No matter how good the best gaming monitors are, there will always be enthusiasts who want something more, or at least something different. No display is perfect, and I doubt I will ever proclaim one to be. But what if a company created a monitor born from the enthusiast community? In the world of crowd-funded tech, that's an achievable goal.
Independent manufacturer Eve Devices recently started shipping its latest Spectrum line of gaming monitors. Featuring three 27-inch IPS screens, they are all designed with input from gamers. Two of them run at QHD resolution while the flagship Eve ES07D03 we're looking at here steps things up to 4K. With 144 Hz, FreeSync & G-Sync certification, HDR and extended color, the monitor brings unique features I haven’t seen before. It also has factory-certified color accuracy and premium build quality. Let’s dig in.
Eve Spectrum ES07D03 Specs
|Panel Type / Backlight||IPS / W-LED, edge array|
|Row 1 - Cell 0||16 dimming zones (HDR only)|
|Screen Size / Aspect Ratio||27 inches / 16:9|
|Max Resolution & Refresh Rate||3840x2160 @ 144 Hz|
|Row 4 - Cell 0||G-Sync: 48-144 Hz|
|Row 5 - Cell 0||FreeSync Premium Pro|
|Native Color Depth & Gamut||10-bit (8-bit+FRC) / DCI-P3|
|Row 7 - Cell 0||HDR10, DisplayHDR 600|
|Response Time (GTG)||1ms|
|Brightness (mfr)||450 nits SDR|
|Row 10 - Cell 0||750 nits HDR|
|Video Inputs||1x DisplayPort 1.4|
|Row 14 - Cell 0||2x HDMI 2.1|
|Row 15 - Cell 0||1x USB-C|
|Audio||3.5mm headphone output|
|USB||1x up, 2x down|
|Row 18 - Cell 0||1x USB-C|
|Power Consumption||38.8w, brightness @ 200 nits|
|Panel Dimensions WxHxD w/base||28.9 x 17.7-22.5 x 9.5 inches (607 x 449-571 x 227mm)|
|Panel Thickness||1.7 inches (44mm)|
|Bezel Width||Top/sides: 0.2 inch (5mm)|
|Row 23 - Cell 0||Bottom: 0.4 inch (10mm)|
|Weight||14.7 pounds (6.7kg)|
The Eve ES07D03 starts with a Nano IPS panel, something I’ve seen in other high-end screens. This latest iteration of IPS works the same from an image standpoint, but has faster response than previous forms of the technology. That manifests in a claimed 1ms GTG time, proving to be very quick in our testing.
The standard feature set seen in premium 4K panels is here: 144 Hz, the current speed limit for UHD; Adaptive-Sync in both forms, with certification from Nvidia & AMD; extended color with over 93% DCI-P3 coverage according to our tests; and HDR with DisplayHDR 600 certification.
If that were it, Eve would be in good shape since the ES07D03 sells for $898 as tested, which is about average for an Ultra HD monitor of this caliber. But wait, there’s more. Eve managed to raise the bar for video processing in a way I could not have foreseen. In the OSD, you’ll find overdrive with fine control. That is, not the usual two or three settings, but 63. Yes, sixty-three; that’s not a typo. And it works brilliantly. Eve has worked with BlurBusters to achieve something exceptional.
Also included is an effective backlight strobe for blur reduction. The pulse width is finely adjustable so the player can achieve an ideal balance between smoothness and light output. The backlight also has a 16-zone dimming option for HDR. It’s not as effective as a full-array unit, but in our tests, the HDR contrast ratio topped 18,000:1, and HDR content looked amazing.
So far, the ES07D03 looks very impressive, and not just as an initial effort. Let’s dive into the details.
Assembly and Accessories for the Eve Spectrum ES07D03
Eve sells the monitor and stand separately at $799 and $99, respectively. The panel has a 100mm VESA mount, so you can save a few bucks if you plan on wall mounting, or already own a stand. The mount includes fasteners, which is a nice touch. My sample package included the panel in a box with packing made almost entirely from cardboard. Only a small amount of strategically placed flexible foam is used, with no crumbly stuff. The stand was similarly packaged, and everything is wrapped in fabric, which adds to the feeling of quality. The contents are clearly marked with unpacking and assembly instructions in an envelope labeled “Start.” I also found a calibration report, which was matched by my tests, and a sheet of Eve decals. The only cable in the box is an IEC power cord to go with the large external power supply. You’ll have to source your own video cables.
Product 360: Eve Spectrum ES07D03
The ES07D03 is a no-nonsense design with simple styling, flat surfaces and square corners. The bezel is the thinnest one I’ve seen yet: 5 mm around the top and sides and 10 mm at the bottom, flush-mounted. The only protrusion is a power LED in the center. Its behavior and color can be controlled in the OSD. The control joystick is also in the center, about an inch up in the back. It toggles power and navigates all monitor functions.
The stand is an all-metal affair that assembles with a single captive bolt. It features a 4.8-inch height adjustment, 7/23 degrees tilt and a 90-degree portrait mode (but no swivel function). It creates a very solid package with no extraneous movement once you’ve found the right position. The panel can be placed very high, which is great for those, like me, who want a vertical placement with the center of the screen at eye level.
The side view doesn’t look thin in the photo, but the panel is only 1.7 inches deep. With a flat back, the ES07D03 will be right at home on a wall mount. The side of the rear bulge houses two USB-A and one USB-C port, along with a headphone jack. There are no internal speakers.
