Looking for more good things to say about the Zero Edge, it’s striking that even with your head practically squashed up to the screen it’s hard to make out the material’s physical structure, meaning the image looks pure and ‘smooth’ rather than ‘fabricy’. What’s more, the screen’s finish seems easily fine enough to support Screen Innovations’ claims that Black Diamond is more than capable of showing 4k sources when they finally appear.
Moving around the room during our tests, meanwhile, revealed that the Black Diamond Zero Edge certainly does deliver a quite substantial improvement in the viewing angles it can support without the picture starting to lose brightness or light balance.
It’s also worth saying that the Zero Edge is very forgiving of what sort of projector it’s ‘fed’; basically, it makes any projector you point at it look brighter and more dynamic. Though for the best results if you’ve got a really bright room, you should try and use a pretty bright projector.
The only reason we said ‘pretty’ bright back there rather than ‘crazily’ bright is that pumping too much light at the Black Diamond Zero Edge causes our only problem with the screen: a little hotspot of ‘gleaming’ or shimmering pixels.
During our tests this hotspot was around a foot square, and occurred towards the top centre of the image. A square foot might not sound large in the context of the screen’s overall size, but the gleaming noted with a high brightness projector output did draw our attention to the little hotspot area more than we’d have liked.
The good news, though, is that reining in the Sim2 projector from its brightest setting - which is, it must be said, extremely bright by home projector standards - reduced the hotspot to the point where it essentially disappeared.
We guess it’s a pity the screen has what appears to be a ‘maximum projected light’ limit before the hotspot kicks in. But in truth there aren’t actually all that many projectors able to get brightness outputs to rival that of the high-end Sim2, and none of the other more mainstream projectors we tried it with suffered the same hotspot flaw.
Most of our tests of the Black Diamond Zero Edge inevitably took place in a bright room. But since even the brightest of rooms can go dark at times, we also tested the screen in a blacked-out environment - and again it didn’t disappoint. In fact, it gives pictures an almost luminous feeling that actually reminded us a little of the experience of watching a quality digital 4k image on a commercial cinema projector. And you can’t say fairer than that.
The fact that light isn’t dispersed at all angles from the screen also means that the screen delivers a startlingly good contrast range even in white-walled rooms, with surprisingly inky blacks sitting alongside the luminous bright and colourful content noted a moment ago.
In fact, while the Black Diamond Zero Edge might have been designed with daylight use in mind, it really is also a cracking screen in the dark, meaning that cinephiles can get plenty of quality and value out of it as well as more casual users.
The Black Diamond Zero Edge is a significant step forward from even the already considerable efforts of its 2010 iteration. Its reflective properties are better, especially when it comes to effective viewing angles, making it an even more flexible beast than it was previously. And its new borderless design both focusses your attention more on what your watching and massively reduces the impact the screen has on a typical living space.