Costing just $309, the AKRacing Core EX-Wide is among the cheapest gaming chairs I’ve tested, and while cost cutting is all too evident in several ways, there are some surprisingly good touches to this chair as well. The base of this chair is made from plastic but it actually looks pretty attractive in its matt black finish. The castors spin freely and have a large diameter too, so they roll well. However, the tilt system is of the basic variety. It does tilt back but can’t be locked into a reclined position.
It also pivots from a hinge at the back of this AKRacing chair, so you have to raise the front in order to tilt back – superior tilt systems, such as the one on the noblechairs Hero, hinge from the front and drop down to tilt. As a result, you can’t actually get the Core Series Ex-Wide to tilt back without putting your feet up on an object in front of you. The back does recline to be fully flat though.
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As its name suggests, this is an extra-wide chair, sporting a seat that’s 3.5cm wider than the regular AKRacing Core EX chair. However, unlike many other gaming chairs that have a more general small, medium, and large sizing scheme, here, the EX-Wide doesn’t also offer extra height, with its back measuring the same 83.2cm as the standard EX chair.
Comparing it with another large option, the noblechairs Hero, that chair’s back rises to 89cm, making it better proportioned overall for taller as well as larger users. Also expanding the appeal of the noblechairs Hero are its near-flat wings on the side of the seat.
These are low enough to allow you to stretch out your legs, sit cross-legged and just generally have room to move around. The EX-Wide, though, has fairly pronounced wings. With the extra width of the chair, there’s still ample room to sit wide-legged but it’s a little restrictive.
It’s a similar situation with the hip wings. They’re plenty wide enough – measuring 36cm at their narrowest point – but they’re also quite pronounced, so if you have a particularly wide body, you won’t comfortably be able to squeeze into the chair.
For lumbar and head support, AKRacing uses the typical cushions on elasticated straps system that I’ve seen on many other gaming chairs, and this setup is as mediocre as ever on this chair too. The head cushion is fine, although it’s not very adjustable and the elastic won’t last long, but the lumbar support cushion is only average.
It’s among the better-profiled cushions I’ve tested, with gentle slopes to its edges, but it’s still too hard and thick – while it’s very supportive, it rather digs into your back. The whole gaming chair industry needs to come up with a better system for lumbar support in this price bracket.
Thankfully, the seat cushion is actually among the best I’ve tried. It’s much more forgiving than the overly hard seats of some other gaming chairs I’ve recently tested, and the cushion drops off pleasantly at the front edge, so it doesn’t dig into your thighs.
AKRacing has equipped this chair with ‘3D’ armrests that slide forwards and back, twist left and right, and go up and down, but they can’t be slid in and out in order to place them closer or further from the body. Moreover, they don’t lock either, making it all too easy to knock them out of place.
AKRacing Core EX-Wide pros and cons
- Good seat padding
- Decent value
- Solid build quality
- Only wide, not tall
- Not all that comfortable
- Mediocre lumbar support
- Basic tilt system
AKRacing Core EX-Wide price
Price: $309 (£299).
AKRacing Core EX-Wide review conclusion
A relatively low price means you get a decent amount of gaming chair for the money here, especially if you’re after a larger chair. The pleasant seat cushion also offers better padding than many alternatives. However, the rather lackluster design, basic tilt system, and mediocre lumbar cushion system leaves me only marginally impressed.
If the AKRacing Core Ex-Wide isn’t right for your needs, take a look at our AKRacing Master Series Premium review, as this chair really impressed us. You can also read our full guide to getting a comfortable ergonomic setup, which includes help finding the most comfortable gaming chair.
A big basic gaming chair for an attractive price, but there’s not a lot to get excited about here.