- Steelcase Think Task Model V2 Price
- Steelcase Think Task Model V2 Reviews
- Steelcase Think Task Model V2 For Sale
- Steelcase Think Task Model V2 User
- Steelcase Think Task Model V2 Parts
- Steelcase Think v2 is a smarter, simpler and more sustainable version of best-selling model series Steelcase Think. The Steelcase Think v2 offers the body comfort and responds to the natural movement of the person. The Steelcase Think has been on the market for more than 10 years now and was a worldwide hit right from its introduction.
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- Steelcase Leap Desk Chair V2 with Headrest in Buzz2 Chocolate Fabric - 4-Way Highly Adjustable Arms - Black Frame and Base - Soft Dual Wheel Hard Floor Casters 3.8 out of 5 stars 11 $1,170.00.
- Made by Steelcase in Sarrebourg Uses powder-coat paints: VOC-free and free of heavy metals. Made in Europe, close to customers. 4 pieces optimised packaging to keep transport volumes as low as possible and improve filling rates. The new version of Think represents 32% of volume gained thanks to the new Ecosmart packaging.
In my review of the Steelcase Think chair, I wrote that it is a chair that doesn’t get the attention it deserves. This goes double for the Steelcase Please, which is a model that is almost absent from online reviews, most likely because it is only available in Europe. This lack of online prominence does not mean that it doesn’t have its ardent fans. I’ve dealt with two salesmen at my local Steelcase dealer – both told me outright that they prefer the Please to all other Steelcase chairs, despite the fact that its current version turned 14 years old this year, and, in theory, should have been superseded by newer offerings like the Leap v2 and Gesture.
If I were to sum up the “unique selling proposition” for the Please, it would be this: Please will support your entire back, even at a very wide angle of recline. As I explained in my chair buying guide, most chairs have a “lumbar gap” that appears when you recline. I understand – you’re a busy person, you don’t want to click through to that article. Let me just copy & paste the drawing that explains how the gap arises:
The Leap Chair V2 by Steelcase was built on a model incorporating the most ergonomic and comfortable features in contemporary seating technology. Its back changes shape to support the entire spine, its Natural Glide System allows you to recline and yet maintain your position so you stay oriented to your work.
The backrest, rotating around a point under the seat (red dot), moves away from the seat and the user’s lower back.
The Please is one of the few chairs that are specifically designed to minimize this effect. It achieves this goal with some interesting mechanical design. The backrest is split into two parts – thoracic and lumbar. The lumbar part is attached at a fixed angle to the seatpan, which tilts only a little bit. The thoracic part is attached to the lumbar part. Here’s how it works:
(1) The mounting point (red ring) of the lumbar part of the backrest does not tilt with respect to the seat (ensuring no lumbar gap); (2) the thoracic backrest is attached to the lumbar backrest to ensure a continuous curve; (3) as the thoracic part pulls on the top of the lumbar part, the lumbar part rotates around its mounting point and the bottom of the lumbar part is pushed forward, filling in your lumbar curve
The result is that not only is there no lumbar gap, the lumbar part of the backrest actually pushes into your lumbar spine when you recline. Don’t worry though – the lumbar assembly is mounted on springs and you can adjust its firmness, so it won’t feel like an elbow in your back. Reclining in the Please makes you feel like your entire back is supported, in a way that is equaled only by the Humanscale Liberty. Furthermore, the backrest reclines very far, enabling you to achieve a fully neutral 135° hip angle at maximum recline.
Recline angles on the Steelcase Please: (1) maximum recline; (2) intermediate recline; (3) near-upright position. The grey thing on the armrest that looks like a dead rat is a sock I put there to make the armrests softer. Sorry about that.
The adjustments on the Please are nothing short of spectacular:
- As expected, you can adjust the resistance of the backrest. As a bonus, you get a little dial which displays the number corresponding to the current resistance setting, similar to a date window on a wristwatch – this is a nice touch that is helpful when sharing a chair with other people. Instead of fiddling with a continuous, unlabeled knob, all you have to do is remember your number.
- There is a separate knob, with four settings, that controls the firmness of the lumbar part of the backrest. The correct setting will depend on your individual lumbar curve. This is not unheard of in ergonomic chairs, but definitely not common, so kudos to the Please for having this feature.
- Finally, the entire backrest can be moved up or down. This is something I haven’t seen on any other chair, yet it makes so much sense – people have torsos of different height, so their lumbar curves are located at different heights. Not all chairs have “height-adjustable” lumbar supports, and if they do, these are often just extra pieces of stiff plastic placed on top of the standard curve of the backrest. Here, you are moving the curve of the backrest itself.
