Best HTC Vive Pro VR Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals & Sales 2020:
More than two years after the advent of “mainstream” virtual reality. The second generation of VR headsets is still desperately awaited. To occupy the ground before this new wave, HTC has therefore launched the Vive. Pro: not really a successor to the first Vive of the name. But rather a high-end variant offering a better definition of display and above all intended, like its name indicates it, to professionals.
Far from the revolution promised for example by the Pimax 8K project. The HTC Vive Pro clearly has as a project only to be a refined version of the Vive. The few evolutions it proposes are often there to correct design flaws in the first iteration, rather than bringing new things to the experience. Definition revised slightly upwards (1,440 x 1,600 px per eye against 1,080 x 1,200 px previously, i.e. 78% more pixels), headphones now integrated as standard, improved ergonomics and comfort: these are the relatively modest new features announced by the Vive Pro.
As for the Vive Controllers motion sensors or the Lighthouses spatial tracking modules, they know absolutely no change. So much so that for the general public, the Vive Pro is only available in a “headset only” pack, without controller or Lighthouse box: HTC seems convinced that its new headset can only interest users who are already equipped with ‘a Vive, who can therefore replace the helmet while keeping their joysticks and Lighthouses. New users, on the other hand, will have to buy all of these accessories separately … for a combined price close to € 500. To add to the € 879 requested at launch for the Vive Pro helmet alone: the bill is steep.
Best HTC Vive Pro VR Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals & Sales 2020
Let us not take tweezers to say it, among the three main virtual reality headsets. The original Vive is by far the one that offers the most Spartan comfort. It is therefore very welcome that the Vive Pro does much better on this point. Even if the whole is still far from perfect.
The visor, for starters, is significantly wider than that of the original Vive and will no longer pose any problem for glasses wearers. In addition, the helmet is much easier to put on – replacing the elastic strap with a rigid headband could not be more advantageous. The Vive Pro takes advantage of the improvements already made a year ago by the Deluxe Audio Strap .
On the other hand, once the helmet is worn, the wearing is always very perfectible. Balancing the weight is certainly better than on the first version, but without becoming ideal, far from it. The helmet always has a strong tendency to lean forward and to press a lot on the nose. Although it is significantly lighter than the first Vive of the name (500 g, against 600 previously). The HTC Vive Pro VR still gives the impression of being very heavy on the head.
Let’s also express a reservation on the tightening wheel on the back of the helmet, which does not have a release button; to remove the helmet, simply loosen the thumb wheel by “jumping” the notch by hand. The thing does not inspire confidence: we are systematically afraid of damaging the mechanism and ending up with a headband that is impossible to adjust. Only the future will tell us if it is a real point of fragility of the helmet.
Image quality is probably the point on which the Vive Pro, with its increased display definition, was most awaited. But do not expect a revolution: the 78% of additional pixels displayed by the helmet only provide a subtly improved visual quality. Beyond an obvious gain in sharpness (without being bluffing), we especially hoped that this better definition could lessen the grid effect, which was the main Achilles heel of very first generation helmets. This is indeed the case, but in proportions that we cannot help but find disappointing.
Because the Oled double screen provided by Samsung always uses a PenTile structure, with two sub-pixels per pixel: green and blue, or green and red, staggered. This arrangement poses no problem for a smartphone screen whose pixels are so small that they are almost indistinguishable to the human eye, but it works however much less well in VR: due to the magnification of the lenses, each pixel occupies a large apparent angle and the irregularity of the slab therefore becomes very clearly perceptible. It is precisely this irregularity that causes the grid effect, which therefore continues to slightly spoil our view here. On this point, the Vive Pro remains inferior even to the PlayStation. VR, which certainly displays only a rickety definition of 960 x 1080 px per eye,
The standard integrated headphones represent the biggest missed opportunity of this HTC Vive Pro VR. Offering absolutely commendable performance in absolute terms, they unfortunately suffer from a major defect solely linked to the very design of the helmet: they are extremely difficult to position correctly on the ears.
So difficult in truth that depending on the shape of your head, placing them satisfactorily can be simply impossible. Depending on your morphology, you can therefore enjoy a sound of very good quality, dynamic, precise and immersive, or on the contrary undergo an anemic sound, entirely devoid of bass and even low mids. In this case, you will only have to use another headset, provided that you manage to put it over the large growths left by the removal of the earphones on the Vive Pro … and that it has a cable long enough to be able to be connected directly to the PC, since the Vive Pro no longer has a mini-jack connector!
For more details on the performance of the Vive Pro earbuds. We invite you to read the lab analysis that we have devoted to them:
To make it short: neither the controllers nor the software environment have known any slightest modification since the first release of Vive. We simply have nothing to say anything new about the user experience provided by this platform.
Today, the HTC Vive Pro VR helmet remains the master of room-scale experiences – those that are practiced not only standing, but also with movement in a predefined space. It should however be noted that if the Vive was in 2016 the only helmet able to offer this type of experience. This is no longer the case today, since the Oculus Rift has also started. With a little less ambition, of course – the maximum movement area authorized by the Rift is significantly more restricted than that of the Vive. But we still benefit from Oculus Touch controllers offering much more possibilities than controllers Vivid. Especially when it comes to detecting finger movements.
Still operating in synergy with the SteamVR platform, the Vive now also has its own distribution channel, dubbed Viveport. The latter offers not only applications for purchase, but also a subscription at € 9.99 per month (or € 89.99 for a year) giving access to 5 titles to download per month. Alas, a year and a half after its launch, the Viveport catalog remains fairly starving today and lacks a lot of headlines. It is therefore always through the Valve platform that we will spend the vast majority of the time to obtain content.
Significantly better than the original HTC Vive , the Vive Pro certainly is, but to a degree that still leaves us hungry. Without being negative, far from it, the impression given by the new virtual reality headset from HTC is still not that of a fully accomplished product: between improved comfort but always perfectible, a screen with the effect grid always present and headphones whose quality is difficult to assess because of stupid design errors, the frustrations it causes are still far from negligible. For a non-professional consumer, its prohibitive introductory price is therefore very difficult to justify.
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