Gamers, streamers, developers and creative professionals, and even live casino players, spend a lot of their lives sat down, long-term. This is a nightmare in terms of health, with people within these professions frequently experiencing back and leg pain. Most desk chairs and executive chairs don’t provide the support we need when sitting for long periods of time. But now, there is finally a product on the market that suits our needs whilst not compromising on mobility. Enter the EDGE GX1, a product from EDGE; a new, innovative British manufacturer. The GX1 was a European Hardware Awards 2019 finalist for Best Gaming Chair.
When I ordered my GX1, I was told that Clyde Crawford, the Technical Director of EDGE, would be delivering the chair and getting me set up. Sure enough, 10 days following my order, Clyde arrived on my doorstep, chair in-hand, having driven up all the way from Cardiff to Hoylake to be there for 10.35 a.m. That’s dedication! Lovely chap too.
The setup took literally ten seconds after taking the chair out of the box. Clyde put the seat itself on top of the gas stem and it slotted them together with a satisfying click. No tools were necessary, no manual required, no time wasted.
Clyde’s demonstration was informative, friendly, and his little bits of advice and anecdotes on real-world use were fascinating to me as he’s a Chartered Ergonomist who understands how people work at a desk, as well as how they should be working within realistic expectations.
My EDGE GX1 chair is what EDGE refer to as their “stealth” model, which is as sexy as it sounds. Whilst the other colours in the range are very nice (your typical gamer-oriented fare of RGB; red, green, and blue), for me, the black fabric with red stitching just looked beautifully slick and professional, perfect for a studio or office environment. With that said, I would absolutely consider a second chair in another colour to sit in front of the desk in as they’re brilliant-looking.
Constructing your chair
When you head to the product page to buy the chair, you are face with several customization options. In terms of stitching colours, I chose red, but EDGE also offers green, blue and black. You have a choice of backrest colours and headrest colours which are red, green, blue, and black. You can also choose to have no headrest, but I wholly recommend having one, as does Clyde. It transforms the experience. The headrest has an indentation that’s designed to hold the base of your skull for maximum comfortability and support.
You also have the option of hard floor or soft floor castors. I opted for EDGE’s soft floor castors to reduce noise whilst moving across the industrial carpet tiles in my studio. You can choose between a black composite or silver aluminium base. The footrest accessory is optional, but based on my experience, I would recommend having one. The height and tilt of the footrest is easily adjustable. EDGE offers standard, small and large seat sizes. Despite being around 6’3”, I opted for the Standard size as I’m not always the one sitting at my desk. Clyde said it was absolutely fine, and I’d agree.
I struggle with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome daily, and after just one day, I had already seen an improvement in my quality of life. For the first time in a decade, I’d come away from nine hours of work at my desk without any aches or pains. I frequently suffer with kidney pain as part of my condition. The GX1 is contoured to support your kidneys, and my kidney pain has been significantly reduced. I had no idea how much my previous chair was contributing to that from long periods of sitting and I’m really excited to see how I feel as time goes by.
The back of the GX1 is tapered as it ascends, allowing the user’s shoulders to move freely. This is especially important for gamers, as well as anybody like myself who needs unrestricted movement for playing instruments and leaning over towards gear. The seat back is on a seven-point ratcheting mechanism, allowing for seven different adjustable heights. Should you want to return it to the initial position, you simply lift it to the highest point and then return it to the starting position. If you’re not sure about your desired height, lift the back one notch up at a time to find a comfortable fit.
As I’m quite tall, I find that the average chair doesn’t offer anywhere near enough support under my legs, or, contrastingly, furniture designers that try to cater to taller demographics in Scandinavian countries frequently have the seat come too far behind the knee, reducing circulation and leading to pins and needles after very little use. The GX1 however allows an impressive 65mm of travel on the seat depth mechanism, which really floored me as it was demonstrated.
There are two badges on the chair, which are understated, tasteful, and in no way screaming “gamer”. The design of the chair is sleek and modern and looks stylish.
