Saturday, 17 June 2017

Gunnar Optiks Gaming Glasses Review

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I had some hand-me-down Gunnars in the past, but they were more military-looking with sleek lines and metal frames. They didn't suit my personality at all and I wasn't too sad when I lost them during a move. However, I just took up work on a new game team and my shift is graveyard. I was finding the hours, light differences and the typical 8 hours working at a computer tacked on to my personal computer use to be making my eyes red, itchy, bleary and tired. And so, to Amazon I went, to search for some new computing glasses.

These Gunner glasses with retro nerd frames stood out to me immediately. When I saw they came in *fun colors* I was more determined to make these my pair. Although there are a number of complaints about durability, I know I can be careful with my peripheral goodies so-- I decided to go for it. I've only had them a few days, but here are my impressions:

1. I love the color! I got Ink, which I felt was fun enough to stand out but neutral enough to go with lots of other colors. It is just as expected, being just a wee bit more vibrant against my pasty nerd skin and bright hair.

2. The texture. The frames themselves have a soft rubbery coating that feels awesome to the touch and prevents the glasses from sliding down my nose.

3. The real reason we buy them: the glare reduction. It's fantastic! I can't say that as you wear them you think things look that different, or the colors look dramatically less blue, but the moment you take the glasses off - while facing any computer screen - you can't help but notice that they were really working to reduce glare. When you take off the glasses you see the harsh blue light and how much they were blocking. It's not unlike the difference between being outdoors with polarized lenses that aren't dark, mostly just polarized and very lightly tinted/mirrored, and then popping them off for a moment to feel the full blaring light of day. Yes, it feels that dramatic. Especially when you use a computer in low-light settings and the monitor feels a bit like your own tiny, rectangular blue sun. :-)

4. Quality-- I can't speak for long term durability, but I will update this review immediately if I experience issues. Other than that these glasses have a feel similar to my neon wayfarer Oakleys, which I got in New York about four years ago. When I first held those glasses I thought they felt cheap compared to the Ray-Bans, but the salesperson explained how they were collapsible and flexible, etc. I got used to them and found I prefer their lightness. I have yet to have those shades pop apart on me so my hope is these will stand up fine, despite being light weight.

5. Smudging-- Others complain of smudging but I have had zero issues. Maybe I am fastidious? I don't know. I have really oily skin and leave blatant prints on everything I touch but... if I don't touch the lenses they don't get smudged. I gently remove them from my face by gripping the arms and then I gently place them in their case or on my XL desk-length mousepad. No issues. When I do have to clean them - to remove dust - my old Sunglasses Hut spray and wipe works fine.

Some things to note: I have an average-sized female head. These fit me perfectly. They do not squeeze near my ears like some glasses can. Anyone with a larger or wider head might be saddened by the fit, which would make the glasses painful to wear for long sessions, and could well be the cause of frame stress which could cause breakage that others have experienced. Just a theory. And looking at the hinge and arm construction - these don't look at all adjustable. Unless you can try them on in person - or are confident you have a head size that is "average female" or smaller - you may want to look for a different style.

Also, I bought the nice Gunnar case at the same time as the glasses (Gunnar Optiks GAI-030102 Gunnar Eyewear Case, Black). It fits width-wise, but the glasses are too deep and for this reason the case will not fully close. I considered returning it but since it was so inexpensive here, and I am not sure I would get the full refund since the item is not faulty, I just kept it and leave it on my desk as a place to safely nest the glasses when I go AFK. UPDATE 03/28/2016: I am not sure why this would be the case, except perhaps that the glasses could be less stiff and can now fold flatter? But the upshot is, last night I went to put my glasses in the case, same as always, and this time it just snapped shut as though it had always been able to do so. Previously the glasses had held it open and a gentle pressing did not cause the case to magnetize closed so - in order to avoid breakage of the glasses - just let the case sit ~1/4" open on my desk with the glasses in it for a little protection, being better than none.

Oh, and side note, you may not want to wear these while driving at night. I wore them out inadvertently and found that the blue-glare reduction caused some odd diffusion of the lights of oncoming vehicles. The color wasn't bad, in fact it reduced the glare same as from a screen, but the diffusion of the light made bigger fuzzy blind spots around oncoming traffic in darker places on the road. Just a word of caution. :-)

So, to sum it up: I love these. They are fun. They are comfortable. They really, really cut computing glare and so far they haven't given me a stitch of quality issues. Again, if they do I will update here ASAP. Hope this review helped and hope these glasses help your eyes, too! Best of luck!


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