Tom's Hardware Verdict
If you’re up for spending $400 on a gaming chair, the Cooler Master Caliber X1C won't disappoint. It offers a 330-pound weight limit, adjustable height, adjustable armrests, the ability to rock or fully recline and cooling fabric that doesn’t easily stain or pill.
+ Elegant design
+ Durable and can hold up to 330 lbs
+ Cooling, breathable fabric
+ Adjustable armrests
+ Good lumbar support
Feels rigid at first, requires breaking in
Doesn’t come in different color options
Lumbar pillow is difficult to attach and reattach
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Gone are the days when video games were considered primarily for kids or teens, as more people are beginning to accept the reality that they’re not for a specific gender identity, age, ethnicity or lifestyle. In this day and age, game makers, peripheral designers, and equipment designers must create products that actually represent their diverse audience.
The Cooler Master Caliber X1C gaming chair is a good example of how to make the best gaming chair for a wide range of people. It’s not one of those cheap brightly-colored gaming chairs that look like something out of a toy car or sci-fi spacecraft. This is a much more elegant chair that anyone can have pride in placing in their game room or office, but it still has that racing style that gives it an element of fun.
A high-quality gaming chair that features cooling fabric, exceptional support, a higher weight limit and adjustments that make it more comfortable for the user, the X1C’s biggest issue when it comes to accessibility is a $400 price point that might deter some gamers from investing in it.
Is the Cooler Master Caliber X1C worth this much money? I used it for a week to find out.
Cooler Master Caliber X1C Specifications
|Total Height (Range)||51.2 to 54.3 in (130 to 138 cm)|
|Backrest Height||33.9 in (86 cm)|
|Backrest Width (Shoulder Level)||22.8 in (58 cm)|
|Seating Area Width (Total)||21.3 in (54 cm)|
|Connectivity Options||Not Applicable|
|Seating Area Depth||21.3 in (54 cm)|
|Armrest Adjustability||11.8 to 14.6 in (30 to 37 cm)|
|Recline||90 to 180 degree|
|Recommended Maximum Weight||330 lbs (150 kg)|
|Casters||3 in (75 mm)|
|Extras||Ergonomic pillow, extra padded backrest, 4D armrest movement, rock, cooling fabric|
Design of the Cooler Master Caliber X1C
The Cooler Master Caliber X1C has that racing style you see in a lot of even the best gaming chairs — a wider lower and upper back area, a thinner mid-back, and a thin headrest with a cutout in the center. There’s also a detachable pillow for the headrest, which connects to the chair with a stretchy elastic strap. There’s a lumbar support pillow as well, but this pillow attaches to the backrest via a clip that’s somewhat difficult to access. I would have preferred the lumbar pillow to connect via something like Velcro for easier removal and reattachment, but this is only a minor complaint, and having the pillow stay permanently attached doesn’t take too much away from the chair’s overall aesthetic.
The X1C’s color scheme is neutral, yet stylish. It’s primarily light grey, with high-quality faux leather along the sides of the seat and backrest. There’s a very small amount of lavender embroidery on the headrest and pillow, providing just enough color to make the chair look like a gaming chair, but not so much that it looks cartoony or kiddie.
One thing I really like about the Caliber X1C is the material. The fabric is very tightly-woven, making it easy to clean. I tested the stain resistance by placing drops of various foods and drinks on the chair and wiping them up after one minute. I was able to remove ketchup, cola and beer from the chair without it leaving a stain. The only thing I was unable to remove easily was grease, as I left a French fry on the chair for a minute, and it left a minor grease stain that I couldn’t get up. This stain is not noticeable, though, and you can only see it if you know where to look.
In addition to the fabric being stain resistant, it’s also durable and cooling. It doesn’t puncture or pill easily, and the manufacturer claims it feels “1-2°C cooler than a regular gaming chair.” The fabric doesn’t feel cool to the touch when you sit in the chair or anything like that, but it doesn’t seem to transfer and store heat as much as a cheaper material like faux leather, either.
To test out the cooling fabric in comparison to that of a budget gaming chair, I sat in a cheap (under $100) faux leather gaming chair for two hours as a comparison. After sitting in the budget chair for a few hours, a lot of heat built up in the seat, especially around my toasty gaming PC and other electronics, it made my back hot. That chair even made me sweat enough for my shirt to briefly cling to my back when I got up. When I sat in the X1C for two hours, however, I remained cool and comfortable.
Assembly of the Cooler Master Caliber X1C
The X1C came packaged tightly in a single box, and all of the parts were safe and intact. This is a heavy chair, weighing in at almost 65 pounds, and I could feel its durability as I lifted each part from the box. Not including the screws and nuts, the chair has less than 20 parts to put together (and many of them were in groups of identical parts, five of them were wheels, for instance). However, I did experience a few frustrations along the way.
It took me exactly one hour and five minutes to assemble the chair by myself. The instructions were relatively simple, containing only six steps, but they were a bit vague. For each step, there’s a graphic and a brief sentence, so you’re working with limited information. At times, I found myself looking at the graphics over and over in an effort to interpret a specific step.
Second, the majority of the screws come pre-attached to the chair, so before you even begin the build, you have to detach each screw and nut one-by-one. The screws are placed in the spots where they will inevitably need to go, but you need to connect another part using these screws, so a large warning label on the box indicates you need to remove each of the screws and nuts before you begin the build. They are really only there for storage, and they’re not tightened completely, but it’s still kind of a pain. I thought it would have been easier to have the screws pre-removed from the chair and stored together in a bag, eliminating this unnecessary pre-build step.
