Item: Acer Mixed Reality Headset
Price: Amazon $288.18 / ebay $269.99
Rating: 4 and a half star
Everybody wants to know what a Microsoft product is like other than the software because it has been so far one of the billion dollar companies who made Bill Gates the number one on the list for well almost two decades. This Acer Mixed Reality Review will do just that. This headset is a collaboration of Acer and Windows.
When we say Mixed Reality it means it is capable of VR and AR. I don’t want to disappoint you but the Acer Mixed Reality Headset leans more towards Virtual Reality than the latter. The Mixed Reality title is a misnomer as this primarily functions as a Virtual Reality goggles.
The look of the headset is definitely a good one. The blue design makes it stand out from the rest of the VR headsets other than that it looks like a clone of the PSVR or the DJI Goggles FPV Headset. What I like, however, is you can flip the front up if you want to take a breather or to see the real world from time to time in between plays
The feel of the entire headset is more like a cheap, plasticky toy, usually made in China or made in Taiwan, like the ones you played with when you are young which breaks easily and then you hate yourself because you could have bought the best earlier. Now you have to spend again for that more sophisticated toy.
Just like the PSVR it has a dial wheel at the rear to tighten the headband of the headset to your comfort level for a more sturdy and steady fit to your head. Although this does not really fully prevent the headset from shaking when you move suddenly from side to side which can be a hassle if the game calls for it. This dial design has become common to VR headsets and some AR.
As it turns out this same issue of the headset not being able to maintain steady on your head makes the viewing difficult as you have to adjust it every time to center on your eyes. There is an optimum location for your eyes in the design of the lenses that if it is skewed just a little will get you out of that Goldilocks viewing zone. So the remedy is to tighten the dial on the headband which only helps a little. Better not make a lot of movements if possible.
This headset favors more the sit-down games and those games where movement is not really needed. A good example is racing games or where you stay in a cockpit and fly a spaceship or a plane. But when i comes to all out movement I don’t think this will be an ideal headset. But then that is just me. You have to try it yourself as people have different tolerances and quirks.
Good thing that this headset weighs only around 350 grams or else it would have been torture to wear it if it was a few grams heavier. So far the weight did not play much factor when using it for an hour, unlike some other headsets which wreaks havoc on your neck muscles that fatigue sets in immediately.
If there is one thing that this device has an edge over the big VR names it is the resolution. With a 1400 by 1400 per eye resolution it easily beats out the big three Virtual Reality headsets on the market. The Rift, Vive, and PSVR have 1080 by 1200 per eye. The Field of View is slightly smaller with 95 degrees to offer but is not remarkable when playing. Absolutely one of the best resolutions in VR.
The screen door effect is there but is negligible, the high resolution compensates with this. Even the best VR goggles has screen door effect. Only time will tell when these issue can be eliminated. As long as there are pixels there will be a screen door effect the idea is to minimize them.
If you look at the controllers you will notice that it looks more like a cross of the Oculus Rift controllers and the Vive controllers. The difference is it has tiny beads of light on it otherwise they could pass off as a spin-off of its predecessors( which I think it is). Anyway, Acer embellished the controllers with a few buttons here and there.
The lights, by the way, are there for the headset to track the controllers. If you notice the lenses on both sides of the headset these are the ones that tracks the led light on the controllers. So for optimal tracking when playing make sure to always, as much as possible, put the controllers in front of you.
It takes a bit of getting used to when using the controllers because they are not as much user friendly as your Xbox controller or any game joystick. But just like anything, you will get the hang of it sooner than you think.
It would have been a convenience if the controllers were rechargeable but they ran on batteries and so it is a hassle to change batteries from time to time.
The Acer Mixed Reality headset uses the inside-out tracking technology so that you don’t have to set up a different device to track the headset on the activity area. This helps to lower the cost because you don’t have to buy an additional device for tracking your movements.
The two lenses on the sides are the ones responsible for the inside-out tracking for your movements. For 6 degrees of freedom tracking it houses a gyroscope, accelerometer and magnetometer and a proximity alert sensor to remind you your close to the wall. Now it makes me wonder if inside out tracking technology can be used with the Hi5 gloves and the Vive tracker.
The Acer Mixed Reality headset does not have any speaker like the usual VR’s out there. It only has a headset/earphones jack so you can choose your own brand.
As of this writing the price of an Acer Mixed VR is $299 dollars without the controllers. With the controllers it is priced at $399. The price is within the boundaries of reason any more and it would be a rip off.
Because this is a collaboration of Windows and Acer, naturally the Acer Mixed Reality headset runs well on an Acer laptop or PC. Recommended highly is the Acer Predator Triton 700 gaming laptop. A PC with a Windows 10 Operating System will be needed to run the headset smoothly.
Window Mixed Reality Series
Acer is just one of the Windows Mixed Reality Series of headset out on the market recently. Check out and compare before purchasing. If possible that you can borrow and try please do so to minimize buyers remorse. Do more research and try everything. What works for someone does not work another. So experiment a lot.
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