Questions from the designers

Hello Eve Family,

We are moving fast! So fast that we will skip long intros this time and cut straight into the next step: feedback!

Before we dive in

If you’re new to our crowd-developed monitor Project: Spectrum or if you just need a quick recap of what we’ve been up to so far, have a look at this summary of everything to do with the project so far.

If you want to keep up to date with future steps, be sure to subscribe to our crowd-development newsletter!

Spinning already

A mere week ago we posted Propeller’s design concepts, and your responses have been amazing! They are already hard at work with the initial feedback, and asked us more questions. Some of those we were able to answer, but others definitely need a touch of community. So please continue to share your insights as we work towards the next design stage!

Port placement

Cables that plug into the middle of the monitor are easier to manage, but may be harder to reach as they are behind the stand. That’s ideal for cables that are plugged in once and then left there, like a power cable or your video signal cable of choice. Let’s call these ‘permanent’ cables for now. Cables that plug into- or near the edges are easier to reach when you quickly need to plug or un-plug a peripheral, but also stand out more visually. Great for a USB-stick, but not so much for a cable that’ll always be there. Let’s call these ‘temporary’ cables.

I think we can all agree that some ports need to be accessed often, and others can be hidden away more. The question of course is: which cables fall into which category? We see three main use cases, and would like to know which one you most identify with!

1: The ‘traditional’ use case

Power is permanently plugged in, as are the USB-B cable that feeds the built-in USB hub and one or more video signal cables of your choice: HDMI or DisplayPort. USB ports, both Type-A and Type-C are there to quickly plug in temporary accessories like flash drives, external hard disks and SSDs, or game controllers.

‘permanent’ ports ‘temporary’ ports
interfaces-power-ADP230CB%20BC
interfaces-HDMI
interfaces-DP
interfaces-DP
interfaces-USB-B3.0
interfaces-USB-A3.0
interfaces-USB-A3.0
interfaces-USB-C
interfaces-USB-C

2: The ‘USB-C for video’ use case

Much like the ‘traditional’ use case, power is permanently plugged in. But you mainly consider USB-C useful as a video connector: You plug in one or more video signal cables through HDMI, DisplayPort or USB Type-C. The built-in USB-hub gets its data either through a permanent USB-B cable, or the same USB-C cable you use for video. The USB Type A ports are there to quickly plug in temporary accessories like flash drives, external hard disks and SSDs, or game controllers.

‘permanent’ ports ‘temporary’ ports
interfaces-power-ADP230CB%20BC
interfaces-HDMI
interfaces-DP
interfaces-DP
interfaces-USB-C
interfaces-USB-C
interfaces-USB-B3.0
interfaces-USB-A3.0
interfaces-USB-A3.0

3: The ‘single cable solution’ use case

You use your desk to empower your mobile device. Apart from the power connector, a USB-C cable is permanently plugged in and ready for you when you come home with your laptop or tablet. Once plugged in, your keyboard, mouse, printer or other peripherals are already permanently connected to your monitor through the USB-A ports. All you have to do is plug that one USB-C cable into your device, and you can use your tablet or laptop with all the luxuries of a desktop, even as the same cable charges its battery.

‘permanent’ ports ‘temporary’ ports
interfaces-power-ADP230CB%20BC
interfaces-HDMI
interfaces-DP
interfaces-DP
interfaces-USB-C
interfaces-USB-C
interfaces-USB-B3.0
interfaces-USB-A3.0
interfaces-USB-A3.0
none

Please choose the use case that is most like yours!

  • 1: The ‘traditional’ use case is most like mine
  • 2: The ‘USB-C for video’ use case is most like mine
  • 3: The ‘single cable solution’ use case is most like mine
  • My use case is completely different from any of these options. (Please leave a comment below!)

