Eve Spectrum 4K Monitor Overview

Today we're taking a look at a very high-demand monitor, the Eve Spectrum 4K, which is a project designed by the masses, just like they did before with the Eve V tablet that we tested a few years ago. As part of this review, we've now decided to buy a Spectrum 4K because Eve as a company doesn't have a great track record of delivering products on time as promised. The Eve V tablet was a pretty good product, but it was plagued with production issues and delays, and the refund process was poor, to say the least, according to various user reports.

Eve did offer us a monitor test device, but we wanted to check whether they actually supply us with a monitor after pre-ordering and how the entire process works. We were a little concerned that the product could be a scam – if they were taking pre-orders and not shipping units to customers and reviewers past the first wave. So we secretly bought this monitor at a different address and details so Eve wouldn't know it was us.

The good news is that the product arrived. We specifically ordered one after the first wave of reviews to mimic the experience of a shopper who read one of these reviews and wanted to make a purchase.

To keep this simple so we can get into the actual review, we bought the monitor in late July and made a $ 100 reservation, with Eve giving a shipping date for September 2021. They asked for the balance to be paid in mid-August. claims the product is "almost ready to ship".

That didn't happen until October 4th, a month and a half later, and finally reached its destination on October 12th. Well, that's probably not a big problem. We bought it knowing it wouldn't be shipping until September and it took an extra couple of weeks to arrive so a brief delay. For those of you shopping overseas, the only shipping option, in addition to the $ 800 for the monitor and stand, was for the supposedly "express shipping" option.

We wouldn't advise buying it this way when we could basically get any other monitor from a local store for a fraction of the shipping cost. That was far from ideal, but let's first take a look at the actual hardware Eve has to offer.

Design and form factor

The Eve Spectrum 4K is a 27 inch 4K 144Hz gaming monitor with all the usual features. It supports adaptive sync variable frame rates, it has a response time of 1 ms through the use of an LG IPS panel, and it has an "HDR600" rating with up to 750 nits of brightness.

The big selling point here used to be HDMI 2.1, although that won't be special in 2021 as many 4K monitors include the feature. Eve also claims the display was developed by 4,053 members of her community. So it will be interesting to see if this made a difference in the final product.

We paid $ 800 for the Spectrum 4K, but the price has since increased to $ 900 for new orders that will ship next year. The $ 900 is divided into $ 800 for the monitor and $ 100 for the stand. So if you don't want a stand (e.g. for VESA mounting), you can save yourself this money.

The design of the Spectrum is pretty nice, and while the stand is expensive, it's a pretty elegant product.

The base and column are both made of metal in an appealing gray, and the height adjustment is excellent in addition to the pan and tilt support.

Although the stand is thin and the base is not particularly large, it is overall robust and feels well made. I like the design of the display itself, slim bezels, no unnecessary gamer style, no RGB LEDs. Overall, this would be one of my favorite gaming monitor designs.

The narrow section on the back houses all connections, including a DisplayPort 1.4 with DSC and two HDMI 2.1 ports. The addition of HDMI 2.1 is crucial with a 4K 144Hz monitor as you would be limited to just 60Hz without it, and these are full 48Gbps ports.

Then there is also a USB-C input that supports DP Alt mode and 100W power delivery, which is suitable for use with laptops with a single cable. Several USB outputs are included as well as an audio jack. Pretty good range of connectors.

As for the on-screen display, we get an easy-to-use directional switch on the back, although the user interface itself is simple and has surprisingly low resolution on a native 4K panel.

The range of features included is decent, there is crosshair support that most other monitors have, as well as the neat integration of integer scaling that can improve the clarity when upscaling from 1080p to 4K. I wouldn't say the feature set is great given that competitors like Gigabyte have KVM switches that you can't get here.

Display performance

In terms of response time, the Spectrum is interesting as it offers some overdrive settings in addition to the overdrive that can be adjusted by the user via a slider. I really like this setup because you can really fine-tune the settings so let's see how it works.