Once adjusted properly, the Please is probably the most anatomically correct chair you can buy. I said “the most anatomically correct”, not “the most comfortable”, because the Please is not a “comfy” chair. While the seatpan is perfectly normal, the foam padding used in the backrest is quite firm. If you’re used to a soft chair, the Please will feel a little like an ergonomically designed wooden plank. You know it’s probably good for your back, but it doesn’t give you the visceral feeling of indulgent comfort that you get when you sit down in a well-cushioned chair like the Leap or Amia.
Is this firmness a problem? I don’t think so. In fact, if you are bothered by it when you first try the chair, I would like to urge you to see past it. Firmness is something that people get used to rather quickly (as evidenced by the millions of people sitting on Herman Miller chairs – har har har), so first impressions can be misleading here. A friend of mine initially complained about the Please’s hard backrest, but after extended testing he got used to it, and ended up buying the chair.
The foam on the Please may be a bit hard, but the tilt limiter is what takes the cake. It has zero shock absorption, so hitting a tilt limit feels like that time when you rode your bike into a concrete wall. It is easily the most unpleasant tilt limiter that I have ever experienced. I cannot believe Steelcase did not see the need to put some kind of spring in there. Fortunately, I never felt the need to use the tilt limiter, as the Please has a “sticky” backrest, which tends to stay wherever you put it.
Speaking of which, the backrest on the Please is similar to that on other Steelcase chairs like the Amia or Gesture. For a detailed discussion of sticky backrests, read my chair buying guide – here, I’ll just note that a sticky backrest makes it easy to choose your desired recline angle – all you have to do is push against the backrest (or take your weight off it) – and stay in it (because there is static friction that keeps the backrest in the current position). On the flip side, because the backrest resists small movements, there is no way to rock in the chair.
Like the backrests on the Amia and Gesture, the one on the Please achieves a nice balance between how stable it is and how easy it is to change positions, unlike the Leap’s, which feels sluggish in comparison. Things aren’t so good when it comes to micromovements – not only is the mechanism sticky, the backrest lacks the flexibility that would permit even limited rocking (for an example, see the Leap clip in my FAQ).
The fact that the backrest is not springy doesn’t mean that it’s rigid. Although the backrest is made up of stiff plastic panels with padding on top, the thoracic part of the backrest is mounted elastically (there is a rubber joint and two flexible plastic hinges). It changes orientation in two directions – for instance, when you turn your torso left or right, it turns with you.
The thermal performance of the Please is pretty standard for a foam chair – in side-by-side comparisons, I could not detect a difference in thermal comfort between the Please and the Leap. It’s not ideal for working in temperatures exceeding 25 °C, but not as dramatically bad as the Gesture.
There is an exposed piece of the frame to which the lumbar backrest is attached – if you keep your keyboard very close to your body (practically above your lap), it is possible to bump against the frame with your elbow. It also depends on the height of your armrests versus the height of the lumbar backrest. If repeated, this sort of minor trauma can produce cumulative, irreversible damage to your ulnar nerve. I take this issue quite seriously and paid a lot of attention to it in various keyboard-heavy and mouse-heavy scenarios. In my particular setup, it wasn’t a real problem, but I definitely recommend watching out for this issue when you test the Please. (You can also attach something soft in that area to prevent the problem.)
As I publish this review, it is already somewhat out of date – Steelcase has just updated the Please with new “4-D” armrests, which follow the outstanding design used on their other chairs like the Leap, Amia and Think. The model I tested had basic, “plastic” armrests with no left–right adjustment, and my experience with them was generally bad. First, they are uncomfortably hard (which is a potential health issue). Second, I was unable to comfortably type with my forearms on them (due to the poor adjustability). Third, they tilt together with the lumbar part of the backrest, making them somewhat difficult to use in a reclined position. The one good thing about them is that they retract quite a long way, so you can sit very close to your desk if you wish. On the whole, I found them barely usable.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to test the new armrests because a display unit with 4-D armrests is not available at my local Steelcase dealership – so, for example, I can’t tell if they are any softer than the plastic ones. However, going by the video I linked above, I can tell they certainly have enough adjustability to let you rest your forearms on them while typing. On the negative side, they do not stay level as you recline, just like the old plastic ones. They are also, like the type I tested, shorter and narrower than those on other Steelcase chairs. In other words, although they’re still not Leap-quality, I’m sure I could live with them.
Of course, all of the above is only relevant if you use armrests. Many people don’t.
