Skip to main content

Ads

loading...

Featured Post

Mr. Tophat - Dusk to Dawn Music Album Reviews

The Swedish producer and frequent Robyn collaborator offers an ambitious three-album suite of understated, occasionally disquieting techno nocturnes.
Hardcore Robyn fans already know the work of Swedish producer Rudolf Nordström, aka Mr. Tophat. He co-produced “Baby Forgive Me” and “Beach2k20,” two of the gorgeous, gently filtered house-pop tracks from last year’s Honey; his own 2017 release Trust Me, a three-song, 35-minute EP of throbbing, desaturated grooves, featured Robyn throughout. His latest solo release, Dusk to Dawn, is an ambitious three-album suite of understated, occasionally disquieting techno nocturnes. More melodic than the distortion-warped A Memoir From the Youth, two and a half hours of mostly chill, mid-tempo house conceal interesting moments within slack expanses. At its best, it’s a triple-album endurance listen that rewards partial concentration; at its slowest, it’s an illustration that Tophat’s signature long-format tracks don’t scale.

Ads

ads

Flipboard

Flipboard

HTC Vive Pro Review

HTC Vive Pro Review
PRICE WHEN REVIEWED
  • $799
Two years after the release of the HTC Vive, the second-generation HTC Vive Pro is now readily available to buy in the UK and the US. The new headset offers a range of design changes alongside a bump in resolution, making the Vive Pro one of the highest resolution VR headsets on the market at the moment. It certainly isn’t cheap though, at £799 just for the headset.


Is the HTC Vive Pro worth the money, or should you stick with the regular HTC Vive? We’ve spent some time with the high-end VR headset, and here’s our HTC Vive Pro review.

PRICING AND AVAILABILITY
Following the reveal of the high-end headset earlier this year, the HTC Vive Pro is now available to buy for £799/$799. Those in the UK interested in picking up the headset can do so from the likes of Overclockers, while those in the US can head to the Vive website. Despite being released back in April 2018, stock still seems to be fairly scarce (even from the Vive website) so you may have to hunt for the headset for now. If you can’t wait, there is stock available on Amazon at the time of writing, but it’s above RRP at £839.99.

That’s only a little more than the highest pricepoint of the original HTC Vive, which doesn’t seem that bad, especially when you consider the upgrades of the Vive Pro headset. However, it’s worth noting that the £799 pricetag is only for the headset, and not the base stations or controllers, also required for use. If you haven’t already got a HTC Vive headset, you’ll have to pay out around £500 for all the required accessories, bringing the total cost up to around £1300.

Yes, it’s the highest resolution headset currently on the market, but you could pick up two Oculus Rifts for the same price and still have some change left over. Is the high resolution and design overhaul worth the high price of the Vive Pro? Carry on reading to find out.

DESIGN AND BUILD
Apart from the change in resolution and a couple of other internal features, most of the evolution from Vive to Vive Pro is in the design department. The most noticeable change for many will be the colour of the headset – while the HTC Vive was black, the HTC Vive Pro is deep blue across most of the body, with a single black strap across the top of the headset for extra support.

While purely a cosmetic change, the change of colour helps the HTC Vive Pro stand out in a market where most headsets are non-descript, black ski goggle-esque devices that you strap onto your face. Though with that being said, a nice all-black Vive Pro would’ve been nice too!

Of course, the colour isn’t the only redesigned element of the Vive Pro. HTC has listened to feedback from early adopters, and has fixed many of the complaints of the first-gen headset with the Pro. The main focus for HTC was to improve the overall comfort of the headset, as the first-gen headset felt a little weighty and uncomfortable over longer stints in VR.
After spending a little under a month with the Vive Pro, we think that HTC has succeeded. How? First of all, HTC has ditched the elastic straps for a PlayStation VR-esque crank system. It’s a smart move from the company; we’ve always remarked that PSVR’s headset design is amongst the best on the market, as you simply slot the headset on and turn a crank on the back to tighten it to a comfortable level. That’s what you’ll also get with the HTC Vive Pro, meaning less time fiddling with straps and more time in VR. It’s also ideal when sharing the headset with friends, making it a good option for parties and commercial use alike.

The redesigned strap system helps redistribute across the whole of your head, helping to make the headset feel substantially lighter than other headsets on the market – even with a higher resolution.

Along with the new strap system, you may notice a lot of padding in the headset. There’s thicker padding around the facial surround, as well as on the arms of the headset and even on the rear where it secures to the back of your head. This stops your skin becoming irritated over long sessions in VR, especially as you get hot and begin to sweat in more physically demanding games.

Any change that makes VR headsets more comfortable – and thus, easier to forget you’re wearing one – is welcome, and we suspect that for many existing VR users, this will be as important, if not more important than the technical upgrades of the headset.

