Taipei weather is no joke, y’all. A few days in the city for Computex 2023, and I feel like I’ve already lost half my body weight, not from walking around all day every day but from all the sweat pouring out of every single pore on my body. It was a struggle, and you can imagine how tempting it was for me to plant myself at every spot where there’s a nice cool draft or where AC is blasting.
So when I decided to stop by the Cougar booth to check out what it’s got in its lineup this year, it seemed like great timing when I was offered a seat in the new Cougar NxSys Aero, a throne that, whaddya know, comes with a built-in fan to keep its occupant nice and breezy during intense moments… you know, like Computex.
The Cougar NxSys Aero, to all intents and purposes, is a gaming chair and not just designed for the humid Taipei weather. Whereas brands like Cooler Master are really committing to gaming chairs that do everything but fly – well, at least not yet anyway – especially with the new Motion1 haptic gaming chair that seems to be the talk of the town right now joining previous releases like Orb X and Synk X, Cougar is keeping to the basics.
And while it’s not a blow-you-away kind of product that attracts crowds at a convention, it’s certainly something that a lot of gamers do need.
Not a new concept
The idea of adding cooling or even heating to a chair is not exactly new. Cooler Master is also doing something similar, so is Mavix, and so is this random gaming chair on Amazon that blows air up your butt, which is very strange.
But Cougar claims to be doing something different with the NxSys Aero in that it not only comes with an integrated 200mm fan, set inside the backrest to direct the air towards its occupant’s back, but the middle of that backrest is also made of elastomeric mesh with a ventilated back cover, so you’re not just getting that gentle breeze where you need it most, but you can also enjoy breathable hammock-like support.
Another aspect that sets it apart is the fan’s ARGB, which means that you can switch the lighting up to suit your mood or match your current aesthetic. I’m not quite sure, though, if Cougar is planning to roll out app support to make the lighting fully customizable. Currently, it only has an RGB lighting button on one side of the backrest that allows you to cycle through the seven different effects available. But a lot could happen between now and its release later this year.
As to when that is, Cougar hasn’t been specific.
Soft gentle cooling
I know that the idea of having a fan constantly blowing directly on your back from that close sounds a little alarming, but this isn’t like standing in front of a running fan with your back towards it. The truth is, I too was hesitant at first, but it really didn’t feel like there’s a fan in there.
In fact, I hardly felt a breeze at all. I was getting more of a gentle and gradual cooling sensation, as if there was a cooling pad in there instead of a fan. And, I’m pretty sure Cougar designed it that way so it’s not a shock to your system, and you won’t feel the need to constantly fidget with the controls because you’re getting too much air on your back.
Even more impressive is that I was told by Cougar representatives that it can run up to 50 hours on a fully-charged 20,000mAh portable battery, which you stow in the battery compartment in the back. This is a brilliant design choice as it not only offers longevity, but you also don’t have to worry about tripping on a cable because you have to keep it plugged in or constantly charge it because the battery won’t last long – the Elemax console on my Mavix M9 won’t even last half a day! The only catch is that you have to buy that power bank separately as it’s not included in the package.
More affordable than you think
Luckily, the Cougar NxSys Aero won’t cost you a lot. Of course, I cannot tell you for certain that it is a worthwhile investment. During my short time with it at Computex, it was comfortable and effective. But only after I put it through its paces can I really know whether or not it delivers as promised.
Still, true to Cougar fashion, this chair is only $399, putting it in the same price range as some of the best gaming chairs on the market. So, even if you rarely turn that fan on, you’re really still getting your money’s worth.