You can order the Steelcase Please with a middling headrest. It sits quite a long distance behind your head, and has no back–front adjustability. In a reclined position, it is possible to rest your head on it if you tilt your head way back (although I found it uncomfortable), but if you want to keep your eyes on the screen, you will need a pillow, and a thick one at that. Paradoxically, the fact that the headrest is located so far from the back of your head makes it better than the one on the Leap. They’re both equally unadjustable, but the one on the Please at least doesn’t get in the way when you’re sitting upright.
I did find the headrest, such as it is, useful when relaxing after work – watching movies or listening to music. I would put a pillow on top of it, so that I could keep my gaze on the monitor. While the position was initially very comfortable (in fact, it made me want to fall asleep), I could never maintain it for very long – after 20-30 minutes, I would typically get some sort of pain in my neck. Perhaps this problem could be eliminated with the right pillow size. All in all, if I were buying a Please, I’d get one with the headrest (which is something I would never say about the Leap). By the way, the headrest can be removed without difficulty – the operation leaves two empty mounting holes in the backrest.
The design-conscious among you should note that the headrest only comes in black (that includes both the plastic and the fabric), which is unfortunate if you plan on getting the better-looking white frame.
The Tom Test
Let’s see how well the Please did on my checklist:
- Easy changing between at least two positions (near-upright and reclined): Pass. The sticky backrest makes it super-easy to adopt any position you like without fiddling with anything.
- Open hip angle in the reclined position: Pass. Very large maximum recline angle.
- Lumbar support: Pass. With the ability to adjust both the height and the firmness, the Please is the chair to beat when it comes to lumbar support.
- Backrest should adapt to your back: Pass. The two-part, elastically mounted backrest does the job.
- Seatpan must not be too long: Pass.
- Micromovements: Fail. You don’t even get the micro-rocking of the Leap/Gesture/Amia.
- Armrests (if you care about them): Should be fine if you get the newest “4-D” ones, but I haven’t tested them, so I’ll hold my judgment.
- Annoyances: Nothing serious. The tilt limiter is brutally hard, but you don’t really have to use it. The foam padding on the backrest is unusually hard – you can get used to it, but it will never be comfy.
The Steelcase Please is probably the most anatomically correct chair you can buy. Once you adjust it, it will fit you like a glove and it will maintain this anatomical fit across the entire range of recline. And – I should add – the range of recline is huge. Yeah, in case you can’t tell – I really like that backrest. The only real problem with it is the lack of rockability.
Other than that, the Please is a chair without significant flaws. In fact, after my testing campaign in which I tested more than ten high-end chairs, the Please came out on top of my list, tied with the Leap. They’re both well-fitting chairs, but the Please has a smoother backrest mechanism that encourages position changes, a less annoying headrest, and a backrest that supports you fully even when you’re reclined. The Leap, on the other hand, has better armrests, supports micromovements to an extent, and is softer. It’s a heck of a choice, and in the end my decision was more or less a coin toss.
Steelcase Think Task Model V2 Price
I should also mention that the price of the Please is quite reasonable – it’s over €100 cheaper than a comparable Leap model. If you’re a European looking for a good computer chair, you’ll be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t check out the Steelcase Please. If you’re in North America, please accept my sympathies – you’re missing out on a great chair!
I kind of hate this chair. It’s billed as something of a hybrid between a self-adjusting design, and something more fully-featured. Unfortunately, I don’t think they struck the right balance between those extremes. The Steelcase Think is a high-end chair with a price to match, but it’s lacking some of the important features you might expect at this price point, and the self-adjusting mechanism never felt quite right to me. I was always wanting to adjust the tension to a midpoint between their pre-selected options, and it kind of drove me crazy.
Still, the Think Chair has a lot to offer, and it’s certainly not profoundly uncomfortable, featuring a soft cushion and a self-adjusting backrest, composed of tensioned wires that conform to your back without any unwanted pressure points, and the armrests are some of the best in the business. It’s just not going to offer the fine-tuned fit of a more adjustable chair, making it a little more suited to shared seating, or those who just happen to like the limited range of adjustments. If you happen to fit within them well enough to be comfortable, it can work for you, so let’s dive into the details.
But first a closeup shot:
The Steelcase Think Chair, in review
Starting with the most significant feature, which is the…
This chair appears at first glance to be a backrest-tilt only, which has never been one of my preferred recline methods. The further you lean back, the more you’ll start to feel as though you’re sliding forward out of the chair. A backrest tilt really needs to be combined with a seat slider or a synchro-tilt mechanism, either of which will reduce or eliminate that forward-moving pressure you feel as you recline.
