With DXRacer’s new Craft line of “custom” gaming chairs, the first obstacle you’ll have to overcome is sticker shock. It’s got a high price tag, even in the shockingly expensive world of halfway decent office furniture. If you want your lumbar supported, and you do, you generally have to put some extra cash on the table.
The good news is that you can see where the money’s gone. The Craft features a broad array of adjustable features for user comfort, including the ability to tweak its backrest for whatever degree of support you want. It’s surprisingly easy to assemble, has a durable feel, and sports a variety of available color schemes, most of which look like they’re trying to convince predators that they’re poisonous.
As a review unit, DXRacer sent over one of its original designs for the Craft, the “Spaceman,” in grey and yellow. Both it and the other five initial options look like something you’d find as a generic poster asset for DAZ Studio, or maybe the cover of a pocket sketchbook from the Michael’s art supply aisle. These are not flattering comparisons.
Other alternatives include relatively straightforward designs built around the logos for Guild Wars 2‘s End of Dragons expansion, Rainbow Six Extraction, and Far Cry 6. Alternatively, you could get a simple matte-black version of the Craft that simply features DXRacer’s own logo. (All of them do feature DXRacer’s logo everywhere they can sling it, in fact. It’s a little irritating.)
Whichever you choose, the Craft was surprisingly easy to put together. It comes with a single big cardboard sheet of step-by-step instructions, and many of the Craft’s biggest parts were already assembled in the box. I did have to fasten a few bolts, but most of them were already screwed into place. It might have been the least amount of trouble I’ve ever had with office furniture.
The Craft is recommended for users that are up to 5 feet, 7 inches tall and 200 pounds., which is a flattering description of me, so it fits me well. The cushions are polyurethane leather over high-density foam, with a detachable foam/cooling gel cushion on the headrest. The Craft’s base is made from a sturdy chunk of aluminum, which provides a stabilizing amount of weight. I’ve been trying to tip this thing over, and I can’t.
Using the Craft at its default settings, it’s a firm chair with strong lumbar support, but it’s a little stiff when it reclines. As it turns out, that’s just how it’s set up initially, and the Craft has a lot of custom settings (hence the name, once presumes) that are explained if you watch one of the how-to videos on the official DXRacer site.
It’s a little weird. If there’s a traditional manual for the chair, I didn’t get one, so I was about to write off a lot of the Craft’s peculiarities as flaws. Instead, most of them are something you can fix with some experimentation, which I assume is why DXRacer bills the Craft as a “custom gaming chair.” It’s made to wrap itself around your specific posture needs.
I’ve been trying to tip this thing over, and I can’t.
The recline, lumbar support, and armrests can all be manipulated, which lets you adjust the chair on the fly for whatever you happen to be doing. You can twist a dial (above) on the right side of the backrest to alter its lumbar support, from “wholly absent” all the way up to “your mother planting a knee in your back so you don’t slouch.”
Similarly, while the Craft is initially heavy enough that it’s hard to recline in, you can use one of the levers on its base to lock it in place at any degree, which is useful if you’re trying to relax. The 4D armrests (which is really a misnomer; I’ve been trying to time-travel with these all day and got nothing) can be lifted, lowered, slid forward, or turned up to 45 degrees.
The real question with any sort of “gaming chair” like this — where there’s no specific gaming utility, such as built-in speakers or a cup holder that could fit a basketball — is whether it’s worth buying over a simpler piece of office furniture.
In the DXRacer Craft’s defense, it’s got a durable feel and a lot of features that have convinced me I’ll still be using this chair in a few years, and that it’ll still be in roughly the same condition at that point. It’s also got a lot of customization options that make it useful for both work and leisure, although you do have to actively adjust most of its settings to taste, as opposed to being a one-size-fits-all black mesh special. All in all, it’s not a bad pick if you’re looking to spend a little money now, even if I don’t love any of its designs.
The DXRacer Craft is $479 if you order it directly from the company’s website, or $519 if you buy it elsewhere.
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