Pros: Extremely Lightweight, Very Well Crafted, Exceptionally Designed, Comfortable, Work Perfectly With Over-The-Ear Headphones
Cons: Only one single solitary con after 30+ days of use: The Amber tint lenses lend a slightly "off" quality to Pure White
I had seen a few You Tube videos showing people give reviews and testimonials on GUNNAR eye wear in regards to gaming but, like so many others, I was really hesitant about some of the claims GUNNAR makes about their eye wear. Like: "The eye wear provides gamers and computer users a visually enhanced experience while minimizing eye strain and fatigue."
That's a pretty bold statement for a pair of glasses in my book.
I accepted the offer of testing out a pair of PPKs with the understanding that my feedback and review would be honest and straight forward. Here is my final assessment of the GUNNAR PPKs
* A note: I intentionally did not read up on the product prior to my beginning the test period. I wanted to go into it with a "blank slate," not expecting anything. I also wanted to try and avoid a placebo effect. Instead, I kept running notes (scribbles really) about what the glasses felt like and how they performed in certain situations.
As soon as I removed the PPKs from the package it became obvious to me that the quality control standards at GUNNAR must be pretty high because, the glasses are very well made. The shiny Cobalt Blue finish on the glasses could give any Ferrari's paint job a run for it's money. The design of the PPKs lends itself to simplicity as there are no screws to be found anywhere on the frames; instead, the arms are held in place by a nifty little vertical protrusion on the front of the arms. Pretty nifty. The glasses are extremely light weight. Almost razor thin. And have a slight curvature to the arms themselves that, coupled with the slight flexibility they posses, make for a very nice, comfortable fit. The field of view through the lenses is exceptional. The cut of the lenses is stylish and functional. All-in-all, the PPKs feel well made, look good and fit snugly.
From day 1 I wore the GUNNAR PPKs with a set of over-the-ear Sennheiser HD 201's. The glasses themselves sit comfortably and feel okay. They are light, the nose pads are very very soft and, due to the razor thin arms, they incorporated themselves smoothly into my headgear. For the first couple of days there was a tiny sense of awkwardness but, I am pinning that on the fact that I never wear glasses--not even sun glasses. Overall I've had zero issues with comfort, even when wearing my headphones. I would also like to add that, the razor thinness of the arms lends a fair bit of flexibility to the glasses making the fit extremely comfortable (coupled with their slight curvature) and allow the PPKs to meld seamlessly with my over-the-ear headphones.
So, 90% of my computer time is dedicated to gaming. That's what the GUNNAR PPKs are designed for and, that's where I really ran them hard.
The game I am currently playing is Battlefield 3. I used the GUNNARs for 45+ hours in Battlefield 3 over the course of my testing. Other games I tested the GUNNARs with were: Modern Warfare 2, Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead 2, and Alan Wake.
Though I don't (as of yet) play competitively, with 500+ hours logged in Battlefield 3 I think it's safe to say: I am a gamer that can play a game for stretches of several hours at a time. And, as such, I suffered from the same symptoms of eye fatigue a lot of gamers usually do:
- Dry Eyes
- Watery Eyes
- Burning Eyes
- Itchy Eyes
GUNNAR claims that their eye wear does away with all of this. And I am here to tell you: The GUNNAR PPKs completely did away with all of the symptoms I previously had to deal with when gaming with other OCN members for extended periods of time. When you are on a roll ... when you are feeling that "edge," most of the time you simply don't want to have to take a break from looking into your gaming display(s) because your eyes are bothering you. I know I always hated that. Well those days are gone. Over. Done with. Put simply, GUNNAR eye wear really can have a HUGE impact on your visual endurance. It has on mine. These things work.
[ And this relates to more than just games. During my testing period I sat and worked on documents in a WORD program, giving structure to my notes, for hours and not once did my eyes bother me. Whereas previously, staring into the glaring white background of a document in a WORD program for an extended period of time was something I dreaded. Literally dreaded. Because I knew, eventually, the background was going to give me a headache. That's a thing of the past, now. Anyone working in an office environment, using Excel or a WORD program for hours on end would greatly benefit from GUNNAR eye wear.]
One thing I really came to realize after spending countless hours shooting noobs in the face in Battlefield 3 while wearing my GUNNAR PPKs : When you are not so focused on eye strain and eye fatigue and maybe headaches you can really just relax and game. The entire gaming comfort level goes up and you pay more attention to what's going on in the game. Big plus. HUGE plus.
The next big thing GUNNAR Optiks gaming eye wear brings to the table is enhanced color contrast. In every game I played I noticed right off that the colors Red, Blue and Green really benefit from the GUNNARs. In Battlefield 3, especially. I ran Battlefield 3 both stock and with the FXAA injector's color correction config and the game took on another level of depth. Tones and color gradients became more distinct. I'm not certain if it's strictly the reduction in glare or the Amber lens tint or both but, the difference is there. It's noticeable. And it is a definite plus in my book.
* A note here: One thing I did notice about the GUNNAR eye wear color contrast is that is carries with it a slight hit to the color Pure White. At least to my eyes it does. I don't find it off putting in the least, not really a negative but, I feel it's a "must mention." Pure White seems to take on an ever-so-slight "offness" about it. In games where the color Pure White is used to convey a sense of ambiance, mood, tone, this could be an issue for some.
Next, the GUNNAR PPKs seem to bring an ever-so-slight ( as to be almost unnoticeable) magnification to the game. At first I thought I was imagining this but, it is most certainly there. Whether it be some trick of refraction or, magic, I don't know. I can't say. But one thing is for certain: it's a bonus. Another edge. And I love it.
Would I recommend GUNNAR gaming eye wear to other OCN members? I would. Indeed, I would.
Mechanical keyboards. Custom gaming mice. Specific mouse pads. A vast array of displays. As gamers we all use things to enhance our gaming experience and elevate our enjoyment of our games. GUNNAR gaming eye wear is definitely another weapon you should consider adding to your arsenal. Another piece of hardware you should consider adding to your set ups to make your gaming experience that much more enjoyable. These GUNNAR PPKs are awesome and get a solid A+ from crashdummy35.