noblechairs EPIC series in test: PU synthetic & genuine leather variant in comparison
It’s no secret that gaming chair manufacturer noblechairs is my personal favorite on the market – how could it be otherwise with the excellent craftsmanship, luxury materials used, and royal look? Not to mention the dedication the brand shows in continuously improving its chairs. The know-how, the attention to detail and the closeness to the community can really be felt here. It is all the more pleasing that the manufacturer not only wraps its debut work, the EPIC series, in PU synthetic leather, but also sends it into the race in particularly noble real leather garb.
In this post …
- you will find my detailed tests of the EPIC genuine & imitation leather series
- and a comparison of the two,
- my exclusive size advice for the EPIC series,
- a detailed buying advice.
EPIC genuine leather series under test
You have often asked for it and many of you have been waiting for it for a long time: a gaming chair with genuine leather upholstery – and today it is finally here! With the “EPIC Series Genuine Leather” model, the premium brand noblechairs is starting a revolution on the gamer chair market, which is supposed to bring material quality, workmanship and design to a previously unimagined level. Sitting like in a super sports car – true to this motto, the company is attempting to set itself apart from the competition by combining high-quality genuine leather, a particularly precise manufacturing process and sophisticated design. Find out whether this coup succeeds in this comprehensive review!
noblechairs EPIC Series genuine leather: The facts!
First, the obligatory look at the “technical data” of the model that I was allowed to put through its paces today. It should be noted at this point that the following features also apply to the PU leather version of the EPIC chair, which is also available – apart from the genuine leather cover, of course.
The first impression of the EPIC Series
Although the EPIC series is obviously aimed at the broad masses – i.e. the averagely built gamer – the weight of 27 kg (29 kg gross) is 2 kilos more than the larger King. I see that as a good omen for solid components, and that’s exactly what we’re looking at now:
What stands out?
Let’s start with the lumbar and neck pillows: First of all, these are red in my model, whereas the standard cushion will come to you in black in the future. In addition, the material is neither PU nor genuine leather, but fabric. This makes the cushions softer and less stiff than the usual PU cushions, which promises a better adaptation to the body contours. I also like the feel of the fabric covers very much.
The ergonomics or shaping of the seat & backrest is also striking: the seat cheeks are more pronounced than on the King, but not as offensive as on the Vertagear SL4000 – which should result in a healthy mix of sports car feel, clearance and comfort.
Getting up close and personal with the luxurious upholstery: I was of course particularly curious about the differences between synthetic and genuine leather. When I first felt the new cover, it felt noticeably thicker and there was a leather-like texture to it; it also sits as if it were tailor-made on the upholstery. With common chairs, the cover can be pulled away from the upholstery with two fingers, but with the EPIC, the individual parts look like a whole – that’s how it should be! Update: There is something new, a real alternative to genuine leather with equally good breathing properties for considerably less money: My report on the noblechairs Black Edition
The tested noblechairs model from the side, without cushion. From precision, upholstery and design: Not only the cover itself feels different, but also the upholstery underneath seems a bit firmer and more solid – more will reveal the test sitting. Of course, the diamond pattern, which is certainly familiar to some from pictures of super sports cars, catches the eye immediately. The white decorative stitching and all other embroidery are indeed uniquely precise. This is probably due to the robot-controlled cutting as well as the extremely precise embroidery machines – noblechairs obviously not only uses optical but also technical refinements from automobile production.
The elegant black and white contrast is complemented by discreet logo applications: A red patch on the seat, an embedded metal badge in the back area, and an embossing on the headrest. Everything looks very coherent and well thought-out.
The other components – powder-coated aluminum base, adjustable rocker-tilt mechanism, casters, gas lift and armrests – also leave a good impression, but at first glance they don’t show any special features compared to other premium chairs.
To sum up my first impressions of the EPIC Series Genuine Leather Black/White/Red: In terms of precision, manufacturer noblechairs didn’t promise too much. The leather cover of the EPIC Series gaming chair is also convincing and I’m curious to see how the seating climate will differ from the PU competition in the long-term test. The fusion of luxurious design and quality seems to be successful!
