A Closer Look
SteelSeries has long been known for their purpose-driven hardware. The mantra usually being, if it's there, it probably has a specific purpose. SteelSeries has occasionally added a bit of flash to their peripherals, but in a subtle and perfectly executed fashion. This makes SteelSeries a perfect partner for GUNNAR Optiks, who makes a purpose-driven product in their specialty eyewear. As we go over how it's put together, you'll quickly see the attention to detail put into something you'd think would be as simple as a pair of glasses.
The SteelSeries Desmo Gaming Eyewear by GUNNAR Optiks comes with a microfiber transport bag which works great for cleaning your lenses, and is seen with an embossed "GUNNARS" branding on the bag. We also see that the lenses have a very aggressive concave shape. Like we've stated, we find functional design in the subtlest of places with the SteelSeries Desmo. The curvature was designed to ensure that the lens stays close the the face, which has two associated benefits. First, the lenses have a low-profile fit, which transitions into a "shallow temple" which allows the glasses to fit comfortably underneath a headset. The second benefit is that keeping the lens close to the face also allows the lenses to have full peripheral coverage for a uniform field-of-view.
Each lens has a "wrapped" curvature which SteelSeries and GUNNAR Optiks claims allows for increased humidity between your face and the lens. With increased humidity surrounding the eye, your eyes should retain their moisture more efficiently and allow for great long-term comfort. The lenses also have a slight magnification optimized for the use with computer screens, which was designed with the purpose of further reducing eye strain. The frames have a semi-rimless design which allows an unobstructed field of view. The rims are located at the extreme upper and lower corners of the lenses, which are not visible in my peripheral vision at all.
As someone who suffers from headaches when looking at a screen for an hour at at time and who is very sensitive to bright monitors in low-lit conditions, I've had high hopes that the technology developed by GUNNAR Optiks could help me. The "AMBeR" lens tint eliminates harsh bright lighting conditions, and limits blue light frequencies which cause eye strain. The result is a "warm" color tint. It's a subtle enough tint color that you stop noticing the tint after a few minutes of use. When you first put them on, you likely won't notice much a difference. You'll notice the slight color change, but that's about it. But what I've had others do (test subjects which had never seen or heard of "computer glasses") is to put them on, look around for a minute or two, take them off, and then report to me their reaction. Their reported reactions were the same as mine when I first tried them on in a brightly-lit hotel room at SteelSeries' CES suite... You instantly feel your eyes straining to adjust to the harsh light the SteelSeries Desmo had been eliminating. It's a similar sensation to turning on the lights in a room which was previously pitch-black, and you feel that sensation that makes you want to groan.
The nose pieces are held in place by a thin wire which provides a slightly flexible mount for a soft fit. I've had no issues with long-term comfort with the Steelseries Desmo so far, even though I have a rather large bridge on my nose (with further complications from having broken it before). The nose pieces are also hinged on the wire-frame mounts for a great fit for many different types of faces.
The frames are made with "twin-rails" which allow a sturdy frame but minimal weight. The frames are very light, but they are not flimsy. Quite contrary, in fact, as they have very sturdy metal hinges, and although they have a bit of flex, there is no creaking between the various components of the frame and their attachment to the lenses. The flexibility is something that I believe works in favor of the Desmo, as it enables a bit more flexibility for various facial structures and allows for a bit of flex if needed to fit with your headset.