Having watched my fair share of gaming-related streams, most of them had one feature in common. They would be seated in a high-backed, brightly-colored racing seat. Looking at the logos further, it would either be the work of a group called DXRacer, or it would stem from a similar manufacturer, Maxnomic. As you may or may not recall, several weeks back, I had the opportunity to travel to Las Vegas back in early January for the Consumer Electronics Show, where one of my many booth stops was the DXRacer booth in the main show floor.
At the DXRacer booth, the immediate scene that got my attention was the number of brightly colored chairs that lay about in no particular order, and the occupants that filled them: from the gaming enthusiast to professionals in different walks of life: chemists, engineers, technology minds, and aerospace employers. That’s why it’s the perfect chair for gamers and professionals, and hey, look at that! We’re also called Gamer Professionals! Get it? I’ll show myself out now. The chairs themselves come in several different lines depending on the body size: the Formula, the Racer, the King, and the newly introduced Wide series. On top of that, their lineups go from gaming chairs, office chairs, and desk setups. They came in several different configurations, with some having a synthetic leather design and others made of mesh. After spending quite a good deal of time in each, I determined that the Racer series was best suited for my body size. For the record, I’m a fairly slim guy that’s a few inches shy of six feet tall.
The DXRacer is built with ergonomics in mind. The height of the chair goes from the pelvis all the way to the neck for full body support; most office chairs stop at the neck and do not allow a place for rest. Seating is also a large part of what makes the chair. A traditional office chair tends to ache after quite a while; on a DXRacer seat, people have lauded the company for making something that could last them for years in quality, and at the same time be highly comfortable for hours of gaming.
I decided to take that bet on. Hearing about chair comfort and these numbers people spout out was something that I always deemed to be subjective. There was no real basis to it. That, and I wanted to see if the chair had a therapeutic effect on my back that could help alleviate the shape of the spine. My office chairs usually ranged from office-grade furnishings, to a Steelcase Leap that I picked up recently. Despite many saying that the Leap was a highly useful chair because of all of its unique means of configuration, I never truly found the satisfaction I had been looking for. One factor of note that may have impacted this is the aligning of my spine. I’ve had back problems for a number of years. My body has, honestly, been held together somehow despite having numerous muscular knots, and a spinal cord curve that my physical therapist found highly puzzling.
Human physiology is a fascinating subject. There are so many factors that can influence the body’s physiology that we often are not even aware of. My body is no exception. What felt “normal” to me was apparently not normal at all. In physiology, the alignment of the curve is sigmoidal, or S-shaped. My body, bless its terrible nature, rendered that physiology into a completely straight line, that rounded out into a small curve at the bottom near the pelvis, similar to an upside-down question mark. It made sense, and explained why I always had trouble conforming or being comfortable in any kind of seating, despite its effectiveness for others. This physiological screwup had apparently started causing my rib cage to pinch with some muscles, creating the many knots in my back.
Back to the DXRacer, where I managed to get my hands on a Formula series seat. For starters, the chair was pretty heavy, at about 55 pounds. It indicated high durability, and taking everything out of the box, it was clear that this was going to be a fun mini-project to assemble. Thankfully, the team did most of the tedious work and had screws pre-installed. The instructions were perfectly clear and took place in six steps. From attaching the seat to the backing, followed by attachment of the base and the hydraulic unit, and the aluminum base with wheels, it took less than an hour for me to put it together on my own. The package included an Allen wrench to install and tighten the bolts, as well as a spare bolt in the event that the install messes up and loses a piece. At that point, the only quibble on my install was that it took a bit to align the hydraulic unit with the seating’s connection point; it only indicates that I really need to go back to lifting, and is not an indication that the chair’s design is faulty.
The chair itself holds remarkably well. The adjustable parts are standard for most office chairs, including arm rest height adjustments, and recline. The DXRacer’s recline is easily amongst some of the best of any chair I’ve used, with up to 135 degrees of recline. The height can be adjusted to ensure proper posturing. Probably the most important parts are the inclusion of two different cushions: one for the neck, and one for the lower lumbar. Both of these are essential to the completion of the package, as the neck pillow provides a location for the head to rest, one that isn’t the plastic opening at the top of the seat. The neck pillow can be conveniently attached via an included butterfly clip, or by extension of the elastic band. The pillow has a nice, hand-done DXRacer logo stitching. The lower lumbar support cushion is firm, yet soft enough to be comfortable, and attaches via two strings that go under and behind the cushion. They can be tightened fairly easily, which allows the cushion to move up and down the length of the user’s back, supporting different parts of the lumbar spine. The aluminum base and its decorative plastic inserts are useful footrests that, in a way, help massage the feet.
These little points are huge for me. My lumbar spine is all kinds of messed up, and being forced to sit in that correct posture has done some wonders. Most physiologists and doctors recommend making right angles with certain limbs of the body. Making sure that the arms are at 90 degrees, and ensuring that the legs perpendicular to the floor. The seat cushion is soft and has lots of foam layers inside. It’s slightly raised sides keep posture rigid, but at the same time does not restrict movement. I can still sit, Indian-style, perfectly fine. I found that the best feature was being able to recline almost parallel to the floor (older models were able to lie completely parallel; the owner of the company found that it would end up being a safety liability and decided to add a bit of an angle to it to prevent lawsuits). The recline made it entirely passable to fall asleep for a bit of a nap. As a bit of a fun fact, the DXRacer team would take pictures of the unlucky folks who fall asleep in their seats. It’s humorous, and now that I’ve definitely tried it out for myself, it’s definitely possible to fall a bit woozy and get some shut-eye in.
At the end of the day, the DXRacer got my interest for its ability to be vibrant and comfortable. My chair is black with white accents, to better suit the décor of my “home office.” Sure, let’s call it that for now. The chair was chosen for its potential therapeutic purposes, and to test and see if it could make a positive impact on my life. It definitely has, and it’s going to be tough to part ways with it when I move out in the summer to attend pharmacy school. Is it going to fix a spinal cord overnight? Probably not, but it should hopefully alleviate some of the growing pains that I sit with on a frequent basis.
The DXRacer series comes in several configurations and designs for many different usages, and ranges at an MSRP of $299 – $499. Feel free to check out their offerings here. Users who browse the DXRacer subreddit can take advantage of a 5% off discount coupon (REDDIT), to reduce the cost of the purchase. Model reviewed was the DXRacer Formula Series and priced at $329.