Pros and Cons, but overall fantastic.

This is my first and only VR headset, though I have tried the Oculus Rift and can easily say the Lenovo Explorer is more comfortable and has a better visual fidelity. The headset is focused on budget users, with even some low spec computers being able to run applications. Even if I could afford a Vive or Rift, I would still have bought this headset as it is very portable and insanely quick to set up. It can also play Rift, Vive and Windows store VR games, even those that don’t explicitly state being compatible with windows MR.

The general comfort of the headset is great, with most of the weight being on the forehead it’s comfortable to wear for hours on end, with the only discomfort being my feet for standing too long (Seriously, take breaks.) The padding around the face felt better than the impression I got from other reviews, with the flimsy, free-floating nose part not giving me any issues since I tucked it in the day the headset arrived, however, the forehead padding felt itchy/sensitive on my head on occasions, though I’ve not heard anyone else mention this, I have a theory it could be due to my acne but a lot of the time it felt perfectly fine.

The tracking will have no problems in a well-lit room with the curtains/blinds closed, but in rooms that are slightly dimly lit or have windows, it may have issues with tracking on those surfaces. The controllers will not track position when out of the headset camera’s field of view (though they do track orientation), however, there are a few things to note: The camera’s FOV is larger than the user’s FOV, and the FOV is larger down than it is up, so your controllers will still be tracked when by your sides, but not when raised too far above your head. This can be an issue in some games where you have to move your controller over your shoulder e.g. to switch weapons, but the software is good at estimating the position when it is only out of view for a short duration, so a quick motion over the shoulder will work just fine.

The controllers (Standard windows MR controllers) honestly felt very comfortable, admittedly not as comfortable as the Oculus Rift controllers, but not as uncomfortable as many people claim that they are (I do have large hands, so that might be part of it) The controllers are very light and use AA batteries, which may be an advantage or a disadvantage depending on your preference (and whether or not you have rechargeable batteries). My controllers lasted about a week with a 1-5 hour session each day, and would probably last longer with better batteries.

Last but not least, there is the software side of things. You get access to the Windows cliff house and a modern skyscraper. You can place “windows” on surfaces or floating anywhere in these environments, and resize them to be very large. The environment also provides a large amount of customisability with the “holograms”, prefabricated objects that you can place around to decorate your house. If you use Windows 10’s features to the maximum, you will definitely enjoy the cliff house. You may also install SteamVR for windows mixed reality (on steam) that will allow you to play any steam game with the windows MR headset.

Lastly, there are two common issues I have had. Sometimes when I get too close to the ground, the headset loses tracking for a few seconds. I was able to fix this by setting my floor higher in the windows MR room configuration, by placing my controller on the floor and moving the floor until it was resting perfectly on the ground. I also had issues with saving boundaries, as if you move furniture or change the lighting, the headset will struggle to recognise the space and load the correct boundary.

Great for low budget gamers or digital artists looking to get into first generation VR, or people looking to bring it to LAN parties or on holiday as it is portable and very quick to set up. If you don't mind the slight controller tracking limitations and don't think an extra £300 and cumbersome controllers is worth it to fix that, then this is definitely for you.
  • Better resolution than Rift & Vive
  • Easy to set up
  • Low budget, high quality
  • Comfortable
  • Plays all Rift, Vive and Windows games
  • Good FOV
  • Limited controller tracking
  • Tracking issues in dim rooms
  • Difficulty loading boundaries

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