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For those who might not be familiar with the brand, Martiangear was established in Singapore in 2020, bringing yet another player to the already crowded market for gaming and productivity-focused furniture.
Their products have a naming scheme that ties to space (which is not surprising, given, Martian), with names like Apollo, Starfighter, Interstellar and the ergonomic chair that we are reviewing today, the Starship.
As of right now, they sell height-adjustable tables, ‘gaming’ chairs that are made out of either pleather or fabric, ergonomic-focused chairs and also a cockpit-like desk set up that is very similar to the Acer Predator Thronos that we had a chance to take a look at a couple of years back.
The Martiangear Starship is Martiangear’s most expensive standalone chair, retailing at S$898 in Singapore. To some, this may be way more than what you would pay for an office chair for a home.
There are other cheaper alternatives that are out there in the market like Martiangear’s own Starfighter (S$648) or the Ergotune Supreme (S$599). Some may argue that even IKEA’s most popular office chair, the MARKUS (S$199), is a great buy for the price.
But to be honest, after using the Starship for two months now, I can definitely say that this chair isn’t targeted at those that would settle for the quality that is provided by something like the Ergotune Supreme.
Sure, something like the Ergotune Supreme or the Ikea MARKUS is great for what they are if you want to buy an ergonomic chair without spending too much.
The difference lies in the construction of the Starship.
On the Ergotune, there is just a single piece of metal that supports the lumbar and the backrest. But on the Starship, the whole entire back is supported by a thick, multifaceted aluminium alloy frame, and this gives some really strong and stiff support for your back.
The last time I felt this much of support from a chair was when I had the chance to take a Herman Miller Aeron for a spin. Mind you, the Aeron costs a whopping US$1,695 (without a headrest, I might add).
Like what I mentioned earlier, I really believe that the Starship isn’t playing in the leagues of the Ergotune and the Secretlabs. The quality, comfort, ergonomics and the construction of the chair seat rivals that of more expensive players like Herman Miller and Steelcase, and that to me, makes the Starship a bargain.
Let’s just go through the functions of the chair:
It is height adjustable
You are able to recline/tilt the backrest up to 135 degrees
You are able to adjust the recline/tilt tension of the backrest
You are able to lock the backrest in 15 recline/tilt positions
You are able to adjust the position of the seat to give you more seating space
The lumbar support is height adjustable
The headrest is height adjustable. You can also adjust the angle of the headrest
The armrests are height adjustable. You are also able to swivel it to the left and right, but not by much
The levers to adjust the height of the chair and to lock the recline positions of the chair are under the armrests.
The armrests of the chair are both a positive and a negative of the Starship. On one hand, you are able to adjust the height of your chair by just simply pressing a lever at the bottom of the right armrest, or lock the tilt of your chair by pressing the lever on the left armrest.
On the other, this chair has one of the most limited armrests I’ve seen in a while on a chair at this price point.
While you are able to swivel them to the left and right, it doesn’t swivel very far, and the swivel feels cheap as well.
To make matters worse, you are not able to move the armrests forward or backward, and this limits how close you can get to your table, especially if you are someone like me who likes to have his armrests at the same height as his table.
I guess it is a limitation to the chair design is because of the levers underneath the armrests. It does have an ergonomic curve that is comfortable though.
Assembling the chair out of the box was a breeze, if you want to call it an assembly. The seat and backrest of the chair already come assembled in the box.
All you have to do is to fix the casters onto the base, attach the base to the chair, flip the chair over, screw in the headrest and you are good to go.
It is one of those chairs where I will implore you to not waste your money on their on-site assembly service, because you can definitely do it on your own in under 10 minutes.
All in all, the Martiangear Starship is a really premium chair that is a bargain if you want a seat quality that rivals a Herman Miller or a Steelcase.
Additionally, it is void of any kind of branding at the front of the chair, which I really appreciate (certain others can look really ugly).
The lumbar support is strong, the construction of the chair feels absolutely solid, the amount of customisation present in the chair is astounding, and the levers under the armrests are very convenient.
The only major downside of the chair would be the limited movements of the armrests, especially when you compare it to the way you can manoeuvre the other parts of the chair.
Martiangear is looking to expand its sales internationally to Japan and Europe in 2022, so if you are living in those countries and are interested in getting their line of furniture, especially the Starship, do keep an eye out for them.
To end off this review, a little advice to Martiangear; Please drop the ‘gaming’ moniker for these chairs, especially the ergonomic focused ones.
When you go into the product page for the Starfighter and the Starship, you are met with descriptions that go along the lines of “Meticulously assembled together to construct the most sophisticated gaming chair in the industry”.
Do not cheapen these chairs by slapping the label of a ‘gaming’ chair on them. It is much more than a ‘gaming’ chair.
I get that perhaps you may want the ‘gaming’ crowd to buy them because it looks cool (it really does for an ergonomic chair especially the chrome version, and also part of the reason why I wanted this chair, since we are Yahoo Gaming SEA after all), but these chairs can do so much more, especially if it rivals the quality of a Herman Miller.
With the right marketing, I can foresee this being a hit with the workaholics as well. Leave the ‘gaming’ chairs to the bucket seats, the Starship is a clear winner in terms of value and construction, when you compare it to the big dogs in the chair industry.
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Dominic loves tech and games. When he is not busy getting headshotted in VALORANT or watercooling anything he sees, he does some pro wrestling.