The Bottom Line
- + Lots of style
- + Premium looks
- + For larger gamers
- + Feature-rich
- - A bit too big
- - Hot zones
- - Cost fully equipped
Should you buy it?AvoidConsiderShortlistBuy
Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
Even though this may be our first review of something so fundamental to the PC environment, we have gone through quite the sampling of what was available over the years. Starting with humble beginnings, as many do, we go out and grab whatever is cheapest that our rear ends fit into and that our budget allows at the time. However, as time goes by, you will realize a few things. The one that became immediately apparent is that two to three hundred dollars does not get much. If, like us, you went to the box office stores and grabbed something cool from their stock; you too quickly ran into a couple of other issues.
The padding gives out too soon, and within a year, you are resting your hunches on the inner frame and forget it if you are anything over 200 pounds, as the struts will give out just as fast as the padding. To combat this, we always grabbed the extended warranty, which outlasts the manufacturers, and while we were not paying for every chair, the monotony got to us.
After many conversations and asking others what they thought I should put real money towards, one company stood out. Remember that this was before the explosion of gaming chairs onto the market as we now know it. So many satisfied users brought Herman Miller up so many times, and while this review is not a plug for them, it is the bar to which I hold all other chairs. We did spend a small fortune on the Aeron at that time, nearly $1000 for those wondering. However, here we are, almost a decade later, and there is no reason to ponder replacing it. So, while many may see all the shiny and fancy on the newer chairs and get excited, we have a higher bar we are putting new gaming chairs up to.
When we took over this category of reviews, we asked if anyone had anything new to review. Luckily, Vertagear was happy to send one of their latest chairs from the P Line Series of racing-inspired gaming chairs. With some digging, we find that the P-Line is for the bigger boys and girls out there slogging through their favorite titles or even those looking for more comfort while working from home.
None of that low-end sissy stuff here, just a long list of features and even some additional gear that can take you from having a cool comfy gaming chair to a fully personalized and illuminated solution for the streamers or those that like to show off a little bit. Even so, with all of the fantastic things we have read about the Vertagear PL4800 gaming chair, with a month now of it under us, we feel it is time to bring forth what we found.
Let's take a quick trip through the listed specifications, and then we will dive deeper into some of what we know. First, the chair in question is the VG-PL4800SE_CB, the black and carbon model. It ships with a strut capable of supporting up to 360 pounds for users ranging from five foot nine inches to six foot six inches in height. The materials used may seem like a troll, but we kid you not. There is a steel frame inside the padded parts of the chair, and those bits are covered with coffee-ground microfiber on top of memory foam and UPHR foam. Vertagear also uses PUC leather on the trim, while all of it gets supported with an aluminum alloy base.
Dimensionally, we are told that the headrest of this chair will reach 53.3" in height with the strut fully compressed but can reach as tall as 56.2" with the strut expanded. The backrest is 21.6" wide at the shoulders and slightly smaller near the seat, where when measured at the lumbar support, it is 21.5" wide/ the same is found in the seat, as it matches that 21.5" at the base of the back, and it is 17.7" deep. All told, with everything assembled and everything but the wrench included in it, the PL4800 comes in at 60 pounds.
Some things you may see along the way or read us discussing are like those from above when we mentioned PUC, PHR, and coffee grounds, but let us try to explain these upfront. The coffee ground nanotech is used in the seat and back material to absorb smells and reduce heat. While on the subject of material, it is all called HygennX, which also incorporates silver into the fabric to fight bacteria. UPHR is for Ultra Premium High Resilience of the foam that sits under the layer of memory foam. PUC is used to describe PVC-based faux leather.
A VertaAir seat uses tubes and channels to let the fluff out of the chair and wick away heat. The lumbar support is called ContourMax, which uses Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE) modules with sixty-four branches to react to an individual spine. The Penta RS1 casters, carefree motorsport-inspired polyurethane wheels, are the last thing we may mention.
On its own, the cost of the Vertagear PL4800 is not all that bad and is somewhere in the middle of what the market can command currently. The MSRP of the PL4800, as we got it, the carbon and black model, was set at $579.99 but is now on sale through Vertagear for only $499.99. However, that isn't the end of it. If you would like to, you can add computer-controlled RGB to this model. This is where the rub lies. If you want RGB in the headrest, that will be an additional $249.99. If you want a custom emblem or logo inserted into the headrest openings, that will cost you $29.99. Remember, though, that $249.99 for the RGB at the top is just for the top. If you want RGB at the base, that will cost $249.99.