Finally, during step one of the build, I had trouble matching the screw threads on the backing with the extension bars on the seat. There are four screw holes, and they must be in the perfect position in order to connect the seat to the backing properly. All of the screw threads on the chair are extremely tight, which is good for longevity, but it makes the build more tedious because you have to match the screws to the threads exactly.
The remaining steps moved along pretty smoothly. The only other issue I had was with the included Allen key-screwdriver tool, as one side of the Allen key is somewhat sharp and I had to be careful not to damage the chair’s faux leather sides while tightening the screws with the L-shaped multi-tool.
On the plus side, the chair came with all of the tools I needed to complete the build. I didn’t need anything outside of what was in the box. It even came with white gloves, so I could keep the chair free from any grease or dirt while connecting the parts.
Comfort and Adjustments of the Cooler Master Caliber X1C
The X1C has a lot of support, as the interior foam is incredibly dense. So dense that the chair may require that you break it in. When I first sat in the Cooler Master Caliber X1C, it felt a bit stiff. But once I sat in it for a few days, it felt more and more like my chair. Although it doesn’t have a foot rest, there are several other adjustments that let you make this chair your own.
You can adjust the seat height 3.1 inches (8 cm) up. There are levers under the chair you can gently twist to make the chair go up or down, as well as to allow for rocking or prevent the chair from rocking. The seat reclines from 90 degrees all the way to flat (180 degrees), allowing you to sit up or lay all the way back. I didn’t find the chair very comfortable in the completely upright position, as I felt it corrected my posture too much. There’s also a lumbar support pillow that I felt pushed into my back too much in the 90-degree position. But, when I removed the lumbar pillow and reclined the chair back to about 105 degrees, it felt comfortable and natural. Removing the lumbar pillow requires you to undo clips behind the back cushion. It’s tough to put back on once you take it off, but I’m glad I removed it.
I particularly liked the X1C's arm rests, which adjust in just about every direction (they lift, sway, swivel or move forward and backward), making them rests useful and comfortable at any level of recline. I even found myself lying all the way back in the chair, knees up, enjoying a Netflix series in a flat position comfortably. Plus, since the chair doesn’t build up as much heat with the cooling fabric, I can lay in it for hours without getting too hot.
This isn’t the type of overly-fancy chair with speakers, charging ports or any connectivity, but it provides a lot in the way of ergonomics and customization. The fabric isn’t as smooth to the touch as faux leather or vinyl, but it’s much more comfortable to sit in for long periods. You can tell from running your hand over it that it’s extremely durable; it almost reminds me of jeans material, only it’s stronger, thicker and seems to transfer less heat.
The Cooler Master Caliber X1C is a high-quality gaming chair with a sophisticated design. It’s multipurpose, and you can use it for PC gaming, console gaming, working or watching TV. This is the type of chair that will become someone’s favorite chair.
Its price point of around $400 is on the higher end when compared to budget gaming chairs like the Andaseat Jungle 2, but it’s worth every penny when you consider it has a two-year warranty, stain-resistant and cooling fabric, a tasteful aesthetic, a comfortable feel and several adjustments that let you make it your own. If you prefer a different color scheme but still want a high quality chair, consider an alternative like the Razer Enki. But overall, this is a winner.
Erika Rawes is a freelance reviewer for Tom's Hardware US. She reviews gaming chairs, headsets, mice, and other gaming peripherals.
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These chairs are all the same. I really need a new chair, but I don't want one with the Frikken hard armrests. I want padded armrests on any chair I buy. 90% of all these "Gaming Chairs" all have the hard plastic armrests or minimally padded ones that will permanently squish down after a couple weeks to months. Been looking at the ones that also recline and a few of them almost look comfortable, some even have a slide out footrest. Both for office chairs and the "Gaming Chairs" just not sure which one to buy because like most people I really want to be able to sit in it at a store before I drop several hundred dollars on a new chair. Yes, I said several hundred because you usually get what you pay for and the last chair, I bought I spent about 225 - 250 on and it has lasted me for about 7 years now, only need to replace it because the upholstery is peeling due to my cat having sunk his claws into it and damaging the bonded leather. Anyone have any advice as to which ones to avoid like the plague as well as recommendations?Reply
Does anyone know where to even get this chair? The link on Cooler Master takes you to Amazon, but they don't have it listed anywhere.Reply
Also, can anyone comment on the wings of the chair where your shoulders are? A lot of gaming chairs have them really inward, causing your shoulders to push in and force a slouch. These don't look that bad but its really hard to tell from a picture.
For the past 5 years I've been using a TP-9000 from Staples. The seat is amazingly comfortable and the back is good too. I also got the headrest. The armrests are the firmer rubberized plastic though. One thing good with this chair though was the back would stretch, but if you keep the receipt you can just send the Raynor group an e-mail with a copy of the receipt and for 5 years they'll send free backs. Swap it out and its ready to go again.Dragonwatcher said:These chairs are all the same. I really need a new chair, but I don't want one with the Frikken hard armrests. I want padded armrests on any chair I buy. 90% of all these "Gaming Chairs" all have the hard plastic armrests or minimally padded ones that will permanently squish down after a couple weeks to months. Been looking at the ones that also recline and a few of them almost look comfortable, some even have a slide out footrest. Both for office chairs and the "Gaming Chairs" just not sure which one to buy because like most people I really want to be able to sit in it at a store before I drop several hundred dollars on a new chair. Yes, I said several hundred because you usually get what you pay for and the last chair, I bought I spent about 225 - 250 on and it has lasted me for about 7 years now, only need to replace it because the upholstery is peeling due to my cat having sunk his claws into it and damaging the bonded leather. Anyone have any advice as to which ones to avoid like the plague as well as recommendations?
Sadly, my chair ran out of warranty and I'm looking for a new one. Hopefully one that doesn't have a stretchy mesh back.
Good luck to ya.