Gunnar Cupertino Review - All You Could Ask For 435643

Gunnar Cupertino Review – All You Could Ask For

Recently Gunnar Optiks has pushed for more interesting, and varied frames. This is perhaps best seen with Tokidoki Year of the Dragon, though even standard frames are getting a lot more ambitious. Among the most exciting frames in their entire collection is Cupertino. By adding a magnetic lens system, Cupertino can effectively adapt to a wide variety of situations. Given the risks magnetic lens face, along with the higher cost of entry, is it worth risking your eyes with these over Vault-Tec?

Prescription Experience 

As someone who wears prescription glasses, I like to start these reviews with an overview of Gunnar’s prescription ordering experience. While this process has remained consistently great, Gunnar is not currently offering Cupertino with prescription lens.

I suspect this will change sometime in the future, as the pair used in this review are prescription, but until then it is not applicable on this specific product.


Like Tokidoki Year of the Dragon, Cupertino features Gunnar’s revised packaging. This includes a grayish blue color box, some glossy dots on the bottom, and the new “Visionaries Since 2006″ tagline.

It’s a lot nicer than the original, and honestly better suits the company’s current direction.


Cupertino features what I’d consider a more traditional glasses case. It’s a simple clamshell design with a finish that feels like satin. On top the Gunnar name is stamped, though there is nothing to draw your eye to it.

Inside is a protective felt insert, with a lot of extra space to hold additional lens. While two (Amber/Clear) were included with our sample, I was told a total of three lens fit in this case.

Each additional lens fits in an included pouch. Said pouch also includes a magnetic, which is used to securely hold them to the top of the case. A simple shake test shows this works fairly well. Under normal conditions they hold securely in place. Even with a pair of glasses inside I struggles to dislodge them without using extreme force.

The included lens pouch is surprisingly nice. It features the same color/texture as the main case, with a similar felt interior. It’s a lot nicer than you’d think, and when properly inserted should prevent the lens from being damaged.

Like all Gunnar products, Cupertino also includes a cleaning cloth, and pouch. Since Gunnar is still transitioning it’s hard to say which version will be included. In my case I got the new dot pouch, and the old cleaning cloth. The redesigned version looks to be grey with the Gunnar logo, but regardless either will do the job.


Gunnar went in an interesting direction with Cupertino’s design. It essentially takes a number of design elements their “Signature” line, and increases the overall quality to deliver a “Legendary” tier experience.

Gunnar Tokidoki Year of the Dragon Glasses Review - Practical, and Stylish 657896

For example, let’s compare Cupertino to Vertex. On a basic level Cupertino has a much thicker plastic. Gunnar also included a nice metal accent on the side, and limited branding to a small G on the temple tip. Along with this they added flexible spring hinges for a better overall fit, and higher quality materials.

Gunnar Cupertino Review - All You Could Ask For 3453
Vertex Next to Cupertino

The only negative I have with design is the thicker frame. Since the edges are more pronounced, I notice more frame in my peripheral. It’s a minor issue, one that decreases the closer the frames are to your eyes, but one I can see bothering some people long term.

Magnetic Lens

My biggest concern going into Cupertino was the magnetic lens system. Any failure could result in having to replace the lens, something that costs as much as a signature pair of glasses. Much to my surprise this worked better than I expected, though far from being flawless.

First and foremost I want to praise Gunnar on the overall design. I’ve worn these for a couple weeks and never once did the lens randomly come loose. In fact, I couldn’t even dislodge either lens doing a shake test with full force. Part of this is due to the design itself.

Gunnar Cupertino Review - All You Could Ask For 34534

While magnets help hold the lens in place, there is also a small groove you need to stick them in. It’s far more intuitive than it sounds. In fact, once in the groove the magnets should snap the lens in place.

Despite the struggles to remove the lens with force, they’re surprisingly easy to remove when you want them to. Just insert your nail on the side and lift. Even trimmed nails had no issue removing either lens.

The only negative I have with the system, one I am not entirely sure can even be fixed, is cleaning.


Since any force applied directly to the lens was enough to dislodge them, it was best to clean each lens separately. When doing so I actually found it really easy to clean Cupertino. This gave clear access to the inner frame, along with not having to deal with the frame itself when cleaning a lens. However, there are a couple situations where this could prove problematic.

Gunnar Cupertino Review - All You Could Ask For 34534

When on the go I had to be more conscious about cleaning them. Anything on the outer lens worked fine, though I’d often press on the inner lens causing them to pop out. The other is getting them in after cleaning is harder than it looks. More than once I struggled and had a lens drop. I can’t think of a single time it happened with a traditional pair of glasses, whereas it happened multiple times with Cupertino. Thankfully, nothing serious happened, but it only takes one time for it to be a problem.

Is the Lens Change System Worth it?

What makes Cupertino so difficult to evaluate is the value largely stems from the lens change system. As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews, there are a lot of benefits, but also questions about whether these claims are valid. All of my reviews have centered on my own opinion, which is largely that they seemingly help with my frequent migraines and that alone is worth the additional cost of entry.

Amber versus Clear

Where I start seeing more objective value in Cupertino is how it adapts to a wider variety of situations. For example, our previous Gunnar reviews included a reflection test. This was due to Amber handling reflections a lot better than Clear, or Amber Max. Now I don’t need to debate between having two pairs of glasses, I can just swap lens if reflections are a problem.

This versatility applies to a wide variety of other situations. I can easily swap to sunglasses without the tacky clips, or second pair. I can slowly cycle through the levels as I get closer to bed, or once I notice strain is getting to me. Perhaps the biggest potential benefit stems from the recently announced Clear Pro. Gunnar said they’re open to potentially bringing the lens to other lines, with the most logical choice being Cupertino.

If they were to do so I could buy a lens kit, and alternate as needed. Clear Pro when color accuracy matters, and Amber/Amber Max when it doesn’t. Even without that potential configuration the same core idea applies to other situations.

Speaking for myself I swap between writing, editing, photography, and actually gaming. There are absolutely times when color accuracy matters, and other times when I am worried about a potential headache. And even if there are other ways to solve it, Cupertino offers a higher quality frame along with this practical benefit.

Gunnar Cupertino Review Verdict

Editor's Choice

Back when I sold electronics I was constantly reminded that most features have some kind of disadvantage. Cupertino’s unique system introduces some quirks in regard to cleaning, along with a bulkier frame, but I do think the benefits far outweigh the negatives. Never once did I have the system fail me, nor did I find myself frustrated with operation. I absolutely think there is room to improve, something that may happen in the future, but I can say the current iteration is a solid choice that I am hopeful they continue to expand upon in the future.

Editor’s Note: Cupertino was given to us for review purposes.

Share this article
Shareable URL
Prev Post

Destiny 2: The Final Shape to Revert Sunsetting and More

Next Post

How to Unlock Polygun in Remnant 2

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read next