Jul 26, 2008

Ann Tancio


The Seat That Can’t Be Beat- A Review of the Sumo Omni



Not pictured: Our Sixaxis; because a black controller on black bag is too tactical.

For many gamers, finding the optimal seating object can be an exercise in frustration. While the couch may be an acceptable alternative for casual games, players need to be closer to the screen for the pixel-point accuracy demanded by first person shooters. Sure, we’ve tried the various ‘gamer’ chairs on the market, which are great for short-term play, but are too inflexible for long-term gaming. Recently, the wonderful people at Sumo Lounge sent us a Sumo Omni, which we’ve put through rigorous use for the last two weeks.


Upon first opening the enormous shipping box, we were struck by two points: 1) the size of the Sumo Omni and 2) the build quality. While Sumo accurately identifies the size of the bag as being four and half feet by five feet; the unit looks absolutely huge. Unless your gaming area is sufficiently sizable, the unit may overtake the room. Once we found an appropriate corner, we molded the chair into a suitable shape and began playing. While ninety degree temperatures raged outside, and our office was only marginally cooler, we expected the Omni to have the sticky feel common to vinyl and some leather. Fortunately, the bag’s material was thoughtfully chosen- it doesn’t get too warm, even while in direct sunlight.



The Tech-Gaming Triplet Stress Test

While Sumo’s site suggests eight different ways to sit on the Omni, we only found a few useful for actual gaming. First, the chair can be folded like a giant taco, and the player can either face forward, or straddle the bag. Against a wall, the chair can be folded into what we think is the chair’s optimal shape- cradling the player in its enormous form. While the prone positions are comfortable, we just can’t game lying down.




Tech-Gaming, setting off metal detectors everywhere since 1992

We nervously put the unit through a series of stress tests- trying to create, real-world, realistic situations that have effectively ruined our previously owned gaming chairs. We filled our pockets with the usual sundries- keys, sunglasses, and a knife, to see if the external nylon would be damaged. After moving around for an hour, not a single mar was found of the bag. We then emptied our pockets, dropping all these items into the chair- still we could not ruin the Omni’s nylon exterior. For our final test, we opened a small pocket knife, and dropped it blade first into the unit from an altitude of twelve inches. Again, the bag was successful in rejecting all damage.




Yes, that’s water; see that reflection?

Next, we subjected the unit to a liquid spillage simulation. We created a valley, and then poured four ounces of water, into the small basin. The water did not seep through, and we continued to pour. The Omni exterior was able to withstand and repel any amount of water thrown at it. Finally, we took the unit outside, and found the Omni’s one, minor fault- it is a dirt magnet. On our black model, dirt readily accumulated on the bag, and moving the unit across a backyard floor left it very grimy. Luckily a wet cloth was all it took to get the bag back into pristine condition.


Lastly, we spent a few multi-hour sessions with the Omni, checking for butt-fatigue. Here, the unit’s ability to change shape is its greatest asset. Although we never experienced any soreness; if we did we could have easily changed the bag’s shape. It is this flexibility that allows the unit to be the ultimate gaming chair. If your game room is large enough, we wholeheartedly recommend the Sumo Lounge Omni.

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