HP Reverb G2 Review – Screen Door No More – Road to VR

HP’s latest VR headset, Reverb G2, is lastly right here. Promising to deliver a number of the options of Valve’s Index to the Home windows VR scene, together with class-leading decision, new controllers and higher monitoring. Learn on to seek out out if it delivers.

Earlier than we break into the overview, right here’s a recap of Reverb G2 specs:

Decision 2,160 × 2,160 (four.7MP) per-eye (LCD) Refresh Charge 90Hz Lenses Single factor Fresnel Area of View 114° diagonal Optical Changes IPD IPD Vary 60–68mm Connectors USB-C, DisplayPort, Energy Cable Size 6m Monitoring Quad on-board digicam (no exterior beacons) Controllers Reverb G2 controllers Audio Off-ear headphones Microphone Sure Cross-through Cameras Sure

HP Reverb G2 Abstract

As is custom, our full overview goes into vital depth, so we’ll begin with a abstract.

HP’s Reverb G2 actually delivers on visible constancy due to its 2,160 × 2,160 per-eye shows. Seen display door is just about non-existent on the headset, providing simply the best readability of any headset in its class. Whereas the show isn’t ‘retina decision’, it nonetheless presents a ton of resolving energy and can allow you to see particulars not seen with different headsets. Whereas the show and lenses aren’t excellent and don’t supply as extensive a area of view as Valve’s Index, the headset manages to offer an distinctive degree of constancy.

HP Reverb G2 Evaluate – Display Door No Extra – Street to VR 14Photograph by Street to VR

As HP labored with Valve on the headset, it acquired to elevate the exact same off-ear headphones from Index and put them proper onto the G2. It’s nice to have highly effective built-in audio in a form-factor that doesn’t contact your ears or get in your approach while you put the headset on. I hope to see an increasing number of firms undertake the identical. Whereas HP says the drivers within the headphones are similar to these in Index, I observed some distortion in sure greater pitched frequencies which didn’t sound nice. I’m hoping HP can clear that up with some post-launch EQ changes.

The brand new Reverb G2 controllers are a welcomed change from the outdated WMR controllers. They largely mimic Oculus Contact in design, with the identical common deal with form and identical set of buttons, sticks, and triggers. Whereas they don’t really feel fairly as premium, they work extra seamlessly with fashionable VR content material which has largely coalesced round these inputs.

HP Reverb G2 Evaluate – Display Door No Extra – Street to VR 15Photograph by Street to VR

When it comes to monitoring, G2 is the primary WMR headset to maneuver from two to 4 cameras for its inside-out monitoring. With the 2 further cameras on the facet of the headset, this offers controller monitoring rather more protection and helps cut back the variety of ‘caught’ controller moments which occur after they spend an excessive amount of time with out line of sight to the cameras. Though protection is elevated, there’s nonetheless some monitoring deadzones above and beneath the headset which may generally be annoying however by no means considerably impacted gameplay.

Head-tracking continues to be as stable as different WMR headsets and has little subject besides for infrequent software-induced stutter when transitioning between apps or loading screens. General precision and latency for controller-tracking is appropriate however not distinctive, exhibiting extra latency and jitter than we see with Oculus or SteamVR monitoring.

G2 is snug sufficient, and higher than G1, however doesn’t actually transfer the bar total for VR consolation. The rear strap does a fantastic job of gripping the again of your head whereas the highest strap helps relieve strain. The facet straps for tightening the headset are elastic which is a little bit funky in apply as a result of the straps and struts don’t slide as simply as they need to. Due to that elasticity although, there’s sufficient flex to simply pull the headset on and off with out adjusting the tightness each time. Past the straps, a bodily IPD adjustment starting from 60–68mm allows you to greatest align the lenses along with your eyes for readability and luxury.

HP Reverb G2 Evaluate – Display Door No Extra – Street to VR 16Photograph by Street to VR

Whereas many customers will seemingly gloss over the Home windows Blended Actuality surroundings and soar straight into SteamVR, the WMR surroundings is definitely fairly richly featured, permitting customers to customise a persistent house and produce their desktop purposes into VR in floating digital home windows. The WMR surroundings can be totally managed by VR controllers or a keyboard and mouse, which makes it a versatile strategy to do extra than simply play VR video games.

Whereas Reverb G2’s class-leading decision would appear to make it a terrific candidate as a ‘digital desktop’ for typical desktop productiveness in VR, a realistically sized digital monitor solely sees round a 720p decision (because it doesn’t stretch throughout the headset’s complete area of view). Whereas this decision is completely legible, really working this fashion nonetheless appears like a novelty due to the discount to your pure area of view and the much more restricted ‘candy spot’ of the headset; each components imply you’ll want to maneuver your head round rather more whereas utilizing a digital monitor than you’d on an equal real-life monitor, which appears like a compromise in apply, particularly contemplating the ergonomic sacrifices of sporting a headset for lengthy durations.

For a $600 headset, Reverb G2 delivers a robust worth due to its glorious visuals and acceptable monitoring. It appears like an particularly good match for simulator-focused use-cases the place resolving energy is a major contributor to the expertise.