0 voters

Our take on this

The power port has to be connected if the monitor is to do anything at all. That makes it the most universally permanent port of all. The ports that were designed specifically to carry video signals (HDMI, DP), as well as the PC uplink port for the USB hub (USB-B) will generally be used for long-term connections as well. It’s the USB Type-C and especially the Type-A ports where users are most likely to regularly add or remove devices. Of course the above poll may shed a different light on the situation. But as a suitable compromise for all use cases, we think the following might work:

The power port is centered. Closest to the center are the HDMI, DisplayPort and USB-B ports. USB-C ports are grouped with the video inputs, but are farthest from the center where they are easiest to reach. USB-A ports are on an edge or close to an edge, for ease of access.

  • :+1:That sounds about right
  • :-1: That doesn’t sound right

0 voters

Speaking of those ‘temporary’ ports…

The easier the ports are to reach, the more likely they will be visible – as will any cables or peripherals sticking out of them.

Placing the ports on the edges makes them easiest to find and reach, but they will also break up the smoothness of the edge and a USB-stick or cable would be sticking out of the side of bottom of your screen, very much in view.

Placing ports facing an edge, but offset behind the bezel makes them harder to reach, but they’ll be all but invisible to the user when they’re not in use, and small peripherals like a wireless mouse dongle may be camouflaged in this way.

Placing ports facing backward out of the monitor will also be harder to reach, but any cable or plug sticking out of them will be behind the monitor and out of the user’s view completely, also making cable management easier for anyone who intends to have something plugged in permanently.

So, how should these ports be oriented?

  • A: The ‘temporary’ ports should be on the side edge of the display.
  • B: The ‘temporary’ ports should be facing the side edge of the display, but be hidden behind the bezel.
  • C: The ‘temporary’ ports should be facing backwards out of the monitor.
  • D: The ‘temporary’ ports should be on the bottom edge of the display.
  • E: The ‘temporary’ ports should be facing the bottom edge of the display, but be hidden behind the bezel.

0 voters

And where should the ports be located?

  • 1: The ‘temporary’ ports should be centered on the left edge.
  • 2: The ‘temporary’ ports should be in the bottom left corner.
  • 3: The ‘temporary’ ports should be centered on the bottom edge.
  • 4: The ‘temporary’ ports should be in the bottom right corner.
  • 5: The ‘temporary’ ports should be centered on the right edge.

0 voters

VESA & Mounting


Height adjustment and vertical tilt are important for ergonomic reasons. Horizontal tilt is a nice-to-have but can also be achieved by rotating the stand on the desk. Rotation to portrait mode… now that seems to be a much more contentious feature: People who use it seem to swear by it, people who don’t use it don’t care about it at all.

It’s been suggested that maybe we can adjust the connection between the stand and the monitor to allow the monitor to be permanently mounted in portrait mode. So we’re wondering, would that actually be a sufficient solution for portrait-mode users?

  • If my monitor can be mounted in portrait mode permanently, it doesn’t need the ability to rotate.
  • I use portrait mode, but I need to be able to easily switch between portrait and landscape modes.
  • I never use my monitor in portrait mode, this feature doesn’t apply to me.

0 voters

Power & control buttons


Assuming the OSD controls are centered and on the back of the monitor, within easy reach from the bottom, what kind of controls do you prefer?

  • 1: I prefer a small joystick that can be nudged in four directions.
  • 2: I prefer a round D-pad that can be pressed in four directions.
  • 3: I prefer a cross-shaped D-pad that can be pressed in four directions.
  • 4: I prefer a separated D-pad that can be pressed in four directions.
  • 5: I prefer separate buttons lined up side by side.

0 voters

It’s been suggested we may have additional buttons with pre-set features. For example: Spectrum supports multiple video signals at once. We could have an easy-to-reach button to quickly switch between the active inputs.

What’s your take on extra buttons?

