One of the biggest announcements at IFA 2018 so far has been Acer’s new Predator Thronos gaming chair (I mean that literally — it’s almost five feet tall and weighs over 485 pounds).
I had the chance to take the Predator Thronos for a spin, and while I was only able to spend a few minutes playing Rise of the Tomb Raider in it, I can comfortably say that the Thronos lives up to the oversized expectations its massive steel frame commands — in the most ridiculous way possible.
Sitting down in the Predator Thronos is an experience all its own. Once you’ve situated yourself in the recliner-style chair, a single button press will activate the motors in the overhead arm and keyboard, effectively encasing you in your own personal gaming cocoon. The Thronos’ overhead brace supports three curved 27-inch monitors side-by-side, which effectively dominates the entire arc of your forward field of vision. That arm is adjustable, too, from the same panel on the left armrest that makes you feel like a captain on a Star Trek ship, commanding your own private gaming vessel.
But that’s not the Thronos’ only trick. The chair is also a motorized recliner, capable of tilting back at up to a 140-degree angle, letting your sprawl in comfort alongside your screens. Gaming still worked great, even when lying nearly flat, and it’s easy to imagine that the setup would work great for watching movies or TV shows, too. Reclining the chair also automatically pops up a built-in motorized footrest, in addition to a second adjustable foot plate on the steel platform that can be controlled separately (Acer envisions players attaching accessories like racing pedals there.)
One downside of the Thronos is that despite nearly encasing you in a gaming PC, there’s no integrated speakers, meaning you’ll have to hook up your own or use a pair of headphones, which seems like an oversight for a device that shoots for overkill in every other respect. The arm rests were also fairly uncomfortable, made out of a hard rubber that seemed like it would get frustrating quickly.
There’s also no illusions that the Thronos is meant for anything other than gaming — even the retractable “desk” portion is entirely covered with a mousepad. In other words, Acer doesn’t expect that there’s a chance that you’ll ever be spending your time in a Thronos working on a book report or writing checks.
The Predator Thronos is not a product for most people. It is almost comically large, eye-searingly ugly, and while the price and release date have yet to be revealed, it’ll almost certainly be prohibitively expensive. But much like other products in the Predator line, like the equally ridiculous Predator 21 X gaming laptop or Triton 900 2-in-1 convertible, I still love that this bizarre, impractical product exists.