Here it is! After a few months of owning it and about a month of use (long story), I’ve finally got around to reviewing the physically biggest purchase I’ve made to date, the Obutto R3volution!
Is this the desktop revolution we’ve been waiting for?
(There’s a Too Long Didn’t Read at the bottom if you prefer to skip to that)
Firstly considering that the Obutto is designed for use as a simulation cockpit, and driving simulators I’ll be also reviewing the Buttkicker compatibility alongside it as they go hand in hand and provide an epic 4D vibrating experience. I also decided to finish this review (finally) when Linus, from LinusTechTips on YouTube showed a teaser of his upcoming review of the R3volution, primarily to give others some more content for perusal and understanding someone else’s opinion who also purchased the cockpit mainly for desktop and gaming use but also for simulation.
Also excuse the pictures, I own a light box but not one big enough for the obutto so you may see some clutter in a few of the pictures.
So why would I buy an Obutto Revolution?
Now why would you buy something like this you may ask when there’s perfectly good desks for gaming? Well, you can’t exactly mount a massive Buttkicker (a tactile transducer) to one of those flimsy office or gaming chairs, and if you did it would probably make it fall over when you stood up not to mention that the vibration would literally move the chair across the room. But that’s not even a real reason because a lot of the people who buy an Obutto won’t be purchasing Buttkickers for it. One good reason is because desks are becoming somewhat outdated for gamers and aren’t comfortable after hours and hours of playing, this is where the Obutto comes in. The ability to recline the chair and watch TV, movies or even grab a controller for those action games is paramount, setting a new standard of comfort for those (very) long hours of gaming.
Another reason why I bought the Obutto was to mix things up from the boring and traditional desks that plague workplaces and businesses, why sit at something at home when it simply feels like you’re back at work on the computer? You could even fall asleep in the chair if you wanted, which I tried for a week just to see how it was, but overall it wasn’t that comfortable due to wanting to lie on my side but not being able to easily due to the chair bolsters coming out from the sides preventing much movement. I loved that fact that the chair can pretty much go horizontal though which gives you a similar feeling to a bed, but bring your own pillow as the headrest can get uncomfortable over time.
The metal frame of the Obutto is a very nice powder coated dark grey metal that has a very smooth feel to it and it’s incredibly strong. The color gives it a nice subtle look which blends with most backgrounds and I could hardly imagine it any other color as it would either stand out too much or be too dark. I received a lot of remarks on how strange this contraption looks, but it certainly does turn heads. It was pretty time consuming and difficult to put together but with a little effort you will eventually work out what goes where. The written instructions were also confusing at times but I found the online video tutorials to be much more helpful. I had it completely built and ready to go within about 5 hours of pushing, screwing and forcing things to fit. The Obutto as a whole is a very sturdy ‘desk’ which weighs over 100 kilograms and takes a few guys to carry the largest box of pieces when you receive it in the mail. I basically had to open it after it was delivered and carry each part to my room from there as there was no chance of moving that box again after it was delivered.
The Monitor Stand:
I didn’t feel that the monitor stand was very strong structurally, most notably with the triple display mount and considering the sheer amount of weight it’s got to carry three screens, it would honestly fall over forwards with a slight push to the back. The worst thing is that it almost did tip over once while I was adjusting the third monitor on the stand, the entire structure started to move forwards and I had to catch it to prevent catastrophic damage to my two $700 and one $1300 screen. I removed the extra long screws from the foot pedal and attached them to the spare holes between the base of the main structure to of the monitor stand in an attempt to prevent it from falling forwards again – which would surely smash at least two of the screens.
It would have been better if the monitor stand was actually designed to attach to the main frame to prevent this from happening as there are surely enough screw holes available to make attaching it easy, all you would need is some holes in the monitor stand’s base to line it up. One other feeling I had about the stand was that there needed to be more holes for additional heights of the monitors, three is adequate but some in-between and others that allowed lower heights would have been an improvement because I like the looking at monitors with a slight downwards tilt to my head. My ideal eye-line level would be in the upper 3/4’s of the monitor but it’s currently in the lower 1/4’s and that’s with the chair in a typical car seat position. Once you’ve got everything set up (and moved the screws to the monitor stand as I did) there appears to be minimal change of it falling over if you’ve positioned it correctly. You may notice that my monitors aren’t quite aligned with each other which is due to my different sized monitors however it would look much better with 3 of the same type.
I liked that fact that the monitor stand can support up to three 30″ monitors, which also managed to fit my one 34″ and two 27″ monitors. This honestly felt like one of the best setups I’ve had when sitting in this monster of a command centre. Movies on the 34″ 34UM95 look fantastic as there’s no black bars and the seat and side monitors truly make this feel like a cinema experience, just add popcorn! (You can’t use the LG 34UC97 (the curved version) – unless you have the VESA mount for it). While setting up the monitor arms I wasn’t able to keep them very horizontal and they sagged a little especially the left arm which is a good inch lower then where it should have been. This was probably due to the fact that the instructions and video tutorials weren’t specific about if there were meant to be washers in the connection point between the arms and the main triple monitor mount. The gap was simply too big to leave out the washers and it was too small to have two washers between the arm contacts and it was certainly a pain squeezing them in on the right arm which took a lot of effort lining up the hole to get the bolt through. The reason my r3volution’s left arm is an inch lower is because I couldn’t get the second washer in on that side or even know if it’s supposed to be there? There was also a slight gap the welders must have overlooked where the left arm connects to the main stand which was around 3mm, causing the end of the arm to be offset below the right monitor slightly.
