New Home Furnishings
When you’re going about putting together a gaming PC setup, what are the first things on your mind to purchase? Do you plan to put all your money toward super high-end components, maybe two or three fancy 4K monitors? Perhaps you’re the kind of person that maxes out their credit cards on RGB lighting to get the flashiest battlestation around?
If you’re anything like me, the very last thing you think about when putting your setup together is the furniture that you need for it. I spend all my time dreaming about what kick ass new upgrades to put in my PC tower, all the while ignoring how my beat-up discount desk is slowly starting to fall apart.
However, the one part of my setup I’ve long been planning to upgrade is the desk chair. One huge reason I have difficulty sitting behind my PC for more than an hour at a time is that I’m sitting on a cheap beat-up five-year-old Ikea chair. When I was buying furniture for my new apartment after moving out west, I was more focused on cost over quality, since furnishing an apartment from scratch is pretty damn expensive.
Getting a good quality seat can be pricy, especially if you’re looking for something more ergonomically inclined – something I finally wanted to invest in, due to the joy of having scoliosis in my lower back. There’s also the style factor to take into account. Sure, you can get a nice, comfy yet simple chair, but you’re a PC gamer damnit. You gotta go as flashy as possible.
Over the past few years, “racing” style gaming chairs have become the rant and rave amongst the more hardcore in the gaming community. Flashy, gaudy, attention-getting…but also shockingly comfortable. I’ve tried out numerous ones in stores and at conventions, but had never taken the plunge on getting one for myself.
That’s where PC gaming chair company EwinRacing steps in. They sent us along one of their chairs to test out, a selection from their “Champion” series of models. I’ve been resting my beautiful body in it while at my desk for the past week, and I’m here to give you my thoughts on what it’s like to upgrade from a worn-out generic desk chair to a flashy gamer’s throne.
Assembling the Throne
The Ewin chair arrived to us unassembled in a surprisingly heavy package, meaning I was going to have to get a bit of a workout bringing it up some stairs before resting my weary body in it. Luckily, though, there weren’t many parts to put together: the chair seat, chair back, base, and hydraulic lift, along with a few smaller parts to hold everything together.
The assembly instructions come in a full-color booklet with plenty of pictures. A couple of the steps were mildly confusing due to the aforementioned pictures being of a different model of chair than the one I was building, but the general steps were still the same. There was a bit of rough grammar in the written instructions, but nothing that led to any difficulty (if anything, I only noticed it due to being a writer…).
Assembly went rather quickly, taking maybe thirty minutes at most. Nearly everything on the chair holds together with hex screws and allen wrenches. A few screw locations were a bit annoying to work in, due to some jutting-out parts keeping me from being able to do full rotations with the wrench. Connecting the chair seat and back also took a bit of effort due to how tightly they’re held against each other.
Overall, the construction was really simple. I’d say some people could get away with slapping the chair together without even looking at the instructions. The most interesting part of the experience was the line in the instructions telling me to wear gloves while building the chair…gloves that Ewin actually include in the box. I forwent wearing those and got the job done without any scratches or bruises, so…hey, I have a free pair of gloves now at least.
Align the Spine
And so, with the assembly done, I am surely ready to experience true luxury. To feel the gentle embrace of a true gamer’s throne around my body, holding me snug as I game my little heart out. I set the chair up at my desk, gently lower my body into it, and have my first thought…
…the head cushion is much too low.
Each of Ewin’s different series are built to accommodate different body types, from the slim to the super husky. The Champion model that we were testing was rated for up to 285lbs, and for heights for 5’3″ to 6’1″. While I do come in under the weight limit, I am a touch taller than the max for this model (6’3″ to 6’4″ depending on who is measuring me), so the head rest pillow ended up between my shoulder blades. I was able to somewhat fix this by attaching the pillow around the top of the chair rather than in its intended location, but even then it’s more of a neck pillow than a head pillow right now.