The structure of the noblechairs EPIC
If you’ve watched my video on the noblechairs EPIC Gaming Chair Series Genuine Leather – it’s worth it – then you’ve seen that I’ve hired some assembly help. Apart from that, the luxury gaming chair trumps with a new record in terms of assembly time: With practiced hand movements, the gem stands in less than 10 minutes.
The reason for this is quickly explained: The components are noticeably more precisely manufactured down to the smallest detail than was the case with previous gaming chairs. As a result, every handle and every screw fits – this is frustration-free assembly in perfection.
Not only when it comes to visual and technical aspects, the noblechairs EPIC Series Genuine Leather Black/White/Red sets new standards, it also stands out from its competitors in practice. This is how the construction of a gaming chair should go: Everything aligns and fits together seamlessly.
Test sitting in real leather gaming chair
My first impression was not deceiving: It is indeed a fusion of DXRacer King and Vertagear SL-4000 in terms of shape and space. In practice, this means that for me – 189 cm tall, 85 kg heavy – on the one hand there is enough leg and shoulder room and on the other hand there is still a sports seat feeling. The noblechairs chair’s seat bolsters are well dimensioned: they don’t pinch, don’t constrict, but still provide the desired discreet lateral support.
Neck and lordosis support in the form of the two fabric cushions also meet my positive expectations: The material is pleasantly soft and yields a bit more than the competing products made of artificial leather. The cushions are therefore less “intrusive” and adapt better to the gamer’s stature, so they offer clear advantages in terms of comfort as well as ergonomics. In addition, the velvety cover doesn’t cool down as quickly.
If the usual wobbly armrests annoyed you as much as they did me, you’ll breathe a sigh of relief with the EPIC: Finally, a manufacturer has managed to fix 4D armrests in such a way that there’s no unnecessary play.
The casters of the noblechairs EPIC Series Genuine Leather Black/White/Red are surprisingly quiet and even undercut the noise level of the King casters – even if only minimally. They cut a good figure on both laminate and carpet in the test and do not leave any scratches.
Castors of the genuine leather gamer chair Not too much can be said about the seating climate at this point, but differences to other PC chairs are already noticeable: The innovative genuine leather cover in combination with the high-density cold foam padding feels a bit firmer and doesn’t yield as much as it is the case with cheaper models. Nevertheless, the seat is pleasantly soft and experience shows that a genuine leather chair adapts perfectly to its owner over time – you can find out more about this in the results of my long-term test!
I would describe the seating feeling as very pleasant and you definitely notice that high-quality materials are involved here. I like the cushions so much that I will purchase them for my King as well. The noblechairs EPIC Series genuine leather should be able to unfold its true strengths after a few weeks of intensive sitting.
Epic genuine leather series test: adjustment options
- 4-D armrests: If you draw a comparison to the competition, the noblechairs EPIC genuine leather gaming chair doesn’t do the designation “4-D” justice – even though it is factually correct. The padded backrests can be rotated, moved inwards and outwards, adjusted in height and pushed forwards and backwards. In addition, the armrests can be moved even further inwards and outwards by loosening the fastener on the underside, which is advertised as the fifth direction by other manufacturers.
- Backrest: Here, the company relies on tried-and-tested functions and leeway. There is an infinitely variable fixed or adjustable rocking and tilting function that can be reclined up to 135 degrees. To the front, the backrest can even be adjusted beyond the relevant 90°.
- Support cushions: Both cushions can be continuously adjusted in height by means of elastic straps. Due to the comparatively high headrest, the noblechairs EPIC Series Genuine Leather Black/White/Red offers more room to move upwards here, which will especially please tall, slim gamers.
- Seat height: The seat height can be continuously adjusted up or down by up to 10 cm via the Class 4 gas lift.
Colors, variants & accessories
As already mentioned at the beginning, it is possible to reorder lumbar & neck cushions in your favorite color for the noblechairs EPIC gaming chair (coming soon!). This allows every gamer to give his chair an individual look according to his personal preferences.
Because decorative stitching, highlights, side parts and the like are 100% customizable, there are many possible color combinations. I have also spotted the first fan and merchandising editions in the vastness of the Internet: For example, there will be an EPIC chair in the guise of esports giant SK-Gaming. It’s good to know that the noblechairs brand will also gain a foothold in the ever-growing field of electronic sports!
