The Thermaltake Argent E700 is eye-catching — both for its attractive design and its premium price tag. This curvy, glossy chair is a refreshing take on racing-inspired gaming chairs, and it looks more like what a car-inspired chair should look like — in my opinion — as opposed to looking like it was simply plucked from the nearest track.
The Argent E700 is a Thermaltake collaboration with Studio F.A. Porsche, and has a suggested retail price of $1299. This is pretty steep for a gaming chair, but it’s not unheard of. The X-Chair X3 ATR Mgmt chair, one of the picks on our list of best gaming chairs, is similarly priced, while the Herman Miller X Logitech G Embody gaming chair has a starting price that’s about $500 higher. (I’m not suggesting you need to spend $1000+ on a gaming chair — you don’t — I’m just pointing out that this price isn’t as unusual as you may think, especially when you start looking at gaming chairs that lean more toward high-end task chairs.)
But even if the price isn’t unusual, it’s still pretty high. It’s definitely a big investment for something you’re probably planning on sitting in for a solid chunk of your life. I spent over a month sitting in this chair, working, gaming, and zoning out while staring dazedly at my four monitors. And the Argent E700 is beautiful, sturdy, and well-built, but it’s definitely not for everyone.
|Backrest Width (Shoulder Level)||20.7 inches / 51 cm|
|Seating Area Width (Point of Contact)||18.1 inches / 46 cm|
|Seating Area Width (total)||24.4 inches / 62 cm|
|Seating Area Depth||18.9 inches / 48 cm|
|Armrest Width||4 inches / 10.1 cm|
|Armrest Depth||9.4 inches / 24 cm|
|Armrest Height||26.5 - 32.5 inches / 67.3 - 82.6 cm|
|Recommended Height||5 feet 6 inches - 6 feet 2 inches / 170 - 190 cm|
|Max Recommended Weight||331lbs (150kg)|
Assembling the Argent E700
The Argent E700 comes almost fully-assembled. It ships in four parts, not including the caster wheels: seat base, seat back, gas lift piston, and five-star base. It includes three pre-mounted screws, a hex wrench, and illustrated, easy-to-follow instructions.
Putting the chair together is fairly straightforward and takes just five steps. It’s not impossible to put together alone, but it’s much easier to do with a partner. The seat base and seat back are both large, heavy, and unwieldy, and both need to be held in place while they’re screwed together. Once the seat is assembled it needs to be lifted onto the gas lift piston, which is difficult to line up without an extra set of eyes. With the help of my husband, assembling the chair took about 15 minutes.
Design of the Argent E700
Thermaltake’s Argent E700 was designed by Studio F.A. Porsche, which is owned by (but is otherwise independent of) luxury German automaker Porsche AG. I know this is probably a little confusing, but just know that Studio F.A. Porsche does not design cars — although the studio was originally founded by Porsche’s grandson, Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, who also designed the iconic Porsche 911.
Anyway, while Studio F.A. Porsche may be independent of its sister car company, the Argent E700 is not independent of car-inspired design. That said, it’s not, thankfully, yet another clone of the many racing-inspired gaming chairs that saturate the market.
The Argent E700 has a bucket-style seat upholstered in black perforated leather with red contrast stitching. It’s built on an aluminum and metal frame, and features a hard, shiny ABS shell that’s offered in several colors: glacier white, space gray, storm black, ocean blue, racing green, saddle brown, sanga yellow, flaming orange, and turquoise. The chair sits on a heavy duty five-star aluminum alloy base with large three-inch plastic caster wheels.
For this review, I requested the Argent E700 in ocean blue — a bright, deep turquoise that looks a lot like my favorite Porsche (the car company) color: the now-discontinued Miami Blue.
I’ll just say it: The Argent E700 is beautiful — it definitely looks and feels like a luxury product. The outer shell is highly saturated, scratch-resistant, and so glossy that I had trouble photographing it. The chair’s leather upholstery is a little stiff at first, but it looks and feels premium. Even the chair’s base is heavier and more solid than most, and the huge three-inch caster wheels roll over just about any surface easily. The only visible branding on the chair is a polished aluminum plate on the front that sports Thermaltake’s logo.
There are polished aluminum “race car side handles” on either side of the Argent E700’s seat. The right handle controls height adjustment, while the left handle controls recline. Lifting the right handle activates the chair’s gas-lift piston, which raises and lowers the seat. The lifting mechanism isn’t perfect, and I found myself occasionally having to “pull” the chair up to jump-start the lifting mechanism. Given that this is a pretty heavy chair, though, I was surprised I didn’t have to do this more often.
When the left handle is in the down (neutral) position, the seat back is unlocked. Lifting the handle locks the seat back in place. The chair reclines from 107 to 126 degrees, but the seat back can only be locked in four positions (107, 113, 119, and 126 degrees). I’m not a big fan of how the left handle stays sticking out when the seat back is locked. The seat back has a lot of give when it’s unlocked — so if you’re resting any weight on the seat back, you’ll want to lock it. This is a minor complaint, but we’re talking about design and this definitely disrupts the chair’s otherwise sexy curves.
