Microsoft VR headsets hit stores, turn your Windows 10 PC into a holographic wonderland
Microsoft HoloLens might still be a long way from reaching consumers, but that doesn’t mean that we have to wait to get in on the VR and AR experience.
Microsoft has been promising affordable VR and AR gear, through its partnering hardware manufacturers, and it’s finally delivery on its promise of 3D holographic headsets, a-la HoloLens.
The devices, built by Dell, 3Glasses, Acer, HP and Lenovo, come in different sizes, specs and designs, but they are all designed to function using Microsoft VR technology, which means that by donning anyone of these headsets, users can finally get a taste of what Microsoft HoloLens testers have been experiencing.
Needless to say, none of these low-cost headsets come with hardware anywhere near HoloLens, or any built-in graphic hardware at all, which means that hooking up these headsets to just any Windows 10 laptop will result is wildly different experiences. With that said, considering that advanced GPU chipsets have come down quite a bit, and the VR-Ready sticker is becoming all too common in many new and upcoming laptops and desktops, VR may just be attainable, after all, and with a price tag starting at $299, looking into what all the fuss is about, is suddenly very tempting.
The hardware requirements for most the majority of these VR headsets fall within the typical recommended specs of a low-end VR device, slightly less demanding that Oculus Rift of HTC Vive: which means at least an Intel i3 Core, an Nvidia GTX 660, 4GB or RAM, and an HDMI, and USB 2.0 port.
The good news, at least for those who have not yet decided to upgrade their older system to Windows 10, some of these devices, such as 3Glasses D2, support Windows 7 and Windows 8, as long as it’s the 64-bit version of either of these operating systems.
The obvious downside is the lack of DirectX 12 support, which is not available in either OSs. DirectX 12 allows for a massive boost in graphic performance, especially in new PC games like Mirror’s Edge and No Man’s Sky.
Another very attractive feature of these devices is that they finally support resolutions well beyond the postage stamp-sized dinosaurs some of us remember. These headsets support resolutions well within the range of most laptop displays, such as HD and Ultra HD.
The field of view on some of these headsets is also quite wide, usually over 100 degrees, and with very low latency.
The model built by 3Glasses offers also a touch panel, which allows for easy operations.
Needless to say, these devices can also function as regular PC displays.
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