In an effort to jazz-up the PL4500, top and bottom upgrade kits are available at $300 apiece in the US, with UK availability expected in the coming weeks. The top kit, pictured below-left, is a straight-swap for the default headrest inserts and brings RGB lighting to the front and back. The effect is accentuated through acrylic panes adorned with the Vertagear logo, and installation shouldn't take more than a few minutes. Similarly, the bottom kit provides five LED bars that slot into each of the legs, and a central control unit emits another Vertagear logo. Each kit is powered by four rechargeable and removable batteries, has a separate power button, and communicates wirelessly to a host PC using a supplied dongle.
The lighting looks decent and Vertagear has partnered with NZXT to enable customisation or synchronisation through the freely-available CAM app, yet there are obvious limitations. While the kits are marketed as having zero wires to hold you back, the batteries will need charging from time to time, and given that the two kits aren't linked, each requires its own mains power adapter. The magnetic chargers do clip into place with minimal fuss, yet having a single chair occupy two plug sockets is far from ideal.
We've also experienced issues with CAM recognising the chair - re-pairing the kits with the dongle tends to fix the problem - and with our review unit, the top kit doesn't sit as flush as the original plastic inserts, leaving pronounced edges that occasionally catch on my shoulders. If you're the type to pick up on the smaller details, you'll rue the fact that the Vertagear logo beamed onto the floor is offset rather than central, but more importantly than all that, you don't tend to notice any of the lights unless you turn your head or peak over the side of the armrests. You're effectively paying $600 for someone else's benefit, which we suppose may not seem the worst idea if you're streaming to an audience of thousands.
...a wide range of ergonomic adjustments and, if you're so inclined, RGB lighting that's easy to customise via NZXT CAM.
Gaming chairs are destined to be an acquired taste, and the Vertagear PL4500 even more so. Priced at £320 for the chair alone, then rising to around £800 with both RGB upgrade kits, this is an enthusiast part for deep-pocketed gamers who want to be seen.
The highlights include solid build quality, trendy design with a choice of colours, a wide range of ergonomic adjustments and, if you're so inclined, RGB lighting that's easy to customise via NZXT CAM. Such credentials form the basis of what should be a likeable offering, but comfort is hampered through overly stiff cushions, and with dual power buttons and separate chargers, the RGB elements feel more like an afterthought than an integral feature.
Bottom line: gamers who favour a firm seat may want to give the PL4500 a trial run, but feel free to give the RGB lighting a miss.
The Good The Bad Good range of adjustments
Tall backrest with neck support
Trendy design with choice of colours
Easy to assemble
Pricey at £320
Mega-pricey with optional RGB kits
Overly firm foam cushions
Uses two plug sockets to charge
The Vertagear PL4500 RGB Gaming Chair is available to purchase from Currys.
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