Thermaltake Argent E700 gaming chair review: Too much form, not enough function
Coming in at around $1200, this better be good...
We were after one of these chairs for a long while here at WePC, so when the Thermaltake Argent E700 was clumsily carried (almost dropped, in fact) into the office, we couldn’t wait to tear into it.
Ahead of its arrival, the Argent E700 had been the subject of mixed opinions among the WePC staff. Some loved the retro-futuristic design, others were unsure.
Additionally, there were some doubts over the comfort and ergonomic capabilities of the chair due to its unique shape and lack of tilt function.
Well, we’ve been testing it out for a while now, so let’s see if the chair is worth a buy, or if it’s all form and no function.
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Thermaltake Argent E700 specs
Thermaltake Argent E700 gaming chair
- Looks fantastic
- Real leather
- Comes almost pre-assembled
- Not enough ergonomic adjustability
- Headrest flexes too much
- Shape of the seat prevents alternative sitting positions
- Far too expensive
We’ve assembled a lot of gaming chairs here in the WePC offices. Literally everyone who works here sits on one, so it was a breath of fresh air when the Argent E700 came almost entirely pre-assembled.
This makes sense when you think about it, though. Where most gaming chairs’ armrests and levers are simply bolted to the underside of the base, the design of this chair hides the mechanisms within the main body.
Leaving this level of assembly up to the consumer would be a bit much, and would no doubt result in many instances of complaints due to botched build attempts.
This explained the massive box the Thermaltake Argent E700 arrived in, as you can see from the product photography, the backrest and seat base are far bulkier than the usual chair pieces.
Assembly amounted to clipping the wheels into the base, bolting the backrest to the seat, and combining the two together by way of the class 4 gas lift piston.
Overall, it was a dead-easy build, as there are only about 4 steps, however, due to the weight of the chair, doing it alone is a little tricky. We managed to make it work by fully extending the armrests to balance the base with the bolt holes for the backrest facing upwards.
We’d still recommend getting a friend to help as this chair is extremely easy to scratch and the weight makes dropping pieces very likely.
First impressions were mixed, to put it lightly. Upon taking our first seat the padding felt pretty unforgiving, which could inspire some intense buyer’s remorse, given the £1,200 price point.
However, it’s worth keeping in mind that the high-density foam used in gaming chairs arrives very solid out of the box and softens over time. This makes it very rare that the chair is immediately comfortable, however, chairs like the Secretlab Omega are a notable exception to this rule.
After a couple of days, however, the E700 slowly wore in and became a great place to sit. The padding on the backrest is of particular note here as it’s struck a perfect balance between supportive and cushy, being firm enough to encourage good posture, but soft enough to sink into a bit.
The base, however, has remained solid. Not so solid as to be uncomfortable, but we’d prefer a little more ‘squishyness’, for lack of a better word. The armrests are annoyingly solid too, and weirdly short in length, potentially, as a result of the ‘form over function’ design priorities of this chair, speaking of which:
Unfortunately, this is where things take turn for the worse as the Thermaltake Argent E700 eschews ergonomics and posture in favor of looking cool.
If you’ve been shopping around for a new gaming chair, you might have become familiar with the usual suite of specs that are almost copy-pasted from company to company.
This usually comprises 4D armrests, tilt-lock, 180-degree recline, neck pillow, and lumbar cushion. Unfortunately for the Thermaltake Argent E700, it’s only got one of these.
The 4D armrests work as well as you’d expect, with the full range of motion befitting the name. However, they are annoyingly loose, meaning that simply pressing your elbows into them at the wrong angle is enough to make them slide all over the place, this is where a locking mechanism like the one found on the Secretlab Titan Evo would come in handy.
Also, we feel compelled to mention that we cannot recommend this chair for those of you who like to sit cross-legged, or with one leg folded up under the other.
The bucked shape of the chair entirely presents this, and if you try, one side of the chair will make your thigh go numb, while the other slowly dislocates your ankle.
The lack of a tilt system is annoying too, and we suspect it was left out in order to preserve the smooth underbelly of the chair. If you take a look at the underside of your chair, you’ll see a big square bracket, which is responsible for the tilt. This just wouldn’t look good on the Argent E700.
Overall, the chair has not been designed with ergonomics in mind. The seating experience isn’t uncomfortable, but the lack of adjustable lumbar support or a neck pillow makes it hard to justify the price. You’ll probably have noticed a recurring form-over-function theme by this point in the review.
