If you want to dominate in playing online video games, there are a couple of essential components: a fast monitor, an accurate mouse and a flashy, tactile mechanical keyboard. After that, what more can you do? Of course, there’s a whole lot of other parts to your setup that can be upgraded — and one emerging trend, at least in the meta-humour of the /r/globaloffensive subreddit, is choosing the perfect gaming chair.
Of course, getting a gaming chair doesn’t actually give you much of an advantage in game. It’s not going to make it easier to hear tip-toeing enemies, give you Scream-like accuracy to dispatch a foe with a single mouse click or just play the game for you. However, it can make that time in front of the PC screen a little more comfortable and enjoyable, and going for a gaming chair makes it obvious to your Twitch viewers, your teammates and your mom that you’re gonna make it big in the world of online video games someday.
With all that said, here’s our review of the Speedlink Regger.
- Comfortable backrest, seat pad and armrest padding for hours of gaming
- 360° swivel for the perfect overview
- Integrated headrest
- Fully height-adjustable seat
- Adjustable backrest tilt (90-165°) including lying position
The Speedlink Regger is an ordinary-looking “gamer” chair, available in a wide range of liveries to suit the youth of today. Our review unit was blue and white, the least ostentatious colour option available. The chair’s focus is on adjustability, with a pair of optional pillows, moving arm rests and impressive back mobility.
The Regger gets around on a standard pentagonal star base, with each spoke ending in a plastic but relatively heavy-duty wheel. The spokes are plastic too, although they’ve been hardened and shined to make them look similar to black metal. From here, you have a plastic covering over a metal tube leading up the base of the chair, which is flat in the middle and curved on each side.
The chair is raised and lowered by a lever on the right side. The arm rests can move up or down, or not be fitted entirely if you prefer. The back rest can’t have its height adjusted, but you can lean back to an almost horizontal position using a lever between the right arm rest and the seat. The back rest also has two holes, outlined in black plastic, which allows for a measure of air flow.
Finally, a pair of optional pillows are included to provide neck and lumbar support. Both pillows can have their position adjusted up or down using straps that go through the holes in the back rest, although the neck pillow’s adjustment potential is unfortunately minimal.
That’s covered the design, so let’s move onto testing.
I’ve used an IKEA Markus chair for some years now, following the recommendations of a friend. I’ve found the chair supremely comfortable, particularly with its mesh back panel that keeps it quite breathable, but after half a decade of ownership it is looking a bit worse for wear. I’m interested to see how the Regger will compare, particularly given that the Regger is about £50 more expensive than the Markus at nearly £200. To test it out, I’ve used the Regger for a period of three weeks. Here’s what I’ve discovered.
Assembling the Regger is not a fun time. I expected to slap it together in a matter of minutes, but a few issues with the chair’s construction (and admittedly, my occasional stupidity) lengthened the task to more than an hour. One problem I encountered (but didn’t notice) right away was that it is never mentioned in the instructions that you ought to install the dust guard around the metal shaft, and it’s impossible to remove the base once it’s mounted onto the shaft… so when I discovered that I hadn’t used the piece right at the end of assembly, I had no way of correcting my mistake.
Attaching the seat to the back was the next hurdle, as you need to hold the back in position just above the seat while screwing directly into the fabric. You can’t see the nut you’re aiming for directly; you just have to hope that you’ve inserted the screw at the right angle without having moved the back too far from its intended position.
Attaching the plastic guard over the top was even harder, as you need to perfectly align a tiny screw into a tiny nut without being able to see either of them. There are plenty of positions for the guard that feel about right; and there’s nothing to really base your positioning off — you’re just pushing two pieces together again and again until it might possibly go in. Even if you line it up, using a flashlight to look down the tube that the screw travels down, it still somehow goes wide. This is a single step in the instructions, and it took most of an hour of trying different angles and orientations before the first side was complete.
In general, perhaps I should have had a friend come ’round to hold the bits of chair in position, but I put the greater share of the blame on Speedlink (or their unnamed chair manufacturer) for not making the process a little easier. On the Markus (and presumably, other logically designed chairs), everything you need to connect is external; there’s no need to screw things in blindly.
Once the chair is put together, it becomes much less maddening. The seat and back rest are pleasantly padded and comfortable, and the chair’s wheels roll well even in carpet.
It’s fun to demonstrate the degree to which you can lean back, although outside of LAN parties with limited sleeping space I can’t think of too many situations in which it’d be useful to kip in this thing. In order to keep the chair somewhat balanced in this fully reclined mode, the chair is weighted towards the front… but that means that if you lean forward, to pick something up off the ground for example, you’re likely to tip the chair over if you’re not careful.
As a taller guy, the Regger is a mixed bag. The arm rests can get up nice and high, which is great for ensuring that your arms are flat going onto your desk. However, the back rest doesn’t actually extend that far up; at 188cm (6’2″) the top of the back rest only reaches the place where my head joins my neck; it’s not super comfortable to have your head leaning back over the top of the chair. I can get around this by shuffling my butt forward a bit and slumping back, but I’d much prefer to have the option for upright posture and neck support.
Similarly, the neck pillow sits in the centre of my upper back, making it useless for my needs, and the fixed-length strap means it can’t even fit over the top of the headrest to sit higher up. The lumbar pillow is a little better, although I found it a little thick for my tastes. Still, I’m sure that both pillows will be used and appreciated by other Regger owners, and I appreciate having the option.
Finally, when it comes to breathability, the Regger isn’t ideal. The holes in the back of the chair are a welcome inclusion, but the faux-leather material gets noticeably hot and sweaty quickly during summer gaming. This is a characteristic shared by many of these gaming-style chairs and not a complaint with the Regger specifically, but it’s something I still think is worth noting.
Despite my assembly complaints and tall person problems, I’m still using the Regger in my day-to-day gaming and office work. It’s comfortable, adjustable and it’s still fun to demonstrate the fully reclined mode to unsuspecting visitors. I’d recommend that taller ladies and gentlemen stick with the IKEA Markus, but for those shorter of stature the Regger works well enough.