Razer Iskur gaming chair review
Quick verdict: Razer's first foray into the gaming chair space offers excellent lumbar support but ultimately struggles to justify its steep price tag.
- Better, more versatile lumbar support than most other gaming chairs
- Highly adjustable to accommodate different body types and sitting positions
- Sturdy frame and strong fabric are built to survive plenty of roughhousing
- Stiff padding can cause discomfort or even pain when sitting for prolonged periods
- Flat seat cushion doesn't follow the natural contours of the body
- Very expensive, even for a gaming chair
It's been a long time coming, but Razer has finally expanded its portfolio into the gaming chair space. Dubbed the Razer Iskur, this marks quite a departure from the consumer technology the brand is typically known for.
Designing and building a piece of furniture requires a different approach and skillset than, say, a wireless gaming headset like the BlackShark V2 Pro or a wireless gaming mouse like the DeathAdder V2 Pro. So how did Razer fare? Let's take a look.
- Sticks with the traditional gaming chair design but ditches the more garish flourishes
- Looks and feels like a premium product
- Highly adjustable to suit different body types and sitting positions
At first glance, the Razer Iskur doesn't look all that different from the myriad other gaming chairs on the market. It follows the same racing-seat design favoured by the competition, with its concave shape implying the kind of speed you need to be strapped in for.
Fortunately, the Iskur eschews the boisterous flourishes you see on some gaming chairs. The unit is almost entirely black, with a smattering of tasteful green stitching along the edges and a single green Razer logo above where your back rests. There are no "speed holes" punched into the fabric, no exposed steel evoking memories of surgery rooms and no garish colour patterns demanding the attention of everyone in the room.
This reserved approach supports the notion that the Iskur is a premium product, a feeling bolstered by the solid construction of the chair itself. The internal frame is built from steel tubing, with the back and seat covered in multi-layered synthetic leather. This is different to the PU leather most gaming chairs use, and Razer claims it is both tougher and more durable over the long term. It certainly feels capable of weathering plenty of use, and I personally prefer how it feels to the touch over many faux-leather alternatives.
The Iskur's armrests are also worth highlighting. Like many gaming chairs, they support "4D" customisation, which is to say they can be raised and lowered, rotated, slid forward and backward, and shifted laterally. This is critical for finding a position that lets you rest your arms at a roughly 90-degree angle, maximising control and minimising strain. Where the Iskur distinguishes itself here is in just how comfortable the armrests are. Their smooth surface feels great to the touch, and their curved edges don't dig into your skin when resting your arms at different angles.
Perhaps the most striking feature of the Razer Iskur is its built-in lumbar support. Incorporated into the chair itself, the support consists of a plywood frame surrounded by the same multi-layered synthetic leather covering the rest of the chair. A lever on the underside of the chair lets you adjust the angle of the support up to a maximum of 26 degrees, tailoring it to suit a variety of sitting positions.
This level of versatility extends to the rest of the Iskur as well. More levers beneath the seat control the height and tilt of the chair as well as the angle of the chair's back. There's enough flexibility that most people should be able to find a position that fits their body.
As versatile as it is, the Razer Iskur does have its limits. Its weight limit tops out at 136kg, with the optimal occupant height range sitting between 170cm and 190cm.
- Flat seat cushion doesn't conform to the body's natural curves
- Prolonged sitting caused me considerable discomfort
- Lumbar support promotes good, ergonomic posture
Many factors influence the performance of a gaming chair, but foremost among them is comfort. For me, sadly, this is where the Razer Iskur falters.
After spending the majority of my waking hours in the chair for over a week, I've reached the conclusion that the Iskur is simply not built for my particular physiology. The seat cushion is too flat and firm, refusing to yield to the curves of my rear end. This placed more pressure on my tailbone than I'm used to, which caused considerable discomfort over prolonged periods of sitting down. I had to keep shifting my weight to prevent the discomfort from escalating into full-blown pain.
With so many adjustable options, I'd hoped that I could find a comfortable configuration with the Iskur. I tried adjusting the tilt of the chair to take some of the weight off my tailbone, and that mitigated my discomfort slightly, but not completely. Other adjustments to the height of the chair and the angle of the lumbar support did little to improve the situation.
To be fair, my discomfort could be an issue specific to the way my body is built. Maybe most people will find the Iskur perfectly comfortable. But it's not built for everyone, and certainly not for me.
This is unfortunate, as other aspects of the Iskur's performance are excellent. The lumbar support helps encourage a strong, ergonomic posture by applying firm pressure to the lower back. Since it's adjustable, you can extend or retract it to find the angle that best matches the curve of your spine. This was especially helpful for me, as I often find myself unconsciously reverting to a lazy slouch when sitting for extended periods. The constant pressure of the Iskur's lumbar support kept me upright and alert without requiring any conscious thought on my part.
The removable memory foam head pillow is also worth mentioning. Slipping around the top of the chair on an adjustable elastic strap, it provides the kind of soft, pliable support I wish the seat cushion offered.
Durability is another of the Iskur's strengths. Razer highlights a bevy of tests it put the chair through during its design and construction, and the end result feels like it's built to last. Along with tests that stretch and tear at the fabric, Razer cites corrosion tests on the steel frame, weight tests on the seat and a variety of tolerance tests subjecting the adjustable features to repeated use.
- Quick and painless
- Can be done alone – no need for a second person to assist
Furniture assembly can often be a daunting, exhausting task. Not so with the Razer Iskur. By providing clear, well-illustrated instructions and requiring nothing more complex than screwing one component into another, Razer has made the assembly process quicker and easier than your average LEGO set.
I was able to put the chair together in less than 10 minutes by myself, without a single moment of confusion or frustration. The package includes a toolkit with an appropriately sized allen key, so you don't need to dig through your drawers to find one suited for the job.
Should you buy the Razer Iskur?
- Buy it if you want a sturdy gaming chair with versatile lumbar support
- Don't buy it if you have a tender backside
While my experience with the Razer Iskur was less than stellar, I don't consider that a blanket condemnation of the product. Human physiology is complex and inconsistent – what feels hard and uncomfortable to me could feel firm and supportive to you.
For that reason, I encourage anyone interested in the Razer Iskur – or any gaming chair, for that matter – to try before they buy. With a price tag of nearly $800, it's worth the extra effort to ensure the Iskur is the right fit for you and your body.
Pricing and availability
Where to buy
The Razer Iskur is not currently available for purchase within Australia.