HP Reverb G2 In-depth Evaluate

HP Reverb G2 Evaluate – Display Door No Extra – Street to VR 17Photograph by Street to VR

Show and Lenses

Let’s go proper to Reverb G2’s most interesting characteristic, its show. With a 2,160 × 2,160 LCD show per-eye, the headset delivers class-leading decision that blows most different headsets out of the water. Whereas the beneath chart is an imperfect comparability as a result of it doesn’t think about area of view, it does give a superb take a look at the place Reverb G2’s decision stands compared to comparable headsets (and the first-generation Rift CV1 for reference):

Megapixels per-eye Rift CV1 1.three Vive Professional 2.three Rift S 1.eight Quest 2.three Index 2.three Quest 2 three.5 Reverb G2 four.7
Display Door No Extra

Reverb G2 is the primary headset in its class the place the display door impact (the unlit areas between pixels) is just about gone. Strive as you would possibly, the black grid between pixels that’s seen on most different headsets simply isn’t discernable. That’s a crucial threshold to cross as just about each headset on this class to this point has had some degree of seen display door impact.

The shortage of display door and spectacular sharpness makes all the pieces within the headset look extra stable and actual, in a approach that’s tough to articulate. The additional sharpness additionally makes the sense of stereoscopic depth clearer in a approach that appears extra convincing to the mind.

HP Reverb G2 Evaluate – Display Door No Extra – Street to VR 18Photograph by Street to VR

The resolving energy is so spectacular that you simply would possibly end up gawking. I undoubtedly did. In Half-Life: Alyx I couldn’t cease trying on the absurd degree of element revealed within the medal of the shotgun. After I jumped into Robo Recall, I used to be blown away to see the extent of element the headset may reveal within the fabric on the legs of the robots.

In the event you’ve ever had the expertise of getting new headphones and listening to beforehand unheard particulars in songs you’ve listened to 100 instances earlier than—at instances Reverb G2 feels loads like that, however along with your eyes as an alternative of your ears.

Granted, the display door being gone does not imply the headset is ‘retina decision’, nor does it imply it presents excellent readability. As a result of it isn’t retina decision, aliasing remains to be seen, nevertheless it’s actually solely seen in area of interest circumstances, like when tiny excessive distinction particulars.

Mura & Chromatic Aberration

General readability of the headset is held again barely by a little bit of mura (inconsistency in pixel shade and brightness throughout the show). Within the headset the mura manifests in faint horizontal stretches, nevertheless it’s faint sufficient that it isn’t actually noticeable besides in opposition to sure colours.

HP’s prior headset, Reverb G1, makes a superb level of comparability to point out how significantly better G2 is—though each headsets share the identical decision.

G1 had fairly noticeable mura together with red-smearing and chromatic aberration, all of which damage its readability regardless of its excessive decision. G2 however has fairly minimal mura, no red-smearing (or ghosting of any type), and no chromatic aberration, giving it simply the perfect readability of any headset in its class.

And whereas Quest 2 isn’t far behind in resolving energy with its 1,832 × 1,920 (three.5MP) per-eye shows, the PC energy behind G2 means the graphical constancy of what you’re more likely to see via the headset takes much better benefit of all these pixels. And sure, Quest 2 can hook up with a PC as nicely, however this comes with a further high quality hit as a consequence of encoding in comparison with pixels natively rendered on the headset.

God Rays & Area of View

As for the lenses, Reverb G2 is utilizing Fresnels like just about each different headset on the market. And if something about VR… what which means: god rays. Sure, Reverb G2 exhibits god rays emanating from excessive distinction parts identical to each different headset with Fresnel lenses. It doesn’t appear any higher or worse than different Fresnel headsets of this technology like Quest 2 or Rift S.

Fortunately Reverb G2 doesn’t present any of the outer glare that’s plainly seen in Valve’s Index headset when excessive distinction parts, although this appears to come back at the price of area of view, which isn’t as giant as Index. Whereas HP advertises the G2 area of view at 114°, to me it feels on par with Quest 2 (which has been unofficially deemed to be round 90° or 95°).

Lens Form

There’s one quirk to the G2 lenses that makes them rather less snug on the eyes than comparable headsets. The symmetrical form of the lenses (which appear to be teardrops turned on their facet) don’t extent outward over the nostril to offer extra stereo area of view within the space simply between your eyes. Whereas this usually occurs beneath the eyes (as a result of your nostril blocks that portion of your view), the impact created by the lenses creates a ‘nose-like’ blind spot greater up between your eyes.

Each headset has some blind spot on this space, however most form their lenses to reduce it, whereas on G2 it’s a bit extra noticeable. I’d guess this resolution could have been made for manufacturing simplicity; such that each lenses are similar in form as an alternative of needing to make distinct ‘left’ and ‘proper’ lens like on most different headsets.


Lengthy story brief, that is the headset with the clearest trying picture and probably the most resolving energy in its class.

Proceed on Web page 2: Audio, Controllers, Monitoring »

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