To be blunt, we don't care if tiny humans control the lighting, running back and forth and changing the LEDs by hand. To ask more for the lighting than the chair is worth is a massive ask of a manufacturer. We were not sent any add-on bits, so we cannot hold that against them in this review.
If you are concerned with the warranty, it is not as straightforward as one may expect.
As you can see, depending on the component, you may have a decade or much less. The chair's metal frame inside the seat and back are the only parts covered for a decade. The seat mechanism or back tilt, the armrests, wheels, lumbar support, five-star base, strut, and headrest are only covered for two years.
However, that was the average turnaround time for my box store purchases in the past. While we feel the warranty should be longer with this amount of money involved, you get a reasonably long time to find the defects in manufacturing, if any.
Packaging & Contents
Starting with this look at the packaging, we can see Vertagear uses printed packaging to help keep costs down. We are shown that this is a P-Line Gaming chair, the PL4800 of that series. At the bottom, we see the VG-PL4800SE_CB, with the black and carbon color, and a smaller sticker mentioning the potential of adding the RGB upgrade kit.
The Vertagear logo wraps from the last panel to this one, and the colors have been inverted. However, we also see that this is BIFMA compliant with the weight, package dimensions, and iconography.
The next panel is the inverse of what we saw with the first package image, but it lacks any shipping stickers this time. However, it does appear that this box went through some things to get to our house.
We see things we have already covered on this last side of the box. While one could argue that Vertagear could list features or specs somewhere, but all of that information is online, where most of you will buy this, and the box does not need it.
Once we opened the top of the box, we were greeted with the aluminum alloy base of the chair with its legs padded with foam. Under it are other layers of foam, and as we can see, the armrest and seat bits are also covered for added protection.
Under some of the black foam, we located the hardware box, including the instructions and warranty information, in the white folder inside the top flap. Inside the box, in the top layer, we find two adjuster arms, a kit with bolts and an Allen wrench, and a washable pet hair remover to keep the chair tidy at all times.
The lower section offers up the rest of the parts needed for assembly. We have the strut across the back, capable of supporting 360 pounds. In front of it, we see the five Pensta RS1 casters allowing these chairs to glide smoothly on the polyurethane wheels.
Vertagear PL4800 Components
We had to remove the covers from each of the legs in the aluminum base, and the seat mechanism is wrapped inside bubbles, ensuring that no damage occurs and the finishes applied are intact and attractive. The finish on the base is slightly glossy, while Vertagear opts for a matte finish on other components.
The rear portion of the chair is shaped with inspiration from racing seats, with a high head support, spaces for your harness to run through, and a heavily side-bolstered lower section. Vertagear embroiders its name into the headrest and encompasses the open areas with plastic, which is really for adding RGB and custom plaques. The materials are the HygennX and the PUC. In the center is the HygennX with its coffee and silver added in, with a feel and look of Alcantara. On the sides is the NUC with a carbon fiber pattern.
The back of the chair has a much bigger plastic frame around the holes, with thin stripes of carbon fiber over the top and down to the frame. The lower portion is more PUC leather, with thin strips of carbon fiber printed material inside of the hemlines.
Using the same materials within the logo on the back of the headrest, we took this image to better show what we see. We can see the carbon fiber patterned NUC used inside the embroidery and where previously described, and it is texturized when not patterned, as seen around the logo.
The seat portion of the chair comes with the brackets for the back poking out of the seat, the armrests are pre-installed, and the lever for the tilt is at the back, on the right side. The seat uses the same materials as the back, where we find the carbon fiber print around the edges, and the velvety material in the center, broken up with four hemlines across it.
Under the seat, we can see where the armrests are mounted. There is some flexibility to move them closer to the user, but they are installed in their outermost position. There is a sticker to help align the seat mechanism, and we see a dust cover under much of the area. The cloth allows the seat to breathe and pass heat through and away from the user. We can also see the mounting holes for the seat mechanism, and we like how the material is clipped under to a subframe, which is reminiscent of automotive seat design.
Assembly and Features
Following the steps in the manual, we are first shown to add the plastic levers onto the sides of the seat mechanism to work the height adjustment with the left one and the tilt and lock with the other. The tilt has stopping points while tilted, allowing the user to lock the chair flat or at many angles. The center knob allows adjustment of the struts compression, and we left the T-handle wrench on one of the four bolts we used to mount the mechanism to the seat bottom securely.
Continuing the process, we are told to add the Penta RS1 casters to the aluminum alloy base. Once those are in, you can flip the base over and drop the strut into the hole in the center.
