This is going to be a long one, so tl;dr, it's mostly fine. There are pros and cons, and you can get most of this for less elsewhere, but it's not a waste of money. Whether it's a good value will depend on your perspective. Let's break it down.
PACKAGING AND SHIPPING: This was very good overall. The unit is double boxed from the factory - outer shipping box, inner retail box - and despite its size and weight, it arrived with minimal trauma. Inside the seat is packaged separately from the frame, and the frame parts are mostly individually wrapped. No complaints here, but be careful when opening the retail box, as the seat is on top and it's only protected by a thin layer of bubble wrap, so a sharp object could cut too deep.
FINISH: When I unwrapped the first metal piece I was impressed by the powder-coat finish. It looked and felt good. My opinion changed by the time I finished unwrapping all the metal pieces, however, as there were cosmetic defects on about 30% of the pieces. This does not appear to be shipping damage, and instead bad QA from the factory. I expected more at this price. I also found the finish to be very fragile, and susceptible to scratches and chips during assembly and adjustment. Again, I expected better. The faux leather on the seat looks fake, but I wasn't expecting much here.
ASSEMBLY: This is where the rating gets hit the hardest for me. Let me preface this by stating I have a background in engineering, and I've assembled everything from mechanical devices to furniture to homes, so I'm not a novice. I was encouraged by the bound assembly manual included in the package, with its descriptions, illustrations, and color photos, but it quickly became clear that there were numerous errors. The photos don't match the illustrations, as they show parts that have changed in their appearance, and the illustrations are frequently incorrect, omit steps, or reference parts or hardware that doesn't exist.
My first real trouble was with the seat. It ships unassembled, except for the fore/aft slider mechanism, which is pre-attached to the seat bottom at the factory. This was completely out of alignment - the mechanism itself wouldn't move, and the seat could not be attached to the side supports because the holes didn't come close to matching up. I was unable to loosen the mechanism using the provided Allen wrench, so I retrieved a beefier hand tool from my tool bench, but that only worked on two of the four bolts - clearly these were attached with a powered driver. Despite the warning in the manual (because yes, I RTFM) I reached for my power drill, but one of the bolts still wouldn't budge, and eventually stripped. Luckily with a little persuasion and the other three bolts loosened, I was able to straighten the mechanism and get the side rails attached. This was still page 1 of the instructions, so I wasn't off to a good start.
The next problem came when attaching the seat back to the bottom. The seat doesn't have a traditional recline mechanism, and instead the brackets are simple, flat-stamped pieces of metal that pivot on a central bolt. The photos display an entirely different mechanism, and the illustrations are not sufficient to determine how to attach the brackets, so my first attempt resulted in the brackets going on backwards, and the holes not lining up. Once I fixed that problem it wasn't clear how the brackets should overlap. Despite keeping the bolts loose neither mounting option seemed correct. Keeping the upper brackets inside puts too much stress on the pivot bolt, so I reversed that, which seems better. But because this is flat metal, the brackets bend as you tighten them. The finish also chips and scratches as these parts slide against each other. Again, I expected better.
The next major error comes when the instructions diverge, depending on whether you want an F1 setup or a GT setup. I prefer GT, but the illustrations in the GT section are the same as those in the F1 section, so they don't show the proper assembly steps. And again, the pictures are out of date. This part was easier to figure out on my own than the seat, but it was still unnecessarily difficult. After this, the worst part was marrying the seat assembly to the rest of the rig, as I did this on my own. The weight isn't the problem, it's lining up the bolt holes. If you have easy access to another human, I recommend a second set of hands for this step.
ADJUSTMENT: This is something of a mixed bag. On the one hand almost every dimension can be adjusted, which is great for dialing in your setup. On the other hand most adjustments require removing through bolts using tools, so this is neither quick nor easy. That's not a big problem if you're the only one using the rig, but if you plan to share this with someone else in your household, or plan to let friends use it regularly, the adjustments will become tedious. Even the seat recline is not quick - despite having knobs (the only adjustment on the rig that has this), you have to remove them completely, and you have to do this from behind the seat. That's because there's no spring to keep the seat back upright, so if you remove the knobs while seated the seatback will simply fall backwards and hit the floor (and so will you if you're in the seat).
I also take exception to the way the wheel deck height is adjusted. This is a friction adjustment, where two bolts are tightened to elongated screw holes on each upright. The problem here is twofold. First, you'll need a level to set the deck...well, level. Second, you'll be exerting a lot of force against this adjustment, and it will loosen over time. And since the adjustment is made by vertically sliding one tube into another, gravity will naturally cause the wheel deck to sag, requiring frequent fixes. While it would allow for less precise adjustment, individual bolt holes would be more secure here. And speaking of the wheel there's a lot of play in the wheel support where the uprights connect to the main frame. Felt pads are included to fix this, and you will need them, but using them reduces your ability to adjust this dimension (and messes with bolt hole alignment).
Finally, when it comes to adjusting between the F1 and GT setups, don't. Just pick one and stick with it. Converting between the two literally requires reconstructing the rig, by removing numerous through bolts using tools and adding or removing parts. It is not a quick or easy process.
COMFORT: The seat is more comfortable than it looks, but it's not comfortable in the GT position (I won't comment on the F1 position as I'm not using that). I also find the shifter plate location uncomfortable, as it only adjusts fore and aft. I personally find it too close to my leg, and occasionally hit my hand on the wheel deck when moving from the shifter to the wheel. Otherwise most other dimensions are adjustable, so you should be able to tailor them to your needs. I will say that I'm on the tall side of average, and I need to have the seat all the way forward to comfortably reach the pedals, so shorter folks may have problems here.
- Solid overall, reasonable quality.
- Everything in one box - no need to purchase a separate seat if you like this one.
- Gives you the option of two racing positions.
- Plenty of mounting hardware, including for your wheel and shifter.
- Includes a warranty and support.
- Assembly, and the related instructions.
- Quality of the finish on the metal pieces.
- Seat isn't comfortable for GT users
- Hard to switch between F1 and GT, and to make adjustments quickly in general.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Going into this my budget was slightly under the price I paid for this rig, and I was looking at a number of no-name models. I finally decided to up my budget for the piece of mind of buying something from an actual company, and expecting a better quality rigthat was easier to assemble. Do I regret the purchase? A little, yes. I've decided not to return this, but I'm not happy with it, and may sell it eventually. I will definitely replace the seat, as it's not comfortable for longer uses (I prefer something you sit in, not on), and honestly it just looks kind of stupid.
Here's the thing - I realize this is considered a starter rig by hardcore sim racers, so my expectations may be a little off. But as a casual racer, I'm not interested in spending significantly more. Had I purchased a cheaper model I'm sure I'd have complaints about it and wished I'd bought something nicer, but having bought something supposedly nicer and still having a bunch of complaints, and still needing to spend more money to upgrade the seat, I feel like I've wasted money. I guess it's true that the grass is always greener.
Should you buy this? It all comes down to value, which is subjective. If you want the piece of mind of a warranty and support, and aren't looking for the cheapest rig possible, this is a reasonable option. There are things to like here, but also things to be disappointed about, so do your research and spend your money wisely.