GUNNAR Optiks Cupertino review — Fight off both the sun and blue light with GUNNAR Optiks’ latest eyewear

I’ve never been picky when it comes to eyewear, usually gravitating towards cheap, off-brand, gas station sunglasses or basic frames at the eye doctor – essentially opting for whatever gets the job done without breaking the bank. But that was before I tried on GUNNAR Optiks’ Cupertino glasses. Now, after a couple weeks of daily use, I’m afraid GUNNAR Optiks may have spoiled me for life, as I don’t see how I could ever return to my gas station sunglasses purchasing ways now that I’ve grown accustomed to the difference provided by a well-made pair of glasses.

GUNNAR Optiks is well known for their sturdy and stylish blue light filtering glasses, which have proven to be popular with gamers and office workers alike. But with their Cupertino brand, they have expanded beyond simply offering blue light filtering options thanks to a unique new design mechanic – magnetic lenses which can be easily swapped for different tints at any moment.

The Cupertino is available to purchase in a variety of packages, but the package I was provided featured the frame and 4 sets of lenses, each boasting different qualities and recommended use cases. The lenses available for the Cupertino are Amber, Clear, Sun, and Amber Max, with the Amber lens able to block 65% of blue light at 450nm, the Clear lens able to block 35% of blue light at 450nm, the Amber Max lens able to block 98% of blue light at 450nm, and the Sun lens able to block 90% of blue light at 450nm while dual-serving as incredible sunglasses.

Out of those lenses, the Amber lens are GUNNAR Optiks’ most popular lens by a large margin, helping to block out most blue light which stems from daily computer or screen use, while still providing clear visuals. The Clear lens provides the least blue light protection, but still boasts enough filtering to help with eye strain during long computer or gaming sessions. The Amber Max lens is great for those with photo-sensitivity and can potentially be used with sleep improvement and migraine treatments. The Sun lens provides crisp and clear eye protection during sunny days while also helping filter blue light from any outdoor electronics you may use.

Cupertino is unique in that the lenses themselves are interchangeable thanks to magnets which seamlessly blend into the design. The frame itself has a strong, yet small, magnetic strip in each corner, which the lenses can attach to thanks to two small circular magnets on each lens. These circular magnets are visible, but blend so impeccably into the design of the glasses that I doubt anybody would notice that they are magnets, rather than merely a part of the design. For additional support, the eye frames each have small grooves, while the lens have a small protrusion, which helps firmly lock the lens into place when connected to the magnet. Now, I’m sure many are going to look at the Cupertino and be concerned that lenses held in place by only a magnet would be prone to falling out, and indeed that was my first concern as well, but at no time did I feel like the lens would pop out on its own accord, despite hours of use and constantly being thrown in and out of my coat pocket. I can assure you that the magnets can be relied upon to do their job, but despite this, the lenses remain simple to pop out when you’re ready to swap, requiring only a tiny bit of force from behind the lens to remove it.

While I mainly used the Cupertino as a sunglasses replacement, all the lenses felt comfortable to wear, provided clear visibility, and helped fend off much of the eye strain which stems from spending so much of my life staring at screens. The Amber lens lived up to its reputation by providing the most significant balance between blue light filtering and visibility, while the Clear lens proved to provide more filtering than expected while mostly avoiding the yellow tint that blue light filtering lenses tend to have. The Amber Max looks nearly identical to the Sun lens at first glance, and provides a dark, though still clearly visible, tint which reduces all light in a room and helps your eyes focus only on what is exactly in front of you. Finally, the Sun lenses function as a perfectly fine sunglasses replacement, while boasting the additional benefit of being able to provide blue light filtering when using electronic devices outdoors. No matter the tint you choose, you won’t be disappointed.

I had heard that until you use blue light filtering lenses you won’t truly understand the strain caused by electronics, and I can testify to the truth of that statement. It may not feel like a night and day revelation upon first use, but as the hours pass, you’ll begin to notice just how much protection GUNNAR Optiks’ lenses truly provide. Whether you go with the basic Clear lens, or the more popular Amber lens, you’ll notice a world of difference in your overall eye health which tends to translate to less headaches, less squinting, and in general just feeling less strained after a long work day.

Now, none of this would matter if the Cupertino happened to be uncomfortable and therefore miserable to wear, but thankfully GUNNAR Optiks’ reputation for comfortable eyewear extends to the Cupertino design. The Cupertino glasses are both stylish and comfortable, fitting snugly on my nose without any slippage, and lightweight enough that long stretches of use did not cause any irritation. Each pair is made from premium acetate material and loaded with flexible spring hinges and should fit snugly on most average faces. Here are the Cupertino’s measurements: Lens Width: 52 mm; Nose Width: 21 mm; Frame Width: 127 mm; Temple: 140 mm; Weight: 22 grams.

Each lens comes packaged snuggly in its own protective cover, which firmly secures each lens separately when that lens is not in use, while the glasses themselves come in a premium clamshell case, which is very thick and sturdy – almost too thick, which may prevent it from being used as often as it should be. Its size does guarantee that the glasses are protected when used though, as I have no doubts that the clamshell case can withstand a multitude of drops, abuse, and general wear and tear with barely a scratch.

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Richard Allen is a freelance writer and contributing editor for various publications. While he enjoys modern gaming, he is a retro gamer at heart, having been raised on a steady diet of Contra, Mario, and Dragon's Lair.  Chat with him via @thricetheartist on Twitter.



Gunnar Optiks Cupertino

Review Guidelines

GUNNAR Optiks has another hit on their hands with the Cupertino. Its unique magnetic and swappable lenses provide an incredible amount of value by allowing the user to adjust their needed eye protection to any situation quickly without the need for multiple glasses. Add in the comfortable and stylish design and high-quality materials used, and you have a product well worth the investment and sure to help protect your eyes in this world of modern technology which has all of us constantly glued to a screen.

Richard Allen

Unless otherwise stated, the product in this article was provided for review purposes.

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