GT Omega Racing Simulator – Review
Sim racers who want to take the immersion factor when driving one step further towards reality will soon be looking to leave their computer desk for something that feels more like sitting in a real car.
The sim racing market offers various cockpit solutions for all kinds of needs and budgets, a pleasantly affordable one comes from GT Omega Racing whose rig prove that sim racing simulators aren’t just something for some fortunate few. Is their racing rig worth the money or does the affordable price tag come with too many disadvantages? Read the review to find out…
I´ve been sim racing for over 14 years now and all those years I spend sitting behind a wheel that was mounted to a desk – A solution that’s both common and unpractical. Unless you´re having a dedicated desk for racing, you have the choice of either having the wheel and the pedals constantly in the way when you´re not using them or to take it off and on every time you want to drive – Which is a total pain.
A sim racing cockpit solves these issues, giving you a dedicated place to drive without having your sim racing gear bugging you if you don’t need it. Those are the advantages, the disadvantages are additional costs as two things are required – An additional screen and a racing cockpit.
GTOmega offers a complete package as their racing rig comes with all features you want and need to set up your cockpit. The simulator has an LCD stand that holds your screen, a tray for keyboard and mouse and even a place to put your speakers and a console or other required peripherals.
The chassis of the rig is made of solid, black coated steel tubes that hold a comfortable and fully adjustable racing seat. The seat can both be moved forward or backwards and can be reclined, allowing sim racers of every size to find a comfortable seating position.
The rig comes with a wheel plate that is pre-drilled to accommodate all popular steering wheels from manufacturers like Fanatec, Logitech & Thrustmaster but even if the hole layout of your wheel is not supported, there is no need to worry. Unlike some other wheel stands and cockpits, the rig’s wheel plate is big enough to allow you to use the wheel’s clamping mechanism if needed.
Unpacking & Assembly
The GT Omega Racing Simulator ships in two massive boxes that hold all the required parts and the racing seat, the usage of quality materials results in quite some weight as the rig wheigs over 40 kilos without any additional hardware like a screen or wheel, giving your local UPS guy some quality exercise while he’s hauling the boxes up to the third floor.
GT Omega provides almost everything that’s needed to assemble the simulator, only a common screw driver is needed to insert two of screws, everything else can be done with the tools that come within the box.
When it comes to putting stuff together, I´m as qualified as Tim Taylor but still, getting the GT Omega ready was straightforward process all the way. The company provides an easy to understand manual that assigns letters to the various screws, virtually disabling you from screwing up.
From unpacking the boxes to having the rig ready for the steering wheel to go on, less than 90 minutes passed with the only odd situation I´ve experienced being about the LCD stand. The stand uses a VESA mount plate to hold screens of various sizes, for some reason the plate turned out to be blocking most of my screen’s connectors on the back.
Luckily, one of the HDMI ports was still accessible, I don’t know whether this is a problem related to my specific model or related to the back plate of the stand, either way it can be a frustrating problem as the plate is made of solid metal and so close to the screen that it is impossible to use the connectors behind it.
Usage & Ergonomics
Once the rig is completed, you`ll want to give it a spin and the first thing you notice is the comfortable racing seat. The seat and its position really give you the impression of sitting in a real car, enhancing the immersion factor while driving immensely.
Thanks to the fact that the seat is adjustable, I was able to find a realistic seating position quickly that’s comfortable even for longer driving sessions. Even though I`m not exactly the lightest of fellows, I found the seat to offer both enough comfort and support for intense driving situations. The rig offers free access to the pedals as no steering wheel support bar or anything else is blocking room between your legs.
The wheel is somewhat height & position adjustable as the wheel plate can be fixed using different screw holes, the whole process takes quite a while and is probably not very pleasant for people who plan to share the rig with several drivers who have different requirements in terms of steering wheel position.
With the included keyboard & mouse tray and the speaker stand, the rig makes sure you´ll have everything ready to go racing in reach all the time, without additional accessories standing around in the room. The console stand perfectly holds a Playstation 3 or Xbox 360, crafty PC builders might even squeeze a full-blown gaming pc in a case small enough to store it on the simulator.
The GT Omega takes up a minimal amount of room, being less than 60 centimeters wide and 160 centimeters long, meaning that it will fit even into tinier apartments or confined spaces.
The usage of durable materials like steel on the rig really pays off as despite the discount price, the GT Omega simulator is a very solid piece of kit. Once the rig is correctly assembled, it is as solid as it gets with no wobbling of any sort despite one slight weakness – The LCD stand.
The stand is connected to the base of the rig by two arms, allowing the backplate of the stand to wobble around a bit. As soon as heavy force-feedback effects from the wheel rock the rig, the motion is transmitted to the LCD screen, causing it to shake a bit.
It took me a bit to get used to the sight of the 37″ screen wobbling in front of my face but I quickly realized that the motion of the stand does not affect the screen at all. It is not that the steering wheel stand is weak (it is in fact rock solid), the whole thing is just made to allow some shaking movement.
Other than that, my only complaint regarding built quality regards the keyboard tray which feels just a bit more wobbly than any of the other parts, GT Omega are already working on an improvement here as future versions of the rig will even include a height-adjustable tray.
Even though the seat uses no genuine leather, the stitched synthetic material both looks good and is very durable as after over a month of continued usage. The seat uses high density foam for an extra bit of comfort and durability, even though I´ve regularly used the rig, it still looks and feels very much like new.
Sim racers who are looking for a more serious racing setup than using their desk should look no further than GT Omega’s Racing Simulator as the whole unit is well very designed, durable and comfortable, leaving very little to be desired. The GT Omega Simulator is an all-in-one product that holds your wheel, screen, audio equipment and pretty much everything else, making it one of the few complete packages on the market.
The rig is within reach of sim racers with both a reasonable budget as well as limited DIY talents as the rig offers very good value for the money and is easy and fast to assemble.Even though that is hard to transport in a written review, I´ve found out that using a proper simulator like the GTOmega just adds that extra touch of immersion to virtual driving.
Plus, the simulator is a great looking piece of kit and you´ll quickly find out that all your friends who laughed off your virtual driving hobby will want to give it a try simply because it looks much more interesting than sitting just in front of a desk.
The GT Omega rig starts at 329€ for the base model. Customers have the choice to add further extras like the keyboard tray & LCD stand to that or go all-out and buy the Pro model that was reviewed here. The Pro version includes all imaginable extras and sells for 411€ plus shipping and handling.
Talking about shipping, your location pretty much determines how much of a deal the GT Omega is. Since the company is based in the UK, the shipping costs are very reasonable pretty much everywhere in mainland Europe. Shipping to the US or Australia/Asia is more expensive though due to the heavy weight of almost 50 kilos, causing the shipment costs to exceed 100 British Pounds for far way destinations.