Published on Saturday, 29 October 2016 23:30
If you happen to have a cat or a dog (or more than just one) and you've been wanting to upgrade your old desk chair to one of the new and somewhat impressive gaming chairs taken right out of racing cars (well ok almost) then you probably know that these two don't mix well together. Personally i have 3 cats at home and although I’ve been testing gaming chairs at the lab for almost 2 years now i couldn't take one at my place cause i knew that my cats would tear its synthetic PU leather apart with their claws (already happened to 4 office chairs dressed with PU leather so i doubt one of these would be the exception). There's a really good chance that a gaming chair dressed with real leather would be harder for them to tear into (and real leather doesn't just peel off like synthetic PU leather) but honestly since not even my car seat (also dressed with real leather) made it unscathed when i had to take one of my cats to the vet without a cage i doubt a gaming chair would fare any better. So since synthetic and real leather were out of the question (sure i could always use thick seat covers but the end result would not be as ergonomic and good for my back) i started looking for a gaming chair dressed entirely (pay extra attention here since some models are dressed with both synthetic leather and fabric) out of fabric which i know is quite durable to my cats. Well after searching each gaming chair product page i came across the Prime model by AK Racing and today we'll be taking a closer look at its black and red variant.
AK Racing is one of the world’s premier gaming chair manufacturers, producing the highest quality products that are available today. With a focus on ergonomics, design and functionality, AK Racing gaming chairs have quickly become the smart choice across the eSport scene. Our close ties with top eSports teams such as Team Dignitas have given us the leading edge in meeting the durability and comfort requirements of gaming professionals everywhere.
The Prime Gaming Chair by AK Racing is basically identical to the Nitro model which we reviewed earlier this year (both in measurements and weight) but with just a couple of differences including the most important/obvious which is the fabric cover instead of synthetic PU leather (as with most gaming chairs in the market today). The Prime also features different design wheels and a slightly lower foam density for the seat but that's pretty much where their differences end since both chairs feature the same metal frame, neck and back pillows (again with fabric cover), class-4 gaslift (can lift up to 150Kg), 5-star black base, height adjustable armrests (27-34cm), seat height (42-50cm), backrest adjustment (180 degrees) and the same 12 degrees tilt function. So after comparing both the features and specifications sheets of both models it's not hard to realize that the Prime model is pretty much a Nitro Gaming Chair but with a fabric cover instead of synthetic PU leather and it's up to us to see just how much this changes things.
SPECIFICATIONS AND FEATURES
PACKAGING AND CONTENTS
Typically AK Racing shipped the Prime gaming chair model inside a large cardboard box with the company name at the front and a sticker with the barcode, serial and part numbers.
Once again the very first thing you will see at the top is the 5-star base which is placed inside 5 pieces of bubble wrap.
The 5 wheels are placed inside a small cardboard box so we took those next.
The back rest and the two support pillows (neck and back) are placed right beneath the 5-star base.
Last piece inside the box (large piece anyways) is the main/base seat.
The class-4 gaslift with its plastic cover and the height adjustment mechanism were also placed inside a cardboard box.
Finally inside the box you will also find the assembly instructions, two cloth gloves (you should use them while assembling the chair to avoid fingerprints and such), two Allen keys, three screws, and three side covers.
Some people may start with the base seat but as always i prefer to start with the lower end and make my way up so first we mount the wheels on the 5-star base (just push them in the holes until you hear the lock sound).
These wheels may not look as good as the ones used in the Nitro or the Premium V2 chairs but the wheels are the last thing i check when i sit on a chair.
After that just place the class-4 gaslift in the hole at the center and then the plastic cover over it.
The seat base is once again assembled in large part right from the factory since the two height adjustable arm rests and the backrest adjustment mechanism are already mounted.
Turning the seat base over we see the same components and quality as the Nitro chair and the Premium V2 (only 3 screws were included in the box because all the others are in their place already).
A small sticker reveals that our sample rolled out of the factory in January this year.
Next on the list is the height adjustment mechanism which requires removing 4 Allen screws and then placing them back to secure it in place (the green elastic bands are there to increase support while the copper clips remind us the ones used in regular sports seats).
There are also two Allen screws mounted on each side of the back rest.
You will need to mount the back rest on the seat base using those 4 screws and then using the plastic side covers as seen above.
Once you're finished with the top end of the chair you will just need to place it on the 5-star base and the gaslift.
I really thought that fabric instead of synthetic PU leather would not look nice but as you can see it does (perhaps it doesn't look as "elegant" but it does look nice).
Just like the synthetic PU leather models stitching is once again perfect no matter which part of the chair you check out.
The armrests are fixed in position (some gaming chairs allow you to change their placement) but they are height adjustable so you can raise them from 27cm and all the way up to 34cm.
The back rest drops a full 180 degrees (you can use that to rest a bit although i never figured out why manufacturers haven't placed feet rests too) and is also covered by fabric.
Mounting the two pillows is not hard the base one requires routing of two elastic bands while the top one has a single elastic band which goes around the top end of the back rest (the plastic piece was attached on the neck pillow so you can use it as seen above).
This is the final product and again although the colors may not be quite as "vibrant" as with synthetic PU leather covers i think they look good.
Although the Prime gaming chair by AK Racing has been at my place for over a week now with very good results (my cats keep scratching but the fabric cover almost ignores them completely, at least for now) i still don't know why manufacturers are not producing more such models (the Prime was the only one featuring fabric cover among the 30 models I checked online from 4 different manufacturers). Now i do realize that synthetic PU leather looks and even feels better but in all likelihood it's nowhere near as durable as fabric and although real leather might just be able to compete with it all such models currently in the market cost almost twice (in some cases even more) than what AK Racing asks for the Prime model. With that out of the way if you've read our Nitro and Premium V2 gaming chair reviews then you may be happy know that the Prime feels even sturdier (perhaps because of the fabric cover?) and provides the same exact back and neck support. Quality is also very good (i didn't expect it to be this good) but as mentioned many times earlier synthetic PU leather seems and feels more "elegant" (not to mention colors are slightly more vibrant) so if you don't have any pets you may want to opt for that instead.
Fabric as expected has a lower cost attached to it than synthetic PU leather so currently the Prime gaming chair by AK Racing costs 249Euros (directly from AK Racing) meaning 30Euros less than the Nitro model. Which one do I like more? Well for me since I have 3 cats at home it’s not really a matter of appearances but a matter of durability and since real leather gaming chairs usually surpass the 500Euros mark the Prime is the next best thing. Still if I didn’t have any pets at home I’d probably opt for the Nitro since it does look better overall (even if just slightly) and it’s not that far away in terms of price. Still the Prime has solved a problem I’ve had for many years now and since it shares the same features as the Nitro and Premium V2 models it also gets our Golden Award.
- Very Good Build Quality (Fabric Cover / Steel Frame)
- Design (Racing Car Seat)
- Features (Adjustable Backrest / Height Adjustable Armrests / 12 Degrees Tilt Function / 180 Degrees Backrest Adjustment)
- Head & Lower-Back Removable Pillows
- Available Color Selection
- Ideal For Places With Pets (Compared To Synthetic PU Leather Models)
- Price (For Some)
- Armrests (Could Use More Padding)
- Fabric Not As Elegant As Synthetic PU Leather