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First Look: All 5 Windows Mixed Reality Headsets

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First Look: All 5 Windows Mixed Reality Headsets

Microsoft showed off VR and mixed reality partner headsets from Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung all in one place at this week's special San Francisco event.

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First Look: All 5 Windows Mixed Reality Headsets 17 Slideshow Arrow

Microsoft has been building out its Windows Mixed Reality ecosystem for a while, but this week marked first time the company has brought all of its partner headsets together in one place.

In his keynote at the San Francisco press event, Microsoft Technical Fellow Alex Kipman—creator of both Microsoft Kinect and the Microsoft HoloLens—waxed poetic about the company's vision for a fully realized mixed reality spectrum, supporting a range of augmented and virtual reality devices all running on a universal application platform in Windows 10.

Headlined by the newly unveiled Samsung HMD Odyssey, there will soon be five Microsoft partner headsets on the market. The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update will add full mixed reality support to all Windows 10 devices, and various developer programs including a new SteamVR preview are aimed at helping the community ramp up content creation for the rapidly proliferating headset market.

That doesn't even include the next version of HoloLens, which is reportedly coming in 2019 with a dedicated AI chip. Kipman said eventually he sees Windows Mixed Reality spanning not only headsets but AR/VR experiences based on smartphones, PCs, and every form factor in between.

In the meantime, consumers and business now have an almost overwhelming array of choices when it comes to which headset might be worth your money. All the headsets are based on the same basic reference design, but they come in at a variety of price points and with vastly different specs, not to mention different levels of software compatibility. Pricing also varies by whether or not you but the headsets bundled with motion controllers.

Microsoft lined up all five partner headsets at the San Francisco event for us to play with, so we got a look at the Acer Windows Mixed Reality Headset, Dell Visor, HP Windows Mixed Reality Headset, Lenovo Explorer, and Samsung HMD Odyssey headsets side by side. Scroll through the gallery below to check out how the mixed reality headsets stack up against one another.

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  • 1Samsung HMD Odyssey

    Coming in at $499, the Samsung HMD Odyssey is the most expensive partner headset but packs the most high-end features. The Odyssey sports dual AMOLED displays, built-in spatial AKG headphones, motion controllers, and Six Degrees of Freedom1 (6 DOF) sensors for inside-out tracking. Check out our hands on for a deeper dive and more photos. The Microsoft site lists a release date of Nov. 6 while the Samsung site says Nov. 10, but either way the headsets will be available in early November and can be pre-ordered today.
  • 2Acer Windows Mixed Reality Headset

    The Acer Windows Mixed Reality Headset is priced at $399 and comes with two high-resolution liquid crystal displays at 1,440 by 1,440 pixels, inside-out tracking, and a front-hinged display that flips up if you want to get the goggles off your eyes while working. The display provides a 105-degree field of view (compared to the Odyssey's 110 degrees), and has an audio jack to support external headphones or microphones. You also get an accompanying cable with HDMI 2.0 and USB 3.0 support.

    You can pre-order the Acer headset here. Scroll down to see the front, side, and back-facing views of the headset.

  • 3Acer Front

  • 4Acer Side

  • 5Acer Back

  • 6HP Windows Mixed Reality Headset

    The HP Windows Mixed Reality headset is priced at $449 and has the same display resolution as Acer. HP's entry into the mixed reality ecosystem features two front-facing cameras, a 95-degree field of view, and the same audio jack and HDMI 2.0/USB 3.0 support. Under the hood, the HP headset comes with either an Intel Core i7 OR AMD Ryzen 7 1700 chip, over 16GB of RAM, and 10GB in additional storage space. You can pre-order it here.
  • 7HP Front

  • 8HP Side

  • 9HP Back

  • 10Dell Visor

    The Dell Visor, the only headset not shown off in a black color, also retails for $449 according to the Microsoft pre-order page, though the Dell website has it priced at $349.99. The Visor also has a 1,440-by-1,440-resolution panels that aim to deliver a smooth 360-degree experience on PCs. It's all white with an "anti-stain coating," easy thumb-wheel size adjustment, and a flip-up visor like the Acer headest so you can see real-world surroundings without taking the Visor off. The Visor matches the Odyssey with a 110-degree field of view, and also includes inside-out 6DOF tracking.
  • 11Dell Front

  • 12Dell Side

  • 13Dell Back

  • 14Lenovo Explorer

    Finally, the Lenovo Explorer comes in at $399 ($449 with motion controllers). It's up for pre-order on the Microsoft site and features two outward-facing cameras that track motion in an area of roughly 11.5 by 11.5 feet. The headset also supports inside-out position tracking, and connects to Windows 10 PCs with the built-in Y cable via HDMI 2.0 or USB 3.0.
  • 15Lenovo Front

  • 16Lenovo Side

  • 17Lenovo Back

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