If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent most of your PC gaming life using cheap office chairs from the local department store. When you go that route, it doesn’t take long before you realize that you get what you pay for. In my case, it meant a sore back and a chair that creaked every time I moved. Upgrading to a gaming chair can be an expensive decision, but it doesn’t need to break the bank. Corsair recently unveiled the T3 Rush, a gaming chair that’s laser-targeted on delivering big features for a not-so-big price.
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Corsair T3 Rush – Design and Features
The T3 Rush is Corsair’s third gaming chair but it’s the most unique of the trio thanks to its fabric finish. The Rush, as the name implies, still has the standard race car bucket seat styling – but not being trimmed in PU leather really sets it apart from its predecessors and most of the gaming chair market. I received the Charcoal version for testing, but it’s also available in Gray/Charcoal and Gray/White.
It may be gray all day with the Rush, but that doesn’t mean it’s boring. I usually prefer the sheen and colors available with imitation leather, but I actually found myself liking it more than I expected. The Charcoal fabric works really well and just fits with the bucket seat design. Corsair has also done a great job of accenting it with clean black stitching and a carbon fiber finish on the armrests.
At first blush, the Rush seems like the slenderest of Corsair’s offerings thanks to its contoured design, but it actually falls in between the T1 and T3 models in terms of seating space. The bolsters on either side of the backrest are deep and angled to hug you into the chair, but as a fairly small guy (5’8”, 160lbs), I never felt cramped sitting in it. I wouldn’t recommend the Rush for a bigger person because of the thinner foam used, but I could also see those bolsters being uncomfortable if you’re a wider person.
The T3 Rush is supremely adjustable and I love it. The Class-4 gas lift provides 10 cm of height adjustment to match your desk. It also has 4D armrests, allowing you to raise and lower them, adjust their width, angle, and even their depth. This is a great feature if you find yourself sitting at your desk a lot and need to change position between holding a Xbox One controller, typing at a gaming keyboard, or even reclining to put your feet up and binge on Netflix.
While I don’t make a habit of sleeping at my gaming desk, doctors do recommend mid-day cat naps and the Rush is ready to accommodate. The recline here is expansive, all the way from 90 degrees to a full 180 degree flat lay. It’s a little unnerving reclining back so far the first time, but the base did its job well and kept me rooted to the ground.
What the T3 Rush lacks is any kind of built-in lumbar support. Instead, Corsair has included a nice memory foam pillow trimmed in black velour. It doesn’t attach to the chair, so it will only stay in position while you’re leaning back, which can be annoying to readjust every time you lean forward. Also included is a soft neck pillow that attaches to the headrest, but, as is usually the case, it wound up pushing my head forward and was quickly tossed to the side.
The T3 Rush is more feature-rich than I would expect at $299, but there were some clear cost-cutting measures I noticed right away. The biggest is the 5-star base, which is plastic instead of metal. Gaming chairs with metal bases are more durable but often cost upwards of $350, such as the Secret Lab Omega ($359). The casters are also entirely plastic and have the dual-wheel design that glides well but is known for scratching hardwood floors. This isn’t a chair you’ll want to slam yourself down in too often without running the risk of cracking the base. However, for the cost, the extended recline, 4D armrests, and quality stitch-work are impressive.
The foam here is also notably thinner than either of Corsair’s other chairs, or the two Noblechairs I had on hand to compare against. The actual seat cushions are fine, if a bit firm, but you can easily feel the metal frame inside the seat bolsters. The T3 Rush is one of the few chairs I’ve ever had this happen with – it does make sitting cross-legged more uncomfortable and, again, will likely make the chair more uncomfortable for wider users.
There are also some issues with the overall fit and finish. The recline handle on the unit I received was marred with marks and plastic burrs from the mold, though this could just be my unit. On the underside of the chair, two of the bolts also had unsightly masses from the welding process pictured below. Since this is out of sight, it doesn’t make a meaningful difference but it did stand out to me when I was putting the chair together.
For the cost of entry, the T3 Rush still feels like a generous offering. After putting it together, the finish issues weren’t noticeable and the plastic is perfectly functional. Given my size, even the thinner foam didn’t really impact me. Instead, you have a chair that sacrifices little and delivers a lot at a substantial discount against other competitors in its category.
Corsair T3 Rush – Assembly
Assembling the T3 Rush is as straightforward as I’ve seen for a gaming chair and took me about 25 minutes, start to finish. The chair is fairly lightweight at less than 50 lbs, so I had no trouble assembling it solo. With a second pair of hands to help attach the backrest, you could easily get up and running inside of 15 minutes.
Corsair helpfully includes everything you need right in the box, including an allen wrench/screwdriver. Since the armrests come pre-installed, you only need to set up and attach the base and attach the backrest. Piecing it together only involves 10 screws, four of which are pre-installed into the bottom of the chair to remove some of the guesswork. The manual walks you through the steps, though if you’ve ever built one of these chairs before, the entire process is very intuitive.
Corsair T3 Rush – Gaming
More than anything else, a gaming chair should make it easier for you to enjoy the games you love. To that end, the T3 Rush is a success. The feature I was most concerned about, the fabric exterior, turned out to be my favorite quality of the whole chair. It’s so much more breathable compared to PU leather that it never once overheated or made me sweat. It’s a chilly winter here in Western New York, so heat isn’t exactly an issue anyway, but I still found the fabric nicer to sit in over long gaming sessions. It needs to be cleaned more often but I found that to be a worthwhile trade-off.
The 4D armrests were another high point. Depending on what I was playing, I was able to adjust them for exactly what I needed at that time. When I was sitting at my desk playing rounds of Battlefield V, I would slide them forward and in to match my mouse and keyboard posture. When I played Shadow of the Tomb Raider on the Xbox One X, I’d move them back and out to match my more relaxed posture. The ability to adjust the recline so far was also great for exactly the same reason. Sometimes you want to sit up straight at the ready. Other times, you want to kick back and relax. The Rush was great for both.
The only time the T3 ever took me out of the game was when I’d try crossing my legs and feel the frame. Thankfully, it only took small adjustments to solve the issue and it was never an issue sitting normally.
The Corsair T3 Rush is available on Amazon for $299 and it comes in three different colors including Charcoal, Gray/Charcoal, and Gray/White.
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