What are the advantages of genuine leather?
The clear flagship of the new noblechairs brand is the hitherto unique genuine leather cover. But what are the concrete advantages of such a cover? I’ll briefly summarize the most important facts for you:
Genuine leather …
- is subject to less abrasion and is therefore more durable,
- is more tear resistant,
is breathable (absorbs moisture, but does not get wet & releases the moisture back into the room air),
- is perceived as more pleasant in terms of comfort and feel, and
- is more resistant to the formation of cracks.
In defense of faux leather, the new Black Edition cover rivals real leather in durability & breathability, and remains affordable too! Of course, artificial leather is also noticeably cheaper and thus the purchase decision between PU or genuine leather is ultimately a question of budget.
My impressions of the EPIC genuine leather summarized
This is the strength of the noblechairs EPIC: It is so far the only gaming chair with a genuine leather cover. The material quality is super and the precise workmanship unrivaled to date.
The high-density cold foam upholstery and breathable leather provide comfort at the highest level.
The genuine leather version not only reaches new dimensions in terms of quality, but also price: You’ll pay over €500 for the luxury model, but it’s more than money well spent. If you have the necessary change, you can buy it, but if you don’t, you can go for the cheaper PU model, which is in the inexpensive midfield at around €340.
When it comes to design, no one can fool noblechairs EPIC: From the precise decorative stitching, to the shape, to the variable cushions, the chair looks luxurious and sporty at the same time.
Here, too, the EPIC serves all needs: Rocking, tilting, 4-D armrests, and adjustable lumbar and neck supports allow for an ergonomic seating position at all times. The higher headrest is an added bonus.
You can tell that this chair was designed with luxury sports cars in mind from start to finish – both in terms of manufacturing and appearance, as well as quality. Accordingly, there is nothing to complain about here. On the contrary: The EPIC sets new standards and lets us hope for fewer defects and complaints.
Conclusion about the EPIC genuine leather series
The noblechairs EPIC genuine leather gaming chair is exactly what the gaming chair market has been missing. High-quality materials are skilfully brought into play and unprecedented precision is applied to the workmanship, which is not only visually convincing, but will also ensure far fewer production defects and returns.
For gamers, this means more reliability, more seating comfort, and a design that can definitely compete with the interior of a super sports car.
The majority of gamers will find the EPIC series to be a perfect fit, thanks to the dimensions and the successful balance between lateral support and space. The above-average length of the headrest also makes the noblechairs EPIC Series genuine leather black/white/red interesting for particularly tall, slim gamers.
In conclusion, it only remains for me to say that I am pleased that noblechairs was able to live up to its promises and that the EPIC Series definitely makes me want more. I am sure that more product lines will follow in the medium term, e.g. for somewhat wider-built gamers – I am curious!
EPIC PU synthetic leather series under test
Now I’ll introduce you to the PU or imitation leather version, which is offered at an ingenious price-performance ratio. In this review, you’ll find out exactly where the differences lie compared to the real leather chair and whether it’s worth buying.
Genuine leather vs. imitation leather - the differences
You may have already read my excursus on the general advantages of genuine leather. Nevertheless, I will briefly summarize once again:
However, it should be remembered that not all artificial leather is the same. Noblechairs processes PU covers that are thicker than those of many other manufacturers. In addition, the seams are very precise and the upholstery fits perfectly. They have also thought about breathability:
The secret: breathability through perforation
As mentioned, PU leather is not breathable by “nature”. As a clever workaround, noblechairs has decided to perforate the EPIC’s synthetic leather cover, i.e. to incorporate small holes. This special structure is intended to at least approximately imitate the breathability of real leather. Will it work?
Since the climate at the moment is more conducive to shivering than sweating, I’m holding back a bit on this – also because I’ve only had the chair in long-term testing for about a week. However, my impression so far is very good. I have not yet sat on such a high-quality leatherette:
- It feels super comfortable and comes very close to the feeling of real leather
- The cover sits uniquely well on the high-density cold foam upholstery – as if it were made of one piece.
As for breathability, I’m very positive and think the perforated faux leather will serve its purpose.
