Sumo Omni Lounge Chair
Beanbags may conjure up images of the 70s, but this high-tech chair has a few new tricks.

Labeled With  Sumo Omni Hardware Reviews Gaming Chairs
Written by Josh Lowensohn on Tuesday, October 03 2006

One of the best parts of this job is getting to try things out that you might not otherwise have heard of. In this case, it was the Omni lounge from Sumo. To generally explain it, it’s a beanbag chair—the often-hated, yet always secretly loved furniture accessory that your parents probably owned and makes its way in and out of fashion every few years. In this case, Sumo has taken the idea of a beanbag chair and changed the design, making it more of a giant pillow/ravioli of comfort and support; a “lounge” if you will. My goal was to test its functionality in the world of gaming, to see whether or not this lounge would stand up to the requirements of portable, PC and console gaming, along with the hazards that come along with such activities.

Hard at work testing for DS lite operability.

First up is portable gaming. In this case, the test subject is a shiny white Nintendo DS lite. The beauty of the Omni is that you can wedge it out to whatever shape you want. In this case, I went for a low-slumping hammock-style chair. I made sure to make it extra wide so I’d have that crucial elbow support. It takes a bit of maneuvering to make this happen, but once you’ve got it, it’s a great feeling. If you shape it right, you’ll have ample shoulder and head support, which is crucial against those neck aches you can get from extended sessions of Advance Wars: Dual Strike. It could only get better with some leg support, which Sumo actually offers as a separate product named “Otto.”

Portable test: 9/10

PC gaming with this chair is obviously a stretch. That is to say, unless you’ve got a wireless setup and you’re doing your PC gaming with a large screen and maybe in a living room setting. Otherwise, you’re going to be making a compromise either in terms of back support or general height. As a stool of sorts, I was able to shape this into a fairly tall seat, although not nearly tall enough to reach the average height of most desks. From a low position, games that require just a joystick and no keyboard commands would work well with this chair, but again, it all depends on your setup. Gonna have to give this a low score for PC gaming in general, simply due to the height requirements most people will need.

PC test: 2/10

Comfort in ball form.

Finally, the one area of gaming and general use this chair was truly designed for—the living room. Whether or not your TV is up high or down low, you can find a position in the Omni that feels right. If you feel like lying down, it can even be flattened out like a mattress, although you might find it a bit chunky if you don’t take time to shake the bag out once it’s on the floor. My favorite floor positions was making it a giant wedge, with a little bit of foam in the bottom and a lot where your head’s going to be. In any position, as soon as the air goes out between the foam balls, the chair firms up and offers soft, yet sturdy support. For console gaming, I found what worked the best was setting it up similar to the setup for portable gaming, except scooping the seat down a bit lower so you’re almost on the ground. In almost every way I found I was getting neck and arm support, which are the two areas that really need it.

Console Tests 9/10

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