My 1996 Staples desk chair, fine in its day, was literally disintegrating and getting uncomfortable and even downright gross (which I didn't notice until dismantling it to place in dumpsters yesterday), so my mom treated me to a new IKEA desk chair I picked out during a visit yesterday:MARKUS desk chair
*While the box is about 50 lbs and somewhat long, I had no trouble fitting it in the back seat of my old Toyota Corolla (also 1996, also in need of replacement soon
*The box is just barely an L-shape. We thought this was strange when picking it up in the warehouse, but ultimately it makes it much easier for one person to carry the box as you have a "midpoint" to hang onto.
*While I've had some IKEA bookshelf assembly nightmares -- usually due to me doing something backwards and/or not quite comprehending the icon/drawing-based assembly instructions -- I found assembling MARKUS relatively smooth and easy, and no tools needed beyond the relatively large hex wrench included in the box. While they recommend not assembling it solo, I did it OK by myself.
*The wheels just pop in. As does the main "pole" into the 5-spoke wheels platform.
*Only key is to read the instruction drawings closely to make sure you know when to use the shorter or longer bolts.
*I went with the slightly more expensive leather model (grey and dark grey cloth models are $20 cheaper at $179.99) as it simply felt sturdier to me in the store then the grey and dark grey cloth models. I think this will also be easier to clean than the cloth model -- unless I pour milk on it or something.
My old Staples chair built up a lot of cat hair and food crumb gunk on the fabric and it was difficult to clean. Seems like with the faux leather you can just wipe with a damp cloth from time to time -- IKEA does sell a leather care kit too.
*Seat adjustment is limited to:
-adjustable "recline" position (flip left lever down; recline to desired position; flip left lever back up to "lock" position).
-adjustable height (flip right lever up; adjust height; drop right lever back down to "lock" height -- the default lowest position works best for me)
-adjustable (I think?) "weight adjustment." The, um, graphically-shaped
dial-knob below the seat, front, seems to adjust seat reclining "tension" to suit different weights. I say "seems," as I can't totally understand the owner's manual on that one point. Since it shows a small lead weight and a big lead weight in the seat, I'm guessing that's what it means.
*Ventilated back to keep you from getting sweaty shirt syndrome during marathon gaming sessions.
I would point out that the leather seat may cause "sweaty fanny" syndrome -- you might still put a thin cushion or, well, something that ventilates or absorbs moisture there.
*Lumbar support built-in. While I love it, a pal on Steam said he removed the back-support because he found it uncomfortable. It's not mentioned in the manual afik, but I guess that's an option, I'm just not clear how one does that.
*If you're tall like me (6'4"), you'll dig the tall seatback and padded headrest. If you're shorter, I'm not sure you would benefit from it, though I wouldn't think it would be a bad thing per se.
Also, the first time I spun this chair, it knocked down the lamp behind me and jerked it out of a nearby outlet.
So if you get a chair with a big honking, curved seatback like this, you need to examine the area behind your chair to make sure you won't knock things down when you recline or spin.
*The armrests are metal frames, fastened by two bolts each, and the armrests themselves are thickly padded and comfortable. This was crucial to me because the armrests on my 1996 Staples chair were rubber and literally were crumbling (!) the last several years. They also were fastened from under the chair by four screws each and I kept needing to tighten them over the years. Hopefully not the case with MARKUS.
*Wheels are billed as working well on all surfaces, and I can vouch they roll surprisingly well on a medium-pile carpeted surface.