And this chair does have a seat slider, kind of…but it’s so minimal in its forward movement that it doesn’t really take the pressure off that forward-sliding sensation, and to be honest, I could barely tell that it was there at all, at first. Plus, it actually moves up, which is rather odd. I expect the idea here was to counteract the “sinking” feeling you get when reclining. At a full recline, your shoulders would ordinarily sink a couple inches lower than where they started, but with that seat rising upward as you go back, it’ll prevent this from happening. If you’re typing with your arms up on a desk, for example, or just sitting there, you won’t feel like you’re sinking downward when you sit back, and it can be nice for maintaining eye contact in a meeting, for example.
This is…okay, I suppose. It does raise the armrests about an inch at a full recline, which can be something of a problem if you’re leaning on the armrests while typing at the same time, but my biggest issue with this recline mechanism is that it accentuates the “lumbar gap” problem. When you’re sitting upright, your lower back will stay in contact with the lumbar region of the backrest. If your seat goes up an inch, you’re then out of position. This is especially true as you recline further, since a backrest-tilt mechanism usually creates a lumbar gap problem on its own anyway, which is further accentuated by the seat riser, meaning that at a full recline, you’ll get a literal air gap in your lower back area, with no lumbar support whatsoever. If you need significant lumbar support and like to recline, this is definitely not the chair for you. The optional lumbar pad, while nice in theory, does nothing to stop this. At a full recline, you won’t even be in contact with it, at all.
This would actually be fine if the lumbar arch were a little more aggressive to start with, but this isn’t a particularly significant angle, meaning that as you go back, it’ll drift too far away from your lower back to maintain support:
To be fair, it’s not “bad,” but I would much prefer a synchro-tilt mechanism, as found on Steelcase’s Gesture, or a more significant seat slide mechanism (combined with continuous lumbar support), which is the case with their Leap chair. Those are absolute favorites of mine, each in their own way, so definitely give those a look as well.
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Adjustments (and tilt stops)
This chair is semi-self-adjusting, which is a good idea in theory, but I think they could have expanded the manual adjustments by one or two more steps to provide a more precise feel. The backrest relies on a user’s body weight to set the tension, which can then be fine-tuned with a single knob along the side, which allows four recline tension (or tilt stop) levels: Nearly upright, halfway upright, fully reclined (but with resistance), and fully reclined (with little or no resistance).
You can see that single knob along the right side (along with the seat height lever right next to it, and the seat depth slider in front).
I didn’t find just these four recline adjustments to be enough. First of all, I think a fully-upright option would be kind of nice, in addition to the nearly-upright, which is the closest you can get.
Steelcase Think Task Model V2 Reviews
Secondly, the last two stages, which allow full recline, are where I would have preferred an extra level in between. The high-resistance stage feels quite resistant, almost like it’s springing you forward, but only towards the end. In the beginning it’ll just fall backward, as the tension isn’t constant throughout the recline. You just fall back until the tension kicks in, and then it’ll stop you from going any further. For me, this was about halfway reclined, at which point there was so much resistance that it was hard to sit still with any kind of stability, as it kept pushing me forward, which I found rather annoying.
It was a “soft” stop, which was nice (relying on the tension, rather than a hard limit of hitting a plastic stopping mechanism, for example), but it often felt like I was fighting the chair to keep it from moving around, and I wanted to sit just a bit further back, but without the chair shoving me forward.
Also, because it offers very little resistance until you reach this stopping point, it kind of just falls back to that angle, about halfway reclined, and it’s hard to get it to stay in any other position. It’s not a bad position, but it’s kind of the only one you get unless you adjust the knob to a different setting.
The fully-reclined stage with no resistance just drops you all the way back to a full recline. Instantly. You have to clench your abs to stay upright, which makes this option good for lounging, and that’s about it. It really would have been nice to have an intermediate stage between these two, along with continuous tension throughout the recline.
Other adjustments include a seat slider, and height adjustment, both of which are useful for people of varying height. The lumbar support pad is also height-adjustable, and although it’s useful for that halfway-reclined stage, it becomes largely irrelevant when you’re fully reclined in the final, no-resistance recline stage.
The arms are some of the best in the business, with adjustments in four dimensions; up and down, forward and back, left and right, and swiveled. The swivel goes either inward or outward; the inward method is great for typing, while the outward method is great when you’ve got a mouse at the edge of an extra-wide keyboard. You can get this chair with cheaper armrests or no arms at all, but once you go with armrests this adjustable, it’s hard to go back.
Here’s in and out:
Front and back:
Notice how aggressive that swivel can get, which is pretty nice.
One of the odd things about these armrests is how they don’t quite move along a perfectly straight track; when moving in and out, they go along a half-circle sort of line. This interference means you can’t move the armrests inward (close to the body) and then also swivel them inward, without the armrests moving backward a little bit. It’s not bad, but it’s a little odd, and might be just a teensy bit difficult for smaller users to get that perfect adjustment.
