Gaming chairs have become an expensive business. Many of the top brands see fit to charge hundreds upon hundreds for seats that gamers can snuggle into and enjoy their favorite titles from. But are these chairs worthy of their costs?
In the case of the AndaSeat T-Compact gaming chair, the answer is: Maybe. If you're a budget-conscious gamer looking for the best value for your money, the answer will probably transform into a "no," whereas if you're in a rush for a quality gaming chair and money is no object, the answer is "yes." But let's break the good and bad down in more detail so you have a fuller idea of how the T-Compact stacks up against the other best gaming chairs on the market.
Bottom line: AndaSeat's T-Compact gaming chair is good across the board but doesn't excel in any particular areas to the point of being a must-buy.
- Comfortable and sturdy
- Many adjustability options
- Diversity of color options
- Expensive for what it is
- Aesthetic and construction annoyances
AndaSeat T-Compact gaming chair: What I like
Make no mistake: The AndaSeat T-Compact gaming chair is a good chair. It lets me sit upright and proper when I want, as well as slouch and lean when I'm in a Captain Kirk sort of mood. It's comfortable, packed with adjustability functions, and not much of an eyesore (depending on how much you detest having company branding plastered over your furniture).
Its two included pillows — one for the head and one for the lower back — amplify the seating experience and make sure you're never sliding into the chair at a bad angle. As a result, my posture is solid as a rock while sitting down. And the pillows are both easily removable, should you prefer the chair's padding.
As for adjustability, you can lean this chair back from 90 to 160 degrees, raise or lower it to match your height preferences, and move the armrests in a ton of different ways. They can raise, lower, rotate, and even slide back and forth to keep your arms supported no matter what.
Another nice aspect of the T-Compact is its color options. The three available hues are black, gray, and blue. I opted for gray and it matches the photos on AndaSeat's site, leaving me confident that the other two color options are also faithfully represented via their product shots. For those in need of professional, situationally versatile aesthetics, the T-Compact is a solid choice.
And I'd be remiss not to mention the build quality. Though I haven't yet had months or years to test the longevity of the seat, I can say that at this exact moment, it feels sturdy. When performing normal activities and swirling around on the five-wheeled chair, I feel confident that it will maintain its form, never give me up, nor let me down.
AndaSeat T-Compact gaming chair: What I don't like
The T-Compact chair is in something of a death by a thousand cuts situation, at least for those who tend to feel the cumulative effect of many tiny gripes adding up. While everything about the chair is superficially solid, there are issues, both aesthetically as well as construction-wise, that hold the chair back from greatness.
There's the assembly process, which is a bit more cumbersome than seems necessary due to the chair's so-so manual. Said manual also lacks key details, failing to describe the core functionalities of "leisure mode" as well as the chair's rocking function. What's the point of having features if customers aren't told what they do and are left to poke and prod their new chair, running the risk of damaging something in the process? I asked AndaSeat for function clarification. It replied that rocking is noticeable past 120 degrees of recline (though, even then, I didn't notice the effects) and that leisure mode was the reclining feature.
Speaking of which: The chair's reclining feature can be jerky. Sometimes it's a smooth operation, but other times it'll snap into place hard, with an aggressive and noisy jolt. The actual chair back isn't at risk of hurting you in these incidents, but the handle's noise and the suddenness of the motion can be unpleasant to the point of making you not want to adjust the seat without reason. AndaSeat said the less one leans against the chair while reclining, the less of a jerk there will be. That advice works most of the time.
It's also worth considering the material the chair's made out of. Linen and foam are comfy, but they aren't as easy to maintain as other materials. This chair seems primed to absorb summertime gaming sweat and throw some dank odors back at you in the long run, if given time to build up — hence why AndaSeat recommends monthly vacuuming at the minimum.
Then there are aesthetic concerns. AndaSeat's branding crops up on both pillows, the front of the chair (twice) as well as once on the back. If you're not a fan of companies spamming their branding on your seats, the T-Compact might put you off. And the way the pillows attach looks odd, almost like your chair is wearing suspenders — suspenders you'll occasionally feel while sitting.
None of these things are dealbreakers in their own right, but they do add up, and for the lofty price tag of $400, these many minor compromises could put off certain customers.
AndaSeat T-Compact gaming chair: The competition
Given the pros and cons of the T-Compact gaming chair, you may want to take a look at our best gaming chairs roundup to get an idea of the alternatives that are out there. There's the EasySMX memory foam chair if you want an inexpensive competitor to the T-Compact, as well as the Zenith ergonomic mesh chair if you want more of an office chair experience with similar attention to ergonomics. Check out our roundup for the full details on both seats.
Alternatively, if you want to throw even more money at a chair in exchange for even fancier features, there's the $500 Razer Iskur with its special lumbar support design.
AndaSeat T-Compact gaming chair: Should you buy?
You should buy this if ...
- You want a sturdy, comfy gaming chair
- You love adjustable armrests
- You like subtle color palettes
You should not buy this if ...
- You dislike making compromises
- You don't want branding in your aesthetics
- You're value-minded
AndaSeat's T-Compact gaming chair is most certainly a good chair, though it leaves room for improvement in future AndaSeat offerings. A better, more thorough instruction booklet, less branding on the product, and a smoother reclining feature would all go toward making future seats even better. With that said, the T-Compact that's here today is a perfectly solid choice if you aren't concerned with getting the absolute best bang for the buck and just want a comfy, solid seat to plop your keister down on.
Just remember, $400 can get you far in the world of gaming chairs, and there's no reason not to do your homework and see if there's a chair that will fit your aesthetic and ergonomic needs for less cash. From EasySMX to Secretlab, there are a lot of quality alternatives out there worth considering.
Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.