lumbar, an adjustable backrest, and is made of a flex mesh material that's surprisingly comfortable. There are a total of 10 ergonomic adjustments you can make, some of which I'm still discovering a few weeks later. 

Where I've noticed the biggest difference after sitting in the X2 for a while now is how I feel at the end of the day. I'll admit, there have been many days when I got tired of standing and sat on what amounts to a fancy (but cheap!) barstool. At the end of the day, my back and hips hurt. I assumed it was partly because of my chair, but mostly because I'm getting older. 

However, for the last week or so, my back and hips have felt much better. The X2 forces me to sit forward, and at first it felt like I was going to fall forward out of my seat, but that sensation has subsided, and I now welcome the constant pressure on my lower back to ensure I'm sitting with good form. At least I think that's what it's doing. 

X-Chair has an entire lineup of chairs, with prices ranging from $525 all the way up to $1,150. The X2 I've been testing is $800, before the addition of the headrest and a wheel upgrade. There's even a footrest. The higher the cost, the more features that are available (for example, the Basic Task Chair lacks some of the finer adjustments of the X1 through X4 series).

I miss standing, but instead of going back to my old desk, I'm now shopping for one of those expensive adjustable standing desks, complete with the fancy motor and memory positions, so I can go back and forth with ease. Have a desk you like? Leave a comment below. 

I guess you can say the X2 has convinced me to invest in my work setup, instead of piecing stuff together and making the best of it. Is the X2 the best chair on the market? I can't say. I obviously don't know nearly enough about ergonomic chairs, but I can say I've enjoyed sitting in it for countless hours, and I've felt the difference, especially when I sit at my "gaming" desk, which still has a basic office chair that lacks any form of ergonomic support. 

There are many factors to consider as many of us transition to a work from home setup, some of which are easy to discount. Do yourself a favor and invest, at the very least, in a comfortable chair. 

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