Today, I would like to share with you my AKRacing Core LX Plus review, a mid-range gaming chair. Comfortable and practical, this chair will undoubtedly appeal to hardcore gamers for sessions lasting several hours. Its various features make it a highly modular chair, allowing you for example to adjust the inclination, the seat height or the armrests. In short, AKRacing offers a model that concentrates everything you would expect from a gaming chair at this price range.
At least on paper, let’s test it for real!
AKRacing Core LX Plus characteristics
Before discovering the details of the review, you can find a table summarizing the main features of the model below. The one I’m testing is in black (the most common of course!), but it also exists in black / purple and black / red.
|Weight: 22,2 kg (48.94 lb)|
|Height: from 46,5 to 56,5 cm ( 18,30″-22,24″)|
|Seat Width: 38 cm (14,96″)|
|User recommended height: between 167 and 200 cm (5’6″ to 6’6″)|
|User max weight: 150 kg (330 lb)|
|Inclination up to 180°|
|Class IV Piston|
|Comes with back and headrest cushions|
|5 years warranty on the seat and 10 years on the frame|
When discovering these specs, some things stand out, like the inclination position (max inclination of 180°) and the extended warranty. Another advantage is that the seat is aimed at a large number of users, where the recommended sizes are generally more restricted. At the same time, I am concerned about the width of the seat, which is not enormous, and the weight of the chair, which is rather light (22.2 kg) compared to the maximum weight it can support (150 kg).
Packaging and unboxing
As always, you receive a large box, but you can handle it alone without any trouble.
When opening, as usual, you will find all the different parts are protected by plastics and styrofoam. All the accessories, screws and bolts are housed in a separate box. It’s very easy to find your way around.
However, the whole thing lacks care: the parts are placed together, and some elements are not protected; for example, this is the case for the pistons and the covers.
Easy to assemble
The assembly instructions are very brief: basically, you are given diagrams without text. To save on costs, AKRacing prefers a single set of instructions: a universal language (images), whereas explanations with text would have required translations. But here’s the thing: diagrams are not always the most explicit…
Fortunately, the manufacturer has anticipated the move: at the end of the manual, a QR code you can scan transfers you to an assembly guide in your language (for me, it was directly in French anyway). It is much more explicit! Note that scanning with your phone camera does not work, you must use a QR code scanning app.
The number of steps is frightening: there are 18 steps in all! I told myself that I was going to spend a lot of time setting this chair up, but fortunately, the process is simply very detailed (there are 2 different diagrams describing the process to remove the screws on the left and then on the right for example). In fact, the assembly of the gaming chair follows the same steps as the other models.
You start by removing the screws from the backrest and then combine it with the seat and then put the screws back in place, a rather quick process.
Then we move on to the assembly of the mechanism, which will require you to put the chair in a specific position so that the mechanism does not slip. The manufacturer simply recommends putting the backrest on the floor, but this means that you must hold the mechanism with one hand while you place it and screw with the other hand. It’s not easy if you are alone! Personally, I therefore inclined the chair on the sofa (like a tepee), which offers a little more stability.
- Caution: When tightening the screws on the back mechanism, be careful not to make full rotations with the screwdriver or you will damage the plastic accordion tube. Make several halves / three quarters turns, and the job is done!
Finally, we finish with the installation of the piston and wheels, which relatively simple and easy to do.
In conclusion, it takes 20 to 30 minutes to assemble the chair if you have help. Alone, it took me 45 minutes; but this is good news, because it is indeed possible to assemble the gaming chair alone, without (too much) frustration.
What about design and manufacturing quality?
A quick word on the aesthetics: it’s a relatively “traditional” design in the world of the gaming chairs, taking it’s inspiration from bucket seats (This is where the name of the brand comes from, AK “Racing”!). The dynamic shape of its backrest, with its wonderful curves, is visually pleasing. The manufacturer combines straight and symmetrical lines, creating a great contrast. At the top of the backrest is the brand name, a classic choice. The two openings (designed to support the back cushion) give it a little more character, even though I personally am not a big fan of it. The plastic notches around it spoil the otherwise very stylish look of the seat.
Now I’ll talk about build quality. I’m a little doubtful about the fact the chair can bear 150 kg, but I am convinced by the strength of the different parts. The sturdiness of the mechanism and the steel base with its 5 wheels have me convinced for the price. On the coating aspect, the topstitching is of great quality: no threads sticking out, no tears can be seen, it’s perfect. The plastic parts are certainly not the most aesthetic, but they do not lack in durability.
A gaming chair with all the essential features
This is obviously a standard for a gaming chair: to be a versatile object, the multiple adjustments allow you to customize the seat, the backrest and the support. AK Racing’s Core LX Plus is no exception to the rule, even if some elements are clearly perfectible.