Now, this is where the Thermaltake Argent E700 really starts to hit its stride as it’s one of the coolest-looking gaming chairs out there, with a retro-futuristic design that firmly sets it apart from the glut of ‘racing’ inspired chairs we’ve become so used to.
The previous statement is actually a little ironic as Thermaltake teamed up with Studio F. A. Porsche for the visual design of this chair, these are the same people who worked with AOC on the PD32M we reviewed a couple of months ago.
During that review, we raved about the elegant and industrial design of the monitor, and it would appear they know a thing or two about making gaming chairs look nice too, as we absolutely love the Argent E700.
One of our favorite things here is the smooth lines that make up the shape of the chair, where usually you’d have the seat base and backrest abruptly meeting together, these two pieces look like one on this chair, even when using the recline function, the aesthetics remain uncompromised.
We received the ‘Racing Green’ variant of the E700, and the exterior really does look the part, closely mimicking the appearance of a car side panel. Unfortunately, this illusion is a little shattered when you touch the chair, as the material of the shell is actually just weight-saving plastic.
The handles positioned on either side of the seat base are really nice, however, with a cold-to-the-touch aluminum finish. They click in and out with a tactile feeling and satisfying click. Annoyingly, locking the recline of the chair to a certain angle is done by pulling one of the handles out, which kind of puts a damper on the smooth shape we mentioned earlier.
Moving around to the upholstery, the news gets better, way better. This is because it’s one of the few gaming chairs that comes with real leather upholstery as standard.
This leather is applied with a great deal of accuracy and care too, with no visible scratches, misaligned seams, or errant threads. The threads in question are a vivid red color, which contrasts nicely with the black leather and green outer shell, surprise, surprise, those clever Austrians over at Studio F. A. Porsche really do know how to make something look nice.
We often talk about branding here during our chair reviews, as we find too much of it annoying. It would Appear Porsche agrees with us as there is literally one logo on the chair.
This is positioned right between where your shoulders will be and it takes the form of a polished aluminum plate bearing the double-T Thermaltake logo. That’s it, folks, just one logo, obscured when the product is in use.
Other chair companies should take notes here as we consider one or two logos to be ideal. Any more than that and it’s either obnoxious due to the size, or pointless if they’re hidden.
The leather, stitching, wheelbase, and handles all feel immensely premium here, and we have no doubts about their longevity. However, there are a few parts of the chair that have us either worried or irritated, sometimes both.
Despite the wheelbase being a wedge chunk of steel, the wheels that slot into it are nothing special, just bog-standard plastic wheels. They handle the excessive weight of the chair fine, but rolling the chair along a hard surface makes an irritating rattling noise. Those of you with carpet have nothing to worry about though.
The bit that has us worried most of all is the headrest. The cushion itself is ok, albeit less-than-ideal in terms of ergonomics, but the plastic it’s attached to that extends from the main body of the chair flexes under very little pressure.
Over time, this could cause cracking or bending as the plastic has no reinforcement to keep it rigid. It will probably be okay, but it’s worth mentioning it as we’d expect a little more attention to detail given the $1000+ price.
Thermaltake Argent E700 gaming chair: Final Verdict
Christian Schwamkrug, the Design Director of Studio F. A. Porsche says “This is more than just a gaming chair”, and we agree, though perhaps not in the sense he hoped we would.
You’ve probably noticed us using the phrase ‘form over function’ during this review a few times, as there is simply no better way to sum up the Thermaltake Argent E700.
Its aesthetics and overall visual design are unmatched by anything else on the market, creating the most unique silhouette we know of, and it’s a beautiful piece of retro-futuristic art from any angle.
Unfortunately, however, looking at this chair is the best part of the experience. After a couple of days, it did wear in to become more comfortable than it was fresh out of the box, but the experience is still far less comfortable, ergonomic, and adjustable than you can get from chairs less than half the price.
Reaching the end of this review, we find ourselves in the odd position of both loving this chair and being unable to recommend it for general gaming or office use. However, Christian was right, it’s more than a gaming chair, it’s a fun collaboration between a veteran PC gaming brand and a legendary design studio.
Fittingly, this collaboration has produced something more akin to a concept car. It’s expensive, looks wild, and won’t be widely used by those outside of the media.
Despite the shortcomings of the Argent E700, we look forward to the next collaboration between Thermaltake and Studio F. A. Porsche, and we think they could absolutely nail it next time.
Thermaltake Argent E700 gaming chair
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