Some links may be affiliate links. We may get paid if you buy something or take an action after clicking one of these. See our Affiliate Disclosure Declaration for details.

AKRacing Core Series EX review: rugged gaming office chair

The AKRacing gaming chair brand has been in business since 2008. For over a decade, its Core Series EX collection has been one of its most popular. These are fabric-upholstered gaming chairs with good adjustability and incredible durability. Unlike racing-style chairs, these deliver subdued office-style aesthetics for professional desk workers. If you’re not a gamer but need back support, this Core Series EX review presents a great gaming office option.

Core Series EX gaming chair review
The Core EX collection has been updated for 2021 with three new designs.

In recent years, a growing number of people have turned on to the benefits of fabric gaming chairs. Like all gaming chairs, these support good posture for long sitting periods.

But unlike PU leather chairs, fabric versions deliver a softer and more breathable sitting experience. In 2021, the Core Series EX ranks as the 6th best fabric gaming chair on the market.

Core Series EX breathable fabric upholstery

Higher-ranked fabric chairs offer slightly better adjustability. Even so, only a few match up to the Core EX collection’s durability or value for money.

Core Series EX from AKRacing $359

You can also buy the Core Series EX gaming chair from Amazon for $288.71

AKRacing Core Series EX review

The AKRacing Core Series EX is a mid-range fabric gaming office chair. Compared to cheaper chairs, it offers a longer warranty and better armrest adjustability.

But compared to high-end pro esports chairs, the Core Series EX cuts back on a few features. For one thing, you only get 3D armrests instead of 4D ones. For another, you can rock the Core EX and adjust rocking tension, but you can’t lock the seat at angles.

Another key cutback is the amount of padding. The Core Series EX has 70% less padding than AKRacing’s flagship Master Series Pro.

Core Series EX Features

The AKRacing Core Series EX gives you a fabric cover, a solid build, and decent features. It’s more luxurious than a cheap gaming chair, but not as much as a premium one. Here are the highlights:

Breathable Fabric

All Core Ex models come upholstered in 100% polyester fabric on the front and back. Compared to PU leather, this material is softer, more breathable, and more durable.

AKRacing Core Series EX review image

By the end of the 5-year warranty period, an AKRacing leather model will show signs of degradation. In comparison, unless stained, a Core EX model will still look like new.

Semi-firm padding

Many gaming chair brands like Secretlab come with ultra-high density foam. In contrast, Core Series EX padding comes with a moderate foam density of 55 kg/m³. Notably, the Core Ex has seventy percent less padding than AKRacing’s flagship Master Series Pro.

Core Series foam padding
This chair’s padding is moderately firmn, but not very thick.

This configuration delivers steady, comfortable support. The mid-range density gives a hint of pliability, while the thinness against the steel frame brings consistency.

AKRacing mesh fabric chair
The Core EX has very firm padding with less pliancy than luxury chairs.

On the downside, sitting in a Core Ex is less plush than sitting in a Master Series Pro. Instead of being blown away by luxurious comfort, expect to feel pleasantly satisfied.

Adjustable features

The adjustability of the Core Series EX is decent. You get 3D armrests and a deep recline to 180°. You can also rock the chair and adjust rocking tension. But you can’t angle and lock the seat like you can with pro-quality chairs.

In a corporate setting, these features would make Core EX standout chairs. But among savvy esports pros, Core EX chairs do the job with no frills.

Summary of Core Series EX features

  • Functionality: 3D adjustable armrests; recline to 180°; tilt tension & rocking.
  • Comfort: cold cure foam padding guaranteed to retain shape and density for five years.
  • Upholstery: 100% polyester mesh fabric with colored accent stitching.
  • Support: steel frame; metal base finished in glossy black; class 4 gas lift; 2.5″ casters.
  • Warranty: 5-year warranty on parts, 10-year warranty on the steel frame.

Core Series EX from AKRacing $359

You can also buy the Core Series EX gaming chair from Amazon for $288.71

Sizing

The Core Series EX comes in two sizes. The standard-sized model has slim-fitting dimensions with a low seat height range. That makes it a good option for smaller users with slim figures.

AKRacing Core EX-Wide
The Core EX Wide adds an extra 2 inches of seat width for thicker sizes.

There’s also a Core EX-Wide edition. It has similar dimensions as the standard version, with around two inches of extra seat width. Short users with thick legs or wider hips can consider the Core EX-Wide.

 Core EXCore EX-Wide
Seat Size15.5" (W) x 19.75" (D)17.3" (W) x 19.75" (D)
Backrest Size21.25 (W) x 32.75" (H)22.6 (W) x 32.75" (H)
Seat Height13.75-17.25"13.75-17.25"
Size Rating5'3" to 6'3"; 250 pounds5'4" to 6'4"; 290 pounds

Core EX-Wide from AKRacing.com $399

The Core EX-Wide is also available from Amazon for $301.20.

