HP Windows Mixed Reality Headset Developer Edition

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VRS RATING
CUSTOMER RATING

Very similar to other first generation Windows Mixed Reality units, so aesthetics are the only things setting this apart from Dell’s, Lenovo’s and Acer’s offerings.

VRS Review

VRS OVERALL RATING
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The HP Windows Mixed Reality Headset Developer Edition HMD is one of two HMDs that are being sold to developers who want to make applications for Microsoft’s new mixed reality platform.

The other HMD is made by Acer and between the two the HP unit is surely the better looking one, with styling that’s comparable to the consumer HMD made by Lenovo.

For the privilege of looking a little less goofy, you’ll have to pay a bit extra, but depending on where you work it might be worth it. Still, only developers can buy these headsets and they have not been built to measure up to consumer standards or expectations. These are work tools for people who want to make and test software before the public starts buying the consumer models in higher numbers.

As a Windows Mixed Reality HMD the HP unit is part of the same software family as the Microsoft Hololens. Unlike the Hololens it uses a conventional VR HMD design, with two high-resolution LCD screens and an immersive face mask that blocks out the world. The difference is that there are two cameras on the front of the HMD that act as AR and MR passthroughs. These cameras also act as the basis of the revolutionary “inside-out” tracking system, which provides room-scale tracking without needing any sort of external camera.

Like other HMDs that follow the Microsoft reference design closely, the HP looks and works quite a bit like the Sony PSVR HMD. It has a flip-up mask on a hinge, which makes it practical as a productivity tool where you don’t want to be constantly taking the whole HMD on or off.

It also uses a single headband design instead of the complicated strap solutions that traditional VR HMDs use.

Unlike the consumer version of the Windows Mixed Reality Headsets, the developer editions have a much higher minimum requirements level. It needs a CPU with six cores or more and at least a GTX 1060 or equivalent.

The consumer version has a lower requirement level that lines up with the Oculus or Vive and then an even lower level that works with certain iGPUs for low-level AR and VR. You can use the developer editions to test on computers with those lower specs, but to develop you’ll need to stump up for a monster machine.

Specification and functionality wise there isn’t much to choose between this and the Acer.

SPECIFICATIONS

Display LCD
Panel size 2.89" x2
Resolution 1440x1440x2
Refresh rate 90Hz
Field of view 105°
Sensors 6 Degrees of Freedom Motion Tracking, Inside Out Tracking
Connections HDMI, USB 3.0, Audio Out
Audio Built in Audio-Out

SCORES IN DETAIL

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