Brand new: PU/Vinyl mix in the new Black Edition - Breathable & robust
Completely new standards will be set in 2020 with the Black Edition. A mix of PU and vinyl is used as the cover, which is produced in Germany and can easily keep up with the breathing properties of real leather. In comparison, even more water vapor passes through here than with real leather! So we get properties that are very close to real leather, but don’t cost as much.
More about the new type of cover and the other changes made to the EPIC in this special edition here: noblechairs Black Edition Test
What should I buy now? Genuine, PU or Black leather?
Even though the noblechairs EPIC Series leatherette gaming chair sets new standards in terms of quality and workmanship and comes a step closer to real leather thanks to the perforation, real leather covers remain the ultimate. So, in general, I recommend that anyone who has the wherewithal, while not getting into an ethics conflict, treat themselves to a gamer chair with genuine leather upholstery.
Update 2020: Now, however, the cover in the mentioned Black Edition offers a real alternative, which is exactly between real and PU leather in terms of price.
In order to make your decision to buy the noblechairs EPIC Series a little easier, I’ll show you a few differences between the real and PU leather versions in the following series of pictures:
Impressions of EPIC PU leatherette chair
The first difference that catches the eye: the decorative seams on the PU faux leather chair also form a diamond pattern, but it differs slightly from the genuine leather variant.
The second big difference becomes clear in the close-up: on the left you can see the perforated synthetic leather and on the right the smooth genuine leather – both are breathable.
The third difference is in the EPIC PU faux leather chair’s seat bolsters covered in faux suede. These feel very comfortable and look chic.
The last difference I noticed was in the embossed noblechairs emblem in the headrest. The profile is a bit deeper in the leather here and thus stands out more.
Just like the genuine leather version, the lumbar and neck pillows are covered with velvety fabric, which is very pleasant to the touch and adapts to the contours of the body better than standard PU pillows.
The obligatory metal badge with “noble” lettering and logo on the backrest must not be missing either. Nice to see: The perforated surface structure of the PU cover.
The sturdy 5-point base features noblechairs’ usual smooth-running and floor-protecting casters. No grinding, no scratching and no protruding plastic residues.
The side bolsters of the backrest are also covered with faux suede. The neck cushion is equipped with an anti-slip strip from the inside – so it stays where it should be.
As with the genuine leather chair, the armrests can be adjusted in 4 directions: forward/backward, inward/outward, downward/upward, and in rotation. As a 5th direction, one could add that the complete backrests can be moved inwards or outwards via screws on the underside.
The levers for the rocker and tilt functions can be seen. The latter can be continuously adjusted up to 135 degrees in the tilted position.
The facts about the PU model summarized:
Conclusion on the EPIC PU synthetic leather series
Without a doubt, the noblechairs EPIC Series has the best PU leatherette cover I’ve ever sat on. It is beautifully thick, precisely sewn and stretched, feels very comfortable and is more breathable than the standard PU cover due to the perforation. Last but not least, the look is also wonderfully done. As for the rest of the features, it is also in no way inferior to its big brother. Despite all the words of praise, I still have to say that I definitely prefer the genuine leather version – it can do everything just a bit better. So I’ll stick to my guns: If you’re on a budget, go for the genuine leather version. If you want to save money or are reluctant to sit on genuine leather, go for the PU synthetic leather model.
Size advice: Who does the EPIC series fit?
Based on the dimensions, technical data as well as test sitting by various test persons, I recommend the noblechairs EPIC for the following dimensions:
- Height: 170 cm to 195 cm
- Stature: Rather narrow to average and moderately wide
- Load capacity according to manufacturer: Up to 120 kg
The EPIC Series genuine leather offers more space in width as well as height than, for example, the SL-4000 from Vertagear. Compared to the DXRacer F-Series, there is more room to move upwards. With the King it is about the same up in terms of height, but the noblechair offers more lateral support.
Are you taller, heavier or/and have particularly broad shoulders? Then you are best advised with the new ICON series from noblechairs. Be sure to check out my in-depth article on this awesome chair: → noblechairs ICON series test
Buying advice: Where do I order my EPIC?
I myself buy from overclockers, because in my opinion they are the best place for noblechairs. Prices, availability, know-how, goodwill – all that is always convincing at overclockers.