  • I want a button to quickly switch between active input signals.
  • I want a button to quickly switch between color spaces.
  • I want a button to quickly switch between pre-set monitor settings.
  • I want a button I can assign a function from the OSD. (Leave a comment and tell us what kind of features you’d like to see!)
  • I don’t want any extra buttons on my monitor, it’s just clutter.

0 voters

Status light

Time to shed some light on what your monitor is doing! Is your monitor in stand-by, or is it just paused on a black frame in your movie? Is it even on?

Where do you think the status light should be?

  • I prefer a status light on the front of the monitor.
  • I prefer a status light on the bottom of the monitor.
  • I prefer a status light on the back of the monitor.
  • I prefer a status light in the power button, wherever that is.
  • I prefer a monitor without a status light (or one that can be turned off).

0 voters

We think it makes sense that the status light shows when the monitor is on and active, on but on stand-by, or off. Though in that case the light would also be off. Maybe you can think of other statuses that really need to be represented by this light, in that case leave a comment and let us know!

What color should it shine when the monitor is turned on and active?

  • LED-WH White, it’s the most neutral.
  • LED-NR Eve red, it’s the brand accent color.
  • LED-GR Green, it’s the universal color for ‘on’.
  • LED-RB User-adjustable RGB, it’s all the rage.
  • LED-RB Some other color, I’ll leave a comment.

0 voters

And if the monitor is on, but on standby?

  • LED-GL The same color as when it’s active, but slowly pulsing.
  • LED-AM Amber, it’s a very common stand-by color.
  • LED-RD Red, it shows that something is wrong (no signal!)
  • LED-RB Some other color, I’ll leave a comment.

0 voters

What about brightness?

  • The brighter the better. That way there’s no doubt.
  • As dim as possible. If I need to know I’ll look for it.
  • Adjustable, so I can choose based on my mood.

0 voters

:fire: Show us what you’ve got! :fire:

Lastly, designing a monitor by itself is all well and good, but Propeller was really curious about how people have their desks set up. What cables do actual users have running around their monitor, and how have they managed them?

Please post a picture of your current monitor set-up and its cable management!

8 Likes

I personally believe that the user should be able to choose whether the light is shining in a specific color, or at all.
Personally I don’t like the blinking or pulsing when something is standby, since it’s just distracting.

8 Likes

I think when the monitor is standby it doesn’t even necessarily have to have a light on constantly. Maybe some pretty dim amber light if needed.

6 Likes

All of the options look pretty good tbh. I have preferences but I’d be happy with pretty much anything at the end of the day.

The one thing I might want to suggest is the port placement. I noticed all of the solutions have the USB-C ports grouped together, but would it be possible to separate them? Having the display-only USB-C port grouped with the display ports, and the data USB-C port grouped with the USB-A ports? That would seem like a really convenient way to differentiate them.

20 Likes

I think the status light should be able to be turned off by the user.

8 Likes

My cable usecase: permanent USB-C for display from the V to the monitor and power from the monitor to the V. Second USB-C should be available as temporary port with the one or two USB-A as temporary ports… (I second travelers point of seperating the USB-C ports)
To the status light discussion I would add, that a status light on the power button could help to find the button when it’s dark in the room… Turning on a monitor (instead of a light) when it’s dark isn’t that rare usecase

5 Likes

First off all:
I really really don’t care about extra USB ports on my monitor. Either they are “permanent” cables, which I tend to hide inside/around my desktop. Or they are temporary, in which case I have a hub. I don’t want to see cables from/to my monitor.

That being said: a central approach, while actually neat in idea, would be terrible (i think). Humans don’t tend to think from the center outwards, but are way more likely to think left-to-right and top-to-bottom (maybe this is culture defined, not really sure).
I would go:

[Powerport]
[HDMI][DP] (maybe)[USB-B]
[USB-A][USB-C]

So giving them an defining row. Even if the “temp” cables are going in the corner, giving power an defining row or corner would help with blind connecting… i think. I also agree with @Traveler for not grouping the usb-c ports


Portrait is amazing, some times. I have to switch sometimes. Though portrait is mostly functional next to a traditional screen.


