Secretlab 2020 Series gaming chair review: Small refinements equal near perfection

Secretlab's 2020 Series may not represent a revolutionary overhaul, but lots of iterative enhancements make an already great gaming chair even better.

Secretlab 2020 Series gaming chair review
(Image: © Windows Central)

Update for September 2021: This review has been revised with information on the new Secretlab Titan Evo 2022 series, with specific adjustments to buying advice.

Since its launch in 2014, Secretlab has made quite a name for itself in the gaming community. Most of that notoriety comes down to the company's dedication to constructing some of the best gaming chairs from quality parts, and that's on full display with Secretlab's new 2020 Series of chairs.

Launched in 2019 as an update to Secretlab's Omega and Titan chairs, the 2020 Series doesn't represent a radical step forward in design. Rather, the updated lineup takes what made the 2018 Series great and refines it even more. The result is a chair that is still just as impressive and — importantly — comfortable as the 2018 Series, but with improvements that make the overall experience more delightful.

What you'll like about the Secretlab 2020 Series

Secretlab 2020 Series

Secretlab 2020 Series

In early 2019, I reviewed Secretlab's 2018 Series Omega with SoftWeave, and a lot of what I said there applies here. The 2020 Series Omega reviewed here still makes for an incredibly comfortable seating experience with plenty of customization.

One of the biggest changes for the 2020 Series is that the mechanism for adjusting the armrests has been completely overhauled. It's now made entirely of metal, giving it an extra bit of weight while making the feeling of adjusting the armrests much smoother and sturdier. Once you've settled on a position, the mechanism now exudes a satisfying click as it locks into place.

The metal overhaul also looks excellent. Secretlab added a chrome-plated finish to the metal, giving the exposed controls an extra-premium look. The company says this also has the added benefit of extra resistance to corrosion.

While it's minor, the button that allows you to move the arm forward and backward (and, now, angle sideways) is now flush with the armrest, which looks much sleeker than the previous protruding button.

Also making its debut with the 2020 Series is Secretlab's PRIME 2.0 PU Leather. An advancement over the PRIME PU Leather that shipped with the 2018 Series, the new option looks and feels supple and soft. However, it's been overhauled to be much more durable.

Admittedly, that's a claim that's hard to test without having years of wear on the chair. However, Secretlab claims the new upholstery "greatly exceeds the industry standard" in flex, humidity, abrasion, and sweat tests by two independent firms, TÜV SÜD and Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). Particularly impressive were the results of the abrasion test, which showed the PRIME 2.0 PU leather holding up after 200,000 abrasion cycles, compared to the 50,000 cycles it took for standard leather to start peeling.

While lab tests are one thing, performance in real-world situations can often differ. But as a result of the test, Secretlab extended its usual two-year warranty to five years, showing the company is confident in the 2020 Series' ability to hold up to everyday wear and tear.

The 2020 Series takes what makes Secretlab chairs great and cranks the dial closer to perfection.

Other tweaks to the 2020 Series are a bit smaller in nature, but much appreciated. The neck pillow that can be strapped to the top of the backrest, for example, is now made of memory foam with a cooling-gel layer. Compared to the previously available pillow, the memory foam is much more comfortable, and the gel layer will make sure you can cool off between intense matches.

While it's more of an aesthetic choice, the plastic covers on the tilting mechanism for the backrest have also seen a revamp. While they were previously angular with sharp corners, they're now circular with the Secretlab logo imprinted at the center.

Otherwise, the basics of the 2018 Series remain here. That includes the sturdy cold-cure foam that makes the seat so comfortable, along with the durable wheelbase and multi-tilt mechanism. In other words, the 2020 Series takes what makes Secretlab chairs great and cranks the dial closer to perfection.

What you'll dislike about the Secretlab 2020 Series

Secretlab 2020 Series

Secretlab 2020 Series (Image credit: Dan Thorp-Lancaster / Windows Central)

One small quibble that I have with the 2020 Series relates to the lumbar support. On the largest Titan model, like the 2018 Series before it, you'll receive an integrated, adjustable lumbar dial. The Omega, meanwhile, still ships without the same amenity, opting instead for a lumbar pillow.

While the pillow is indeed comfortable and made of the same memory foam as the new neck pillow, it would have been nice to see it receive an upgrade in this regard. I imagine this limitation comes down to a simple lack of available space, but the ability to dial in precise lumbar support would push the Omega over the top.

Something I noted in my 2018 Series SoftWeave review also remains: a slight wiggle in the armrests. Secretlab tells me that this is intended and is built to prevent the armrests from feeling too stiff. It's something I've come to actually prefer in the months since my previous review, but it could prove bothersome for some.

In what is probably a good problem to have, the upgrade to the all-metal armrest mechanism has had the unintended side effect of making the tilt and height levers underneath the chair feel somewhat cheap by comparison. The plastic levers are solid and don't feel at risk of breaking, and I'm not sure metal would be good material for this particular area, but it's something that stuck out immediately after feeling the new armrest controls for the first time.

Lastly, assembling the chair can be a little onerous. Thankfully, the steps are very easy to follow and Secretlab has already done most of the hard work, only requiring you to secure the backrest to the seat and attach the wheelbase. However, aligning the backrest holes with the reclining levers before screwing them in place can be an exercise in frustration. I was able to assemble the chair in under an hour by myself, but you'll definitely want a helping hand to speed things up a bit.

Should you buy the Secretlab 2020 Series?

Secretlab still remains at the top of the pack when it comes to gaming chairs, and the 2020 Series further cements its place. The styling is sleek without going overboard, and the attention to detail is incredible. Most importantly, the chair is just downright comfortable for long periods spent in front of the best gaming PCs, whether for work or fun.

If you're shopping around for a gaming chair or just want to replace your office chair with something a little more premium, Secretlab's 2020 Series is worth consideration. The pricing is a bit on the high side if you're used to picking up bog-standard office chairs, but the comfort and durability make it a solid investment.

Since this review was originally published, Secretlab has also released the Titan Evo 2022 series. The chairs are new for 2021 with quite a few overhauls. Namely, the Titan Evo comes in three different sizes itself (small, regular, and XL), rather than the Omega, Titan, and Titan XL naming scheme of the 2020 series.

Outside of the sizing changes, the Titan Evo 2022 series comes with much more durable leatherette and SoftWeave fabric while refining the seat to a flatter base that's a mix of the Omega and Titan bases from before. Most importantly, you get a 4-way adjustable lumbar support system, along with magnetic accessories and swappable arm rests.

Because the Titan Evo 2022 series is such a step up and addresses some of my biggest complaints with the 2020 series, it's definitely worth considering. However, the starting price is $450, which is about $100 more than the 2020 series Omega. Fortunately, you're getting a quality chair with either choice, and Secretlab offers both if you're looking to save some cash.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl