We’ve become used to gaming chairs conforming to a formula – often made in the same factory from the same core components, and offering variations on a rather samey racing seat style, it’s seldom we see a truly new look. Thermaltake has managed just that, though, with its Argent E700.
A mightily expensive chair, the E700 tries to justify its price with a premium Studio F.A. Porsche design, which features a curved seat and base that’s somewhat reminiscent of the famous Eames lounge chair. Here, though, instead of a bent plywood frame, this seat uses a thick plastic that has a superb-quality painted finish that’s every bit the rival to a premium car paint job, with nine different color options available (some colors are currently discounted). It’s tough too – it should shrug off any knocks if you carry it up a flight of stairs.
The five castors aren’t the smoothest rolling we’ve ever encountered but their large diameter provides a relatively easy ride over even rough carpet.
Nestled in the aforementioned plastic sections are real leather-covered padded sections that, thanks to the high-sided seat and gently curved sides of the back section, envelope you in a rather comforting way. Sadly, while the leather is wipe-clean and meticulously stitched, the padding isn’t all that soft. The contouring doesn’t particularly support your lower back either, and there’s no adjustable lumbar support.
A couple of plus points are that the seat padding doesn’t raise at the front edge, so it doesn’t dig into the underside of your thighs. Also, the side wings of the seat’s back don’t push your shoulders forward, rounding your back. Both are issues that have affected several gaming chairs we’ve previously tested.
A hole in the upper middle of the back accommodates a splendid metal Thermaltake logo. However, the edges of this hole can sometimes be felt on your back – depending on your height and sitting position – which can be just a touch irritating. More accomplished is the headrest, the padding of which slides up and down and, while providing no neck support, sits at just the right angle to support your head both when the seat is upright or reclined.
Speaking of which, the back of the seat can tilt to around a 30-degree angle, but the seat base doesn’t tilt with it, so it doesn’t offer the effortless recline of some premium office chairs. The back padding also creaks quite a bit when reclined. A polished, solid-metal lever on the left side locks the seat back in position when pulled out and allows the back to recline when pushed in, while another lever on the right side activates the gas-lift height adjust system.
Meanwhile, the lift stem and base are finished in a polished metal that looks just as premium as the rest of the chair. Then, sprouting from the curved sides of the seat cushion are the armrests, which offer front-to-back, side-to-side, twist and height adjustment.
The pads are disappointingly hard, though, as is the case with most gaming chairs. Even more disappointingly, the rests slide and twist far too easily, so they move all over the place when you get up and place your hands on them for support. They’re an oddly cheap-feeling addition to this otherwise well-built chair.
Thermaltake Argent E700 pros and cons
- Striking design
- Fantastic build quality
- Decent overall comfort
- Basic tilt system
- Rather hard padding
- Wobbly armrests
- Hugely expensive
Thermaltake Argent E700 price
Price: Expect to pay £800-£1300 GBP depending on color option
Thermaltake Argent E700 review conclusion
The Thermaltake Argent E700 is a wonderfully stylish gaming chair, and the vast majority of it is built to a superb standard. It’s largely comfortable too, with a good headrest and firm but supportive padding. If you want a chair to truly make a statement, it certainly delivers.
However, ergonomically it’s far from a slam dunk, which is a problem at this sky-high price. The armrests are also too wobbly, the padding a touch too firm and there’s no real lower back support, plus there isn’t a full seat-and-back recline system.
Thermaltake Argent E700 rating
The E700 certainly is far from style over substance, but it doesn’t deliver quite the comfort or utility you expect for its sky high price.