A good chair at your desk can make the world of difference to your productivity. Having proper back and arm support are just the starting points to ensuring that you don’t strain your body when working long hours.
Navodesk is a purveyor of some excellent standing desks, but also has a range of great ergonomic chairs to keep your posture in check. We’re looking at the Navodesk Icon today, which bills itself as a premium chair for gaming and office use. It’s sleek, comes in some suitable colors to blend in with any office environment, and is very easy to put together.
On paper, this seems like the perfect office chair, and for the most parts it is. However, it’s only after you’ve spent a few hours sitting on this chair that you realize it can get a bit uncomfortable to use over long periods of times, which sort of defeats the purpose of having a chair like this. Its price point is also something to ponder over, as it’s a significant investment to make if you’re not getting absolute comfort.
Price and availability
The Navodesk Icon is available now via the company’s website (opens in new tab), and is priced at AED 1,290. It comes in the choice of black, grey, or red mesh, paired with a black or white frame.
Design and build quality
The packaging for the Icon is very straightforward – just a large cardboard box with the pieces snugly packed inside. You’ll get the seat (with arms attached), backrest, hydraulic piston, casters, five-pronged base, and a small packet of screws with an Allen key. We opted to get ours with red fabric and a white frame, which looks really good.
Assembly is very easy – just slide the backrest onto the seat and secure it with screws, then snap on the castors, piston, and base to complete the chair. This shouldn’t take you more than 15 minutes to finish, and the included pamphlet talks you through everything. We do have to note that the larger screws that are secured with an Allen key are a bit harder to fit in, so you might need to apply much more force than necessary to get them to fit securely.
The back of the chair features a very sleek, ‘ribcage’ design to flex and provide maximum support when sitting for long periods of time. The backrest doesn’t feature any padding – it’s just a stretched mesh over a flexible plastic backing. The entire frame is made from fiber-filled polypropylene, which is incredibly rigid and provides a strong structure to the entire chair. The seat features a recyclable thermoplastic elastomer set with an inner array of sixty-two coil springs to provide maximum support when seated, while also encouraging ventilation and proportionate pressure distribution.
Once assembled, you can sit on it and start your adjustments to match your frame. There are a number of adjustments available to form the most comfortable position, which makes this chair ideal for those spending long hours at their office desks. You’re firstly able to adjust the chair’s height as well as the armrest height. Next you can pull a lever on the side to adjust the seat depth, which stops the chair digging into your calves when seated. A handy crank on the side lets you adjust the backrest’s tilt tension, so that the chair doesn’t recline too easily. Lastly, a lever on the left lets you adjust and lock the chair’s tilt.
Everything is easy to adjust and smoothly locks into place, though we have one gripe with the armpads. While they can be adjusted vertically and locked into place, the horizontal adjustments has no locking mechanism. This means that if you lean onto the armpad, it will easily slip sideways. Or, if you’re holding on to the armpad to adjust your posture, it will again slip away. This is a really infuriating thing, as we had to constantly readjust the armpad to our preferred position.
The Navodesk Icon supports up to 120kg of weight, and weighs around 20kg itself. Despite this, it’s a breeze to move around in, thanks to some very smooth casters.
The chair is comfortable enough for persons up to 5ft10 to sit in and receive adequate back support, but for persons taller (like myself at 6ft2) it might be better to go for other chair options which include a longer backrest and also a headrest. The tilt mechanism can also be a bit stiff for shorter people to apply pressure on, even with the tension set to the lowest.
Above all this though, the biggest thing we found was that the Icon’s seat wasn’t very comfortable to sit in for periods longer than 2 hours at a stretch. You’d anyway want to get up and walk around a bit every hour or so, but if you find yourself glued to your desk, you’ll soon be wriggling around trying to get more comfortable. It's a shame, as the rest of the chair provides excellent support.
We wouldn’t recommend this chair for gaming use for a home setup – this is strictly a chair to sit in to get work done. Thankfully, the seat is wide enough to accommodate quirky sitting positions, such as if you sit with one leg tucked under you, or even cross-legged.
The Navodesk Icon is a great-looking chair that will look great in any office environment, or even for your home office. Its back support is excellent for working without getting tired, and the overall build quality and adjustments make it a very good chair to use.
The failing points are firstly its price point, which should definitely be lower for a chair without a headrest – something around the range of AED 800-1,000 would be a bit better to swallow. Secondly, its seat cushion isn’t designed for long periods of sitting, which can either be a good or a bad thing, depending on how you want to look at it. Lastly, the lack of a horizontal lock for the armpads might infuriate you, as you constantly readjust them in your daily use.