EDITOR'S NOTE: The Razer Iskur won a "highly recommended" honor for best gaming chair in the Tom's Guide Awards 2021 for gaming.
The Razer Iskur saved my back while working from home. I don’t say this lightly, but it’s true. Until the Iskur came along, I was sitting on an eight-year-old office chair that cost $50 when I bought it, and had only depreciated in the interim. My shoulder would seize up every other week. Then, along came the Razer Iskur with its firm cushioning, adjustable support options and inventive lumbar apparatus. My shoulders, lower back and hindquarters are all in good shape.
I feel confident in saying that the Razer Iskur is far superior to a $50 office chair — but at a whopping $500, it had better be. The bigger question, then, is whether the Razer Iskur is superior to other gaming chairs on the market, particularly since it has a comparatively larger asking price.
Choosing the best gaming chair largely comes down to what feels comfortable, and that’s difficult to answer unilaterally. I can say, however, that even at its steep price, the Iskur provides a lot in return, from its firm, durable padding to its bevy of adjustable seating options. The chair’s pneumatic lumbar support system is particularly creative and functional, and I’m not aware of another gaming chair that offers it.
While the Iskur’s aesthetic design and head pillow both leave something to be desired, this chair could make an excellent centerpiece for your PC gaming setup. Read our full Razer Iskur review to learn more.
Razer Iskur review: Price and availability
The Razer Iskur costs $500, and is available either directly from Razer (opens in new tab), or from Amazon (opens in new tab). The chair first came out in October 2020.
Razer Iskur review: Design
There are two main points of the Razer Iskur’s design to consider: its layout and its aesthetics. The good news is that the layout — the more important quality of the two — is excellent. The bad news is that the aesthetics — the more noticeable quality of the two — are not, especially on the black-and-green model.
Like a lot of other gaming chairs, the Iskur is a large black seat, with firm and generous padding for both your back and your glutes. The Iskur features a symmetrical design that expands with small curves around the shoulders, and contracts to a rounded rectangle toward the head. There’s a hexagonal pattern on both the seat and the backrest, and two plain black arm rests.
The right side of the seat has adjustment controls for the backrest angle, the chair’s pitch and the lumbar support mechanism. Below the seat, there’s a black base with five casters, as well as a height adjustment arm. I’ll discuss these more thoroughly in the Features section, but just about everything is within reach, and easy to distinguish by touch.
On the other hand, there’s no denying that the Razer Iskur is simply going to look better in some gaming centers than others. I pride myself on having a low-key, elegant gaming setup with a dark wood grain desk, plain peripherls and even a boxy, black PC chassis. That’s why the Razer Iskur, with its prominent Razer logo, neon green stitching and “For Gamers. By Gamers.” trademarked slogan are all a little jarring.
Fortunately, the Iskur comes in a plain black option. However, the “For Gamers, By Gamers” text is still there, as is the large logo and the brand name on the back.
Razer Iskur review: Comfort
The Iskur is easily the most comfortable computer chair I’ve ever used . While it’s tough to compare office chairs and gaming chairs directly, I’ve sat in many office chairs that felt a lot flimsier and less supportive than the Iskur does. The seat and backrest are both extremely firm and offer a ton of support, provided you actually remember to sit up straight and lean back. And, if you have trouble with that, you can adjust the seat’s pitch to fit your particular contours. That way, you can work and play in a neutral spine position, whether you take a “lean back” or “lean forward” approach.
Granted, the Iskur doesn’t come pre-adjusted, so you’ll have to do an awful lot of trial and error before you find the perfect position. There are four different levers to adjust, and that’s before you take the arm rests into consideration. You could spend quite some time fiddling around to find a good fit — and then see it thrown entirely out of whack the second a spouse or housemate decides to adjust it for themselves. This may be a necessary evil when there are so many possible settings to adjust, but it’s still a potentially frustrating process.
The biggest issue I ran into, however, was that the head support depends almost entirely on your height. The Iskur comes with a head pillow, which is good. But Razer cautions that the Iskur works best for people between 5’6” and 6’2”, and I’m definitely on the lower end of that spectrum. I couldn’t actually get the pillow to sit low enough to support the bottom of my head, meaning all it did was prevent me from leaning back all the way. One extremely stiff neck and two ibuprofen caplets later, I retired the darn thing, and learned to live with the unadorned backrest.
Razer Iskur review: Features
Where the Razer Iskur distinguishes itself from the competition — and arguably earns its $500 asking price — is in its adjustable lumbar support mechanism. Generally speaking, gaming chairs offer lumbar support in the form of pillows, which sometimes work and sometimes don’t. By contrast, the Iskur’s lower backrest can actually extend outward and upward, adjusting to both the curvature of your spine and your general sitting position. Simply pull a lever, lean back when you find a comfortable fit, and the Iskur provides an immobile, supportive, consistent surface to prop up your lumbar vertebrae. Speaking as someone who can’t stand the feeling of pillows behind my back, I don’t see how I could ever go back to a soft lumbar support system.
(I do need to mention, however, that the lumbar support mechanism very nearly ruined the Razer Iskur for me when I received an incorrectly assembled unit. Thankfully, Razer has assured me that this flaw is not present in any production models, and a quick sweep of social media and popular forums seems to confirm this. Just be aware that if the lumbar support on your chair doesn’t work properly, you are missing the product’s signature feature.)
Apart from the lumbar support, you can also adjust the chair height and backrest angle — fairly standard features, even among cheap office chairs. The backrest angle is a little sensitive, and you’ll have to apply just the right amount of pressure to get it where you want to go. More interesting is the chair’s pitch, which lets you adjust how far forward or back you want the whole chair to lean. The armrests also give you quite a bit of control, letting you adjust the height, direction and angle.
Razer Iskur review: Verdict
In spite of a high price and a few design quirks, the Razer Iskur is an excellent gaming chair. It’s not the right visual fit for every gaming center, but it’s hard to argue with how comfortable it is — or how much support it gives your lower back.
If you’ve had good experiences with Razer’s electronic gaming gear in the past, rest assured that the company’s mechanical furniture experiment is also off to a good start.