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Hardware Review: DXRacer Craft Series Gaming Chair

10 Apr 2022

A good chair can be difficult to find. Speaking from my own personal experience, its easy to get caught up somewhere between comfort and necessity as far as pricing is concerned. If I can save some cash when it comes to a seat for my desk, why shouldn’t I? After all, it’s just where I put my behind while I play games and write the words you’re currently reading. Why not save a few bucks on a chair and put it towards another part of my setup, something more immediately tangible? And yet, while this may be my initial mindset when I feel the need to replace my seating arrangement, there’s an appreciable difference between a higher-end chair and a lower-end one—a difference often reflected in the price tag.

When it comes to making purchases of any size, getting your money’s worth is vital. By making a larger investment, a certain chair might promise you more thorough customization features to suit your personal ergonomic needs, or more longevity, or additional accessories for comfort, or even something as simple as being more in line with your aesthetic.

These features are commonly found in chairs that have entered the market specifically aimed at gamers, and the Craft series from DXRacer is no exception. They sent over a unit from this line for the purpose of this review, and retailing at $480, it has just about everything you might expect from a more premium chair. But does the price fully stack up to the comfort?

No Umbrage Assembly

My first thought when the chair arrived was that this sucker is heavy. It may not have been my favorite aspect of it when I was lugging it through my door, but it did make me immediately optimistic, as I’d much rather have a chair that felt sturdy before I’d even started putting it together than the alternative.

The reason for the weight became clear when I opened the box and found that the chair practically came pre-assembled. Everything that could be reasonably combined while still fitting into the box was already put together: the seat itself had the arms attached, the wheels snapped right into the complete base, and both the back and the hydraulic system simply needed to be screwed into the seat.

What’s more, all of the screws were already loosely installed where they needed to be instead of in a bag, which caused very little room for error. There’s even a track embedded into one of the arms for the back to follow as you connect them, ensuring that you can’t misalign it—honestly, anything more and DXRacer would practically be wheeling the chair down the street to you.

Rather than coming with a booklet or something similar, the instructions were printed on a large cardboard sheet with four purely visual steps, and following them was exceedingly straightforward. I’m by no means an expert with this sort of thing, and I was still able to get it ready to go in twenty minutes or so. Even covering up the screws on the sides of the seatback was as easy as slapping on a plastic covering with magnets on the inside.

Feature & Function

Before I even sat down, I was impressed with the presentation and overall surface work on the chair. I specifically received the Lucky Always/Koi Fish variation of the Craft series, and the golden embroidery work making up the patterns is both finely detailed and intricately woven into the polyurethane leather. It is a bit on the showy side for my personal tastes, but I can easily see it complementing gaming setups and workspaces with darker tones extremely well.

But as we both know, it could be the prettiest chair in the world and still be useless if it wasn’t comfortable to sit in. I’ve been positively glued to Elden Ring and Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin for the past few weeks, and the long play sessions those games get out of me made for a perfect test of the chair’s comfort level.

Firstly, I decided to put the various features through their paces. You get a highly customizable chair in the Craft series for your personal posture, with it being easy to set a wide array of various positions for the back to your heart’s content. Crucially, once you find that perfect setting, it stays there and doesn’t budge, which is impressive given the range of choice you have.

You can also adjust the height of the seat and the rotation and height of the armrests, but perhaps the most standout customization feature is the adjustment dial on the right side of the chair. By turning it, you interact with a mechanism inside the lower section of the seatback that protrudes to better support your lumbar region. Essentially, this lets you tune the chair to find the perfect balance of comfort to match your body and style of sitting.

Comfort With Caveats

Moving on to the actual feeling of the chair, the first thing I noticed was the softness of the head pillow, which attaches to the headrest by means of a snap buckle. It’s stuffed with memory foam and has pads of cooling gel embedded on the front side, making it pretty ideal for leaning back when you’re watching a movie or a TV show.

The seat itself provides a decent balance of softness and firmness, but it very much errs on the side of firmness. This is not a chair you sink into, but it still feels more like it’s adapting to you, instead of the other way around. The weight I mentioned previously is absolutely felt when you sit down, and reiterates the sturdiness.

Something very important to me with chairs is a certain degree of comfort in the armrests. Often, I would purchase and put together a chair that felt great on my back, only to find it absolutely killer on my elbows once I started dipping into longer sitting sessions. I was particularly relieved that wasn’t the case here; the rests are, like the chair itself, very much on the firm side of things, but have more than enough cushion to prevent any discomfort.

Worth noting is that the armrests are a bit loose, and it’s unclear whether this is a result of the level of rotation you can adjust with them or something else entirely. It’s an issue that seems difficult to correct given the pre-assembled nature of the arms, but it’s also not one that affects sitting a great deal, as they stay put until you actively move them from side to side.

In short: the chair comfortable and the customization features are up to snuff, but there’s a pretty significant caveat here. I would say the chair is suitable for people with both smaller and larger frames, but those in the former group will be the ones who get the most out of the Craft series.

The recommended height listed on the DXRacer site is for individuals up to 5’7”, and while this could be a lower estimate, it’s more accurate than not. If you’re a taller person (I myself am 6’2”), chances are high that the memory foam pillow will end up resting more on your neck than on the back of your head. Similarly, the seat cushion isn’t the widest in the world, meaning that those with wider hips may have to do bit of repositioning to avoid the raised sides of it jutting into them.

I don’t personally find these limitations to greatly decrease the comfort of the chair, but everyone’s body is different, and it could very well be a deal breaker for some, especially with regard to the price.

More Than Adequate, Less Than Amazing

When it comes down to it, I’m pleased with the comfort and features of DXRacer’s Craft series, and it’s notable just how much customization they were able to include in the unit, but I’m not sure I’m as impressed as I should be with a chair that’s just shy of $500. The amount of customization available to you is extensive, but certain options—namely the lumbar mechanism—might be a bit too superfluous to justify the extra cost.

But you could very well be craving features like these if they’re lacking in your current choice of seating, and be more than willing to spend more in order to have them. If you fall around the recommended height set by DXRacer and want to utilize everything this chair offers, it’s difficult to see you regretting your purchase. At the same time, if you’re in the market for a gaming chair and any of the caveats I’ve listed gives you pause, you may be better off shopping around a bit more before committing to this particular one.

~ Final Score: 7/10 ~

Review unit provided by DXRacer. All pictures courtesy of DXRacer.