The eagle-eyed amongst you will also notice that, like with the Vive Deluxe Audio Strap, the Vive Pro also features integrated headphones. These are slightly different to that available for the first-gen headset, as they feature volume controls on each earcup to allow quick adjustment of volume. The headphones, in general, work really well and thanks to the pivot joint, they can sit at almost any angle too.

FEATURES AND SPEC
Of course, the headline feature of the Vive Pro (and the reason many will upgrade) is the enhanced display. While the HTC Vive offers a respectable resolution of 1080 x 1200 per eye, the Vive Pro cranks to up to 1440 x 1600 per eye for a combined 2880 x 1600 overall resolution. That’s an increase of around 78 percent according to HTC, and it’s definitely not something to be sniffed at.

The increased resolution makes the HTC Vive Pro one of the highest resolution headsets available on the market in 2018 compared to 2160 x 1200 on offer from the Oculus Rift and 1920 x 1080 from PlayStation VR, though the Pro is almost double the price of those headsets.

Admittedly, the difference in quality isn’t quite as dramatic as we were imagining, but it’s definitely noticeable when switching from the Vive to the Vive Pro. Edges are crisper and, most importantly for VR users, text is much easier to read. No need to lean in close to read blurry text anymore! It’s not going to completely transform your overall VR experience, but at the same time, a screen packing more pixels is rarely a bad thing.

The integrated headphones offer high-res 3D spatial audio, providing impressively accurate directional audio that’s so immersive you’ll soon forget you’re wearing a VR headset altogether. Despite not being over-ear headphones, dual microphones on the headset are used to provide active noise cancellation that performs pretty well. The microphones are also used in a brand-new Conversation Mode, allowing those in VR to converse with those in the room while still being aware of virtual audio.  

As well as the tech inside the headset itself, the Vive Pro is also compatible with Valve’s newly announced SteamVR Tracking 2.0 technology. Tracking 2.0 offers support for up to four base stations, up from two with the Vive, and supports much larger tracking areas. It can track an area as large as 10x10m and also supports multi-person VR, though if all users are using Vive Pros that’ll be an expensive multiplayer session!

Unfortunately, we’ve only tested the Vive Pro with two base stations, so we can’t comment on the enhanced tracking on offer with the second-gen headset. The standard 1:1 tracking is as accurate as it was with the first-gen headset, with no real tracking errors experienced.

The downside, as mentioned in the price and specs section, is that you don’t get any base stations with the Vive Pro headset. You’ll have to buy those separately at £120 a pop from the Vive website, and at least two are required for you to be able to use the headset. It’s a similar story with the controllers too; no controllers are provided in the box, and must be purchased separately for £120 each.

This is arguably the biggest downside for potential buyers; unless you’re an existing HTC Vive user looking to upgrade, the Vive Pro with all accessories will set you back at least £1300. There is a bundle on offer on the Vive website that includes base stations and controllers, but this is aimed at Enterprise users and isn’t available for consumers.

It’s certainly a confusing line to walk, and muddies the water about who the Vive Pro is really designed for. Is it for consumers or businesses? Both? Neither? We’re still pretty unsure, and we bet most consumers are too.

Comments

ads

loading...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Loading...

Popular posts from this blog

The Pilgrim's Progress (2019) Sinhala Subtitles

Synopsis The epic tale of a pilgrim and his burden, based on John Bunyan's Masterpiece. Christian begins a journey from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City as the ultimate enemy tries everything in his power to distract him from his destination. One of the most popular books of all time is brought to life for the first time to theaters as a feature length, CGI animated movie.

Game Of Thrones Season 8 - End Game With Sinhala Subtitles

Nokia 4.2 Review

At £150, Nokia's budget handset has to be compared to the very best cheap phones. How does it stack up?
Should I Buy The Nokia 4.2?
The 4.2 has shown that Nokia can still produce good hardware, and combined with the slick user interface on Android One it provides an enjoyable user experience. This fully featured modern handset produces consistently solid performance, with above average cameras and impressive battery life. 
However, it is let down by a low resolution screen, poor implementation of biometrics and some stubborn design choices.

Apple MacBook Pro 15in (2019) Review

The 2019 version of the 15in MacBook Pro brings more powerful Intel processors - including a 9th generation 8-core option, but it may still suffer from keyboard issues (which Apple will fix for free). Here's our full review.
Should I buy the 15in MacBook Pro (2019)?
You’ll need to weigh up how much you need an incredibly powerful Mac laptop with concerns about the keyboard, but the new 9th generation 8-core processors should sweeten the deal.

Xbox Two release date rumours, design and more

Xbox Two release date rumours, design and more Microsoft’s Xbox One didn’t have the greatest launch – it was overpriced thanks to the ‘requirement’ of the Kinect (which has since been completely discontinued) and the requirement of an internet connection to function pushed many to Sony’s PS4. The console has improved substantially since launch, both in terms of features and pricing, and the introduction of the high-end Xbox One X has grabbed the interest of many.

Like Fan Page