The overdrive-off performance is pretty typical of LG's Nano IPS panels with an average response time of 9 ms and no overshoot. This mode is actually decently usable, but we can improve performance by using a higher mode.

Next in the chain is normal mode, which seems to be the most balanced between response times and overshoot. A small overshoot is recognized, mostly when the transitions are close together, which in practice is not noticeable when playing. The average response has improved to a very solid average of 5 ms, which Eve touts as the "typical" response of the panel. The cumulative deviation is also better than in the previous mode.

The high mode is your typical too fast mode, which announces a faster reaction time than the LCD panel can actually achieve. While the average response time is better than normal mode, the overshoot is significant and noticeable, resulting in inverse ghosting. The cumulative deviation is worse than normal mode, so we went backwards in weighing the balance between speed and overshoot.

In addition, you can control the overdrive with the customizable slider, which allows values ​​between 0 and 63. However, I've found that a significant portion of the area with a fairly high overshoot is useless. So I'll get to the point. When optimizing for the lowest cumulative deviation, I found a value around 15 for the best experience at 144 Hz.

This setting is slightly slower than Normal mode, but to a negligible degree, but has less overshoot. I would use this for high refresh rate games, although Normal mode is pretty solid too if you don't want to mess around.

As for adaptive sync gaming across the update range, Eve claims the monitor has variable overdrive, although I don't see any evidence of this in practice. You may mistakenly use the term to refer to the user-adjustable overdrive setting, which is different from the actual variable overdrive setting, where the monitor automatically adjusts its overdrive settings based on the refresh rate for the best experience.

The basics are that using a user setting of 15 for overdrive at 60Hz causes a little too much inverse ghosting. After carefully examining a number of overdrive options, I decided to use a user setting of 10 for the best experience over the entire update range. This mode is slightly slower at 144Hz with an average response time of 6.55ms, but it still offers great performance with limited overshoot at 60Hz and anything in between those refresh rates. Using this mode provides what I would call a single overdrive mode experience, even though it doesn't technically use variable overdrive.

Compared to other monitors, the Eve Spectrum is decent with its maximum refresh rate of 144 Hz. The response times are in the standard range of other IPS monitors, while a low level of inverse ghosting is retained. I was able to set the monitor with the user adjustable overdrive to also be a bit better than LG's 27GN950 which uses a similar panel.

On average over the update range, the Spectrum and 27GN950 are practically identical. While it's nice to have all of these user-customizable overdrive controls to get the most out of the display, it seems LG is already doing this for you with their offering, so on average, it doesn't give Eve much of an edge. Performance is solid and well balanced again, though a monitor like the Gigabyte M28U isn't that much different, if we're honest, and offers quick response times at the expense of overshoot.

And that becomes even clearer when you look at the cumulative deviation, which shows the balance between response times and overshoot. The Gigabyte M28U does well and is one of the best for an IPS monitor. The 27GN950 and Eve Spectrum lag slightly behind, although all of these monitors really deliver a very similar experience on average. The performance is exactly where I want it to be for a modern IPS gaming monitor, which is between 500 and 600 in this metric.

At 120 Hz, the Spectrum is a mid-range performer and delivers decent results for console gamers watching this 4K 120 Hz experience over HDMI 2.1. Then the spectrum at 60 Hz is once again pretty typical in terms of its performance with no problems worth mentioning. It's a bit slower than the 27GN950, but not to the extent that you should be complaining, as these two monitors provide essentially the same performance.

Input lag is not a problem with the spectrum and offers a processing delay of less than 1 ms and results in the middle range. The main limiting factor on input latency is the refresh rate, as 144 Hz is noticeably slower than 240 Hz or higher monitors in terms of lag and smoothness. At this type of price, you can switch between 4K 144 Hz or 1440p 240 Hz. So if you play a lot of competitive titles, the faster refresh rate may be of interest to you.

