Thermaltake has built a long-standing reputation among PC builders, especially with its cases. The company is also trying its hand at PC-related furniture these days, and the Thermaltake X Fit Real Leather is its second most expensive gaming chair as of writing (topped only by Thermaltake’s CyberChair E500 White Edition). Undoubtedly, the use of real leather, a standout among the sea of PVC and PU faux leather options dominating the market today, adds to the chair’s $580 MSRP. But it takes more than real leather to make one of the best gaming chairs.
The X Fit Real Leather is said to support gamers weighing up to 265 pounds, between 5 feet 5 and 6 feet 3 inches tall, and comes with fine detailing reminiscent of the seats in a luxury car. But the X Fit’s fancy exterior is where the excitement ends. Despite a high price tag, the chair does little to differentiate itself from the competition, including cheaper gaming chairs. And I wish the hard foam would conform to my body better.
Thermaltake X Fit Real Leather Specs
|Total Height (with base)||45-54 inches|
|Seat Height||18.7-22.6 inches|
|Backrest Width (Shoulder Level)||20.8 inches|
|Seating Area Width (Total)||22 inches|
|Seating Area Width (Point of Contact)||18.1 inches|
|Seating Area Depth||22 inches|
|Armrest Width||3.9 inches|
|Armrest Height||25.5-32.6 inches|
|Recommended Maximum Weight||265 pounds|
You can get the X Fit Real Leather in either black or burgundy red leather, and each has different stitching patterns. The black version I tested has more diamonds on the shoulder area, while the burgundy red one covers the mid and lower back area with the pattern. Note that, for less money, there’s the regular X Fit chair, which has a $350 MSRP, faux leather and less detailed stitching. However, stock for that model seems to be limited as of writing.
Because I love cars, the X Fit Real Leather’s look excites me. With its leaner design, bonded leather and tailor-quality stitching, it’s clear that Thermaltake was inspired by modern-day sports cars. The diamond-stitched pattern and matte black leather of my review unit reminds me of an Audi R8. The stitching is very tight and clean throughout the chair, and I didn’t see one loose thread.
Thermaltake logos live on the headrest, as well as the fanny pack-shaped lumbar pillow and neck pillow. I am so glad that Thermaltake has moved on to their current logo, rather than the older Dragon Ball-looking logo. The Thermaltake logo actually looks nice with the diamond-stitched pattern.
Despite using real leather, the X Fit didn’t get warm over long periods of time, and that says a lot because I sweat very easily. The upholstery looks pretty durable and proved easy to clean, too. I spilled about a teaspoon of Crystal Light iced tea on the chair, and the mess came right up with a wet paper towel. Just to be safe, I went over it with a piece of Armor All leather car wipes.
But as nice as the leather looks on this chair, the quality is only scratching the surface in terms of how luxurious leather can feel. The leather used seems to be bonded leather, which explains the matte finish and less-than-smooth texture. It looks nice to the eyes, but it’s not the best quality leather and doesn’t compare, for example, to nice leather furniture you’d find in a luxury living room.
The armrests are not covered in leather at all. Instead, they have a rubber finish that feels a bit coarse and uncomfortable. On the other hand, the X Fit Real Leather’s removable foam neck and lumbar pillows use leather, too. Both have the same level of quality and well-crafted stitching as the chair itself. Both are also removable, and you can slide the lumbar pillow up and down the backrest to fit your body.
Like most gaming chairs that we test -- even ones much cheaper than our review focus -- the X Fit completes the package with a gas piston and aluminum base that feels very solid. The chair performed as expected during my roll test, where I slid from my desk to my photography setup 5 feet away. The chair glided easily but not so uncontrollably that I felt like I needed to anchor myself.
Comfort and Adjustments
Remember that scene from The Incredibles when Mr. Incredible is sitting at an office desk and just looks extremely uncomfortable? That’s how I felt when using the X Fit Real Leather. The chair’s foam is too hard and dense, while the armrests lack sufficient padding and the seat is narrow. This all made it hard to relax and feel like I belonged in the chair.
After a couple hours of playing Mass Effect Legendary Edition while sitting in the X Fit Real Leather, my tailbone was not happy. I wasn’t in agony, but there was a straining feeling there. I also found the lumbar pillow to be necessary for my back not to hurt.
The X FIt Real Leather has a 22mm steel skeleton covered in 75kg high-density foam on the backrest and 55kg on the seat base. According to Thermaltake’s product page, the foam is meant to not lose its shape, which in this case is actually a shame because I wish it contoured to my body better.
At 6 foot 1 and about 200 pounds, I’m toward the higher end of the recommended height and weight range, yet I never felt like I was too tall for the chair. I did, however, wish for more wiggle room.
