The Razer Iskur X is the brand's second go at a gaming chair, this time sharing the philosophy of the company's budget line of peripherals - bearing the X moniker. It's a full $99/£99.99 cheaper than the original Razer Iskur model with a few concessions to keep the costs down. With those considerations in mind, does it have what it takes to be considered one of the best gaming chairs you can buy right now?
Razer Iskur X: Assembly
For a first-time premium gaming chair builder like myself, I found that the Iskur X was relatively painless to throw together - albeit for one particular difficulty early on. I'll cut to the chase, you're going to need at least two people to assemble the unit and this is because the backrest - which bolts directly onto the hinges via four long hex-head screws (tightened via a sturdy Allen wrench) - requires a decent amount of force to keep in place when lining everything up correctly.
Similarly, with the Iskur proper, the assembly instructions were provided on a thick, large laminated piece of card which was straightforward in nature and consequently very easy to understand, with detailed diagrams highlighting exactly the type of screws needed, which washer fits where, etc.
The chair itself comes well-wrapped in clear bags that are distinctly pre-categorized in the box. Overall, the full construction time totaled just over 45 minutes - and that includes the five or so that were spent agonizing over the backrest piece solo before getting some much-needed help. It should be noted, that while buried deep in its forums, Razer has provided a full step-by-step video guide that may prove useful to you if you get stuck.
Razer Iskur X: Design
Upon first glance, it's very unlikely that you would be able to tell any discernible difference between the two Razer gaming chair variants. Our review model came in the brand's iconic black/green color scheme made of synthetic leather - currently, the only option at the time of writing, and its aesthetics are by far the best thing about this chair in my opinion - with its sharp, angular edges, snakeskin pattern and aggressive racing style.
There is, however, one caveat as far as the visuals are concerned, and while there's no accounting for taste, I am personally not a fan of the stitched-in Razer slogan: 'By Gamers. For Gamers' that adorns the front of the seat itself. It's a bit on the gaudy side and detracts from the overall sleek and menacing figure it would otherwise cut. Fortunately, as this gaming chair is likely to be under a desk - catchphrase out of view 99.9% of the time, I think it hardly matters.
The embroidered emblem at the top of the backrest on the inside looks clean-cut in and of itself, and the company logo written on the back is unobtrusive and subtle enough to not be much of an issue. The best thing I can say about how it is put together is the stellar green stitching that accents every curve well, along with the carbon-fiber-inspired edge that lines the sides of the seat and backrest nicely.
Razer Iskur X: Comfort
I was initially worried that the Razer Iskur X would prove to be a little too hard upon the first inspection, but that anxiety quickly crept away when I began using it for work for days on end. While initially not the comfiest thing I've ever sat in, its hugging sides and, what Razer calls its 'high-density foam cushions became cozier the more time went on - to a point where sitting in anything else around the office felt like a genuine downgrade.
It's only when being sat in it can you understand where the pennies were saved in comparison to the original; as the Razer Iskur X model lacks the built-in sculped adjustable lumbar support - something that could be seen as a bit of a death knell in the eyes of a would-be buyer when considering that this chair retails for $399 / £399.99!
On that subject, if you've glanced at the product page, you'll notice the lack of any headrest or lumbar pillows included within that cost. You'd find chairs from rival brands usually include a headrest cushion as standard. Hell, most of the items on our cheap gaming chair deals have one too. As someone who has struggled with back pain, I personally found that this chair was accommodating enough to whatever upright or more slouched over seating positions I would take throughout my time in it, but it's definitely something to consider if you've struggled to get comfortable in chairs in the past.
As far as the ergonomics are concerned, it's worth bringing up the recommended height and weight limit of up to 6ft2 / 1.88m and 299lbs / 135.6kg. For the record, I stand at 6 feet tall and am approximately 185lbs - finding that the backrest supported my spine and shoulder blades efficiently, even if my head was left suspended in the air. If you happen to be a taller person - or have a larger frame - you may need to look elsewhere.
It gets a little tricky talking about legroom because - let's face it - heights don't really determine how long someone's legs are. On that wavelength, I found that I had more than enough space behind my knees to sit however I wanted without feeling restricted - though this was with the backrest brought as far up as it would go and at its tallest height.
Razer Iskur X: Performance
The other notable exemption from the Razer Iskur X - and by all means the lesser of the two - is the 2D armrests - meaning they can be adjusted by height and swivel slightly left or right with minimal force - as opposed to the 4D versions found on the Iskur standard - which can also be tilted up and down as well as forwards and backward. In my experience, I found that the armrests worked well enough for keeping my elbows in place when typing things out - so they very much did their job regardless.
It may seem a touch trivial, but the 6cm caster wheels proved themselves to be extraordinarily rigid, with no give even after well over a week of constant use. It didn't matter the surface we used it on - be it the thin office carpet or hardwood flooring throughout the building - we still needed to drag the chair around with more force than pretty much any other alternative we had to hand. If you're looking for a smooth, blissful glide between your desk and other areas of your living/bedroom this may not be what you're after.
Talking about stiffness, the lever to recline the chair back was - out of the box - something you had to fight with to get any joy out of, but this tribulation didn't last long with continued use. There were no problems at all with the gas-lifting mechanism to raise and lower the Iskur X - which has continued to work flawlessly. Also of note, the backrest can recline to 139 degrees, which is enough to slump back in, but don't expect to lay flat.
Razer Iskur X - should you buy it?
Let's get one thing straight about the Iskur X, it's still a remarkably comfortable gaming chair that both looks and feels exceptional - even if the corners cut by Razer to bring the asking price down aren't fully justifiable. If you're dead set on getting a member of Iskur line, for an extra $99/£99.99 it's a much safer bet to spend that little bit more to get the coveted lumbar support and more premium features as mentioned above.
For the MSRP of $399, however, that's where this chair becomes difficult to recommend for the money over something like the SecretLab Omega or Titan 2020 range which has those missing inclusions with some new tricks of their own. It's likely if you're a Razer fan that you've already made up your mind, and while it is expensive - if it's a price you can justify with all things considered - it's a solid chair that does the job well with only a few concessions.