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Published on May 4th, 2011 | by Remy Cuesta


Gunnar Optiks PPK Review

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There are currently hundreds of accessories for gaming. Most claim to give you an advantage over others but almost none will actually benefit your well being. The most used part of our body for gaming is our eyes and if your anything like me then looking at a computer monitor and LCD screen takes its toll after a couple of hours. Gunnar Optiks Digital Performance Eyewear is for the gamer in mind and is said to help you be the best gamer you can be but do they actually work? We got our hands on a pair of their PPK Gunnar shades and have been test driving them for more then week so here are our thoughts.

At first the thought of having to use glasses to enhance your gaming sounds a bit like a gimmick. You have been gaming this whole time without anything so why would you start now? Because they do a good job at what they advertise. The pair that we took a look at with their signature Amber lens tint is said to offer the best enhancement of contrast and visual performance while minimizing screen glare and diminishing the harshest parts of the color spectrum.

Here are the features and claims of Gunnar Optiks:

fRACTYL lens geometry hugs the shape of the face closely, creating an ocular microclimate that traps in humidity and blocks evaporative air currents, alleviating dry-eye effects.
diAMIX lens material provides high quality, distortion-free optics in a durable, flexible and lightweight lens that allows Gunnar to design a variety of styles and be extremely comfortable.
i-Fi lens coatings keep your lenses clean and vision clear via an anti-reflective, protective barrier that resists scratches finger smudges and fogging.
iONik lens tints enhance contrast and are specifically tuned to environments for maximum visual efficiency and a sharper viewing experience.
Neoscopic lenses are specifically tuned for close viewing applications. This lens gives the greatest visual enhancement, but is a limited in variable viewing distances. Engineered for the most demanding computer users who spend long hours in front of a monitor.

The obvious thing you will notice off the bat is that they are very stylish. Even the package was a white box which was simple yet elegant in design. When I put them on they actually feel comfortable and I sometimes forgot that I have them on. The frames are made from a lightweight alloy so they don’t feel heavy or bulky. The PPK’s had their thin lightweight flat temples to allow for the best overall comfort when used with gaming headsets. These had a medium lens coverage and the bands spread out enough to fit a variety of faces. The end bands can also be interchanged as well which is neat to give off your own flair. The quality of the frames could improve as they do feel like they possibly can be damaged easily but other then that all was well with them.

The most important thing is how the glasses perform and we can say that they work pretty well. The amber lens give you a slight yellow tint that is suppose have anti-reflective properties specific to fluorescent lighting. While everything does appear a shade of yellow you do get used to it and is not as bad as once thought. The lenses themselves actually magnify what’s in front of you just enough to notice. The best use you will get out of them is in front of a computer screen. Everything onscreen appeared much brighter and clear. We did a couple of gaming sessions of Portal 2, Onlive and WoW with the same outcome, which is the harsh light that normally comes from hours of gaming seems virtually gone. Separation of color from contrast was also good when I had them on. Whether it was surfing the internet, playing games or doing other kinds of work it seemed like I can wear the glasses without the slightest bit of eyestrain.

The test on console gaming isn’t as apparent in its effectiveness as on a computer. Since things are slightly magnified, depending on how far you are from a TV or LCD things tend to appear a little blurry. They used to make Transcopic technology lenses but no longer carry them, hopefully we see a return in the future for viewing further applications. The glasses are also only really effective when they are clean. Any smudges or dust need to always be removed before use. If you do suffer from overall eye fatigue or strain then it doesn’t hurt to have them on when you are simply watching something from a monitor like screen.

Gunnar Optiks have a great approach when it comes to advancing visual performance while gaming. It has also become the standard for professional gaming such as MLG. Will it make you a better player? It depends, but mostly in the sense that longer sessions can be had to improve the quality of your performance. It is important to note that the use for the glasses can extend for about anything being viewed on your PC or Monitor. It will depend on what kind of gamer you are overall, while the yellow tint will need some getting used to and hopefully the technology will extend on clear lenses, these no doubt approve the quality of sight over time. I know I won’t take them off when in front of a monitor as they are my go to accessories. For more information on Gunnars take a look at there website and to check out our particular style we reviewed you can also buy them at BestBuy.

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[Editor-in-Chief] What can I say, I just love games this much!

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