Dough Spectrum One Monitor Review

It's a great monitor, but you may not want to buy it...

Dough Spectrum One 27″ 4K USB-C Monitor

MSRP $599 (matte version), $699 (glossy version)

“One of the best price-to-feature monitors I’ve ever owned, but the experience is frustratingly muddied by the actions and reputation of the company who sells it (Dough).

OUR RATING

7.2

Pros


  • 4K resolution
  • Great color accuracy
  • Impressive connectivity
  • Beautiful design

Cons


  • Awful company reputation
  • Sleep/wake issues
  • Lots of great alternatives
Dough Spectrum 4K 144Hz Monitor
$699.99 $499.98
Buy Now
05/25/2024 01:57 pm GMT

You probably know the Dough Spectrum One by it’s previous name – the EVE Spectrum 4K.

Dough (formerly EVE before their name change) promised a high-quality 4K monitor with incredible gaming features at an affordable price.

Several years later, and after a LOT of controversy regarding both the company and the product, am I happy with my purchase?

I bought my Spectrum One in July 2022, and used it daily for almost a year before writing this review so I could really get into the nitty-gritty of the user experience.

So, let’s get into it. Here is my review of the Dough Spectrum One.

Dough Spectrum One Specs

Screen Size27″
Resolution4K Ultra HD
PanelIPS
Pixel Density163 PPI
Refresh Rate144 Hz
Response Time5ms (gray-to-gray) typical
1ms (gray-to-gray) overdrive
HDRHDR10 Media Profile
VESA DisplayHDR600 certified
Color Gamut100% sRGB, 98% DCI-P3
Brightness450 nits typical
750 nits peak (HDR)
Adaptive SyncVESA AdaptiveSync Display certified
NVIDIA G-SYNC Compatible certified
AMD FreeSync Premium Pro certified

Who Is The Spectrum One For?

Gaming? Productivity? Laptop users? How about, all of the above?

I wanted a 4K monitor because I spend the majority of my time working at my computer, and 4K gives you much more pixel dense resolution and scaling options.

It’s especially good for text and UI elements. Everything just looks so much sharper and crisper compared to a 1440p or 1080p screen.

The issue with 4K monitors is that I also play fast-paced shooter games like Warzone, Insurgency, and Apex Legends, so I also need a monitor with a high refresh rate, G-sync, and low response time.

A 4K monitor is generally not a good idea for gaming – it can be very difficult for your GPU to generate enough frames per second (FPS) to take advantage of the higher refresh rate.

The solution is to either have a really powerful GPU, or you can downscale in-game resolution and reduce the graphical settings to boost FPS if you have a less powerful GPU. I went with the first option – I was able to pick up an RTX 3090 at a discount which is powerful enough for 4K gaming.

Ports

Below you can see the list of ports the Dough Spectrum One comes with.

HDMI2x HDMI 2.1 video input
DisplayPort1x DisplayPort 1.4 video input
USB Type-C1x DisplayPort 1.4 video input.
SuperSpeed+ USB (USB 3.1 Gen 2, up to 10Gbps).
Upstream connection to computer.
Power output up to 20V – 5A (100W)(USB PD 3.0).
USB Type-C1x SuperSpeed+ USB (USB 3.1 Gen 2, up to 10Gbps).
Power output up to 5V 3A (15W).
USB Type-A2x SuperSpeed+ USB (USB 3.1 Gen 2, up to 10Gbps).
Power output up to 5V – 2A (10W).
3.5mm audio jack1x Analog audio output from video input source.
USB Type-B1x SuperSpeed+ USB (USB 3.1 Gen 2, up to 10Gbps) upstream connection to computer.
HDCPHDCP 2.2
Simultaneous active inputsSplit-screen mode

Port selection on the back is solid, and I really like the fact that it comes with USB-C power delivery and connectivity.

If I’m using a laptop, I just plug it in with a single USB-C cable and get up to 100 watts of charging and can output an image to the screen via DisplayPort 1.4.

Not many “gaming” oriented monitors have this feature. 

That being said it still works great in a dual computer setup.

Here it is in my 2022 desk setup paired with a dock, MacBook, and my gaming PC.

I can switch between both systems in a few seconds and still use the same keyboard and mouse via my CalDigit TS4 dock.

One Minor Issue…

One annoying hiccup I keep running into is when switching between display outputs, like between my laptop and Windows PC. Sometimes it gets “stuck”, and I get a black screen.

To fix it, I need to power cycle the monitor.

Or, just recently I disconnected my gaming PC and am solely using the monitor with my laptop via my dock. Every time I unplug and reattach my laptop, I need to hit the power button on the back of the monitor to “wake it up”.

I tried updating the firmware, but it doesn’t seem to have solved these issues. They’re not deal-breakers, but it does get annoying over time.

Dough Spectrum One Design

I love the design of this monitor. Actually, it’s what initially caught my attention.

It looks great. It’s plastic, but matte black and grey, super thin bezels, and the back design is minimal.

Thin bezels

It’s a far cry from a lot of other monitors out there with obnoxious RGB lights, huge logos or chunky bezels. 

The menu navigation is via a control joystick which is a little soft and mushy, but still better than the individual buttons you get on other monitors.

The menu system itself is functional but nothing fancy.

The stand is sold separately for an extra $99, and it’s made of solid metal with a cable management cutout.

The stand is sold separately for $99

The stand is pretty solid and doesn’t wobble too much, and adjustability is decent, but you can’t swivel it from side to side.

I do wish more companies would offer the stand separately. A lot of people use monitor arms, and the stand just sits in the packaging gathering dust for years. So why pay for it upfront?