Aesthetically, I was really surprised by how slimline and how small a footprint the GX1 has versus the typically bulky gaming chairs that competitors offer. My immediate reaction to the GX1’s appearance was that it looked futuristic, and almost a little alien, because I hadn’t seen anybody approach a chair quite like this before. You could put this on a film set for a spaceship and it’d look quite the part.
Unlike a lot of other supposedly high-end gaming chairs on the market, the padding itself is ridiculously good. Competing products are mass-manufactured in China and frequently feature newspaper and cardboard for their backs, which can often be uncomfortable.
The GX1 features a hardboard base with a foam layer, a memory foam layer and is covered with a fabric blend. It also features a hardboard back with a foam layer, a memory foam layer and is covered with a fabric blend.
Fabric blend can be wiped clean, so you don’t have to worry about it getting dirty. It’s a breathable, durable fabric; better than leather in my opinion.
Upon first sitting on the chair, the first thing you’ll notice is how comfortable and well-padded the seat itself is. The second thing you’ll notice is how incredibly smooth the rotation and tilt is, it’s unlike anything else I’ve ever tried. Thirdly, if you’ve got it set for dynamic movement, you’ll notice how the chair follows your movement beginning at the seat, to the backrest to the head support, this is thanks to the unique asynchronous gravity driven tilt mechanism.
Whilst sat at my desk in the studio, I have to lean over a considerable amount of space to operate the equipment in the 19” rack spaces of my Massive Furniture Design ML-01 Swan desk. If the under-desk tray is extended so I can operate my Komplete Kontrol MK2 and Maschine MK3 during composition, there’s a whopping x distance between me and the rack-mounted gear. The GX1’s negative tilt allows me to go between leaning into the controllers on the tray to being able to lean further towards the rack gear and happily turn knobs and press switches without any strain or discomfort. Prior to the GX1, I was having to close the under-desk tray half-way to even come close to being able to comfortably reach the rackmounted gear without straining my back. The chair itself is almost always silent in movement, which is ever-so important for a studio environment.
This is the rig I’ve dreamed of. In real-world use, it’s suitable for both lounging and performing tasks, and is instantly switchable thanks to the asynchronous gravity tilt mechanism; it just works.
Operating the chair
The EDGE GX1 is very easy to operate once you know what the chair is capable of doing. You don’t even need to reference the guide; it just becomes second nature.
Holding down the seat depth level on the rear left of the chair allows you to slide it forward or back, and as it’s tensioned, if you want to return it to the starting point, you simply take your weight off of it.
The hand-operated inflatable lumbar support is similar in principle to a blood pressure gauge. You simply squeeze the bulb repeatedly until the desired amount of inflation within the air cell of the chair’s lumbar region is reached. If you over-fill it, you can quickly release some air by opening the valve. This is very neatly stowed out of the way, under the chair, in a clip. It’s super simple and super effective!
Whilst not a criticism, as an upgrade to future models, it would be good to see cable armour added to the pipe of the lumbar support to protect it from potential damage from environmental obstacles or from pets. With that said, the pipe itself is very sturdy and doesn’t feel flimsy in any way.
The arm rests are also very interesting, with four-dimensional movement. The movement itself is non-ratcheting so there’s no limited range of movement, there’s no audible clicking, it’s just buttery smooth movement so the arm rests can be supporting you one moment then perfectly out of your way the next.
A British Made Product
With Brexit looming, it’s important to support British businesses, and EDGE doesn’t disappoint in this regard. EDGE is based in Caerphilly, Wales, and the chair itself is manufactured by hand in the South of England. Every component for the GX1 is bespoke, nothing/the only part that isn’t is the Italian mechanism. On top of that, the whole chair has a five-year warranty, unlike competitors that only offer a two-year warranty on just the frame. Whilst you might be paying a little more than competing products, you’re getting something far higher quality, with more features, that’s British-made. You really can’t go wrong with the EDGE GX1.
All of my communication with EDGE has been friendly and fast, so if you’re after furniture that’s suitable for your business or home office, then their customer support comes highly recommended. You can purchase an EDGE GX1 now, or if you want more information or a demonstration of your own, then be sure to reach out to them.
Image Credits: Hammy Havoc