Eve Spectrum 4K
RRP $ 799.00
"The excellent design and image quality of Eve Spectrum 4K make the wait well."
Stunning, minimalist design
Excellent IPS panel implementation
HDMI 2.1 and 100 watt USB-C
Razor-sharp 4K image
Highly configurable panel settings
Sell without a stand to save money
Eva has a sketchy story
Overwhelming color performance with our sample
The mythical Eve Spectrum is a monitor you may have heard of. It was an entirely crowdfunded show that was due to come out about a year ago. But it never did. This left funders very disappointed as they feared they had lost their money to a project that would never come to fruition.
But lo and behold, to my surprise, I now have the test device of the 4K version in front of me.
The Eve Spectrum 4K is essentially everything a lot of gamers could want in a monitor: 4K, IPS, fast at 144 Hz, with HDMI 2.1, DisplayHDR 600, G-Sync / FreeSync, with all the panel optimization settings you can think of The OSD can only dream, a very minimalist design – the list goes on. The design was created in collaboration with the community and many players loved it.
But is the Eve Spectrum 4K actually good enough to become one of the best gaming monitors out there? Well – and maybe it was worth the wait.
The Eve Spectrum is the most minimalist monitor I've ever seen. In itself it's just a 27-inch panel with very thin bezels and a power LED on the underside. And I'll say it for itself, because the standard $ 799 kit doesn't come with a stand – that will cost you an additional $ 99.
This is something that the community wanted and, in my opinion, a great move. The enthusiast market has a penchant for attaching monitors to wall mounts and monitor arms in the name of cleaner, more minimalist-looking setups, and I'm all for it. Heck, those mounts often cost less than $ 99 or so at this ballpark.
The styling of the Eve Spectrum is nothing more than clean and classy.
However, if you do, I am happy to announce that the booth is for the most part worth the price. It's beautifully machined and painted and feels like a high quality piece of kit. My only complaint? It's so slim you'll see the cables behind it. That, and at its lowest height, is still tall, with the bottom of the display just over 3 inches above the desk.
Otherwise, it has a full range of customizations, including rotating it to portrait. It doesn't pivot, but that doesn't really matter. The stand also has a recess under the foot to pass cables underneath, like your keyboard.
Otherwise, there is very little design in the Eve Spectrum monitor. The backend only offers the connections and controls in a very clean, rectangular design. There is no aggressive, player-centered styling here – just clean and classy. I've always thought that less was more, and I really like the aesthetics of the Eve Spectrum.
Ports & controls
The Eve Spectrum I'm reviewing is the 4K model. Since it's a high refresh rate 4K panel, it's expected to include HDMI 2.1 – and it is here: The 4K Eve Spectrum includes a DisplayPort 1.4a input and two HDMI 2.1 ports. This makes it ideal for connection to your PC and two modern consoles, so that they can run in full RGB colors without chroma subsampling and with HDR activated at 4K and 120 Hz.
In addition, the display has a USB-C upstream connection, which is ideal for docking the monitor with a single-cable connection and offers display input, access to the USB hub and a power output of up to 100 watts via USB-C . It uses the DisplayPort protocol, and the OSD (on-screen display) lets you either prioritize the refresh rate to hit the full 144Hz, but with the USB hub running at USB 2.0 speeds, or the display at 60 Limit Hz, but USB 3.1. reserve bandwidth for the ports.
With HDMI 2.1 and USB-C with 100 W power, the Eve Spectrum offers the best connection options in the gaming monitor class
The only catch is that there's no ethernet port, so it's not a full-fledged hub. But chances are you're only using the USB-C docking feature for a second laptop besides your desktop anyway.
The USB hub itself has two USB-A and one USB-C ports, all of which run at USB 3.1 Gen 2 speeds for up to 10 Gbit / s bandwidth.
The display is powered by an external brick, but the power cord is on the short end. This means that especially if you want to mount the monitor on an arm and keep the cabling tidy, you want to have a cable trough under your desk that you can slide it into, as it won't dangle all the way to the floor without it.
On the back there are controls for the monitor, which consist of a direction switch and an on / off button. Pressing the switch takes you to the display's OSD, which is one of the most extensive OSDs I've come across on a gaming monitor. Of course, you'll find the usual range of connectivity, system, color, and overdrive settings, but the Eve Spectrum has a few more tricks up its sleeve.
For gamers, Eve offers a cheating crosshair, an FPS counter, a low latency mode, adaptive sync settings, response time settings and strobing modes for the backlight. Of course, backlight strobing won't work with Adaptive-Sync enabled, but that's to be expected.
In the meantime, the OSD also includes settings to customize the behavior and colors of the power LED with full RGB support. If you don't like the white light, just change it according to the colors of your setup. Isn't that neat?
However, there is one strange thing about the OSD: it's blurry. This is a 4K monitor, but the OSD is not very nicely designed, nor is it programmed to have the same sharp resolution as the display. But it's an OSD, and it's well-equipped, so do you really care that it doesn't look nice? It's also a bit slow to adjust values, and I would prefer to have a brightness adjustment option that doesn't require me to dig deep into the menu for quick changes. But unfortunately.
The Eve Spectrum is based on the same panel as the LG 27GN950 that we tested last year and that was very good indeed. With that, the Eve Spectrum is off to a good start, and while the specs aren't all that different, Eve throws a factory calibration into the mix that claims a typical Delta-E (color difference from real) of 0.59, especially on our device in his attached report indicates a Delta-E of 0.5. For reference, any number below 2.0 is considered good enough for professional editing, so I was anxious to double-check those numbers.
But there's more to it than just color accuracy. The IPS panel offers a resolution of 4K (3840 x 2160) for razor-sharp images, has an advertised static contrast ratio of 1000: 1, as is expected from IPS panels, and can display up to 1.07 billion colors since it a 10. is bit (8 bit + FRC) panel.
