When we think of the best gaming monitors, there's at least one thing that is usually consistent across all brands, panel types, and sizes: they all have a matte finish that is resistant to glare/reflections. When gaming, the last thing that you want to see is a stray, distracting reflection to throw you off track. However, Eve wants to change gamer sentiment towards glossy coatings by making it optionally available on two of its 27-inch gaming monitors.
In a blog post yesterday, Eve confirmed that its 144 Hz (4K) and 280 Hz (QHD) Spectrum monitors would add the glossy coating option. However, to understand why other gaming displays manufacturers haven't opted for this option in the past, we must point out that moving from a matte finish to a glossy finish is not a simple matter of swapping the external covering.
The company reached out to its panel supplier, LG Display, which had to "re-calibrate its fully automated LCD assembly line, not only that, but also changes to the certification process, tune colour performance and conduct durability testing." Of course, this process comes with added costs, which many price-conscious gaming monitor manufacturers don't want to absorb. In this case, changes had to be made by LG to the polarizer film, which is responsible for acting as a gateway for light waves.
However, Eve felt that the added expense was worth it, as an informal poll from community members showed that 96 percent of respondents would like to see a glossy monitor made available. Despite the obvious downsides with glare, Eve contends that the new glossy polarizer "adds extra crispiness and pop to the monitor's colours," especially with blacks and that customers will experience fewer instances of haze. That latter point is particularly noteworthy with the appearance of shaper text on the screen and an overall increase in visual fidelity.
Going with a glossy coating for a gaming monitor will come down to personal preference and the environment in which you plan to use the monitor. For example, if you work in a bright area with plenty of artificial light or natural light from windows, reflections might make Eve's glossy option a non-starter. And for anyone that carries a smartphone daily -- which is just about everyone -- then you know that glossy displays are fingerprint magnets and tend to highlight every speck of dust (although the former should be less of a concern for a stationary monitor).
The folks over at TFTCentral were able to get their hands on an early engineering sample of the 27-inch Spectrum 4K and gave their initial thoughts. "The text clarity and sharpness of the original Spectrum 4K was already very good, being a 27-inch 4K model with a high pixel density. But side by side you could see that the glossy edition offered an improvement to the sharpness of text," wrote the publication. "We measured the same colour space from both screens and barring a few minor differences in setup (the glossy version we tested had yet to go through a factory calibration process), the data shows the two screens perform the same. However, the glossy coating makes the colours look a little more vivid, and they pop more which again enhances the user experience."
Eve hasn't given any indications on pricing for the glossy option for the 4K and QHD Spectrum displays, nor has it any concrete information on when they will ship. Instead, the company asks that inquiring minds sign up for its newsletter. With that said, we'd suggest that those interested in this glossy take on gaming monitors be mindful of Eve's past regarding getting products into the hands of customers. The Eve V PC launch was plagued with delays, and the original crop of [matte] Spectrum gaming monitors also encountered shipping displays. However, once we did get the 27-inch QHD Spectrum into our test lab, we came away highly impressed with its overall performance