When it comes to comfort while writing, gaming, or general sitting down watching TV or a Movie, there is nothing better than a good chair. For us as gamers, we have the luxury of our bed, or the dining room furniture or the floor. Or you could be one of the lucky ones that have nice parents who are concerned about the damage gaming is causing to your posture and neck. Before I got myself a gaming chair my back and neck would ache after a good gaming session, I would even get a headache. Even when I was typing for long periods my neck would kill and the bottom of my spine would just ache as I got up from a sitting position. This could be because of my age and I am no longer that nimble.
Now gaming chairs are seen everywhere now from gaming expos, esports events, even streamers, and youtube stars have them, Now they are not cheap with an average high-end one costing around £260.00. Did your heart just sink, mine used to, as the price was so high and there was no way I could afford one on a student wage, so I had to really save my money. Gaming chairs may cost a bit, but they truly do help a gamer, office worker to have a more comfortable relaxing time during those working/ gaming hours. So for this review, I have taken a leap into the office realm with AKRacing and there Opal Office Chair. The office chair is more minimalistic compared to AKRacing’s gaming series of chairs.
So first off, who are AKRacing
AKRacing has been in business since 2001 as a real seat manufacturing company. First in automotive sports seats then expanding to gaming and office chairs. We do 100% of our own R&D and product development, testing, and QC. We even design and tool our own our armrests, 5-starbases, and mechanisms for most models. So, we control the full user experience to a degree most other companies can’t or just don’t.
We do not OEM or manufacture for anyone else, 100% of the production from our factories are for the AK brand. The only way to get an 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-year warranty for the chair and 10 years on the frame.
Again as with the e-win gaming chair review, I had to drag the box upstairs into the office, also noting the weight again being 25 bloody KGS, But this time I was going to wait a little time before I start unboxing, building and reviewing so there was no need for a long rest with a coffee. When I did start unboxing, everything was well packaged away for delivery and there was no way anything was going to be damaged. On top was the starbase, remove that, and remove the cardboard you will get the backrest, underneath the backrest you will find the seat, cushions, and a box with all the other parts required to build the chair.
So what do you get inside? the obvious answer to this is everything to build the chair, but everything comes in parts.
- Metal StarBase,
- 5 Plastic wheels,
- Chair Back,
- Seat and armrests already attached,
- Lumbar Cushion and Neck Cushion,
- Gas Cylinder,
- Protective Gloves,
- Gas Cylinder cover,
- Back Cover side mount,
- Seat Mount,
- Hex Keys,
I am 5ft 4inches and weigh around 80.5kg, a short tubby dude you could say, but this chair is actually not for me it is for my partner who is 5ft 5inches and weights 59.4kg and this chair, even though wider than the average gaming chair is perfect for her. Offers a lot more room while sitting, or having your legs up on the chair, sometimes even crossed, “it is extremely comfortable” she says, for me since I am used to gaming chairs, it feels a little too big, no idea why she enjoys all the extra space.
So below you will find a picture and the actual measurements of the chair;
- Recommended: up to 35
- Border: 36-40
- Not recommended: 41 and over
Size based on the images above
B: 13.7 inches
C: 15.1 inches
D: 22.4 inches
E: 20.2 inches
F: 4.7 inches
H: 13.7-17.1 inches
I: 33 inches
- Caster Size: 2.5”
- Weight Capacity: 330 lbs
- Net Weight: 51.55 lbs
- Gross Weight: 62 lbs
I have built a number of these chairs in the past, and even now they can be a little bit of a pain to assemble, but after around 15mins I was done and dusted.
First, you assemble the Starbase, which just means attaching the wheels, placing the gas cylinder into the hole and added the Gas Cylinder cover. Then you turn to the seat and attach the seat mount by removing the four screws on the seat, place the mount correctly making note of the front and back written clearly on the mount so you attach it the correct way. Then grab the backrest and remove the screws on both sides. You then attach the backrest to the seat, once in place attach the side covers to hide the screws. The use all your strength to attach the seat to your finished starbase and you’re done.
I created a video, which is 4X faster than the original, with a bouncing trance soundtrack once again to listen to while you watch;
The Opal Office Chair is made with 100% polyester for the seat and backrest, with an Anti-corrosive black painted full metal frame. The seats are padded with High-Density Mould Shaping Foam and finally a metal starbase. Now you would think a material based office chair with a minimalistic design would cost less than a leather high-end gaming chair, but no this chair comes in at $349.00 / £299.00. With a price like this, I had to wonder why it is so high, manufacturing costs, material costs, so I asked AKRacing to give me a quote and here it is.