The seat is fairly comfortable with nice stitching and thick padding throughout and it really helps with your posture. This chair would be ideal for a driving simulator because it’s, well… the actual chair you would find in a racer with the indented bolsters both above and below your arms. You feel snug when you climb into this contraption as, the seat hugs you and you’re surrounded on all sides by screens, truly a nerdgasm experience! However… I felt that this type of chair lacked something when gaming and general use mainly due to the fact that my arms kept bumping into the lower seat bolsters on the sides of the seat and I couldn’t rest them when not using the keyboard and mouse while watching movies. I would have absolutely loved to see two seat options for the Obutto, one with that racing seat and the other a flat back seat which are found in traditional cars. This would have been ideal as car seats are tailored for comfort and long periods sitting as well as not having the indents on each side thus letting you really put the seat back and use it as a bed as well if you’re interested in sleeping there. They could have even included movable arm rests which could be placed up or down if you feel like using them which are also often on your average car seat. I’ll probably look for one of those seats that has a rail the same width as the Obutto and attempt to swap them out and see if it works with my Buttkicker.
Acrylic Tabletops and Addons:
A unique feature that I would say is a must-have on this setup are the acrylic tabletop add-ons which give you that little bit of desk space you need for any food, hard drives, papers or your phone which are all things that I regularly use them for. These pieces of acrylic on articulating arms don’t come that cheap though, coming in at $150AU but provide at least a little desk space – something you would be used to on a regular desk. These arms don’t have to be used for desk space however as they’re specially drilled to VESA mount specifications to give you room for two more auxiliary screens on either side of your setup which would give you a total of 6 screens if you bought the triple monitor mount as well. I don’t know why you would need that many screens in your setup unless you’re a fan of radiation, but I’ve seen a couple of pictures where people use them for an aircraft instrument displays and they simply position the arms where the instruments are usually found inside the actual plane.
The cupholders are a nice addition, I bought an extra one so I can have one on each side of the chair to choose between different drinks or to use for a key, phone and wallet holder or even a mini bin. The fact that you can easily remove the plastic is a bonus as well making it easy to wash them if your drink leaks. The only negative to these is that they rattle quite a lot if there’s nothing in them while using Buttkickers, this can be easily solved however with some rubber pads.
A change I would have liked to see to the main design was the possibility of mounting the chair 15-20cm’s higher up the main frame due to finding the angle I look at the screens to be too high which strains my head looking up all the time while the chair is in an upright position. As I mentioned before, looking down at the screens is my preferred style to reduce strain and to make it more realistic in racing games, Who looks up out the window in a real car? You can lower the monitor height slightly but not enough to my standards, the adjustment is also limited by the height of the actual metal frame, if it’s too low the monitor hits the frame unless you move the whole thing backwards slightly which isn’t a solution as the monitors would be a little too far away for me.
The really like the overall feel and design of the obutto although there are some changes I would like to see in future versions, especially to cater for more of the desktop gamer without such a focus on the racing side. Right now my feelings are mixed about the r3volution, I’m happy I bought it but I hope to see Obutto come out with a new version or design some modified parts that incorporate more of a desk oriented feeling to their products and fix the annoyances that I found in this cockpit. The three main changes I would like to see are: 1. The option for a different seat to a flatter just-as-comfortable one. 2. The monitor stand should be sturdier and be optionally attachable at different points to the main chassis to prevent tipping and 3. The seat height needs to be adjustable with more holes on the chassis and extend-able feet on the other end.
I must say that the customer support is as good as you’ve been hearing. After I received the main cockpit I realized they forgot to add the second cup holder and a couple of bolts were missing or had no thread on them. After an email was sent off they replied promptly within 24 hours, shipping it with my speaker mounting kit which was out of stock at the time of purchase. Before purchasing this product I had a few burning questions that I needed answered so I contacted Obutto through the form on their website and got a reply from an extremely helpful guy, Chris who went to great lengths to answer each point of my questions thoroughly, incorporating his usage patterns for the r3volution as well. If you’re thinking of purchasing this unit, I highly recommend contacting Obutto to have your questions answered if it’s not already on their FAQ: http://obutto.com/index.php/information/faq/
In the end I love my r3volution, the amount of work I can accomplish within a sitting is increased a little even though it does take a few seconds to hop in and out this contraption. It also takes up almost an entire room with the monitor arms outstretched and has a quaint feel like a transformer robot in disguise. Your posture will be excellent – no more slouching in those typical leather desk chairs and the immersion you get from games is the best part of this cockpit, you feel like you’re in the race or game especially with buttkickers.
Considering buying one? Check out Linus’s video and review of the r3volution here:
Or go straight ahead and buy one:
If you’re mounting buttkickers to your Obutto or are interested in how I mounted mine you can check out my guide on it below:
Too long didn’t read:
0% – 25% = Terrible Item, The item will break shortly after purchase and will leave you with a paperweight only left for discarding.
26% – 50% = Meh Item, A very poor item that you would use and forget about after a few months of use, or may break quickly and degrade over that time.
51% – 75% = Good Item, This item would satisfy your needs for a long time but isn’t the best quality around and may need replacing or become outdated after a year or so.
76% – 90% = Fantastic Item, An item that you need but may either cost lots or wear out over time and may eventually need replacing after 2 or so years.
91% – 100% = Amazing Item, An extremely durable item that will suit all your needs for the device and more, as well as lasting many many years.