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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

DXRacer Craft Series review

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I came from a cushy Steelcase Leap office chair before swapping over to the DXRacer Craft Series gaming chair and, frankly, I hated it at first. It was like sitting on a plastic lawn chair. Nothing about DXRacer’s chair felt like an upgrade outside of the stylish, new design on it, which is the big draw for this new line of chairs. But despite the looks, all of the time I sat there I kept thinking about what it was like to spend hours sitting in my former chair.

But then something happened. I can’t tell if it was me adjusting to the shape of the chair or the chair itself adjusting to me over several hours of use, but I’ve now reached a point in my transition where I don’t want to go back. The DXRacer Craft Series isn’t an extremely cushioned chair; that’s not its goal. It’s a stable chair, built to keep me in a healthy position while sitting at my desk for many, many hours a day. And it works.

I don’t think DXRacer’s new line of chairs transformed my life, but it did make me appreciate what a solid gaming chair does. It’s not necessarily comfortable in the way you’d think: it’s just rigid enough to keep me actively aware of the way I’m sitting so that I can readjust when my posture inevitably goes lax.

The true test of the chair was during my entire, 60-hour playthrough of Elden Ring (and the many hours after writing the review). Even during extremely long gaming sessions like I did with FromSoftware’s open world game, I didn’t feel uncomfortable. The chair’s ability to tilt slightly backward helped ease all the hours I spent exploring in the game, and then when a boss fight came around I could tilt it up to be more engaged with the screen in front of me. Not once did it feel like my body naturally wanted to move upright without the chair supporting me in some way. And no part of me got sore after all those hours.

The design of the DXRacer Craft Series resembles a lot of our favorite gaming chairs. It has 4D armrests, lumbar support, a removable head cushion, and two paddles to adjust the height and whether or not it can recline. Everything works smoothly; nothing hitches or creaks. The lumbar support in particular is a nice addition that my previous chair didn’t have. You can adjust the chair as much as you want and it doesn’t feel like it’s going to fall apart, which is a boon for something you’ll probably own for years. That said, all of the functions are largely the kinds of things you’ll adjust once and leave that way, but it’s nice to have the options if you, say, play an instrument that requires more room for your arms.

The headset might be the only part of the DXRacer Craft Series that’s strangely lacking. You strap it to the head of the chair and slide it up and down for adjustment. Compared to the magnetic cushion like on the Secretlab Titan Evo 2022, the DXRacer’s headrest looks haphazard. In use, its memory foam and cooling gel help it fit to the back of your head and keep it cool, but it doesn’t look as clean as it could even though it’s a chair that’s supposedly all about aesthetics this time around.

The chair itself is covered in PU leather, or polyurethane leather. Nothing about the material feels uncomfortable, especially with the foam padding inside, but it’s hard to accurately tell whether or not it’ll peel or crack with extended use given my limited testing window. Other gaming chairs made with the same material tend to do this, so it’s a real concern if you want your chair to look nice many years after you’ve purchased it. Typically, you want something that’ll last longer like mesh fabric.

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The PU leather does add to the look of the chair though. The DXRacer Craft Series, aside from being solid gaming chairs, touts several unique visual designs to choose from. They have everything from a yellow design with a goofy rabbit, to an intricately embroidered koi fish pattern design in gold and black—which is the one DXRacer sent me. None of the designs truly speak to me personally, but, judging from the one I received, they look very well made. The designs offer creative choices for chairs that get away from the tired futuristic gaming aesthetic that many other brands, including DXRacer itself, offers. There’s even a pink option you don’t have to wait until after the chair’s launch for. If there’s anything really worth commending DXRacer for here is the commitment to giving people choice with its chair, instead of simply offering a nondescript black option.

DXRacer Craft Series specs

Sizes: 200 lbs / 5 ft 7 inches
Fabric: PU leather
Recline: Up to 135°
Warranty: 2-year (accessories), lifetime (frame)
Armrests: 4D adjustment
Price: $469, £449, AU$629

At $469, it sits on the higher end of our favorite chairs for its price. Its lack of mesh fabric and a magnetic headset make that price a little steep compared to the competition. But the choice in designs, while a little basic, are a big deal if you’re someone that’s tired of gaming chairs that look the same.

The whole package doesn’t cost much more than Secretlab’s Titan Evo 2022 series that come with many more color options, including branded looks like the League of Legends Jinx design. The Secretlab is a better chair, but the DXRacer Craft Series isn’t so much worse that it’s not worth investing in one if you find any of the designs pleasing.

For me, Secretlab’s designs are more subtle. I’m not necessarily interested in my gaming chair drawing attention to itself; I’d much rather get the added functionality and longevity in its design. But I applaud DXRacer for the effort in putting together a set of designs that have much more personality than even the other lines of chairs it offers.

The Verdict

78

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DXRacer Craft Series

The DXRacer Craft Series blends strong design and comfort with striking looks, but lacks in some modern features.

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