When it comes to costs, even though the chair appears to be “basic”, here at AKRacing we have our own understanding of what “basic” is. 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
- Painted hand-welded 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 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
As you may notice, a lot of these features are available from other gaming chair brands for expensive chairs only (such as 3D armrests, hand-welded metal frame, high-density cold-cured foam). We never use any of the cheap materials, such as plastic bases or wooden frames even for our “basic” chairs. The 180 degree recline and 5/10 year warranty is pretty much exclusive to AKRacing, the max warranty other brands offer is 2 years, and the normal recline is usually capped at 135-165 degrees.
Above is a picture of the chair fully built with neck and lumbar cushions attached, I have to say one thing, after using Neck cushions on gaming chairs for some time now, this neck cushion is a much better design and should be implemented on all their chairs going forward. These cushions will help rest the neck during those long gaming sessions, streaming, competitive events or anything else you can think of doing with your chair. Then you have a lumbar cushion which helps you keep your posture and protects the lower back. Some people do not like the lumbar cushion, but I can tell you now, ever since I have used them my back feels much better sitting down for long periods of time.
Now I have said this chair in very minimalistic in its design compared to gaming chairs just check out the picture below;
The chair is basically black with the AKRacing logo’s only on the top of the chair, cushions and there is an embossed logo on the left-hand side of the chair, but not really that visible. As you can see the office chair does look more suited to an office environment, as it does not stand out like a gaming chair.
Now tilting is fun and the backrest can literally drop totally flat, so if you fancy some time staring at the ceiling you can, I can think of other things you can do, but I will leave that to your imagination. There are a number of different angles you can tilt the backrest into and each angle has a locked position. The Gas cylinder is a class 4 which will hold up to 150kg / 330lbs that’s just under 24stone and will allow the chair to be heightened or lowered based on your preferred height. So what I am simply saying here is, you can do a lot more than game, stream on these chairs.
Now the armrests are not 4D, if you are unsure what I mean by 4D, well its simply the way the armrest can move. 4D moves up and down, left and right, forwards and backwards and also swivel left and right. These armrests only go up and down and swivel left and right, they are classed as 3D armrests. Its a shame really as the new 4D armrests offer so much more in the way of flexible positioning, you can really get the perfect rest alignment for your arms. There is also one other aspect missing, grooves within them so your arm feels hugged. The AKRacing Team Dignitas chairs did not come with these new armrests, they were not 3D or 4D but the grooves in them where wonderful. So my advice to AKRacing is to add the new 4D armrests to all chairs, but also add grooves within them so you can put your arm on them and they can rest within them and get that huggy feeling. Wondering what I mean see image below
Since this chair is for my partner I ask her why she wanted this chair over a gaming chair and it was a simple answer, “I do not like the design of them, they stand out too much and I prefer something basic and minimal”. She also finds the gaming chairs less comfortable, even though this one offers a wide seating area, she finds it more suitable for her Physique. I, on the other hand, prefer the hugging aspect of a gaming chair when it comes to sitting down.
So it comes to my final thoughts but for this one, it is my partner’s thoughts. I like this chair a lot, I much prefer this sort of material used with this chair over the leather chairs, even though its terrible with animals in the house as fur gets everywhere, it is even worse with cats as they claw everything. So I have had to cover the seat with something else just to protect it as we have two cats. I like the extra room the seat provides and the neck cushion and lumbar cushions are new to me but I can already feel the difference they make when I am playing games for some time. I have no issues with the chair what so ever, apart from the price tag as I think it should be cheaper, but that’s my opinion.
Before we leave you, here are the main Features of the AKRacing Opal Office Chair
- Adjustable Armrests: 3D
- Mechanism Type: Standard Mechanism
- Adjustable Tilt Angle: 3-18°
- Tilt Lock: Yes
- Tilt Angle Lock: No
- Recline angle: 180°
- Gas Lift Class: Class 4 gaslift
- Adjustable Back Angle: Yes
- Adjustable Lumbar Cushion: Yes
- Adjustable Headrest: Yes
- Meets/Exceeds ANSI/BIFMA Standards: Yes
- Warranty Length: 5/10 years
If you are interested in buying this chair head here https://www.akracing.com/product/opal-office-chair/ there might also be other online retail stores that sell them aswell, but I have not looked around.