I was disappointed when testing the display's color performance. Brightness and contrast tests were great and delivered a good 500 nits of brightness at 100% and achieved the promised contrast ratio of 1000: 1 perfectly, but the panel did not come close to the promised color performance.
Coverage of the DCI-P3 space was limited to 95% instead of the promised 98%, which is acceptable, but gamma was 2.3 instead of 2.2, the white point was 7100K instead of 6500K, but worst of all was the color accuracy Reading I got a Delta-E of 2.31, which is outside the acceptable norm for professional color grading and, according to the accompanying report, is far from the promised value of 0.5. Normally I would narrow this down to differences in test equipment, but with such a large discrepancy I can't believe this calibration was even performed.
And let's face it: a typical Delta-E across all of its tests of 0.59 is too good to be true anyway. The only monitor I've ever achieved this with is Acer's ConceptD CM2, which isn't a gaming monitor at all, despite the fact that LG's 27GN950 was terribly close. Nevertheless, our Spyder X Elite calibrated the display to acceptable standards within a few moments, refined the white point and gamma performance and corrected the colors to a Delta-E of 1.46.
That said, it's about more than just synthetic testing, and most players probably don't care that much about perfect color performance anyway. When I tested the LG 27GN950, I found that the left and right sides of the panel fell off in brightness near the edge, making it almost look like a piece of parchment that was still rolled up on each end. To my surprise, the Eve Spectrum showed no such phenomenon, and while it wasn't at all annoying on LG's panel, it looks much higher quality when the same panel is evenly illuminated to the edge.
Additionally, the amount of IPS glow and backlight bleeding from this IPS panel was also minimal – either this device was selected to be sent to me (although Eve claims not to do so on its website), or Eve has a trick his case for the monitor construction, which limits these effects better than LG. I kind of feel like it's the latter, but I don't believe in it as I haven't seen any other units. That's not to say there aren't any, the lower left corner shows a little more sheen, but it's very acceptable.
Overall, the Eve Spectrum 4K I tested has one of the best IPS panel implementations I've seen, but I'm a little at a loss as to why I couldn't reproduce the color performance Eve tested. In any case, the performance is more than good enough for most use cases that I wouldn't pass the monitor on just based on the test results I had with my sample.
Playing in the Eve Spectrum
The most important factor for gaming performance is the fast refresh rate of 144 Hz. In the meantime, 144 Hz has become the norm for gaming monitors, while there are monitors in the high-end sector that provide 360 Hz. You don't get that at 4K, of course, where you're limited by overclocking to 160 Hz at the highest end on LG's models with the same panel, and although this overclocking option isn't available on the Eve Spectrum, you can opt for a 240 Hz variant decide by falling on a QHD panel (2560 x 1440). However, other than extremely competitive gaming, I can't see a fall for anything over 144Hz.
But let's forget all of that for a second, turn on adaptive sync, turn on HDR, and start a few games with the graphics sliders all the way up. Here the Eve Spectrum shines in the truest sense of the word.
In HDR games, the Eve Spectrum 4K literally shines.
I didn't think I would like it that much, I thought the smaller 27-inch panel would offer a lesser experience than my own 34-inch ultrawide despite the higher resolution, but boy, I was wrong. Playing at 4K for immersion is tremendous value, especially when playing games that have textures with the required resolution. I've played Mass Effect Legendary Edition, Horizon Zero Dawn, and even started Cyberpunk 2077 because it would be almost criminal not to do it. Long story short, the Eve Spectrum offers a resolution that is fun to play on, especially with immersive titles like these that have texture resolution to aid them. Coupled with 600 nits of HDR brightness, I could lose myself in game worlds for hours.
Of course, when it comes to competing titles like Insurgency Sandstorm, the Eve Spectrum 4K isn't lazy either, although it's important to keep in mind that it's a 4K monitor. While I had no problem playing the above story-based titles with higher visual fidelity and relying on Adaptive-Sync to keep things running smoothly, in this competitive online shooter I had to lower the graphics settings to get close the 144 Hz refresh rate to come – budget for a beefy graphics card if you're interested.
If you're looking for a proper 27-inch 4K gaming monitor, the Eve Spectrum is as good as possible. At $ 799 and another $ 99 for the stand, it competes head-to-head with LG's best and offers some additional features, albeit with a bit more risk due to the company's history.
The Eve Spectrum may be well over a year late, but it's certainly not lacking in demand and it's still one of the best, if not the best, 4K gaming monitors money can buy. With HDMI 2.1, DisplayHDR600, 98% coverage of the DCI-P3 color space, a great IPS panel implementation and a mighty tidy design, the Eve Spectrum 4K is a display that a lot of gamers can itch.
Are there alternatives?
The best alternative right now iswhich is the successor to the LG 27GN950 that we tested last year. All three are essentially identical monitors based on the same panel, except that LG's new version has HDMI 2.1. The LG panel also does 160Hz overclocking and comes with RGB, and it costs about the same when you include the kickstand.
This makes the Eve Spectrum a tough best seller, but if you're into the minimalist design, want the 100 watt power output, skip the booth, and want the customizability, the Spectrum 4K may have the edge.
How long it will take?
Eve covers the Spectrum with a three-year warranty, including a 14-day DOA period and a pixel policy that states that the display must have no bright pixels and up to five dark pixels before a replacement is guaranteed. That being said, I don't see any reason why the Spectrum 4K shouldn't last at least five years like any monitor should, if properly cared for, do.
Should I buy it?
This is where Eva's reputation comes in. The weight you place on the company's longevity and ability to deliver will no doubt put some off – and that's fair.
But just because of the quality of this brilliant monitor, the Eve Spectrum is absolutely worth buying.