Don’t get me wrong, they’re really great, but a couple other chairs allow the dimensions to adjust independently of one another, such as on the Steelcase Gesture, which uses an entirely different system to accomplish the same thing, and doesn’t have that semi-circle tracking quirk.
The armrests follow the angle of the seat itself as you recline, meaning that because of that seat riser mechanism, they move up just a bit, raising the front part of the armrest about an inch at full recline. This is a little tricky if you’re trying to type, but if you’re partway upright, the change in altitude will be minimal.
Notice how they attach to the seat, not the backrest:
Steelcase Think Task Model V2 For Sale
When you’re fully reclined, however, you’re going to be further back and away from the armrests than when you’re sitting upright. This is true of most chairs, but it’s especially true here, where the backrest goes back, and the seat goes up and forward, meaning your upper body will pull backward from the armrests as you recline, more so than with most others I’ve seen, and your elbows are likely to fall off the back edge. Again, a synchro-tilt mechanism would fix this, as well as a couple other alternative recline mechanisms.
Lumbar support and backrest
As mentioned, the lumbar support is another weak point for me. The further you lean back, the more of a gap there is between your lower back and the backrest. And no, it’s not fixable with the optional lumbar feature. That’s just a height-adjustable support beam, and as you recline, you simply lose contact with it entirely. At halfway reclined, it can be fine, but not when you’re all the way back.
If that lumbar pad could adjust forward or backward, or if the entire backrest could flex forward in that lower back area, or it simply had a more aggressive angle to begin with, it might work…but it just doesn’t.
Steelcase Think Task Model V2 User
Overall I do like the backrest itself. It has some flex, accommodating side-to-side movements, rather than being rigid and requiring a perfectly straight-forward sitting position, and despite being composed of horizontally-tensioned wires, it’s actually quite comfortable. The cushioned versions are going to hide the sensation of those wires better than the see-through meshy options, and it really does feel as though the backrest conforms without any pressure points.
Still, it doesn’t solve the lumbar gap problem. It’s not a huge gap, but it starts to lose lumbar support once you’re about halfway reclined, putting pressure on your spine. If you’re the type to prefer little or no lumber support, or you just happen to have a particularly straight back, it’ll work out much better; but if you prefer more aggressive lumbar support, especially at a full recline, you’ll definitely need to look elsewhere.
No complaints here. The seat curves down in front, plus it flexes, preventing any blood flow problems that arise from a stiff support beam at the seat edge.
There’s no forward tilt option, although with the waterfall edge, it’s easy enough to lean forward without running into discomfort.
Conclusions on the Steelcase Think Chair
Though I was mostly frustrated with the Steelcase Think, a few of the frustrations are minor, and partially subjective. I like the 4-dimensionally adjustable armrests, and the overall comfort of the seat, and backrest. It’s soft, comfy, conforms really nicely to various body shapes, and flexes left or right to follow you along if you lean either direction. Due to the tensioned wires in the backrest, as well as the seat height and depth adjustment, it’ll accommodate users of various sizes quite nicely, and feels quite forgiving when sitting fully or mostly upright.
That said, I can’t say I’m a fan of the recline mechanism. It feels very much like a backrest-tilt only, which creates the sensation as though you’re sliding forward in the seat, and with the seat riser lifting you upward as you recline, you’ll lose contact with the lumbar region entirely at about halfway back.
My biggest problem was the not-so-adjustable “self-adjusting” backrest tension mechanism. While I like the idea of a semi-self-adjusting design, using your body weight to adjust the tension, further tweaks would have been nice. I didn’t like how the no-resistance setting just drops you back immediately, and I didn’t like how the some-resistance setting drops you back to about halfway, then feels like it’s shoving you forward, rather than comfortably staying there. Continuous tension would have been better, and an intermediate stage between those two settings would have been helpful, too.
Given those complaints, I can’t say it’s my favorite, which is a little unfortunate, given that I’m a big fan of Steelcase’s other designs. I’d say take a look at the Gesture and Leap, as they offer a lot more in the way of tension adjustments, instead of using a self-adjusting mechanism. This one could be useful as a shared seating option, given the self-adjusting design, and perhaps even as a primary chair for someone who doesn’t need significant lumbar support, but I would still prefer the smoother recline mechanisms of those alternatives.
Steelcase Think Task Model V2 Parts
If you still expect the Steelcase Think is for you, it’s available through Amazon, as well as Steelcase’s website, and certain online retailers such as The Human Solution. Crate and Barrel carries it as well, so that would likely be the most convenient place to check it out in person.