All Racing Seats Are Bad and You Need This Chair Instead…
Firstly, I want to qualify this article by stating quite clearly that this is not a review nor an overview. I’ve not seen the Edge GX1 in the flesh and have no knowledge about the authenticity of the claims made by the company – that said, if it’s as good as it sounds then it might end up on mine and everyone else’s Christmas list.
It started with an email as these things so often do, usually a press release announcing a new product or service which we dutifully publish on behalf of the company involved in order to get the message out. This however was a little different. Instead of a scripted and usually clinical description of a product we got a personal message simply letting us know that the GX1 exists and asking if we would be interested in writing about it. Frankly that would normally be quite a chore, especially if we don’t know all that much about the product, but in this case we were sent the full reviewer guide with all the specs and info that we would need to be able to craft a suitable message for you, our audience.
So let me begin then with the first bit of info that grabbed my attention – it’s an ergonomic chair. I don’t mean it’s your standard 5-legged typist swivel chair with a tilting back, oh no, this is an ergo chair with the same degree of customisation and adjustment as something you might see from high-end makers such as Rohde & Grahl. And you would still only see it yourself after you get a Health and Safety assessment from your employer and your boss discovers that they’re the ones causing your bad back! Just take a look at the following slide and you’ll see the kind of thing I’m talking about…
The reason I was so attentive is simple; I already own an aforementioned R&G chair, a Duo Back 11, and quite frankly it’s the only chair in my house that I can sit in comfortably for more than 15 minutes as a result of a couple of problems with my spine. Even though I am the target audience for such furniture I don’t often see them advertised often and so having news of a new player in the market drop in my lap was very interesting to me on a personal level.
Hand-crafted in the UK
After a little more research it turns out that the Edge GX1, whilst being hand-crafted in South Wales, is quite favourably priced versus the established ergo competition and if the quality matches my expectations they should be able to make quite an impact into that segment. The downside is that that segment, as I alluded to earlier, is fairly small – quite simply, this type of chair is very rarely found outside of an office due to the sizeable investment involved, even the well-priced Edge GX1 weighs in at £899 if you include the headrest and further customisation increases the price.
Chartered Ergonomist and Human Factors Specialist Clyde Crawford heads up the ergonomic side of Edge Products ensuring that the levels of comfort and support available to users of the GX1 are appropriate to the needs of gamers. These needs are somewhat different to those of whom might normally be purchasing an ergo chair. Obviously there’s the ubiquitous need for support and comfort in the standard typist position that every user will need to adopt at some point, as well as locked or free movement in regard to leaning back with as little or as much resistance as is appropriate for your ideal comfort (and support) levels. However the makers of the GX1 have also identified the need to support a gamer in the ‘engaged’ position – namely when you’re frantically hunched forward over the keyboard often bashing buttons furiously while you try your best not to die.
Specifically Designed for Gamers
This gamer focus is something that’s sadly not been considered by R&G when they designed my chair, which is perfect for office based computer use but as soon as the gaming gets intense, there may as well not be a back rest at all.
And this is why Edge insist that the GX1 is not a competitor of products like the Duo Back 11 that I use, but instead should be replacing all of the racing seats out there in the wild. This is quite a bold move considering almost everything I’ve said so far would suggest that the GX1 would be quite at home in an office or study. Instead Edge are strongly pushing the rather obvious notion that gamers are not racing drivers! They are not subject to tremendous G-forces as they race around a track made of pixels instead of tarmac. So for extended use, a chair that allows a lot of freedom for movement as you follow your car’s path on the screen ahead, as well as just regular movement in general, is substantially more healthy than being immobilised in a carbon fibre bucket; and if the levels of support and comfort extend to all of the postures that gamers’ contort themselves into, it’s hard to argue against Edge’s logic.
Products that are heavily focused on ergonomics are notoriously expensive though, and if you’re simply looking for ‘a new chair’ you’re probably going to spend less than £200 and consider that to be a lot of cash to part with. Unfortunately, Edge Products face an uphill battle here; it’s going to be hard to convince someone who’s just spent £400-£450 on a top-of-the-range premium gaming racing seat that not only did they make the wrong purchasing decision, but that they actually need to spend twice as much in order to get it right. That is of course unless that restrictive bucket seat starts causing back trouble and the gamer them self starts looking for ergonomic substance over style. Actually, forget that last part, it’s impossible to argue that the Edge GX1 is anything but stylish!
We’re still discussing the possibility of organising a sample for the staff here at Play3r to test – and whether that test would be better when compared against a fully fledged ergo chair or to highlight all the negative points surrounding bucket racing seats that Edge have identified. I know that there is a market for something like the GX1 because I’m their target buyer! A chair that can not only support people with existing health concerns but also prevent the onset of other posture-related problems and offer that support throughout the day while working as well as through the night while gaming is going to sound like heaven to an admittedly small pool of gamers. What remains to be seen is just how well Edge can pull off this combo and, in the long run, how well they can educate users about the problems they’ve identified surrounding racing style chairs and the benefits of their solution. Only then, in my opinion, will everyday gamers even consider spending this much on ‘a new chair’.
Anyway, that’s how my evening has been spent – dreaming about new furniture instead of ‘proper tech’, how about yours? Let me know if you think that Edge have gone and over-engineered (and overpriced) a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. Have they gone for the wrong target market after all and should they be offering beautiful and comfortable office furniture to help pain sufferers get through the working day before tagging on the gaming aspect of their design? Or are you a gamer in a bucket seat regretting your purchase, or a pain sufferer, and you’re now looking at the GX1 with envy?
Just to round thing off, here’s what Edge Products have to say themselves with a little help from YouTuber LTZonda.
Like I said at that start, I’ve not seen the chair in question let alone tried it out, but being a pain sufferer myself I’m dying to know if it’s as good as they say.