Comfort and Adjustments of the Argent E700
The Argent E700 doesn’t pack as many features or adjustments as do many of its competitors, though this isn’t necessarily a bad thing — I’ve never really seen the need for a gaming chair to recline 180 degrees. But if you’re looking for a highly-adjustable, ergonomic task chair, this is probably not the chair for you. The Argent E700 notably lacks built-in lumbar support and a tilt mechanism. It does have height adjustment (but what chair doesn’t?), 4D armrests, a height-adjustable headrest, and a limited (in both range and number of positions) ability to recline.
We reviewed Thermaltake’s X Fit Real Leather gaming chair last year, and one of our main complaints was the chair’s hard, dense foam padding. The Argent E700 is similarly outfitted: Both the seat and seat back are padded with high-density molded foam of 143.3 pounds per cubic foot (65kg, per cubic meter), which, according to the product page, provides “even weight distribution and firm body support while maintaining a sedentary posture.”
Like the X Fit Real Leather gaming chair, the Argent E700’s seat is not what I’d describe as “plush.” It’s very firm, and it’s designed to remain firm, so if you’re looking for a soft, cushiony seat, this is not for you. I used this chair for about a month in my testing, and while it took me a couple of days to grow accustomed to the chair’s firmness, once I did I found it to be pretty comfortable and supportive.
The Argent E700 does not have built-in adjustable lumbar support like the X-Chair X3 ATR Mgmt chair, nor does it come with a pillow like the Secretlab Omega 2020 or the AndaSeat Kaiser 3. The lower part of the chair does have a slight curve, but it is slight — you’ll definitely need to provide your own lumbar support, especially for longer sessions. I find the lumbar pillows provided with most gaming chairs to be too thick and therefore not a major advantage (but…still a small advantage) over nothing.
This chair also doesn’t come with a neck pillow like you’ll see on many gaming chairs, but I’ve never been big on neck pillows unless I’m planning on taking a nap. The Argent E700 doesn’t recline anywhere near flat, so it’s probably not the best chair for napping. It does have a shoulder pass through, which looks to be purely decorative but could probably be rigged to hold a neck pillow.
The Argent E700 seems to be made for someone who’s larger than I am — the chair supports up to 331 pounds (150kg), but its specs recommend a relatively narrow height range of between 5’6” and 6’2”. I’m 5’7” and 135 pounds, so I’m definitely on the lower end of this range. My husband, however, is 5’11” and just under 200 pounds, and he thought the Argent E700 was very comfortable immediately – much more comfortable than he finds my Herman Miller Aeron, which he inexplicably hates.
The Argent E700 supports up to 331 pounds, but larger users will want to double-check seat width. The seat is 18 inches (46cm) wide, but the bucket seat has a slight curve at around 14 inches (35.6cm), and a pretty strong curve at 16 inches (40.6cm). The chair’s hard outer shell means there’s not much wiggle room when it comes to seat width.
The Argent E700 has 4D armrests that move up and down, side to side, forward and backward, and swivel. The armrests lock in place vertically, but only vertically — otherwise, they’re constantly moving. This didn’t bother me so much ergonomically, as I don’t rely much on armrests, but the constant clicking and moving around was at least minorly annoying.
The armrests are also fairly high, thanks to the chair’s curved sides — something you’ll want to consider if you like your armrests to fit easily under the top of your desk. The tops of the armrests sit about 26.5 inches (67.3cm) above the ground, and 8.5 inches (21.6cm) above the seat, on the lowest setting. And they sit 32.5 inches (82.6cm) above the ground, and 11 inches (27.9cm) above the seat, on the highest setting.
Thermaltake’s Argent E700 is undeniably gorgeous, but it’s definitely more of a statement piece than it is an ergonomically-sound gaming chair that will carry you through all-night gaming marathons.
That said, I’d argue that most gaming chairs are not pinnacles of ergonomic design, especially those that borrow heavily from racing seats. Bucket seats aren’t really designed for comfort — they’re designed to keep your body securely in place when you’re in a vehicle that’s moving and turning at breakneck speeds. They’re not necessarily designed to be uncomfortable (unless we’re talking about actual stock-racing seats, which are as stripped-down as possible), they’re not designed with long periods of sitting in mind. My car (a 2015 Mustang convertible) has relatively plush bucket seats (with adjustable lumbar support), and even those definitely aren’t ideal for long road trips.
Gaming, working, or…otherwise sitting in front of a computer is basically the opposite scenario for which bucket seats are designed. In other words, racing-inspired gaming chairs are largely about looks — not optimal ergonomics. Keeping this in mind, I can’t ding the Argent E700’s focus on aesthetics too much, especially when it’s as attractive as it is. Even if you don’t find the Argent E700’s design visually appealing (it’s subjective, I can admit that), you have to admit it’s a well-designed piece, with complimentary curves and lines that fit together with German precision.
If you’ve got the budget for the E700, but are looking for a chair that’s 100 percent ergonomics and zero percent racing, the $1,500 Herman Miller X Logitech G Embody gaming chair might be the perfect blend for you. And if you can’t afford to spend more than $1,000 on a gaming chair, consider the Secret Lab Omega 2020 or AndaSeat Kaiser 3, both of which cost around $500.
However, if you want the most fashionable looking chair around and don’t mind spending a hefty premium to get it, the Thermaltake Argent E700 is for you.