Fractal announces its first chair and headset, also shows off some cases

fractal design computex
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Fractal Design is best-known for its aesthetically unique PC cases, but now this Swedish company is coming for the rest of your setup. Fractal announced its first gaming chair — which looks more like a task chair than the typical racing-inspired bucket seat — and its first headset at Computex 2024, along with a couple of new small-footprint PC cases. 

First up, the chair: Fractal's first chair is called "Refine," and it fuses the "ergonomic comfort of high-end office chairs with intuitive controls and an aesthetic designed to elevate the gaming station," according to the company. It will come in mesh, fabric, and Alcantara (synthetic suede) finishes and will feature a "fluid synchro-tilt mechanism," 4D armrests, and adjustable lumbar support. 

Tom's Hardware managing editor Matt Safford had a chance to check out the Refine on the Computex show floor, and he said it looked and felt pretty nice — and while Fractal is calling it a gaming chair, it looked and felt more like a decent task chair. As both Matt and I have been saying for years, the best "gaming chair" isn't a gaming chair at all, and it looks like Fractal has taken this idea and decided to run with it. 

The Fractal Refine will be available in Q3 2024 and will come in both dark and light colorways in mesh and fabric finishes for $549.99. It will also come in a dark Alcantara finish, which will cost $899.99. 

The brand's first headset is a wireless, over-ear design with a flip-down boom mic called "Scape," and while Matt didn't have a chance to really listen to it (the press conference was likely too noisy, anyway), he liked the way it looked. I agree — while it's not particularly unique-looking, it has a nice, refined design that I wouldn't mind looking at if it were sitting on my desk. Which is good, because it comes with a wireless charging stand that's designed to do just that. 

The Fractal Scape will offer both low-latency 2.4GHz wireless connectivity and multi-device Bluetooth 5.3 connectivity, and will feature ambient lighting and audio presets that users can customize using Fractal's Adjust Pro online configuration tool. It will come in both light and dark colorways and should arrive later this year for $199.99.

Fractal also announced a couple of cases, including a new cloth-covered "Mood" case and a revamped version of its Era in the Era 2. 

Cloth-covered cases have been done before, by InWin most recently. And yes, it does result in a case that kind of looks like an air purifier. But the ability to lift the entire cover off from the top is great for building, troubleshooting, and cleaning. We do, however, feel like the price — $149.99, in light or black colorways — is a little high for a case that’s effectively some cloth and a small metal frame. (And yeah, the name "Mood" is kind of silly.) 

The original Era was kind of a big misstep for Fractal in 2020, as it didn’t have enough airflow at a time when GPUs were getting bigger and hotter. So, four years later, the company is revisiting the idea with the Fractal Era 2. The company says the case has been refined and enhanced, with improved cooling capabilities and ventilation on five sides — including that top panel, which is solid walnut. The Fractal Era 2 will be available in Q3 2024 and will cost $199.99 in all three colorways (silver, charcoal gray, and midnight blue).

The North XL case is getting an update later this year to support rear-connector motherboards. Why not the standard North case as well, though? Are they maybe working on a more substantial update to the original North? We hope so because it’s our favorite PC case.

Sarah Jacobsson Purewal
Senior Editor, Peripherals

Sarah Jacobsson Purewal is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware covering peripherals, software, and custom builds. You can find more of her work in PCWorld, Macworld, TechHive, CNET, Gizmodo, Tom's Guide, PC Gamer, Men's Health, Men's Fitness, SHAPE, Cosmopolitan, and just about everywhere else.