Buttons will move the screen, so no buttons (especially not nr. 5 those are also confusing!). Though 1 or 2 buttons for OSD select/back would be helpful.


Yay ARGB lights! please do! Let the user define what is active, what is not. F*ck it, let it integrate with some of the major ARGB software providers (like Asus, ASrock, Gigabyte, Razer, etc). and sync up! Though if that weren’t the case that’s ok.
Users should be able to:

  • Set color
  • Set brightness
  • Per input (including standby as an input)
  • select some simple effects (pulse, breath, or go rainbow).

My setup:


The cable hangs from my monitor because it’s not long enough to be routed correctly

4 Likes

Awesome stuff guys! But don’t forget to share pics of your setups! Really important for us to see what you have currently :smiley:

1 Like

I currently have black electrical tape covering unnecessary status lights on nearly half of the electronic equipment I own, and am always greatly appreciative when gear I purchase offers the option for users to disable lights that they don’t want or need, so I’m glad to see that you’re considering that use-case. I’m happy with any color of lighting, so long as I can tell it to go away.

7 Likes

It’s probably been said before. But has there been considerations for ambient light sensor to auto adjust brightness? Maybe let the ARGB light use that as an input aswell

4 Likes

If there was any question what colour I’d like the buttons - I’d love a teal one. (I’ve been told very firmly that sparkle rainbow is out of the question).

Thanks, great work team!

I know the votes go towards the status light in the power button.
I think one thing to be considerate of is the fact where this powerbutton will be located. If it is on the front then shure, why not. But if it’s on the back then the light will be (in my opinion) of no use.

7 Likes

Separate the USB Cs for sure. As USB-C accesorries become more common it will help Spectrum be future-proof.

I don’t actually use my monitor in Portrait mode currently but I may need to in the future and I think it’s important feature to make Spectrum viable for the professional market.

To this point…I think all confusion could be easily avoided by putting port labels above the VESA mount so you can just look over the top of the monitor and see the layout.

3 Likes

I really never look at Port labels… Especially on the back of my monitor. It has to fit blindly or I’m flipping that thing.

Tho I would recommend on adding them! But not instead of

3 Likes

I’m surprised I didn’t see this option here - USB-C has always been a one-cable-does-all solution. That’s the main idea.

Why not have all “Permanent” ports on the back, like shown in the first illustration. The only difference: move one USB Type-C port to the “Permanent” section. So 2 USB-A, and one USB-C port on the front. The other port is on the rear with the permanent ports.

Thoughts?

9 Likes

About the ‘temporary’ port orientation, I have a monitor with these ports oriented like in the option E and it’s really uncomfortable, even close to being unusable. Since they are hidden behind the panel and inside a bevel, they’re really hard to reach and distinguish.

1 Like

I hadn’t considered this when I wrote up the post, but I’m totally on-board with the idea!

‘permanent’ ports ‘temporary’ ports
interfaces-power-ADP230CB%20BC
interfaces-HDMI
interfaces-DP
interfaces-DP
interfaces-USB-C
(100W)
interfaces-USB-B3.0
interfaces-USB-A3.0
interfaces-USB-A3.0
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(15W)
16 Likes

Blue for On state.
Amber for Standby state.
Red if there’s something wrong.
Light would be good somewhere on the bottom-most left or right corner, but still facing front where I can see it. Not too bright where it becomes a night light at night, but not too dim that I can’t see it during the day.

Bottom line is, it’s a pain in the ass if I have to keep re-positioning myself and the monitor just to check if the light is on.

There could be some guiding rails implented in the design. Nothing that would remove the ability to use certain cables but so that you can find them blindly

1 Like

Based on the pictures of the port I assume an external power brick would be used. I much prefer an internal power supply with a common IEC 60320 C14, C6 or C8 cable.

10 Likes