Then we come to electricity consumption. Unsurprisingly, the 27GN950 and ES07D03 are essentially identical in terms of power consumption when calibrated for the same brightness performance. They both use the same panel, so I wouldn't expect anything else.

The Eve Spectrum supports backlight strobing, and it's a really great implementation, especially for this type of panel. The built-in presets have minimal strobe crosstalk or double vision, which results in noticeably improved clarity compared to running without a strobe and doesn't have as many artifacts aside from a slight trace. The best image quality is obtained with the "short" pulse width, but the lowest brightness, although the "long" pulse width with high brightness is still decent. This can be further tweaked with the built-in user controls in the OSD or the BlurBusters Strobe utility for best results.

This level of flexibility and control over strobing mode should be sought by other companies in their modes because it always delivers the best results. The Eve Spectrum offers great strobing and a great deal of flexibility, including the ability to use strobing at any refresh rate, e.g. B. 60 Hz, which is not possible with many other monitors.

There are some drawbacks, however. Overall flash quality is not perfect due to the persistent problem with backlit KSF LCDs, the slow red phosphor. When using backlight strobing, this leads to red stripes, which can be clearly noticeable even with low strobe crosstalk. Because of this, you may not want to use it. Eve also doesn't support using backlight strobing and adaptive sync at the same time, which is becoming increasingly popular with other brands.

Color performance

Color space: Eve Spectrum 4K – D65-P3

Now we come to the color performance and the Eve Spectrum is a typical wide-gamut monitor with an LG panel. It has 97% DCI-P3 coverage which is very wide and works well in this color space. In addition, support for Adobe RGB and Rec is more limited. Coverage in 2020 is 71%, which is an average result by modern monitor standards.

Standard color performance

The default factory calibration was pretty good with my device, at least for grayscale performance. The CCT curve is impressively flat and balanced, resulting in a perfect tone out of the box. The gamma performance is not perfect, but decent enough and that leads to good deltaE results. However, the standard experience with the Spectrum is wide-gamut mode, although most SDR content only uses or requires sRGB / Rec. 709. This means that the panel is oversaturated by default.

So what we're seeing compared to other monitors is that the Eve is pretty average for ColorChecker performance, but pretty decent for grayscale performance, at least by default.

However, performance can be significantly improved by switching the monitor to sRGB mode. Grayscale deltaEs in this configuration drop to below 1.0 in deltaE 2000 and only 3.0 in dEITP, which is very strong despite some inconsistencies with the gamma curve. The color performance is also very strong, as the color space is managed perfectly and this does not lead to oversaturation. All in all, this sRGB mode is much better than average and very useful without further calibration.

Calibrated color performance

You will also get great results for P3 when the monitor is set to P3 mode, with deltaE performance very similar to sRGB mode. This means that there is a great deal of hardware calibration in place for both of the color spaces the display supports, and calibration can only improve things marginally. I would love to see the sRGB mode unlock the white balance controls, they are locked which is no big deal but still unnecessary but other than that I'm very happy with the calibration provided here – as long as you turn on the sRGB- Daily use mode.

The brightness is decent and offers 450 cd / m² in SDR mode, which is only beaten by real HDR panels like the PG32UQX. This brightness is similar to that of the LG 27GN950, but significantly better than the Gigabyte M28U. However, the minimum brightness isn't amazing at 76 nits, which should be fine for most users, but isn't as low as other monitors can.

The native contrast ratio of 1160: 1 is solid on my device. The 4K version of LG's Nano IPS panel doesn't suffer from the same contrast issues as the 1440p versions, and the Eve Spectrum was even slightly better than my 27GN950 example from LG. Unfortunately, since it is an IPS panel, the contrast is generally poor. VA displays have a contrast that is more than twice as high, which makes them more suitable for dark content or games in the dark.

Viewing angles and evenness were both good, and LG panels tend to have above average evenness, which is great for content creation. The main part of the screen was very uniform on my device and there was little drop in the top right corner. I should note that the uniformity depends on the unity, and what you get may be different.

