I have spent a lot of time on computers since I was five years old. Gaming, writing, and later, coding, kept me glued to a screen for many hours. Even though I've never had a problem with headaches or strained vision using a computer, I was nonetheless interested in the idea of computer glasses.
I saw an ad for Gunnar Optiks on one of the gaming sites I would frequent, and after poking around the Gunnar site I was intrigued. Still, I remained skeptical until, at PAX East 2014, I visited the Gunnar booth and tried a pair on myself. Looking at the screens they provided in the booth, I was very impressed. The blue glare was gone, and the slight 0.25x magnification the glasses provided made smaller text quite easy to read. I don’t have eye trouble or wear glasses/contacts, but I sit a large distance away from my 27” iMac, and would make frequent use of the zoom function OS X provides.
A few weeks after PAX East, I decided to order a pair of glasses to test out. Gunnar’s 30-day return policy made this an easy choice, as I could always return them if I wasn’t satisfied. After some comparison, I settled on the Vayper style, which was a medium-width size I assumed would fit my head properly, as well as a decent style I wouldn’t mind wearing. They even sell “sleeves” for Heroes of the Storm, so you can decorate the sides of your glasses with your favorite hero should you wish.
A few days later, my Gunnars arrived in a small, tidy package. Inside were the glasses themselves and a cloth carry case which could double as a lens cleaner if you don’t have anything else handy. (Personally I use a microfiber cloth, which I always have on my desk.) If you aren’t sure about keeping them, make sure you don’t destroy the packaging.
Using the glasses at first is different, but in a good way. Everything has a slight tint to it, but nothing that altered my gaming or general viewing habits in any undesirable way. There is also the tiny amount of magnification the glasses provide, which I found very handy for desktop use. Testing them out briefly with my 13” laptop felt a bit odd – almost unnecessary – as I do sit much closer to my laptop than my iMac. If you are a pure laptop and/or on-the-go user, Gunnars may not be for you. But if you have a stationary setup, or perhaps a bigger laptop screen, I advise giving them your consideration.
As far as wearing the Vaypers go, I found them quite comfortable to wear and lightweight. They never felt strange on my head, even for someone who doesn’t often make use of sunglasses or other eyewear. Even better, they are designed to neatly slide between your headset without a problem. Though keep an eye out on the Gunnar product pages, as I believe some of the models aren’t designed for this. I use them with an Astro A50 setup for which they are perfect. I also tested them with the Turtle Beach i60 and Steelseries Wireless H. With the i60s they are a little tight, and I also found they slightly cramped on the Steelseries H. Your mileage is likely to vary depending on how tight your headset is to the sides of your head.
Gunnar also sells computer style glasses, but the only major difference with those versus the gaming styles is that the gaming styles are designed to fit with headsets. So if you aren’t heavily into gaming, or simply don’t use headsets, take a look at the Computer styles instead. All their lenses are designed for anyone, even with 20/20 vision. If you happen to use glasses or contacts, Gunnar can also produce a prescription set of glasses for you, but keep in mind these are non-refundable.
I am completely sold on using the Gunnars – they are the first thing I put on when I sit down at my computer. No matter what I am doing on the computer, my eyes are more relaxed and focused, and the tint takes away the harsh blue glare of the screen without taking anything away from my gaming. My only complaint is that the lens can get smudged easier than I would like, but this is largely mitigated by the fact they can be easily cleaned with the included cloth case.
Gamer or not, if you use a computer consistently for many hours a day, I urge you to grab a pair of these and test them out for yourself. Like me, I think you will be very happy, and your eyes will thank you for it in the long term.
- Reduces eyestrain
- Comfortable to wear
- Slight magnification is great for reading
- Slides neatly between a headset (some models may not)
- Scratch-resistant lenses
- Lenses get dirty easily