The part I was more excited for was the other pillow, the back support one. A common feature of many gaming chairs, it’s a feature I’ve been wanting for a long time, due to my aforementioned scoliosis. After using this chair for a while I can say that having the lumbar pillow is well worth it, but it took some time to get used to; having a rather solid pillow jutting out to rest on my lower back wasn’t the most natural feeling initially. The pillow also tends to sink down really easily, requiring me to readjust it upwards often.
As for the build of the base chair itself, it’s really damn sturdy overall. The build uses a metal frame with solid memory foam wrapped around it, and it definitely feels like this chair could take a beating. The faux leather finish, though, remains questionable to how well it will hold up in the long term…partly because my cat has already taken to using the back of the chair as a new scratching post. Hey, it’s been rather resistant to claw marks, at least.
The bucket seat was something I was slightly worried about, mostly due to the fact that I naturally sit slightly sideways (have I mentioned my scoliosis yet?). After my testing period, it turns out my worries were somewhat justified; I often found my body moving up one of the raised sides while naturally resting itself, leading to me having to readjust often.
Helping to combat that movement, though, were the surprisingly comfortable armrests. The rests on this chair are can be adjusted on three axes. When lifted fully up and and brought completely forward, they wound up at just the perfect height to rest my elbows on and help keep me from sliding around in the seat. The spacing between them also wound up being ideal for my body type; I’m a bit of a bigger guy, but I still fit comfortably in this chair with a couple inches of space between my body and the armrests.
The back adjustment was something that I ended up fiddling with for days before finding the best positioning. The Champion chair offers quite a number of angles for back positioning, from “the chair is now a bed” to “actively trying to snap you in half.” Laying out at 180 degrees is slightly harrowing, as every time I do so, it feels like the chair is going to fall over backward, although it has yet to do so. Actually, it’s quite comfortable to lay down in once you get past the “oh crap I’m gonna fall” place your mind may naturally go to. As far as upright sitting, I’m used to most chairs having a natural angle to their back seat, and I set up the Champion chair to do the same, but doing so meant my back wasn’t resting on the lumbar cushion. After experimenting, I found that setting the chair to a straight-up 90 degree angle was the best for comfort and ergonomics.
Now that we’ve run through all the individual parts, how well does everything work together. Well, I can say…it’s incredibly nice to be able to sit at my chair for a few hours getting work done without having much discomfort. In my old basic chair, I’d have to get up and walk around every hour or so to stretch out. In this chair, I think the longest I went was around 2.5 hours before having to take a break – a massive improvement.
In for the Long Haul
Overall, the EwinRacing Champion Series gaming chair has been a shocking massive upgrade to my PC setup. While I’ve been long looking for a more quality desk chair due to the time I spend at my PC working (and gaming), I’ve usually blown off “gaming chairs” as gaudy things marketed to young gamers trying to making playing video games look cool. Now, after really spending time using one, I think I can say I’ve changed my outlook.
Yes, this style of chair can look overly flashy and isn’t likely to fit in the design of many homes (although the white trim on the chair I received happened to fit in perfectly with the design of my personal setup). Looking past the form, though, the function is definitely worth it.
Gaming chairs are notoriously expensive, and Ewin’s selection is no outlier. The Champion series we looked at regularly retails at $349, and while quality furniture typically comes with a high price tag, that still ain’t nothing to sneeze at. However, if you find yourself behind a computer for long hours (whether at work or at play), this product could definitely be a sound investment, assuming it holds up in the long term. Hell, some gamers change out their graphics cards every year, and those can run at twice the price; $350 for a piece of a PC setup that will last for the long term is something worth considering.
With its ease of build and multiple options to customize comfort, the Ewin Champion chair is definitely worth a look for those looking to truly invest in their setup. Just keep the body type ratings in mind – those of slimmer or taller build may want to look at Ewin’s other offerings first.
~ Final Score: 9/10 ~
Review unit provided by EwinRacing. Images taken by reviewer.