You’ll find a USB-B upstream port plus a video-capable USB-C input, along with two HDMI 2.1 and one DisplayPort 1.4 underneath. All inputs support the latest signal formats, including variable refresh and low latency for consoles via HDMI.
OSD Features of the Eve Spectrum ES07D03
The ES07D03’s OSD should be a benchmark for all monitors. I make this bold statement because Eve has done something I’ve long wished for: There are no picture modes. You won’t find FPS or RPG or Movie or anything like that. Instead, there are three memory slots into which the user can simply create settings and save. I also like how simple and clean the menu is. There are no graphics or icons, just three columns of text with eight logically arranged sub-menus.
Normally, there’s little to say about input selection. But the ES07D03 gives you complete control over the HDMI and USB ports regarding version, bandwidth and power usage. Since there are two USB-C ports, you can use one as a single cable solution to your PC, with control over how the USB-A outputs are used.
The Gaming menu has two enhancements, a crosshair and a frame counter. The crosshair is actually a tiny white dot with no additional options and one of the only weak points I encountered. It’s tiny enough to be nearly invisible. And its white color doesn’t change, so you won’t see it at all against bright scenery. The frame counter is large, green and sits in the upper left of the screen.
The Presets menu can save up to three settings configurations or reset everything to factory defaults with the first option.
The picture menu contains all calibration controls, not that you’ll need them. The ES07D03 has a factory calibration and does not need adjustment. The first option, Color space, toggles between DCI-P3 and sRGB. You can calibrate DCI but not sRGB; selecting that one locks out the remaining controls. There are five gamma presets, three color temps and a very precise user mode with RGB sliders. The backlight dimming options are not active for SDR at this time, but the feature automatically engages for HDR signals. Eve plans to add SDR dimming in a future firmware update.
The Performance menu contains some seriously cool magic. The overdrive has three presets, or you can adjust it with a 63-step control. I could dial in a perfect level using BlurBuster’s UFO pattern to where there was no ghosting and very little motion blur. You can do the same thing with the Backlight Strobe and its pulse width adjuster, but you first must turn off Adaptive-Sync.
The ES07D03’s only lighting feature is the power LED, but you get a myriad of options for it. Both power-on and standby behaviors can be controlled for color and effect.
Calibration Settings for the Eve Spectrum ES07D03
The ES07D03 can only be calibrated in the DCI-P3 color space. This isn’t an issue because both modes are free of visible errors. Eve adjusts each monitor before shipment and verifies the results with a data sheet. My sample matched the sheet nearly perfectly. If you want to tweak it, I managed to improve the numbers using the settings below.
HDR signals automatically switch the monitor over and gray out all image controls. But, HDR color accuracy is equally good.
|Brightness 200 nits||34|
|Brightness 120 nits||13|
|Brightness 100 nits||8|
|Brightness 80 nits||2 (min. 73 nits)|
|Color Temp User||Red 255, Green 253, Blue 254|
Gaming and Hands-on with the Eve Spectrum ES07D03
If you’re looking for a 27-inch 4K monitor for general use, the ES07D03 is a great choice. In Windows’ productivity apps like Word and Excel, it renders sharp jaggie-free text that pops out nicely from its white background. Contrast is excellent with rich color and a super-clean image. Thanks to the accurate factory calibration, browsing the web and watching videos is a pleasure. My tweaks only made a very subtle improvement; adjustment is not necessary.
If you want to use HDR for normal Windows operations, that’s fine here. The image gets slightly brighter but looks largely the same unless you play HDR video. Then, the image becomes very impressive. The ES07D03 has the best HDR I’ve seen short of a high-end FALD display like Asus’ PG27UQ. And it is certainly the best HDR I’ve seen for the money.
Moving on to Doom Eternal, I made a few tweaks in the game’s HDR calibration menu to make sure all detail was rendered in shadow and highlight areas, and color was fully saturated without looking overblown. The resulting image was stunning and improved by the ES07D03’s overdrive. The fine control it offers means perfect motion processing with no hint of ghosting. I can’t say enough about the quality here. No monitor I’ve reviewed can touch Eve’s overdrive implementation, period. This translates to very high motion resolution. That means when you move quickly through the game environment, all fine detail remains sharp and focused. The only way it could be better is if the refresh rate were higher than 144 Hz.
Checking out other video processing features, I had no issues running FreeSync or G-Sync with HDR. Overdrive was active and equally effective on both platforms. The backlight strobe is also very effective, though I had to give up Adaptive-Sync to use it. But it does function up to 144 Hz and its adjustable pulse width means you can balance brightness and blur reduction to taste. Ultimately, I chose overdrive with Adaptive-Sync as the best option.
In Call of Duty WWII, I tweaked the HDR calibration to make sure all detail was perfectly rendered and was greeted with a super bright image, at least in the sunlit parts of the game. Highlights and reflections actually made me squint. Of course, this can be toned down in the menu, but I enjoyed the effect. You'd certainly have to squint at times in the bright sun on the battlefield.
Colors were beautifully rendered in all the games I played, whether the palette was hot and hellish like Doom Eternal or cool and lush like Call of Duty WWII. When accuracy is this good, everything looks natural and correct, even in environments that don’t actually exist.