Difference between an expensive gaming chair and a cheaper one

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After two and a half years uaing a DXRacer Formula Series, the PU leather began to deteriorate and the seat padding flattened out. Therefore I took the plunge and invested $350+ into a DXRacer Drifting Series. Check out this blog post, which introduced my new Drifting Series chair while explaining the durability of gaming chairs in general. 

Sadly, after three glorious months of high-end comfort, I was invited to move from my base in Cambodia over to Vietnam. Sadly, my DXRacer Drifting Series could not come with with. A private shipping company quoted me $1800 to send the chair over the border. Disassembling and taking it over the border myself was also not possible (Vietnam disallows furniture shipping without extensive permits). 

I had no choice but to sell it. Given that Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in Asia, I quickly gave up trying to get a fair price for my chair. Like giving away a beloved pet, I instead concentrated on finding a good home for my beauty. Ultimate, I gave it away for $100 to a poor student - my loss was his gain. 

Selling my DXRacer

This lucky fella got an almost new DXRacer Drifting Series for $100

Downgrading to a cheaper chair

I spent a week in Vietnam using a cheap office chair. Predictably, my back locked up, my neck and shoulders were racked with pain and I was unable to sit for more than 20 minutes at a time. 

In Vietnam, there are a huge range of top models on offer, including Noblechairs, Anda Seat chairs, DXRacers and more. However, given that I'd paid so much for my DXRacer, I decided to go low-end, opting for an Anda Series Assassin for around $220 USD. Overall, it's a fantastic chair- very comfortable with lots of adjustment options and excellent back support. With a gaming chair, my work performance skyrockets, so it was well worth the investment. 

However, after a few weeks some key differences emerged. Using my experiences with a DXRacer vs. a low-priced Anda Seat, this article breaks down the key differences between expensive luxury gaming chairs, and cheap budget priced ones. 

Differences between expensive and cheap gaming chairs

Luxuruy gaming chair compared to budget gaming chair

Comparing an expensive DXRacer Drifting Series to a cheaper Anda Seat Assassin

Because of high import taxes, my DXRacer D-Series purchased in Cambodia cost USD $390. In Vietnam, my Anda Seat Assassin Series cost the equivalent of USD$220.

As the image shows, both chairs are really good looking. However, if you look closely at the seat, the DXRacer has much more substantial padding. 

Pros and cons of a DXRacer D-Series

DXRacer Drifting Series in home office

The D-Series is a stunning chair with dense padding and a very luxurious feel

The DXRacer Drifting Series is a gaming chair designed for office workers. It's a very snug fit with no room to move your legs - it feels like strapping into a racing car cockpit. 

The thing that most stood out about this model was the padding - very tightly packed under the upholstery, it felt very stiff when first assembled.

Indeed, breaking in this chair took more than a week or painful siting. After a week, my body was imprinted into the foam enough that the chair took on my body shape. After that, my sitting experience was luxurious. Sitting for long hours of work was a breeze - the Drifting Series has excellent ergonomics. 

There were just a couple of downsides. First, this model is so beautiful that it felt fragile. The tiniest drop of water spilled onto the seat would make me panic. I stopped eating while sat in the chair for fear of staining it. Even though the PVC upholstery is waterproof and stainproof, it felt very delicate. 

The other downside had to do with the armrests - DXRacer models only offer 2D adjustability (armrests can adjust and and down; forwards and backwards). However, ignorance is bliss - I didn't really comprehend to joy of 4D adjustable armrests until I bought my Anda Series model.  

Pros

  • Stunning good looks
  • Very thick, dense padding that takes to the shape of your body
  • Excellent back support for long hours of working
  • Very snug fit locks you into a perfect position for upright working

Cons

  • Because its so beautiful, it feels really delicate (even though it's built like a tank)
  • The 2D adjustable armrests are limiting

Pros and cons of an Anda Seat Assassin Series

Home office with Anda Seat Assassin Series chair

My new Assassin Series chair in my Saigon home office

ChairsFX defines budget gaming chairs as those costing less than $200. The Anda Seat Assassin costs slightly more than that (USD $220 retail price in Vietnam). 

As a semi-budget chair, it's got an impressive list of features: 

  • Deep recline to 160°
  • Ultra durable PVC leather upholstery
  • 4D adjustable armrests (only available on Asian models, apparently)

It's a comfortable chair with a decent feel,although the padding is much less substantial than the DXRacer D-Series. 

Anda Seat padding

The Assassin Series is less densely padded than the DXRacer

While the looser padding is an aesthetic negative, the Assassin Series took just a few days to break in - I find it just as comfortable as my DXRacer D-Series. 

However, while the DXRacer only came with 2D adjustable armrests, my Assassin Series came with 4D adjustable - the move up and down; left and right; forwards and backwards; and even diagonally!

4D adjustable armrests

4D adjustable armrests can easily be positioned to your exact preferences

While my DXRacer was so beautiful that it felt delicate, the Anda Seat Assassin Series feels like a rugged tank. Water spills have no effect:

Water spill on PVC leather

The Assassin's upholstery feels incredibly rugged and durable

Overall, the Assassin is a solid gaming chair that I don't regret buying. That said, it doesn't come close to matching the luxuious feel of the DXRacer.

Pros

  • Good looking chair
  • 4D adjustable armrests are very convenient
  • Solid comfort and excellent back support

Cons

  • Less dense padding gives this chair a cheap look, compared to the luxurious DXRacer
  • While the whole chair is solid, it feels significantly less luxurious than a DXRacer

Conclusion

If you browse our review of the best budget chairs, you'll notice many of the recommended models boast extra features like retractable footrests, Bluetooth speakers and in some cases even 4D adjustable armrests. Conversely, many of our luxury models don't have any noteworthy features. DXRacers, for example, come with only with 2D adjustable armrests. 

This guide shows the biggest difference between premium and budget chairs - the upholstery. Premium chairs are more densely padded, which will give better back support and a more luxurious feel. 

On the other hand, budget models (like my Anda Seat Assasin Series) will be adequately upholstered. You can expect a similar level of back support, but with less padding and thus a less luxurious feel. 

In hindsight, there is plenty to love about both my old DXRacer Drifting Series and also my Anda Seat Assassin Series. Both provide great back support for long hours of working. The DXRacer was better looking and more comfortable. The Anda Seat is less densely padding and reasonably comfortable. I love the 4D adjustable armrests on the Assassin Series, but otherwise would prefer to to have kept my DXRacer. In summary:

  • Buy a premium gaming chair: if you want the most luxurious upholstery and superior comfort
  • Buy a budget gaming chair: if you don't mind a more basic seat and prefer to have fancy features rather than plush seating