Core EX Style Options

One of our biggest complaints with the Core Series EX in recent years has been the lack of development. For almost a decade, the collection included the same five chair models.

Core Series EX designs
There are five classic Core Series EX designs.

It’s an attractive set of chairs, with enough variety to suit all tastes. Even so, they’re all older designs, without any signs of development.

Core Series EX from AKRacing $359

You can also buy the Core Series EX gaming chair from Amazon for $288.71

That has finally changed. In mid-2021, AKRacing released a trio of Core Series SE chairs. These have the same features and dimensions as the classic models, with a design twist.

Core Series SE gaming chairs
There are three new Core EX SE edition chairs in the 2021 collection.

All SE chairs come with fabric upholstery and PU leather color accents. On the black model, the accents are PVC Carbon Fiber leather. As well, all SE editions come with a new extra-large headrest pillow.

Beyond these differences, SE editions are also a bit more expensive. In the AKRacing store, they’re priced $20 higher than classic edition models.

Core EX SE from AKRacing.com $379

The Core EX SE is also available from Amazon for $349.00.

AKRacing Warranty

All AKRacing chairs come with an industry-leading 5+10 warranty. That means five years on parts, plus ten years on the frame.

AKRacing steel frame
AKRacing chairs come with the best wraanty protection in the industry.

Over the years, the reliability of this warranty has made AKRAcing synonymous with long-term reliability. Most who buy a Core Series EX can count on a half-decade of full-time sitting support.

AKRacing Core Series mesh fabric
Mesh fabric is breathable and durable. (Image: akracing.com)

Compared with AKRacing’s PU leather chairs, the Core EX fabric upholstery is also a lot more durable. Thus, even after the warranty expires, you can expect your chair to look almost like new.

Core Series EX Alternatives

The Core Series EX is a compact fabric gaming chair with semi-pro features. For a full list of alternatives, check our review of the Best Fabric Gaming Chairs.

Here are three models from that list that are the best alternatives to the Core EX:

Secretlab Omega

Secretlab is one of the few gaming chair brands on the market that matches AKRacing’s 5-year warranty. Beyond that similarity, Secretlab gaming chairs come equipped with better features and a wider array of styles.

Secretlab Omega Softweave collection
Omega Softweave chairs come in four different styles.

The Secretlab Omega is its small-sized chair. It has similar dimensions as the Core Series EX, but superior features. These include 4D armrests, a multifunction tilt-lock, and forward-leaning support.

The Omega comes in four Softweave fabric designs. If you want more luxury than what the Core EX offers, this should be your first choice.

Omega Softweave from Secretlab $379

Learn more in this Secretlab Softweave Gaming Chairs Review.

GTRacing Ace M1 Fabric Edition

GTRacing specializes in reverse-engineering popular gaming chairs into cheaper versions. Its Ace M1 fabric gaming chair is a cheaper version of the Secretlab Omega. Both models come with pro ergonomic features and a 5-year warranty.

GTRacing fabric gaming chair
GTRacing Ace M1 fabric edition gaming chair.

Compared with the Core Series EX, the Ace M1 has better features and a lower price. If you don’t mind buying as knockoff, consider this model. If you prefer a genuine original, the Core EX is the better choice.

Ace M1 Fabric Edition from GTRacing $269.99

To learn more, check out this Ace M1 Gaming Chair Review.

E-Win Champion Series CPG Fabric Chair

Even though E-Win isn’t as famous as AKRaicng, its chairs offer much better value for money. As an example, the E-Win Champion Series CPG fabric gaming chair comes stacked with impressive features.

Champion Series fabric upholstery colors

For one thing, these chairs come with flat, extra-wide seats and support for 400 pounds. Second, all come with better features adjustable than the Core EX. Third, these models are a lot cheaper. Fouth, using the coupon code ChairsFX makes them even 20% cheaper!

CPG Fabric Edition from E-Win $247 $309

To learn more, check out this Champion Series CPG Fabric Chair Review.

Conclusion

AKRacing Core Series EX gaming chairs are soft, breathable, comfortable, and durable. They come with lesser features than premium gaming chairs, but better features than basic ones.

Both gamers and desk workers will find solid but not spectacular support in these chairs. Over full-time sitting hours, expect solid comfort with enough adjustability to keep yourself comfortable.


Pros

  • Soft, breathable, high-quality fabric upholstery
  • 3D armrests
  • 5-year warranty

Cons

  • Not as adjustable as competing chairs
  • More expensive than competitors with better features


The biggest downside is that many cheaper chairs offer better ergonomic features. Even so, few competitors have the history or the proven reliability that AKRacing does.

AKRacing Core Series EX chair review
The Core Series EX is a mesh fabric chair that comes in five distinct styles.

In that sense, if you’re looking for rock-solid reliability from an ergonomic desk chair, the Core EX is a solid option.

Core Series EX from AKRacing $359

You can also buy the Core Series EX gaming chair from Amazon for $288.71