Gaming From The Big Chair
AKRacing Core Series EX-Wide Gaming Chair (AK-EXWIDE-BK)
Review by: Jennifer Griffiths
Video & Testing by: Philip Griffiths
I love my creature comforts! This time of year it is not uncommon to find me at my PC with a cozy blanket, and even a cushion to sit on. *My chair is not as comfortable as it once was* I sit there night after night playing games, talking to friends, and sometimes just relaxing. AKRacing really impressed me a few weeks back with the Master Series MAX Gaming Chair (AK-MAX-BK). This week I get to give the AKRacing Core Series EX-Wide Gaming Chair a whirl. It has a lot to live up to being it has set a high benchmark with the other chair, but I am optimistic.
To live up to it's reputation for producing a comfortable gaming chair, it must have the four C's once again. Comfort, Construction, Cost and Cool Factor as set out by our experts at TFT. It will also have to pass the "Don't make me get up from my chair" test. This is the one where if your chair is uncomfortable you are happy to get up for a stretch break. However, if you have a comfortable one, you stare at the person requesting you to do something until they go away.
Stay tuned to see if it ticked all of my boxes. Was it the good the soft and snugly or the good the bad and the ugly? Did I get up willingly or did I look at Phil with evil eyes? Read on to find out!
Features shared across the Core Series:
3D arm rests adjustable in directions (up, down back and forth and rotating to the sides)
Rocking mechanism with adjustable tension.
Hand-welded steel frame painted with anti-corrosive paint.
High density cold cured foam (foam density is 55 kg/m3 on the seat and 50kg/m3 on the back)
180 degree recline with variable tension rocking function for personalized seating position.
330 lbs/150kgs weight capacity
5/10 year warranty (5 on materials an 10 on the frame)
Unique Features of EX-Wide gaming chair:
Fabric cover on front and back
Wide metal frame with cold cured foam padding for maximum comfort and durability.
Standard mechanism with rocking function
Pillow set included
3D adjustable arms
2.5 inch casters
Class 4 gas lift
Available models at Spire Technology include, Black and Blue, Black and Red, Black, and Red/Black.
With our heritage in the real racing industry, AKRacing knows cutting corners is never welcome. We take this concept seriously when it comes to our chairs, too. Our design philosophy dictates a minimum standard for a true performance chair. Every AKRacing chair features at least the following essentials:
Ergonomic design with head and lumbar pillows for adjustable support
Highest grade upholstery materials for comfort and durability
Steel frame for extended life
High-density cold cured foam for long-lasting enjoyment
180 degree recline with variable tension rocking function for personalized seating position
3D or 4D armrests to set to your preference
330 lbs weight capacity to fit a wide range of body types
5/10 year warranty on parts/frame for peace of mind
About AKRacing :
AKRacing has been in business since 2001 as a real seat manufacturing company. First in automotive sport seats, then expanding to gaming and office chairs. Unlike many other brands that source parts from different factories, AKRacing owns its own factory. We do 100% of our own product development, testing and quality control in-house, controlling the full user experience to a degree most other companies can't or just don't.
Our AKD division designs our own armrests, 5-star bases and mechanisms for most models. All AKRacing designs are patented, so the only way to get a true AKRacing chair is to buy an AKRacing branded chair. We are sure no one makes a better gaming chair - that is why we back it with a 5/10 year warranty.
The chair comes in a cardboard shipping box with AKRacing logos on the side. It has the model numbers on it but no pictures which is a shame. A chair should always have a nice colourful picture to show the buyer what they are getting. Not only does it show the buyer that there is a quality product inside, it shows pride in product by the manufacturer.
They packaged this with care. Each piece was wrapped and layers of cardboard between parts for extra cushioning. Bubble wrap on some parts. With that being said there were a few marks on the base. However, when you build the chair they probably will not get seen. The stitching is really nice on the chair back. I noticed there was no safety cap on the gas lift. The manual inside is a bit vague. There is a more up to date manual online. Not many people who buy things think to look online for instructions on how to put things together. They presume the instructions with it do not change. That being said I would think they would put the up to date version in the box.
