I really think that the combination of office features (understated design, USB hub w/ KVM) and gaming performance (144 Hz, integer scaling, etc.) is the Spectrum’s greatest asset, because the monitor industry insists on segmenting target audiences into either one or the other, and the Spectrum looks good in both regards.
Dell, Lenovo and HP don’t do VRR for any of their productivity monitors. No LG or Asus has KVM, ViewSonic and gaming brands of the aforementioned seem to deliberately ignore USB-C. NEC and EIZO have no love for high refresh rates. Gigabyte and MSI target gamers only and don’t think that 65W+ charging is worth putting into their monitors designed for desktop systems (even though they’re now starting to add KVM?). Acer hits all those marks for their newest models, with only small minus points for the huge bottom bezel on the Nitro XV282K and the needlessly huge stand for the Predator XB323QK as serious question marks. Philips/AOC gaming monitors seem promising in bringing it all together sensibly, but aren’t available in North America in many cases and for now late to the 4K+144Hz+KVM party. Despite all the delays, Spectrum is at the very forefront of this and with updateable firmware, more reassuring than other non-fixable models.
You got this mix right and that’s my favourite feature. There’s a lot of great product design that went into Spectrum, probably a mix of talented product designers at Eve and community input back in the day. I hope this can be repeated for future Spectrum monitors.
So right now there is definitely somewhat of an opening in the office+gaming segment. Will this persist in the medium term? I don’t know, one or two vendors may actually get their act together and then there’s actual competition.
Judging by comments on this forum, half of everyone here is only looking for a cheap 144Hz monitor for HDMI 2.1 console gaming and all the extra power features are just a nice bonus. This is also reflected by the community tester threads which have mostly been a disappointment in terms of exercising and reporting about off-mainstream use cases, however the extra testing and related fixes still make them worthwhile.
Spectrum happens to be one of the earlier models in the 4K+144Hz gaming segment, for future Spectrums though I don’t see a real competitive advantage. Competitors are filling that niche very fast now. I guess all companies are looking at the largest markets and then focus hard on those, that’s how we ended up with this regrettable divide between productivity and gaming monitors in the first place.
My gut feeling is that Eve would benefit from focusing on a niche group, probably the office+gaming overlap segment because worldwide Eve customer service & operations are not ready yet for the gaming + professional photography combination niche. And leave it to the big brands to compete for the traditional clearly-defined segments.
Note, however, that I’m a niche person myself and generally a terrible judge of what other paying customers want. Heck, I didn’t even order the Spectrum - partially because I discovered that 32" would be a better fit for my desk, partially because of concerns about how reliable & timely the warranty process will work out for Eve going forward. I’m one of those people who think of HDMI 2.1 as an anti-feature because its closed standard is bad for Linux support and firmware open-sourcing. Realistically, you should probably ignore my opinion.
Anyway, I think the regular development updates really make a difference in drawing in an engaged audience. I heard that there was more interactive contribution before I joined the forum, more community development as opposed to community updates, I wasn’t there so I don’t know the difference. But in my opinion the relative transparency is great either way, merely pointing out design flaws or easy improvements can really make a difference for the final product. An actual community production in the vein of Pinephone would be even better of course, with actual code contributions and open collaboration, but Eve probably can’t handle that kind of model. So maybe just increase your focus on transparency and early communuity feedback, and avoid more customer support / warranty disasters. The general model seems viable.
Having pulled in legitimate actors like BlurBusters or Marat “Integer Scaling” Tanalin really helps with my impression of Eve really aiming for a quality device, apart from getting the device into the hands of well-respected reviewers. I think pulling in a handful of down-to-business, independent & non-fanboy authority figures during the development process is something you should continue to aim for. I like to base my purchase decisions on the opinions of people who will notice flaws, ideally help with fixing them, and freely speak about both the good and the ugly parts of the result. You need critical voices just as much as you need an always-excited @ReignDespair, having both sides elevates the forum from an extended marketing stint to a believable source of information. I still think you should reconsider your liberal forum banning & post deletion policies, because genuine exchange and problem-solving gets rewarded with trust and you need lots of that.
I like the focus on testing and factory calibration as part of the production line. It seems reassuring that none of the community testers are reporting black or stuck pixels, although this could be related to tester oversights or editorial control from Eve. I’ll rely on external reviewers to report this with professional equipment and diligence, and of course statistically accurate customer reviews would be nice but there’s no platform for this. Given Eve’s barely (but not really) international operation, I think QA efforts and pixel/backlight tolerances are important. My impression is that Eve is making a good effort. (My thoughts and prayers go out to those who do end up with a faulty model that needs replacement.)
In terms of wishlist items for a future Spectrum, I’d like to see:
- a 32" 4K 144Hz panel,
- USB4 with DisplayPort 2.0 Alt Mode,
- a proximity sensor for saving power,
- more efforts & communication about measuring & limiting power consumption in general,
- VRR and backlight strobing at the same time (& tuned well), [edit: nice! this is already being worked on now as a firmware update for the original Spectrum]
- a stand redesign that actually hides cables,
- a commitment to open-source firmware from the very start & as a requirement for code from downstream firmware partners,
- a monitor-top construction for mounting a webcam without smudging into the screen space,
- as good of a contrast improvement as is possible without compromising on the traditional qualities of IPS. Can you do 1200:1 static contrast instead of 1000:1? 1300:1, even?
- Perhaps Mini LED, but only if it doesn’t introduce fans or excessive wattage. And assuming it’s not ridiculously unaffordable like the latest ASUS monitors.
Everything else on the current Spectrum already looks golden. 4K and 144 Hz is all I’m going to need for the next decade, no less and no more. Just be excellent at panel selection, quality control, warranty service and continued firmware development, and you’ve got this. I’m a little sad that I likely won’t be getting a Spectrum, and will have to make do with a larger but more poorly designed competitor model. Either way, it’s been fun and educational to join the Spectrum production journey. Thanks for all the good times!
P.S. I would like to specifically point out how the lack of branding on the bezels really makes a positive visual impact compared to the competition. Much better than a large “PREDATOR” in your face or a reflective sticker praising monitor features.