Office chairs, whether they be for a home office or a corporate work space, are a personal thing for any self-respecting desk jockey. For most folks, it's all about ergonomics and comfort rather than style points, though certainly industrial design aesthetics shouldn't have to be compromised.
has made a concerted effort to try and strike this delicate balance with its new Kinn Chair. Known more so for its family of adjustable, intelligent sit-stand desks, Autonomous also makes a line of related "smart office" equipment. And though the Kinn Chair isn't motorized with memory presets like
(nor would it need to be), the Kinn Chair does have a way of adapting itself to your personal frame with an array of springs in the seat and a spine of sorts in its back.
That said, fancy design details aside, you're probably wondering if you can get real work done in this chair, or better yet, how it might hold up for some extended gaming or Netflix binge sessions. Take a gander at our quick-take video review and then we'll circle back with some additional analysis...
The Kinn Chair borrows some of its design approach from the newer mesh chair designs on the market today, but it does so with a completely different set of materials. Built from high density polycarbonate, polyurethane, and thermoplastic elastomer (TPE), the only metal in this chair's frame are the bolts and screws that hold it together. Autonomous uses the TPE material for the seat and back rest of the chair, with a spine-shaped support mechanism behind it that flexes with the pressure of its occupant's back and does give a nice feeling of support in all the right places, especially in the lumbar area. There is no lumbar support adjustment in this chair, by the way, but we wouldn't say this an omission at all because the rear spine support system works really well. If you sit up straight, the lumbar area makes firm contact with the natural curvature of your spine. If you lean back or square off your shoulders, when not typing for example, the back rest will make contact with your shoulder blades and provide support.
Autonomous Kinn Chair Mesh Covering Colors
Where are the roller-blade casters, homes?
The seat of the Kinn Chair is also made of TPE mesh, but underneath is a labyrinth of coil springs setup much like a traditional bed mattress might be. These springs help absorb contact points so the seat shapes to your butt in a more forgiving way. That said, this is where perhaps we would have appreciated some of the cloth mesh coverings Autonomous offers over the Kinn Chair's
"Naked TPE" finish you see here. For us, bare TPE is a just a little too firm and grabs a bit too much on clothing for it to be completely comfortable in the seat. With a cloth mesh covering, we're hopeful this design would strike a more optimal balance in this area. Also of note, yes those arm rests are adjustable both vertically and horizontally, as they should be. We do wish there was a bit softer padding on them, however.
In regard to adjustability, the Kinn Chair is setup reasonably well. You have adjustments for support tension of the backrest with the crank you see above, as well as a lever to adjust the height of the seat piston and yet another pull out slider to adjust the extension of the seat forward or back, all on the right side of the chair. On the left side, there's a single lock lever for the position of the back rest, which reclines deep and far back. One click, you're locked into that Ferris Bueller leisure mode, then another click and you're flung back up to get your rear in gear -- you can see all of the adjustment controls in action in the video embedded above.
The casters of the Kinn Chair are your standard issue variety, unfortunately. One thoughtful upgrade here that would have been nice for Autonomous to include as an option is for rollerblade casters
- the pinnacle of desk jockey mobility. Of course, you can always plug them in yourself, for a modest upgrade purchase.
It's not every day we take time to evaluate office chairs at HotHardware, but the Autonomous Kinn Chair was unique enough to get our attention for a review. Thankfully, we were not disappointed, as what's unique about this chair in terms of its TPE and coil spring seat, and its TPE-strapped, spine-supporting back rest, results in a chair that offers good ergonomics, proper posture alignment and an attractive design, all for a reasonable $399 mid-level price point
. That said, office chairs and the various design approaches on the market today require fairly subjective and personal decision-making before purchase. However, if the Kinn Chair looks like your cup of tea, we'd suggest going with one of the mesh covering options Autonomous offers, because the naked TPE model we have here just feels a bit too firm at times.
But let's face it, there's a lot of competition on the market today when it comes to office chairs, from ridiculously expensive offerings like the Herman Miller Embody
, to the massive crop of gaming chairs
out there -- with elaborate bolstering, color combinations, and even Bluetooth speaker integration
-- many of which sell for less than the Kinn. It's a tough decision, frankly. But if you're the type that's more concerned with proper posture and good ergonomics, rather than the ultimate in cush, then yes, we'd offer that the Autonomous Kinn Chair is a solid option.
- A Little Too Firm In Spots Without Cloth Mesh Covering
- No Option For Rollerblade Casters
- Lacks Head-Rest