HDR performance

As far as HDR performance goes, the Eve Spectrum is a semi-HDR monitor. Although it offers respectable brightness functions, a large color space and a kind of local dimming to improve the contrast ratio, it fundamentally lacks the hardware for real HDR images. The monitor only has 16 edge-lit dimming zones, which leads to a lot of blooming and haloing with HDR content. In many cases, all dimming zones are illuminated, which prevents the display from actually showing light and dark areas close together.

To run through the HDR performance quickly, the maximum brightness the panel can reach is solid, at around 700 nits if it's persistent. as a flash … or with small window sizes. In fact, the brightness never drops below 600 nits across different window sizes, regardless of whether it is permanent or peak value, which results in solid brightness, especially at normal monitor viewing distances.

In contrast, where the spectrum suffers lies. The absolute best contrast ratio I could get was 20,000: 1, which was hardly realistic between an all-black window and an all-white window. Within a single frame, the best I could get dropped to just 11,600: 1, which is well below the contrast ratios for which HDR is recommended.

And in the worst case, when dark and light objects are next to each other on the screen, the Spectrum will revert to its native contrast ratio, so it doesn't offer any HDR-level performance at all in these situations. You can have a better experience than SDR at times, but most of the time the experience is pretty bad so I wouldn't buy this for its HDR specs or capabilities.

What we learned

The Eve Spectrum 4K has a lot going for it in terms of performance, while it is less outstanding in terms of availability and price. Outside of HDR, where the spectrum isn't very good, this monitor does very well. The response times are decent and exactly where you want them for a modern IPS gaming monitor. We also get very good backlight strobing and an important feature in HDMI 2.1.

This isn't as revolutionary as it used to be now that we have more competition in the 4K 144Hz monitor space, but the Spectrum ticks all the boxes for motion performance and it's great to play on.

What I liked best was the color performance. The factory calibration in sRGB mode is very good, and it's clear that Eve spent time making sure that every device goes through some sort of factory calibration process. It also works well for content creation in P3 mode, which also offers decent hardware calibration. Add in good uniformity and contrast, and there is great versatility to using the monitor for gaming and productivity work that you would expect in a 4K monitor.

Although the performance is strong and the Spectrum offers a modern range of functions, I don't think that all of the "human evolution" contributed much to the display. There are a few things they might not otherwise have included – like support for integer scaling – but it shouldn't need an online forum for a monitor manufacturer to know they are factory calibrating their high-end display or tweaking the backlight strobing should. This aspect is a bit tricky considering several other monitors do just as well here.

As for its direct competitors, Eve is competing for $ 900 for this display including the stand in the high-end 144Hz 4K market with products like LG's 27GP950, the newer version of the 27GN950. The Spectrum 4K is a better version of the 27GN950 with better performance.

However, I wouldn't automatically recommend the Spectrum if there are products like Gigabytes M28U. For $ 650, the Gigabyte comes pretty close to the Spectrum's performance – including strong response times, HDMI 2.1, and great factory calibration – but it's a lot cheaper. The Spectrum, like the 27GP950, is not a good choice and you end up paying a heavy premium for a few extras. This display might be the way to go if you need backlight strobe or integer scaling, but for everyone else, the latest generation 28-inch 4K monitors are better value for money.

As for its release strategy, Eve took pre-orders for this display in mid-2020 with an expected release date for the end of this year. Back then, the monitor with the included stand was expected to cost $ 700, and the company was promoting the launch of the first 4K gaming monitor with HDMI 2.1. But that was then, and certainly it would have been an excellent product in this market and timing, which would explain why so many people jumped on board to pre-order.

However, by delaying the product well into 2021, Eve lost its competitive advantage. New 4K monitors hit the market earlier this year and deliver most of what Eve has promised at similar or better prices.

We always advise against pre-ordering, and here is a prime example of why you shouldn't, and why a company's entire go-ahead strategy shouldn't be based on it. The Spectrum 4K is a good monitor, but nothing special in the market today.

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