Panel/Colors

The Spectrum uses an IPS panel. It means viewing angles are good and colors really pop. 

It’s also surprisingly color accurate for those who do video and photo editing. 100% of the sRGB and 98% of DCI-P3, with a maximum of 450 nits of typical brightness.

The main selling points of the panel though are the gaming features. 

These include 144Hz refresh rate, G-sync, Freesync, 1ms response time when overdrive mode is enabled, and crosshair overlay.

My gaming experience over the last 18 months has been great. Although I definitely did struggle to get over 100 FPS on some triple A rated games like Warzone 2 (even with my RTX 3090!).

Again, you really need a beefy GPU with these 4K monitors.

Also, you get 2 screen choices – glossy or matte.

I went with matte because glossy wasn’t available at the time I purchased mine, but even though glossy costs $100 extra, I’d prefer it for the sharper image and deeper blacks. As long as the reflections and light in my room could be controlled of course.

There are some huge issues though…

It’s pretty clear by this point that I really like this monitor, but I’m not going to deny for a second there’s a lot of controversy surrounding it and dare I say risk if you actually want to buy one.

When the Spectrum was first released, there was a lot of hype. EVE Devices (which was the previous name of the company that manufactures the Spectrum) really pushed the fact that this product was “direct to consumer”, and by that I mean it shipped straight from the factory to your front door. There were no resellers or middle-men involved, which also meant better pricing.

Issue #1: Logistics and Delays

Problems started to occur pretty quickly though. It was obvious EVE couldn’t keep up with the demand. People spent months and months waiting without receiving their monitor. 

Personally, it took about 3 months after purchasing for me to receive mine in mid-2022.

Others weren’t so lucky, with delivery timeframes ranging from 6 months to never receiving their monitor at all.

Issue #2: Refunds

Judging by comments online, EVE also apparently refused or ignored refund requests for pre-orders.

EVE Spectrum order issues
Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/evev/comments/ojxo9a/eve_currently_owes_at_least_350000_and_up_to/

If you spend just 5 minutes searching on Google, you can see hundreds and hundreds of people complaining.

Dough Reviews Trustpilot

Reddit is full of these threads, with new ones being created on a daily basis. Dough’s new Trustpilot profile has already been obliterated by 1 star reviews. Their Twitter account is also a bloodbath – their tweets just get spammed with people complaining.

Issue #3: Dough’s Reputation

Here’s the strange part – this is the third time the company has changed it’s name in the last few years. 

From Eve-Tech, to Eve Devices, to their current name – Dough. 

There’s been a lot of speculation as to why in online forums, possibly to try and cover up all the negative publicity they’ve received. 

Also, Eve/Dough have been involved in other controversies. Rtings accused them of creating fake accounts to manipulate their monitor selection tool, which is what Rtings users use to choose the next monitor that Rtings reviews.

Issue #4: Marketing

Funnily enough, I’ve also been involved in my own EVE/Dough controversy. 

A few months ago, I was tagged in a tweet from Dough. It was essentially a short video advertisement for their Spectrum monitor, and it included cut-up clips from Spectrum review videos made by several reviewers.

That’s where it gets interesting, you see, I hadn’t yet reviewed the monitor. On one of my videos on the related YouTube channel to this website, Dough took a clip of me saying something out of context and put it at the end of their advertisement, making it seem like I was endorsing the Spectrum monitor.

I’d show you the tweet, but when I called Dough out in my reply, all they did was delete the tweet and video, with no apology. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to save the tweet before they deleted it.

In my experience, this kind of gross oversight, even though it was likely just a new intern in their marketing department, can often extend to the rest of the company.

Dough Spectrum One Overall Thoughts

Overall, a really frustrating product. I have one, I really enjoy using it, but I just cannot recommend it for the reasons I outlined in this review.

All of the aforementioned red flags negate the positives of the competitive pricing. I think I’d rather just pay a few hundred bucks more to get a similar monitor from a brand like LG, ASUS, or Dell. 

Don’t forget if you live far away from Dough’s factory, shipping will cost a small fortune too.

Shipping costs $200 to Australia

My advice is, if you really want one of their current monitors, or upcoming OLED monitors, wait until you can buy them from trustworthy retailers like Amazon or Best Buy for example.

Or, if you really want to buy or preorder from Dough, do it on a credit card so you can do a chargeback if Dough refuses to cancel your preorder or refund you.

Maybe Dough, or whatever name they change to in a few years will improve, and to do that they need to sort out their manufacturing process, logistics, and customer service among other things. 

However, it may already be too late, because, unfortunately, the internet does not forget.

You can watch our review of the Dough Spectrum 4K on our YouTube channel for more.

Dough Spectrum 4K 144Hz Monitor
$699.99 $499.98
Buy Now
05/25/2024 01:57 pm GMT

Dough Spectrum One FAQ

What resolution is the Dough Spectrum One?

The Spectrum One has a resolution of 3840 x 2160p (also known as 4K).

Is the Dough Spectrum One a Scam?

The Spectrum One is a legitimate product and many people have purchased it with no issues. However, there are a significant number of customers who have not received their order for months, despite paying in full. There are also many reports of refunds being denied or ignored by Dough. While the product itself is not a scam, you should exercise caution when looking to purchase one.

Does the Dough Spectrum One Have USB-C?

Yes it does. The USB-C port on the Spectrum One features DisplayPort 1.4 video input, USB 3.1 Gen 2 up to 10Gbps, and up to 100W of USB power delivery for charging.

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