- The inclination of the chair, one of its most striking features
It is possible to adjust the inclination of the backrest between 90° and 180°. Yes, you heard me correctly: the AK Racing Core LX Plus offers a fully reclining position, as if you were in bed! For other modes, the manufacturer recommends 90° for work and play, 120° as “default” and 165° for a relaxed position. The tilt adjustment is easy and smooth, allowing you to set the desired position precisely. At 180°, I didn’t doubt for a second the sturdiness of the chair – a massive plus. For optimal comfort of use in this mode, however, it is preferable to combine the gaming chair with a footrest.
Small warning: the backrest movement (back to a 90° angle) is particularly quick and “violent” (even if it does not hurt, it is surprising!), so proceed with care.
- Seat adjustment
It is possible to adjust the height (87 cm as standard) to suit the best position for your size. Its width of 38 cm worried me a little, and I must admit that it is indeed quite limiting. For example, it is impossible to sit cross-legged because you are immediately hindered by the armrests. I also have big doubts about whether someone with a heavy build can feel perfectly at ease. If that’s the case you will have to choose an alternative with more generous seating, like the Secretlab Titan (the standard, here is the test in Softweave, or even the XL version).
- For the 3D armrests, the bare minimum
I expected nothing less for the price, but certainly expected a little more. Their plastic appearance and the lack of thickness makes them look a little cheap. They do offer decent arm support, but not necessarily good support. The lack of padding gives them a certain rigidity, not necessarily the most pleasant.
On the adjustment side, you can move the armrests from front to back, from left to right, and from top to bottom. But here again, the design similar to the Aerone Scarlet and is subject to the same criticism. Mainly: the left/right rotation is free (it cannot be activated by a button). So, if you suddenly move your elbow, or if you pull the chair towards you by the armrest, the armrest will immediately more, unadjusting itself. Moreover, the forward / backward adjustment is done using a notched system: you have to force it a little, and as far as I can tell, small jerks are not ideal for a precise adjustment. I am clearly more a fan of the sliding system, which is both fluid and intuitive; this is for example the case for the Secretlab Titan or the Noblechairs Icon.
Decent comfort despite disappointing cushions
Since this type of equipment is designed for intensive use, comfort is certainly the most important point.
Before going into detail, I would first like to underline AK Racing’s boldness with regard to the type of support. The seat is welcoming, and the support is indeed particularly soft, so you can curl up in it like in a cocoon. In the “relaxed” and “reclining” positions, the enveloping comfort is a real pleasure. I prefer firm seats (like the Titan from Secretlab and the XL 800 from Oraxeat), but I must admit that the softness of this seat had me convinced.
The backrest is also impressive: you can feel the ergonomic design, which has been completely studied for a perfect support of the spine. On the top of the backrest, on the other hand, the contact with the head is particularly “hard”.
Hence the point of the head cushion? Alas no, I can tell you straight out: the head cushion is disappointing. The padding is almost non-existent and only slightly counterbalances the stiffness of the cover at the top of the backrest. Frankly, both in look and feel, it reminds me of a pocket. I also have serious doubts about its longevity if it is used often; I suspect that it can deform quite easily over time.
Is it the same for the back cushion? For the back cushion, I am not as harsh, because it is more reliable with better padding. However, it seems useless to me and can even be a nuisance depending on the way it is placed. Personally, I recommend that you simply do without. In any case, the ergonomic design of the backrest is more than sufficient to support the lower back.
I finally have the impression that AK Racing wanted to enter the “gaming seat codes” at all costs, and the cushions are a great classic. Personally, I would have preferred that the manufacturer had done without this and reinvested in more generous padding for the armrests or at the top of the backrest.
My conclusion on the AKRacing Core LX Plus gaming chair
It’s certainly not THE perfect model, but this gaming chair is as a very good reference in the mid-range. A few downsides bother me on the ergonomic side: for example, the dispensable cushions and the overly rigid armrests and top of the backrest. It is therefore in direct competition with Secretlab and Noblechairs, but it is important to point out that the models of these brands are more expensive by about $50 to $100. If you can afford the difference in budget, I, therefore, recommend that you go to these brands preferably. On the other hand, if $350 is your max, then the Core LX Plus gaming chair from AK Racing is definitely a solid reference.
What I liked:
- The general manufacturing quality of the frame and the seat
- Relatively easy and quick assembly
- The soft seat, the back support
- The padding density; ideal comfort in all positions
- The generosity of the guarantee
What I disliked:
- Cushions, at best useless, at worst uncomfortable
- Limited seat width
- Rigid 3D armrests