If you are looking for a dependable companion for all your gaming adventures, the Blacklyte Athena Ergonomic Gaming Chair is a great fit. Between work and play, I spend dozens of hours at my desk daily, so comfort and quality are key in a gaming chair. I was eager to try out the latest offering from one of the newest gaming furniture brands on the market, Toronto-based Blacklyte Inc.

The company has been collecting feedback from gamers then making tweaks to their product line. They used this feedback to create the Athena Gaming chair—and it shows. I was very comfortable during many marathon gaming sessions. Along with putting the Athena Gaming chair to the test, Blacklyte also offered an early look at their Atlas Desk. In this review, I’ll be taking an in-depth look at the final retail version of the Athena chair and the concept Atlas Desk. Let’s dive in and explore all that Blacklyte’s flagship line has to offer.

Unboxing the Athena Gaming Chair

I’m always looking for ways to level up my gaming setup, over the years, I have tried out many different chair models. However, none of them have come close to how organized the Athena’s set-up process is. The box itself is just over 50 lbs. so I recommend a 2-person lift for initial unboxing and building. Outside of that, I was able to assemble the rest of the chair solo. Let’s look at the assembly process:

Athena has a quick, hassle-free assembly

Opening the box, I was met with a massive, laminated set of instructions walking me through the building process. If you’ve ever set-up or built a piece of furniture it can be a frustrating and time-consuming process. Blacklyte has taken all the guesswork out of the set-up. They’ve neatly labelled, compartmentalized, and included all the required tools for each step of the build. In the box you’ll find a seat base, back rest, 5 roller castors, metal base, lumbar cushion, head cushion and a box filled with miscellaneous accessories like screws and an Allen key.

As I continued the unboxing, I was impressed with how everything was packaged. It was clear a lot of care went into ensuring the chair would arrive in tip top shape. All the fabric components are carefully wrapped, accessories were neatly organized in a separate box, making assembly a snap. Thanks to the clear instructions I was able to have the chair built and ready to role in under 20-minutes.

Athena’s build quality and components

After assembling the chair one of the first things I noticed is how high quality all the components are. From the “roller-blade style” wheels, sturdy metal frame to the fabric it’s all been constructed to go the distance. My first impressions using the chair were great, and after weeks of rigorous testing I still enjoy using it as it has proven to be durable, reliable, and easy to maintain.

Great upper body support

The back rest is nice and wide with contoured side “wings” that offer greater support as you sit. The chair comes with two extra support cushions, one for your head and the other for your lower back. I really like the lower back pillow; its lumbar support is great helping to correct posture when sitting. I found that when I’m gaming for long hours I slouch but the Athena lumbar pillow kept my back straighter. With my gaming chairs, I don’t often use the head pillow, I find it pushes my head too far forward. I found the same with Athena, the pillow is high quality, but I found the positioning uncomfortable. This comes down to personal preference, but I opted not to use the head pillow.

A firm gaming throne

When it comes to my seating preference, I prefer a chair on the firmer side. The Athena offers excellent cushioning and comfort without being too soft or saggy. Blacklyte uses “high-density cold core foam technology” for the base and backrest of the chair. Even after long haul use of the chair, it bounces back in place. Even after a few months of use the fabric, cushions and seat pad show no signs of give and look just as sharp as the day I assembled it.

A versatile and mobile chair

Along with great build quality, the chair has multiple adjustment settings with height, tilt and swivel that offered me plenty of comfort and versatility. The chair has “4-D” plastic adjustable arm rests that can tilt, slide, and move inward, outward, up, and down. The armrests are like other chairs I’ve used in that they are constructed with a lightweight plastic.

Athena offers a full range of movement

You can adjust the backrest and recline it up to 90-168°, this had me almost lying flat which was pretty dramatic. To be honest, I don’t see myself reclining to that extreme of an angle, but it’s nice to have the option to relax. The base also has full 360-degree spin range making it great in an environment where you are rolling around or turning.

Ultra-quiet caster wheels

One of the big highlights are the roller-blade style wheels on the chair. The high-density rubber they are made of along with the excellent bearings offer very quiet, smooth movement on both carpet and hardwood. When you move there is next to no resistance and the wheels are silent which is great as I do a lot of audio recording and the chair doesn’t feature any squeaking or dragging sounds. I have wood floors in my office, and this is the first gaming chair I’ve used that I’m not worried about the wheels scratching my floors. Along with this, each wheel also features a locking mechanism so the chair will stay put if you need it.

Complete the setup with the Atlas Gaming Desk

Along with testing out the Athena chair, Blacklyte offered Best Buy a sneak peek at the Atlas Desk. I was able to tryout a concept model that is still being tweaked ahead of its full retail launch, so keep an eye out for it soon. What I did experience with the Atlas left me extremely impressed, and I can’t go back to my old desk at this point. The adjustable sitting and standing desk offer great features for both work and play. Here are my thoughts on the desk and some of its key features:

Height adjustable desktop

The Atlas desk’s main feature is a powered, height-adjustable system that effortlessly moves your desktop up and down. The height ranges from 600mm to 1250mm, and all measurements in between. You can also save two height presets once you find a few that work for you. I’m 6’0 tall and my wife is 5’2 so there is a height difference in our household, having the presets to adjust to our different sizes was great. I really enjoyed using this feature as I was able to go from sitting to standing in minutes, it really helped offer some back relief when standing. 

Custom lighting system

The Atlas also features an LED lighting system with multiple presets and colours. You can adjust the lights on the front, left and right side of the desk using a button panel on the front of the unit. One very neat, unexpected element is the front lightbar is so bright it offers a little bit of underlighting if you are on camera. I noticed this a few times when I was in virtual meetings, and it’s a nice, unexpected extra. 

Along with all the strip lighting, there are also two blue “gem style” lights at the front corners of the desk. These can be turned on or off for an extra added flair, they really add a unique look to any space.

Sturdy construction and great wire management

The Atlas also has a built-in wire management system, and a rugged metal construction with a sharp, modern aesthetic. Along the length of the back of the desk is a panel that opens into what called the “Wire Wrangler Tray.”  The tray is mounted below the tabletop is has done a great job hiding my mess of wires. Its sleek design not only looks great but it’s also functional, offering plenty of workspace.

Final thoughts on the Athena Gaming Chair and Blacklyte line

The Athena Gaming Chair is a great gaming companion that offers plenty of comfort and durability for hours of play. Its sleek and ergonomic design felt great as I poured hours into my latest gaming adventure. Whether you are a casual or hardcore gamer, you will appreciate the features and benefits the Athena has to offer. If you are looking for a gaming chair and desk combo that will take your set up to the next level, the Athena Gaming Chair and Atlas Desk make a fantastic pairing. 

Matthew Rondina
Matthew has been involved in all things tech related since the start of the digital era. He shares his passion for technology in his day job as a teacher and via multiple media platforms. As a long-time veteran of the video game and tech industry, he's covered interactive entertainment and esports on the web, in video series, podcasts, and on international television. You can follow Matthew's tech-venture filled lifestyle on twitter, instagram @dapper_tux.


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