DXRacer DF51 Review

Rating:

With technology playing a larger and larger part of our every day lives, we spend more time thinking about how much faster our tech can become, how much longer our batteries can last, and how can we bend our devices to serve us better in our every day lives. What we don’t spend enough time thinking about, however, is ergonomics – how do we design our working environments to be used by people more efficiently and more safely?

Today, we’re spending some time thinking about ergonomics, more specifically, with the DXRacer DF51: a high-end, PC-gaming targeted chair that aims to provide high levels of comfort and support.

Design & Aesthetics

DXRacer DF51 Review

The DXRacer DF51 looks like its namesake: a sporty, racing-style chair that looks like it would be more at home in an aggressive supercar rather than rolling around in my home office. The leather-like exterior gives it a professional office-type look, that is immediately erased by the bright colours lining the backrest and seat, which gives it a more aggressive and sporty look.

I like my products to look aggressive sometimes, and this is one of those times.

DXRacer DF51 Review

The high backrest on the DF51 comes with bolstered sides and headrest, designed to hug your body and provide comfort over the long hours. In addition, the backrest can recline up to 180 degrees, and is held up with a heavy-duty steel frame, providing an exceptionally high level of stability and reassurance when leaning all the way back. The chair is also filled with a high-density foam padding, providing even more support, while also simultaneously reducing the amount of heat generated from prolonged sitting. The DXRacer DF51 also comes with an additional lumbar support and headrest, providing the option for even more customizability and support.

DXRacer DF51 Review

The adjustable armrests are made of a very high density rubber, with just a tiny amount of give, letting it jiggle slightly when experiencing motion, however they’re very much held firmly into place by the frame. The reclining mechanism is triggered by a very minimal lever that works very similarly to its car-based counterparts: lift the lever to lean forward or recline, and lower to lock it into place. The DXRacer DF51’s height can be adjusted using the height-adjustment lever that most computer chairs come with, but unfortunately, seems to be very limited in terms of height.

DXRacer DF51 Review

On the lower end, the chair is held up by a five-point, and very heavy, steel base with quite solid looking castors that lock into place. There are footrests that match the accent colour of the chair, and they’re little more than plastic strips that snap into holes on the base. Honestly, they’re quite hard and have embossed designs on them, that don’t feel great on bare feet. Thankfully, the DXRacer DF51 does roll like a dream on hard wood flooring, and it’s probably the smoothest chair I’ve experienced.

Comfort & Ergonomics

The DXRacer DF51 touts itself as the “ideal choice for extended periods of sitting”, like when working on a big project or running a marathon gaming session. I have seen it prominently displayed in many e-sports tournaments, so I came into this product review with high expectations, and I fully expected to put it through its paces.

DXRacer DF51 Review

To preface: I compared the DXRacer DF51 to previous chairs I have either owned or used, and I really tried to put it through different situations to figure out how it held up over long hours. In the two weeks that I’ve been using it, I’ve managed to: play about 2-3 hours of games per sitting, watch a few movies or episodes of television, and work for about 4-5 hours at a time, all done with differing frequencies during the week. For each activity, I took regular breaks where I would get up, grab a drink, stretch, and/or do something else for a while. This was neither scientific nor thorough, but I certainly used it like any person would try to use it.

DXRacer DF51 Review

For starters, the height limitations of the chair are immediately obvious if you have a taller desk for your computer. I have a desk which has the surface at about 28.5″ or 72cm, and I had a bit of trouble finding the right height for the chair, that fit the right height of the armrests, that fit the height of the desk. This is priority number one for me when using chairs, because sitting at an improper height for hours at a time does cause some noticeable pain in my shoulders, my back, and my wrists and elbows.

DXRacer DF51 Review

In addition, the chair is quite opinionated about where you should be sitting, given that there are raised sections on the seat, as well as the presence of the bolstered sides, making the sitting experience less comfortable if you don’t fit quite right. I consider this relatively minor for myself, as the seat is a racing-style chair, but it’s a tad weird to make it less comfortable to not sit in a conventional way on the DF51.

DXRacer DF51 Review

Lastly, the lumbar support and headrest are essentially large, soft foam pillows. They are very much one-size fits all, and I did feel a bit of discomfort over longer periods of using the lumbar support because of just how much it pushed my back forward. I’ve kept it on, but it’s essentially acting as extra cushion for my posterior, which honestly isn’t that bad of a situation.

Overall, it took some time to find my happy place with the DXRacer DF51, in terms of comfort and support, but I eventually found a happy path, with some concessions around height and seating position. It’s not perfect, but it can be a decently comfortable chair over long periods of time once you get it into the right settings.

The Bottom Line

The DXRacer DF51 is an expensive chair. At $540.53 from Staples, as of this writing, it is a nontrivial purchase that requires careful research and analysis of its offerings, especially when compared against its rivals.

Personally, I am on the fence with the value received from the DF51: I am comfortable enough for long periods, but I’m still unsure as to its ergonomic value. It looks great, given its racing-style appearance, but for the price tag, you really expect more than a great looking chair.

This product is perfect for: people who spend long periods of time seated in front of a computer or television, and want to feel comfortable while doing it.

Key things to be aware of: fiddling with customization is definitely a must, to find your comfort zone for your office setup, but once you find it, it should be a good time.

Final review score: 3.5. The DXRacer DF51 looks great, can be quite comfortable, but costs quite a bit more than what you get.

Summary
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DXRacer DF51
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Jon Lim

Jon Lim is a professional developer, writer, and an avid technologist. He has written creatively for the past 16 years, and professionally for 4 years.

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