capsule review

TreyChair

At a Glance
  • Sauder TreyChair

    Macworld Rating

Hearing the word “gaming chair” may make your eyes glaze over with images of silly-looking furniture with joysticks, cup holders, speakers and urine catheters bolted on the side Frankenstein-style, but Sauder’s TreyChair is a very different product. It’s a really comfortable office chair that, with the push of a handle, converts into a supremely useful chair that’s suitable for gaming and casual use.

Made by office furniture maker Sauder, the TreyChair is first and foremost a desk chair that would look at home in front of a computer desk or in an office cube. It features a five-legged caster-equipped base that makes it easy to roll around on the floor, and it swivels 360 degrees. The chair features height adjustment, can tilt and can lock the tilt angle as well. You can also adjust the chair’s tilt tension.

Sauder offers the TreyChair in a variety of colors to go with any décor—six fabric styles including black, green, brown, blue, grey, and red; or a faux leather (read: vinyl) finish in black, grey, blue, or red. It’ll fit right in at home in an apartment or in a busy student dorm room, for sure.

Have a Seat A handle on the underside of the TreyChair pops the chair itself out of the base, allowing gamers to set up shop in front of their favorite console.

At $239 for fabric ($269 for faux leather), there are certainly less-expensive office chairs out there, but few as versatile. By operating a handle on the underside of the chair, the chair itself pops free of the base. The underside of the chair features two arc-shaped skids that enable you to place the seat on the floor as a rocker seat.

You can put it close to your television, for example, and play video games from there, or you can sit in the chair and use the base as an impromptu footrest when watching TV. You can also use the base as a snack tray, or set your MacBook or MacBook Pro on it and work from there without a desk all together. There are quite a few different uses illustrated on the Trey Web site, and I’m sure you can think of others.

The TreyChair is quite comfortable as an ordinary task chair—the seat is firm and contoured to slope around the back and buttocks, and the adjustable tilt tension and casters make it easy to move around and find a good position for the chair. Height adjustment is effective for reaching different ergonomic heights to make sure your arms and hands aren’t reaching keyboard and mouse at odd angles.

As a gaming chair or “fun” chair, the TreyChair is quite good as well. The skids on the bottom are set quite wide, and the chair sits on the floor quite steadily. Mostly I’d use the TreyChair to sit in front of my TV while playing games on one of my consoles, using the base to hold things I’d need (like a cup of Diet Mountain Dew). But every so often, I’d work from the floor using my laptop as well. And there again the TreyChair came in handy—the base made a good (albeit somewhat awkward) work surface.

The utilitarian look makes me doubt that TreyChair will find a place in home theaters or media rooms, but it’s certainly suitable for dorms and apartments.

The bottom line

The TreyChair isn’t cheap, but it’s a neat offering for college students or apartment dwellers looking for versatility out of a basic piece of office gear they’ll need to use anyway.

At a Glance
  • Macworld Rating

    Pros

    • Variety of colors and fabrics
    • Easy to convert and convert back again
    • Versatile as either desk chair or gaming chair

    Cons

    • Expensive compared to less-versatile hardware
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