Assembly TFT Style:
1. attach wheels to the base
2. gas lift to the base
3. chair seat and seat mechanism - take the screws out of the bottom. They are positioned where they go so it makes it easy. Position the seat mechanism the seat and screw in with the Alan Key. DO NOT LOSE THE ALAN KEY. Standard ones do not work on this.
4. Take the screws from the back using the Alan Key and attach the seat. *Do not lose anything as there are no spares*
5. Screw in the plate on each side to cover screws. *we found the covers to be the cheapest part of the chair*
6. Attach lumbar pillow and headrest. *Most of you will figure out how to attach the lumbar pillow correctly. However the head pillow might leave you scratching your head. You would think it slides over the top or the straps that attach the lumbar pillow hold it. No. There is a special plastic "whats it" that you have to play about with.
We decided that had we reviewed this chair first and not the MAX, this probably would have wowed us more. As it was, we were spoiled to the MAX and this one left us with a wanting for what we knew already. That's not to say it is not a good chair though. At almost half of the price, it is. However, if you have larger hips, the sides of the seat may annoy you. They come up like wings. If it were me, I would have just made it a flat seat like the Max. It is the same size seat as the Max but the wings take up the actual seat room and don't really do anything.
As for the head pillow, it is OK. It is smaller and cheaper feeling than that of the MAX but still nice and looks sporty. Again the main instructions for attachment are on the website. *The instruction manual does not say how this is done
When you step back and take a look at it, the AKRacing logo on the lumbar pillow looks off center and at an angle. The logo at the top of the chair as well, it looks off center.
The fabric itself is course. This may be for longevity. For the men that like to take their shirts off in the summer and sit in it, it may be irritating to the skin, so I would probably put a sheet over it if I had that in mind.
If you do have any issues with the chair it comes with an amazing 5 year warranty for the chair (fabric), and 10 years on the frame without having to pay extra, Most chairs only come with a 1-2 year warranty so this is a very big standout point!
This model £299 RRP
To buy from Distribution (Spire) the prices for AKRacing chairs start at just below £200 (ex Vat).
Being this is an extra wide chair, you would think it would hold the same weight or more as the Max but it does not. The Max as you may remember has leather. This one has cloth. That's OK for some, but for easy to keep clean,leather would be my choice. After a while cloth chairs absorb odors. If you are not privileged enough to live in an air conditioned home in the summer months when you are gaming, you are going to sweat and your chair is going to take a beating. YIKES! Overall the chair is nice and for the price and warranty you can't go wrong. On average I replace my chair every 18 months. Chairs at the standard office supply store cost at least £135 and they do not come with the warranty of this one. By the time you replace your chair twice you could have already had this one with all of the bells and whistles and 5/10 warranty. So that being said I would definitely buy it for the gamer in my life. - Jenni
AKRacing definitely know how to make gaming chairs! I was surprised by the quality of the parts and the craftsmanship. If you have a retail store, I would highly recommend getting into stocking gaming chairs. The only downside to stocking them is the amount of room they take up, even if still boxed. One way of selling them would be to keep one on display or as the chair you use behind your counter so customers can see them, and when they ask about them you can show them what models are available. This product is so well built it can support up to 23.5 Stones (150kg) of weight, the Chair also comes with an amazing 5 year warranty for the chair, and 10 years on the frame, to my knowledge no other chair offers such a large warranty! . - Phil
Stand out point: The stitching and overall quality in upholstery.
5/10 year Warranty (5 year warranty for the chair (fabric), and 10 years on the frame)
Stitching and craftsmanship
It looks really stylish
The extra width on this model is not as comfortable as it could be due to the wings on the seat. This can annoy people whom have larger hips or problems with the nerves in the legs. *Sciatica etc.
The pillow is a little flimsy.
The off centre logo could be made look better.
Instructions included should be updated.
They got a Gold Award for this product.