HP was one of the original hardware partners for Windows Mixed Reality and launched its headset together with the platform. Since then the headset has gone through several discounts and can now be found for even $150 as a refurbished unit and for around $200 completely new. Is this bargain worth the money or should youu look elsewhere?
Just as all of the headsets that launched on day 1 the HP features an LCD display with a resolution of 1440 * 1440 pixels per eye which is a noticeable improvement over the Oculus Rift and the original HTC Vive. Virtual worlds look crisp and clear just like on the other Windows Mixed Reality headsets as well. Unfortunately though the HP device cannot compete against its Windows MR brethren when it comes to the FOV. The HP, even though it mostly uses the same optics, has the lowest FOV of the devices. Reason could be a higher eye to lens distance compared to the other devices. The feeling as if you would look through binoculars ist very prominent with the device and that is the reason I would not recommend the HP over the other devices.
It’s a shame because the HP shines in the other categories and can offer something that the other Windows MR headsets cannot offer: a detachable cable! So should the cable break you could simple exchange it while for the other headsets you will need to send in the whole headset. With a good build quality, a cool design and high comfort levels, there is not much to complain here. If just the FOV was not so low! Also, just like the other headsets except the Samsung Odyssey, there is no manual IPD adjustment, heaphones or built-in microphone.
With the better Lenovo Explorer only a few dollars more expensive, unfortunately I cannot recommend the HP headset unless you really need a detachable cable.