Tesoro, who have established themselves as a manufacturer of gaming-peripherals wants to break the Gaming-Chair market. Their debut offering carries the name Zone Balance, is designed like racing car seats and tries to appeal to the gaming crowd with its seat comfort and low price of 220$. We test this new piece of gaming furniture in our lab and tell you if Tesoro has put out a real bargain.
It is now two years ago that racing car styled office chairs have marketed towards gamers have become a trend. A trend which carries on till this day. The market surveys confirmed that these chairs outfitted with integrated arm and body support are ideal not only for your posture while gaming, but also make a great and comfortable chair for everyday office use.
In its beginnings, the gaming-chair market was very sparse and dominated by manufacturers like Maxnomic (Need for Seat), DX Racer or Caseking. Since mid-2016 they have been joined by companies such as Noblechairs, Nitro Concepts, Vertagear, Thunder X3 and Speedling who are also vying for the cash of the gaming consumers. Now, Tesoro, who have been renowned for their relatively affordable gaming mice and keyboards, want to join in as well. Their first foray into this market, the Zone Balance, surprises with its low price tag. But what can the consumer expect from a 230$ gaming chair in terms of features and comfort? This is what we will found out in the following review. What we can say right upfront is that the Tesoro Zone Balance is a real bang for your buck!
The Features: Worth More Than the Price
Who, like us, expected the Tesoro Zone Balance to have a lot to be desired because of its 230$ price tag, has been proved wrong. Features that you would otherwise find in products like the Maxnomic Office Comfort (which we awarded five stars for 470$ or the Noblechairs Epic gaming chair for 520￥ have been included on Tesoro’s new product. A black tubular metal frame forms the base of the seat and the backrest and has been covered in artificial leather which, in the armrest, shoulder, and sides has been padded with PU-foam. This material has also been embedded in the 5-7 cm thick contact areas fastened to the lateral structural beams. What we really appreciate is the fact that these beams in the backrest are also reinforced with elastic ribbons so that the foam can’t be pushed too far out of place. This is a feature you would usually only find on chairs costing 350$ and upwards. Any intricate stitching, real leather upholstery or perforated surfaces had of course to be omitted to maintain the low price of 200$
What it does come with for the price is a very solid cast-iron foot construction with five smooth-running wheels that won’t scratch your floors, 8 cm of seamless height adjustment and rocking mechanic that can be adjusted in strength as well as blocked. Additionally, the 3D-armrests can be height-adjusted in 6 increments, adjusted back and forth. What rounds off the feature-set with is already worth the price, is the addition of the cushions for your neck and lower back.
The Specifications: Not Suitable for Very Tall Gamers
The Tesoro Zone Balance gaming chair not only comes with a great feature-set and high build quality. It also scores with a slew of good specs. As shown in the image in the gallery, the width comes in at 57/38 cm (Outer width / width of Seat-surface) with a depth of 55 cm which also makes it suitable for gamers with a wider hip or longer thighs. The backrest measures 78 cm in height and can be adjusted from a 90° up to a 180° angle. For people up to 1,80 m in height, this makes it well suited and comfortable in both the back and shoulder areas (shoulder-area width: 57 cm). The seamless height-adjustment allows seat-heights from 35 up to 43 cm. That is enough to allow most gamers to keep their at a 90° angle to their thighs while seated.
It gets a little more problematic when you are taller than the 1,80 m we recommend. Tesoro themselves do not state any info on maximum body-height for the Zone Balance. If you are significantly taller however, the front of the seating surface will push on the inside of your thighs because the will be pushed forward by the cushion supporting your lower back. The backrest will also not provide the proper support that is intended and tall gamers will also find that the neck support is sub-par. Because of that we recommend gamers above 1,80 m should try sitting in this gaming chair before buying it.
While there are no figures on maximum height, there is one on maximum weight. The chair is rated for a maximum bodyweight of 120 kg at which it is deemed safe and stable. If however, as was the case in our test, the gamer sitting on the Zone Balance weighs around 85 kg, the robust and easy-to-use height-adjustment and rocking function only have very little play and the chair stays stable under all circumstances. However, if you tilt back the backrest to its maximum of 180° it is likely that the chair might lean and fall over. Sadly, the height-adjustable vertical beam that is also connected to the rocking-mechanics is mounted to the rest of the frame (which also holds the armrests) with nothing more than two screws. Abrupt movement can thus cause the chair to tip. All in all however, the Tesoro Zone Balance gaming chair offer very good stability. Assembly – apart from the short screws that hold the plastic casing of the joint between seat and backrest in place – is quick and easy and should take no longer than 30 minutes.
Performance: Comfortable and ergonomical despite hard surfaces
Even though the 230$ price tag does not allow for the lower back support or 4D-armrests that you’d find in competitor’s products the Tesoro Zone Balance offers good to excellent ergonomic properties. This is due to the 3D-armrests that can be adjusted in height as well as back and forth. That makes it possible to rest your arms level to your desktop. The backrest, while very firm, has been shaped carefully to offer excellent back support. This means you won’t even need the detachable lower-back cushion that comes with the chair. This is true even for the typical gaming-posture where the backrest is angled at 90°while your arms rest on the armrests. Here you should see if you’re more comfortable with or without using the optional loin-support.
The Tesoro Zone Balance offers great seating comfort. Especially the seat surface itself. It offers plenty of space even for bigger behinds while offering great side-support which means you won’t be sliding around. Despite the PU-foam upholstery being rather firm it is still very comfortable. You can feel the contact but won’t sink to deep into the chair. This chair is best suited for people who like a medium-firm seat. For those who like it a little softer the Maxnomics Commander SII or the Office Comfort would be the better, albeit much more expensive choice.
Conclusion: An ergonomic and affordable chair that not only suits gamers
If you spend 230$ on the Tesoro you will have to make due without fancy bells and whistles such as 4D-armrests or a lower back support integrated into the backrest. Despite this though, a gamer will get everything he needs for a comfortable and ergonomic experience during gaming or any other computer related activity. The only limitation this chair has is body height. If you are taller than 1,80m meters we are sorry to say that you’ll have to look elsewhere. Also, if you don’t like the rather hard surfaces on this chair you might have to consider some of the competing products on the market. The rest of us though will not only get a 4,5-star-product (our grade: B+) but a real bargain.