Are you sitting comfortably? Maybe you are. But you could always be sitting more comfortably. And not only that, you could also be sitting in a way that isn’t going to give you the nightmare posture and spine of an 87 year-old woman by the time you’re in your early 40s. Which is where the EDGE GX1 gaming chair is comes in; offering an alternative to the ubiquitous racing seat gamer aesthetic with an ergonomic bent.
The ~£900, hand-crafted EDGE GX1 gaming chair has been created specifically to support all gaming styles, whether you’re so laid back you’re chest is never free of a light dusting of Cheetos, or pitched so far forward your monitor has grease spots where your nose brushes the screen.
With the EDGE acronym standing for Ergonomically Designed Gaming Equipment, the GX1 has apparently been created to “enhance gamers’ performance, health, and wellbeing.” Which is a lofty goal, though considering the sticker price I’d like it to be picking the perfect stocks for my portfolio and maybe offering a nice massage too.
The main contention around the GX1 is that the current racing seat standard isn’t a great choice for a gaming chair. The whole design of the racing seat has been created specifically to keep the driver in one position, making sure that when the car is drifting around a sharp corner the driver remains stationary. While that’s great for when you’re hurtling along the tarmac, as thousands of tiny explosions help spin your wheels, it’s not so hot for avoiding repeated back pain.
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As gamers, tethering ourselves to our PCs often for hours at a time, we need support but also a chair that doesn’t restrict our movements. Not only does the bucket seat design force your legs together but EDGE contends that the shoulder supports of standard gaming chairs can also restrict arm movements to the detriment of your gaming prowess.
The GX1, however, has been designed with an open seat, allowing you to sit all weird and cross-legged – as I do – and ditches the shoulder supports normally sprouting like wings from most other chairs. The optional headrest has also been created to cradle your bonce and support your neck at the same time by being fully adjustable.
You might also notice that there’s no obvious lumbar support. It does exist but has been built into the GX1 rather than serving as a floating extra cushion, and is a little weird. It’s weird because the lumbar support is inflatable. Yes, there’s a little hand pump which you stow under the seat and squeeze to inflate to fit your ever-arching spine.
The rest of the chair is almost endlessly adjustable too. EDGE has highlighted three main seating positions – ‘relaxed’ and leaning back into the chair, ‘engaged’ and leaning forward, and ‘upright,’ which is essentially just sitting up straight. Depending on which of those you find yourself in the most you can adjust the GX1 to fit using the myriad control levers and switches at your disposal.
That’s pretty standard but the GX1 also offers a ‘gravity-driven free-float feature’ which means that you don’t have to have anything locked in place leaving you free to transition between relaxed and engaged without having to touch a single control. That’s a laudable feature in principle, but in practice meant I ended up flailing around in my seat unable to find a position that was either permanent or comfortable.
Though I did entertain myself for an afternoon getting random members of the PCGN team to sit down on the GX1, watching them struggle to a comfortable sitting position and/or stop themselves falling to the floor. We have fun here…
Once locked in position though I found the EDGE GX1 an immensely comfortable gaming seat. The Noblechairs I usually park my behind on in the office is a quality chair, but the way I sit, often crossing my legs beneath me, means I’ve worn out a chunk from one side of the bucket seat where my foot ends up resting. With the flatter seat of the GX1, however, that won’t happen, and it actually allows me to sit that way comfortably.
The wide, flat seat, supportive back, and adjustable headrest all play into the comfort of the GX1, and the hand-crafted nature of it makes it seem a very well put together peripheral. Which is what you’d hope given the uncomfortably high price tag. EDGE does say that it will be creating a lower-spec design – though with the same core ideals – for a more price-conscious crowd, but right now the GX1 is the price of some whole PCs.
The most basic version, sans headrest, comes in at £810, while if you want all the extras – such as hard floor castors and a footrest – the EDGE GX1 can cost up to £1,037. EDGE will argue that the materials it uses are top-class, from the breathable covering to the internal padding, and that being handmade in Britain gives it a certain luxury feel.
But personally I still find it a tough case to argue for. The £270 Noblechairs seat I use in the office I don’t find as comfortable as the GX1, but the £360 EWin XL I use at home caters for both my ultrawide posterior as well as my penchant for sitting crosslegged. But even then that feels like a huge amount of money to drop on a chair for your gaming PC.
I’m hopeful EDGE’s lower-priced alternative does make an appearance this year, as I’m totally down for the racing seat aesthetic to be driven off the road, but it’s going to need to hit a genuinely competitive price point to be able to drive home the design’s benefits. At between £800 and £1,000, however, I can’t in all good conscience recommend the GX1 despite how comfortably it cradles my butt or how lovely the stitching is. No chair can really be worth that much, surely?