The next step is to center the strut with the base mechanism, which fully supports the seat bottom. We also started to mess with the brackets at the back to find the one on the right (in this image) is free to move, while the lever controls the one on the left and moves slowly compared to what we have seen.
We set the brackets to be as vertical as possible and aligned the back of the chair with said brackets. You then slide the back down to the seat and align four holes. Using the last four bolts in the hardware kit, we sent them in until we ran out of threads.
Once we had the bolts in, you could see the pair near the bottom. We pulled the lever one last time to allow the chair to sit in its most upright position, which is 90°, perpendicular to the seat.
To adjust the back angle, you must grab this lever on your right side. It is metal, highly textured, and has an icon of the chair with arrows showing that it tilts the chair back.
Putting the PL4800 in its most relaxed option, we find that the back of the chair is now at an angle of 160°, enough to nap on. All you need is something to prop your feet up on, and you will be out in no time.
On the outside of the armrest, you will locate a chromed lever roughly an inch below the edge of the rest. Rolling over a few fingers and lifting on it will allow you to raise and lower the armrest in five fixed height stages. These are found on both armrests.
In the previous image, the adjustment was set to the lowest height. In this image, we have the armrest at its maximum height, 2.75" higher than it was previously.
Inside both armrests, you will find two more buttons. The half-round chrome button is on in the rest, allowing the rests to swivel around 30° inward or outward. The black button in the chrome band enables the rests to expand or contract in three steps to adjust to whatever is most comfortable.
We pushed in the half-round button and swung the armrest inwards. You have this option, straight forward or the exact angle of attack, but facing outwards from the user.
Vertagear also includes a pillow with an elastic band attached, which can be slid over the top of the chair. However, with how the back is designed, the pillow can only go so low, leaving it almost useless for the shorter range of customers said to fit this seat.
There are many things about this chair that we love. The choice of materials is excellent, for starters. The HygennX material with all that coffee and silver may work well, but in our month of using this chair, we haven't created enough funk to see how well they work. We also like the Alcantara finish of the seat bottom and back, which offers the additional benefit of friction. In pleather chairs, users tend to slide around quite a bit, and with added traction, you have to work hard to slide out of this model. We like the adjustability of the armrests, something our Herman Miller did not come with, even though you will likely find the most comfortable spot and not use the adjustments again.
We also like that this chair is rated for the more significant users out there. In the box stores, you are limited, but with a 360-pound capable strut, those six-foot-six users out there don't need to worry. We also like that everything is within reach of the user, and there is no need to double over to raise and lower the seat or hunt for the tilt adjustment. While we love the combination of black and carbon, you may be pleased to know that this is just one of the six color combinations you can choose from.
Some of the things we did not care for are vastly more important. The tilt feature of the PL4800 was designed to not whip the back at you when you lift the lever. However, if the cair is less than halfway back, you must reach back and help the back adjust to 90°, which is a pain. We also feel that the lumbar area needs to be adjustable. While we fit within the measurements for this chair, where it sits currently causes pain after many hours of use. The seat bottom is a hit and a miss.
The materials used to pad the chair make it stiff, and while we are sure that it will concede a bit over time, even at the lowest height of the strut, we got pain behind the knees from their lack of ability to sink into the seat. We also have the additional pillow to consider, which constantly needed adjustments to be practical for anyone under six feet. Granted, we may not be the definition of the user intended to use the PL4800, but by specs, we fit the bill.
As far as all of the features, we are not mad at them. The tilt works, although it may need some persuading occasionally, and once set is likely not to be adjusted much. We have found that we set up the armrest differently for writing and gaming, and it is nice to have that option in the chair. The glide of the wheels is smooth and quiet, and the airflow design of the base works because while the seat is resistant to pressure, we do not get swampass.
We also like the "locks" in many of the adjustments. Typically you find a smooth range in these features, but Vertagear offers positioning, which is fantastic to have. We also like the option to add RGB illumination and custom logos for streamers and users of all things RGB, although we cannot wrap our minds around its cost.
As shipped, at $579, we are not mad at what we received, but we think some things need much more time to sort out. We are not sure the pain is worth it, but this could be the best chair we have ever sat in six months from now. If you want a better deal on the PL4800, buying directly from Vertagear might be better, as it currently lists there for $499.99. Our caveat to the entire PL4800 and likely many of its line is that you need to be a bigger person to appreciate this model fully.
At five foot ten, we are not exactly short and well within the range stated to support us, but when making a more universal solution, Vertagear favored the larger end of the scale. While we think the blow may be softened over time, if you are on the lower end of the sliding scale, consider a different Vertagear model than what we see in this PL4800 racing-inspired gaming chair.