HP Windows Mixed Reality Review

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.

Summary
The HP Windows MR headset would be a solid recommendation if it had a better Field Of View. There is a lot to like about the device. It looks cool, has a solid build quality and it's comfortable to wear. Moreover it has detachable cables that could be easily replaced if broken. But the low FOV simply is an immersion breaker and therefore, despite the bargain price, I simply cannot recommend the device over the Lenovo Explorer for example that is only a few bucks more expensive but offers more immersive VR experiences thanks to the better FOV.
Good
  • Detachable Cable
  • Good Resolution / Lenses
  • No Base Stations Needed
  • Bargain Price
  • Good Build Quality / Comfort
Bad
  • Low Field Of View
  • No IPD Adjustment
  • Controller Tracking Not Always Spot On
  • No Integrated Headphones / Mic
7.4
Good
Features - 7
Comfort - 7
Display - 8
Lenses - 8
FOV - 5
Controllers - 7
Tracking - 8
Content - 9

Have your say!

2 0

1 Comment

  1. Just got into VR and the HP is my first. I am extremely happy with it. I agree with most of your review and understand you have tried a lot of different headsets which allow you to see differences however having only tried the HP MR HMD i don’t see any of your “BAD” let me address them from my point of view
    1. Low FOV: i haven’t tried others but seeing as you only have a slit in the middle of the lenses that is actually in focus the FOV seems a mute point.
    2. No IPD: I can see it being an issue for some but it is perfectly fine for me and others i have shown.
    3. Controllers Not Tracking: Never had this issue. I know they lose spatial tracking when they are out of view but you learn quickly to keep your hands in front and every game i have tried the controllers have been fine at say, getting ammo from behind the head or grabbing a grenade from my belt while looking forward.
    4. No Headphone/Mic: Not ideal for everyone but i much prefer to use my own equipment anyway. And i have a family so its generally better to have the sound come from the PC unless im alone.

    Anyway, Love your stuff. Keep it up. From Aus.
    PS Get rid of that picture Captcha crap it is so annoying

    Reply

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