HON Ceres Review

Hon Ceres

Wolfgang Deisig designed the HON Ceres based on research on how people sit.  It was also designed with some innovative features to help it stand out from the competition as well as a modern, sleek look.

FEATURES/OPTIONS:

- Adjustable seat height

- Adjustable seat depth

- Adjustable arm height, depth, and pivot

- Adjustable tilt tension using a slider that moves about 2 inches (as opposed to turning a knob a dozen times like in other chairs)

- Knee tilt mechanism

- Three tilt lock positions

- Available in a variety of colors and finishes

REVIEW:

One of the things I like about HON chairs is that their seats tend to be slightly on the firmer side.  I think too many manufacturers try to make their seats feel like you’re floating on a cloud.  HON doesn’t do this.  Their seats are soft, yet firm.  I also like that their seats are relatively flat so you’re not forced into sitting in one specific position.  The Ceres is no exception to any of these.  The seat is comfortable.  It’s flat enough that I can pull a leg up if I want to (and since the arms are supported near the back of the seat, there’s no vertical arm support to get in the way of my leg).  I can sit to the side when I’m feeling lazy.  And the seat depth adjustment means the chair will fit a variety of users, but the Ceres seems designed for larger/taller users since the seat depth adjusts from 17-19.25″ (compare to the Steelcase Leap which adjusts from 15.75-18.75″)

HON Ceres side view

HON Ceres side view

The tilt tension adjustment is great.  On the front of the right side of the there is a little slider.  Push it forward to decrease tensions and pull it back to increase tension.  Done!  It takes less than a second and can be done comfortably from a seated position.

The seat back locks in one of three positions and is controlled by a switch on the left side of the seat.

The arms go forward and backward 2.5″, pivot in and out 10 degrees, and adjust in height from 7-11″ above the seat.  Armrests need to be able to adjust low enough that your elbow does not touch them at their lowest position.  I think the Ceres’ armrests need to go lower; depending on the height/arm length of the user, they may be too high even at their lowest setting.

Since the armrests are mounted to the back rather than to the seat, their angle stays fixed relative to the seat back when you recline.  This means when you recline, the armrests will no longer be parallel to the floor, but will instead be angled upward.  The Herman Miller Aeron suffers from this same “feature.”  If you use armrests, this makes working from a reclined position uncomfortable (unless your keyboard is also mounted at an incline).  There are some desks and adjustable keyboard trays that will do this, but for normal people who have their keyboards flat on a normal desk it may pose a problem.

HON Ceres front view

Front view

PROS:

- Seat depth adjusts to accommodate users of different heights (but favors taller people)

- Supportive seat

- Innovative, easy to use controls for tilt lock and tilt tension

- Mesh back helps keep you cool

- Arm supports don’t get in the way if you want to pull a leg up and sit with a leg crossed under you

CONS:

- Arms fixed to the back means they tilt upward when you recline which may be an issue if you want to type while reclined

- No forward tilt

- Even when slid all the way back, the seat is still 17″ deep and may still be too deep for shorter users

- No lumbar support option/adjustment

- Not available without arms

VERDICT:

If the arms don’t bother you, you don’t need/care about adjustable lumbar support, and the seat isn’t too deep for you, the Ceres is a good option and is more affordable than other chairs in its class.