technology

Recaro Exo Platinum review: one of the best gaming chairs on the market

Many have heard of Recaro for its automotive seats that have been found in sports and competition cars for more than 50 years, but also since the 1990s in certain high-end and more mainstream models. With this expertise and eyeing a chair market gaming in full expansion recently, the manufacturer has rushed into the breach with its Exo, Exo FX and Platinum for the top of the range, as well as the Rae for the more affordable models.

We tested the Exo Platinum for several weeks in order to provide you with a complete analysis of this chair, which offers a host of features. Made in Germany with materials only from the country and Europe, this armchair is displayed at an ultra premium price and it is found at the time of writing these lines around 1100 € (with a recommended price of 1249 €). That’s the cost of a very good ergonomic chair — we think of Hermann Miller, for example — and that’s way more than competitors in the industry gaming, whose prices can reach 500-700 € for the most expensive. Remember, however, that the latter produce their models in China.

Is the Exo Platinum state of the art in build quality, comfort and ergonomics? This is what we wanted to verify.

Editor's Rating: 5 out of 5

Construction

For assembly, nothing could be simpler: the chair is delivered pre-assembled (hence the size of the box on delivery) and all you have to do is screw the armrests using the supplied Allen key, then fit the casters on the star leg before fitting it with the pneumatic cylinder under the chair. It took a lot of force to get the wheels in, but assembly only took a few minutes with the brand’s instructional videos.

Assembling the chair is very easy.

Assembling the chair is very easy.

© The Digital

It’s hard to fault Recaro in terms of build quality, as the materials used and the finishes are of good quality. FYI, our model is entirely black, but it is possible to opt for different fabric and shell colors (grey, white, blue, yellow, etc.). The entire seat and backrest are in fabric, which breathes better than leather or imitation leather, and there is “mesh” textile on the sides. Supposed to be more airy, we are ultimately in little contact with these parts, but this gives the Exo Platinum a more elaborate aesthetic that we will not find on the Exo and Exo FX models.

The fabric on the seat and the mesh on the sides.

The fabric on the seat and the mesh on the sides.

© The Digital

The other main element of the chair remains the rigid and solid plastic for the back shell and part of the armrests. However, we discover chromed aluminum parts on the armrests and the entire foot of the chair, which give a premium touch to the whole and allow the Exo Platinum to be easily integrated into an office environment without stereotypes. gamer.

Recaro did not use chrome plastic, but real aluminum.

Recaro did not use chrome plastic, but real aluminum.

© The Digital

The “luxury” side of the armchair is therefore identified in minute details, which can still be seen with the intricate design of the five two-tone, hollow castors. These are suitable for hard floors and carpet, but they will be criticized for not being perfectly fluid on soft ground. It’s frankly not embarrassing if you move little in front of your desk, but you will have a hard time dragging yourself several meters to grab something or for possible chair races between colleagues.

Even the wheels are worked.

Even the wheels are worked.

© The Digital

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5

Ergonomics

Recaro did not have to look far for the design of its Exo Platinum since, like the vast majority of chairs gaming, it sports the curves of the “bucket” seats of the automotive world. The main difference lies in the office functionalities of the chair, with in the first place the adjustment of the seat height from 49 cm to 59 cm. The chair is also designed for people from 1.50 m up to 1.85 m, and therefore not really recommended for large sizes. The maximum load supported is 150 kg.

The rocker adjustment lever and the hardness dial.

The rocker adjustment lever and the hardness dial.

© The Digital

You can also adjust the inclination of the seat, either by leaving the rocker free – with adjustment of the hardness – or by locking everything in four predefined positions. Recaro called them “offensive” modes (leaning forward slightly and suitable for games), “concentration” (back straight for most work situations, play), “relaxed” (a little back for play on the controller or watch a movie, for example), and “recharge” (leaning back very much for the little nap-that-is-well).

Here, the file is on the back, but we can go even further.

Here, the file is on the back, but we can go even further.

© The Digital

Car brand obliges, the adjustment of the inclination of the backrest is not done using a lever like on most chairs gaming, but using side knobs as found on car seats. This gives it a slight advantage since the angle can be adjusted very precisely.

The back adjustment knob.

The back adjustment knob.

© The Digital

The curve of the backrest forms an S with an integrated lumbar support, but this is not adjustable in height or depth. Too bad for such a high-end model, but we must admit that for the sake of ergonomics and practicality, we always leave the lumbar adjustment pushed to the maximum on the armchairs when possible, without changing it afterwards.

The curve of the backrest supports the lower back well.

The curve of the backrest supports the lower back well.

© The Digital

Another annoying element, the headrest is sold as an option for 99 € and, if it looks comfortable, we expected to see it delivered with the Exo Platinum given its price. Recaro is trying to catch up with a promotional offer at the time of writing, the headrest being provided, but its duration will probably be limited. Note that this accessory is not essential and that ergonomics experts even recommend not installing one in order to let the neck tilt as it pleases and avoid any stiffness in the long run. However, it can be practical in the rest position, for example.

Here, no headrest!

Here, no headrest!

© The Digital

Specific armrests

The “5D” armrests are probably the best we have tried so far. They can be positioned at almost any angle imaginable. No need to press a button to move them back and forth or rotate them 360°, just slide them and the system turns out to be really smooth. Otherwise, you can manage the distance by pressing the button below to bring the armrests closer or further away from the body – you can obviously adjust their height by pressing the side button. If we initially thought that the 5Ds would be gadgets compared to the already very complete 4Ds of the competition, we actually use them regularly to adapt to the millimeter and have the most comfortable position possible according to use (tightened in office automation , wider in play on the keyboard, further apart on the controller for example). This freedom is in the end really appreciable.

The armrests can be moved forward, backward and rotated 360°.

The armrests can be moved forward, backward and rotated 360°.

© The Digital

Strong points

  • Quality of construction and impeccable finishes.

  • Made in Germany.

  • Unparalleled 5D armrests.

  • Very good comfort.

  • Many seat and back adjustments.

Weak points

  • Optional headrest.

  • No lumbar adjustment.

  • Casters that lack fluidity.

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