Cooler Master consistently rides the line of quality and affordability. And somehow, their gear always looks slick.
They seem to have struck a balance once again with the Caliber R2 Gaming Chair, the second product in the Caliber R series. With its svelte black and electric purple design, and a seemingly bigger and sturdier frame, it appears like a nice step up from the original.
But does the look translate to overall performance? Let’s dive into my experience with the Caliber R2 over the last week to find out.
Zoom In: Specs
- Series: Caliber
- Color: Purple
- Dimensions (Extended): 27.6″ W x 52.6″ H
- Recline: 90-180 degree
- Armrests: 2D
- Materials: Steel, Foam, and PVC Leather
- Weight: 47 pounds
- Max Load: 330 pounds
- Gas Lift: Class 4
- Casters: 60mm
- Cooler Master Caliber R2 Gaming Chair
- Warranty Booklet
- Assembly Instructions
- White Gloves
As with most Cooler Master gear, everything is kept extremely simple. All you get out of the box are the pieces of the chair, a warranty booklet, assembly instructions, and a pair of white gloves to use when putting it all together. Everything was well organized and protected, with no obvious scuffs, tears, or busted pieces in sight.
Aside from 4 fasteners, every other screw is already tightly attached to the chair’s components. This threw me off initially, as I thought that almost all of the screws were missing and had to double-check that I hadn’t lost them somewhere. That bit of confusion aside, I set to work putting together the chair piece by piece, which took roughly 45 minutes from start to finish.
As I was putting it together, I immediately took notice of the steel frame that makes up the base and armrest supports. These aren’t some flimsy plastic pieces, but singular units that attach to the rest of the chair, providing sturdy and elegant support. The seat itself is made up of a mix of leather and molded foam stitched neatly together into a tight, but comfortable design. Everything about the chair looked incredibly well made, easy to maneuver, and comfortable.
The only let down? The plastic coverings on the side. For such a well-built chair, these plastic add-ons look like an afterthought that doesn’t fit securely. Overall it’s not the biggest issue based on the quality of the rest of the chair, but it felt like these coverings should have matched that quality. Possibly even utilizing the same steel finish as the rest of the frame.
Once I had the chair built, I immediately put it to use, testing it for hours while playing the Switch. After that, it went through a full work week as I worked away on my laptop. I may have even taken a nap or two (or three). If that doesn’t spell it out for you, the R2 is exceptionally comfortable and can easily be used for hours without feeling the typical aches and pains.
I’d say most of this had to do with the design of the seat itself, which encapsulates you within the chair and allows you to sink into the cushions. The addition of the lower lumbar support pillow was also a nice touch that added just enough extra support to keep my back fresh. The headrest pillow, on the other hand, is a bit too big and bulky. So I took that off.
One other notable feature about the cushions on this chair is the perforated fabric that’s meant to help increase ventilation while sitting. I can’t say I ever hit a point where I was overheating or sweating, but the chair itself did always hit a comfortable temperature nonetheless.
The only real gripe I had when using the chair was the potential looseness of the armrests. They’re adjustable and meant to move, but I could already tell after adjusting them only a couple of times that they would easily become loose and unstable. Not an immediate problem, but something to note if you get this chair. You may want to find a comfy position for your arms and stick with it.
The Caliber R2 looks and feels like the natural step up from its predecessor and, from a quality standpoint, absolutely warrants the $299 price tag. The chair is incredibly well-made, comfortable, and adjustable in height, position, and support.
From an aesthetic point of view, The Caliber R2 only comes in a black and purple color scheme. This may be a deal-breaker for some, but I personally love the pairing.
Overall I would absolutely recommend this chair for those that need extra support, a durable frame, and firm but comfortable seating. Cooler Master continues to impress me with its balance of high-quality products at a reasonable price point.
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Zoom Out: Verdict
Comfort - 9/10
Features - 7/10
Appearance - 8/10
Stylish (if you like purple), comfortable, and affordable is all you need to know about the Caliber R2. It’s an excellent option for those that need lots of support and an overall high-caliber seat.
- Clean and elegant design
- Well-built steel base and arms
- Adjustable lower-lumbar support
- Plastic siding covers feel cheap
- The upper headrest pillow is bulky and uncomfortable
- Recliner adjustment lever placement feels out of place