My first ever gaming chair was one of the coolest and most appallingly made pieces of furniture that I’d ever bought. It had a cheap and nasty fake leather material wrapped around a poorly constructed wooden frame that was shaped like a J so it could rock itself back and forth. Then in the head rest were two small speakers, a subwoofer in the back and a panel on the side to control volume and power. I don’t think it was made by anyone who was well known, in fact, I don’t think there were any specific gaming chair manufacturers out there at the time. Since then though you’ve had companies like Gioteck, i-eX and X-Rocker all making chairs aimed at gamers so they can play games in the ultimate comfort and style. As well as these big names though you also have Xenta, a company I knew little about before receiving their pedestal gaming chair, but that now I’ve grown to love.
I arrived home to find a big ass box and I started to get excited like a giddy little school girl as I had been expecting the Xenta Pedestal Gaming Chair to arrive for a few days by this point. Upon opening the box, were several bits and bobs that I could see I was going to have fun putting together, after all there is always that sense of accomplishment after you’ve built something yourself. First thing I saw was a well-wrapped metal cone shaped object, clearly the base to the gaming chair; it was powder coated black and was quite heavy in terms of its size but thinking about it, it would have to be to weigh down the chair so it doesn’t tip. Next I pulled out the two armrests which were shaped like small arches and had a nice soft (but a little thin) padding on top. Then came out the main artillery, the chair itself; it was connected via hinges so it can fold away for easy storage and all that keeps the two halves in place is a strap of velcro. Then came out the hydraulic pump which you just slot into the stand and place our chair upon; again this seemed well built and although pretty redundant as the adjustable height was a let down but I’ll mention that later on.
The rest of the bits and bobs that were found in the box were things such as screws and tools to put the chair together, along with a soft cushion to place behind your head which again was attached by velcro. Now the system of using velcro clearly works and having a flap to cover the seam where the two halves of the chair connect does make it a little more eye pleasing but I do wonder if it could be more secure. I mean going back to my childhood chair there was velcro on that as well, but there was also a latch system in place. You’d simply fold the chair and three metal holes would line up, then you’d poke through a pin which would help keep it together and make you feel more secure than a simple strap of velcro.
Anyway, once all of the bits and pieces had been put together (and the armrests changed around as I put them on the wrong way) it was all set up and looked pretty swanky. The main seat is curved to give it an ergonomic design and has two stripes down the centre to give the design a bit more of a stylish and defining look from its competitors. The armrests are made from a hard plastic with some slight padding on the top of them covered in the same material as the chair itself. Then on both sides of the headrest (attached by velcro), just above where your shoulder would sit are two speakers. These are covered in a mesh fabric which I didn’t think looked that great but probably let the sound come through well without much distortion and definitely would look better than having a cheap metal casing on.
Enough about how it looks though, let’s move on to more important areas such as comfort. The material used is well I don’t know the technical name but it’s a faux leather (as the posh people say), but it doesn’t look like your usual cheap kind it seems to have a more quality look and feel to it. This coats a solid frame which is padded all around from the sides to the front and back; there is also the head rest mentioned above because the padding on top is a little thin but where it matters on your tush is padded a lot better. All this padding makes for a comfortable experience for shorter gaming sessions but if on a prolonged one and you get hot, your back can become all sweaty just sitting there so maybe it’d be nice to have a different material choice when purchasing, like choose from faux leather or fabric. I think the addition of a footstool would be good as well, or even a collapsible footrest under your chair which would pop up by pulling a lever as I spent most of my time with my feet up on the table in front of me which meant I got told off for having my feet on furniture.
There were some added features on the chair to help adjust comfort levels as well that I feel I should mention, the main one being the height adjustment. Now on any normal office chair these make some difference, on the Xenta Pedestal Chair though it seems pretty pointless as the height difference can’t be more than an inch, it’s like it doesn’t even move really. The other ‘feature’ which I’m not sure if this is intended because it isn’t something noted on the manufacturers site, is that you can adjust the angle of the chair slightly so it slopes back a bit or forward a bit, this may just be a case of the chair not being fitted on correctly though, but it feels good to me so who knows. The headrest is adjustable too, it has a little slack on the velcro strap so you can put it in a position behind your head that suits you best.
As for the most important bit though, the speakers, well they’re pretty good. The chair is fitted with a 2.1 surround sound system which was better than my childhood gaming chair and boasted a few cool features. Firstly it allows you to plug numerous devices in such as your phone so you can enjoy music, as well as hooking your console to help immerse you into the game making it feel like you’re in the middle of a battlefield or behind the steering wheel of a car racing around Donnington Park. The quality isn’t as good as you’d probably get from a home theater system, but it is an improvement on the standard speakers fitted into your TV. The volume and bass are controlled by a panel on the side but even on the top end it didn’t blow me away, as Craig the boss says “it lacked bass in the place”. However when using my phone rather than my games console, the Audio FX app on my OnePlus One brought the chair to life just by sticking on a decent equaliser and switching on the Maxx Volume settings, unfortunately this wasn’t available on my PS4 or Xbox One.
The coolest feature of the speakers in this chair though were that if you had a friend with a 2nd chair and they brought it round, you can link both chairs together for a superior multiplayer gaming experience. That’s right, by connecting the two chairs together it allows both players to immerse themselves into the game and it begins to feel like you’re playing games in an arcade down by the sea front on your holidays. Play multiplayer with the sound plugged into your chair and your friend sitting on the couch though and you may get some complaints that they can’t hear the game sound that well, although you won’t notice because the speakers are either side of your head. So in times like this I’d suggest just playing the sound through your TV.
So is it worth getting compared to some of the alternatives on the market? Well it no doubt has a stylish design and a decent quality feel to it, and it’s much better than gaming chairs used to be. It’s also comfortable as well, although I prefer my i-eX gaming chair for comfort, so as I only have one Xenta Pedestal Chair when it comes to multiplayer I opt for the bean bag, if I had two then maybe things would be different. I would like to see some improvements such as a choice of materials for your chair as the faux leather left me hot and bothered. I’d also like to see a footstool included or some kind of collapsible footrest because that would definitely set this apart from other gaming chair manufacturers. Finally I’d like to see a hook on the side or a pouch where you can store your TV remote or hang your controller on the side when maybe using your console to watch Netflix. Still without those improvements this is still a good solid gaming chair which does the job it has set out to do.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.