HP’s Pixel-packed ‘Reverb’ Sets a New Bar for Windows VR Headsets

HP in the present day introduced Reverb (previously codenamed Copper), its new VR headset which goals to ship enhanced decision and luxury. With a extra considerate design and pixel-packed shows, Reverb units a brand new bar for Home windows VR headsets.

Having jumped into the VR area again in 2017 with a handful of others underneath Microsoft’s watch, HP’s first VR headset was just about an identical to the headsets which launched from Acer, Dell, and Lenovo.

With Reverb—which can succeed the corporate’s first VR headset—HP is driving the design way more instantly, although it’s nonetheless constructing atop the Home windows Combined Actuality platform (and inside-out monitoring expertise).

To that finish, the corporate formally introduced Reverb in the present day, which will likely be bought as a Shopper Version ($600) and a Skilled Version ($650), and launch in late April. For extra particulars on the headset’s announcement and the distinction between the 2 variations, see our article on the Reverb reveal right here.

HP's Pixel-packed 'Reverb' Units a New Bar for Home windows VR Headsets 7HP’s first VR headset (left), Reverb (proper) | Photograph by Street to VR

I lately visited HP at their Palo Alto campus to take a look at the most recent Reverb prototype for myself; that is an up to date model in comparison with what I noticed again in February.

Let’s skip proper to the enjoyable stuff: the shows. Reverb has a 2,160 × 2,160 decision show per-eye, which is an enormous step up in decision even from present class-leading headsets just like the Vive Professional and Samsung Odyssey which tout 1,440 × 1,600 shows. We’re speaking about twice as many pixels as these headsets.

And whereas twice the pixels in roughly the identical subject of view would usually imply about half the seen display screen door impact (SDE), Reverb really will get an additional enhance in SDE discount (in comparison with the aforementioned headsets) as a result of it makes use of RGB-stripe sub-pixels which are likely to have a a lot better fill issue (much less area between pixels) than the OLED shows utilized in many different headsets. So not solely are you getting a lift in constancy and pixel density, however fill issue can be going up due to the change to RGB-stripe.

That’s an extended method to say that Reverb presents class-leading visible constancy and textual content legibility. The display screen door impact isn’t invisible, but it surely’s getting surprisingly shut—at this level I can’t make out particular person sub-pixels in any respect, and even actually recognizing simply one complete pixel (in a sea of identically coloured pixels) is a troublesome job. Crucially, HP is attaining this readability and restricted SDE with out utilizing a diffuser (as Samsung has performed on the Odyssey+, which makes an attempt to cover SDE at the price of sharpness).

HP's Pixel-packed 'Reverb' Units a New Bar for Home windows VR Headsets 8Photograph by Street to VR

Decision apart, the most recent Reverb prototype that I acquired my head into did present just a few delicate artifacts, although HP claims these will likely be cleared up by launch.

First, in comparison with the prior prototype I attempted again in February, the little gray dots have been considerably lowered, however nonetheless manifest in what seems (to my eyes) like mura (inconsistencies in colour/brightness between pixels).

Second, the most recent prototype show exhibits some pink ghosting, which is fascinating as a result of I don’t recall seeing this in some other headset (often it’s simply white or black ghosting). HP stated it is because the present show has slower pink decay than it ought to have, that means that pink pixels can’t change as shortly as different coloured pixels.

Third, on the excessive high and backside of the sphere of view it’s attainable to see some reflections on the edges, attributable to the show reflecting off the plastic contained in the headset.

As talked about, HP says these will all be cleared up by the point the headset ships, and the progress I noticed with the headset from only a few weeks in the past bodes nicely for them with the ability to ship on that declare.

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