Although the backrest was big enough for me, the seat was annoyingly narrow. Bumpers on the side of the seat make for a tight, secure fit, which would make sense if I were racing around in the chair, but I’m just sitting at my desk. Measuring 18 inches across and 22 inches from the back of the knees to the backrest, I felt like I was sitting in a locker. For comparison, the Secretlab Titan Evo 2022’s regular-sized chair (5’ 7” - 6’ 2” and up to 220 pounds) is about 22 inches across and 19.3 inches deep. With Thermaltake’s X Fit, I was barely able to sit in my weird (but preferred) position with my left foot up on the seat.
I asked my Mom, who’s 5 feet 3 inches and around 109 pounds, and a female (5’ 9" and about 130 pounds) to try the X Fit. The former also found the chair too narrow, while the latter found the tighter fit to be comfortable, suggesting the X Fit’s seat may be more fitting for some, especially those who like to feel very snug and/or with slim frames.
My favorite part about the chair are its armrests, which are very adjustable. It’s common for gaming chair armrests to move up and down, but the X Fit’s armrests also move diagonally in and out, toward and away from your sides and toward and away from the desk. I loved moving them bowed inward because it significantly improved my ergonomics when typing. When I typed like this and on my Keyboardio Atreus, a split mechanical keyboard, I felt like I was doing my body a favor.
But after less than an hour, I began to notice how little padding there is on the armrests. Further, it seems Thermaltake cut some corners when constructing the armrests because even though they are very maneuverable, they have a decent amount of wobble.
The chair forced me to sit with proper posture better than any other gaming chair I’ve tried before, even without the lumbar pillow, which is at least good for my long-term back health. The X Fit can recline from 90 degrees back to 160 degrees, but it wasn’t comfortable fully reclined, due to the narrow backrest. It did feel sturdy in any position, though. However, because the chair is so narrow and hard, I didn’t feel relaxed, even when leaning back in the chair.
The X Fit has an adjustable tilt angle of 3-14 degrees, and tilting was the only thing that I found to make the X Fit comfortable. This is because tilting it allowed me to press more weight into the chair and finally get the dense foam to cushion my body a bit.
Height adjustments are controlled by a class-4 gas piston, which comes very greasy out of the box and is then attached to the sturdy base. A dedicated lever raises the chair up to 9 inches, so the chair’s total height can be 45-54 inches, just like the Mavix M5. Both chairs can get closer to the ground than the Titan Evo (51.2-54 inches tall), which could come in handy if you have a small or short desk -- or if you're just not very tall yourself.
As mentioned, the lumbar pillow did its job in enhancing back comfort compared to without it, but it’s nothing special. It’s of medium density, but I would have liked to see something more exciting, especially at this price point. For example, the Secretlab Titan Evo 2022 has a built-in lumbar support system that lets you adjust firmness and location. You can, though, also adjust the location of the lumbar pillow by using its straps and moving it up or down.
At first, assembling the X Fit seemed simple enough, thanks to Thermaltake’s detailed instructions. The printed instructions in the box include a helpful exploded view of the chair, as well as clear directions in good English. But when it came to attaching the backrest to the seat, the sweating and swearing started.
With my review unit, I struggled to get the holes on the side of the backrest to line up. This is a common struggle in the gaming chair assembly process and a frustrating one at that. Exacerbating my woes, when I finally got the backrest on, the plastic cover that goes over the backrest wouldn’t stay on. It simply would not snap into place, but I actually preferred the chair with the plastic off because it reminded me of a gutted-out track car.
I’m very grateful that Thermaltake included an Allen wrench that was big enough for me to actually grip, unlike other pieces of furniture that come with a small key. Besides patience, that was the only tool I needed.
The Thermaltake X Fit Real Leather has lots of potential. Its upholstery has beautiful stitching and opts for real leather when so many gaming chairs go for the fake stuff. But that’s part of what makes the chair so expensive. We’ve found the chair on sale for $500 rather than its $580 MSRP, but you could still get a very good gaming chair with a different type of upholstery for less.
For example, the Secretlab Omega is still available with faux leather for $360 or fabric upholstery for $379, and it has much more luxurious pillows than our review focus and is supportive without being stiff. The newer version of that chair, the Secretlab Titan Evo 2022, can be had with faux leather for $450 or fabric for $470 and has a more spacious seat.
If you insist on real leather, the X Fit Real Leather’s upholstery seems durable but still not like very premium leather. Although you do get real leather with Thermaltake’s chair, it’s clearly cheaper leather. That said, this is still a good price for a leather gaming chair. Secretlab’s Omega and Titan Evo chairs start at $750 and $900, respectively, for a real leather finish. But there are even cheaper, non-gaming options, like the La-Z-Boy Delano I use. Its leather is smoother and shinier, and the chair is much more comfortable.
On top of that, the X Fit Real Leather is a hard, snug chair that I found hard to get comfortable in. Without any unique features added in compared to the competition, I can’t call the X Fit Real leather a real fit.