More Apple Vision Pro hands-on impressions: Heavy, but impressive

by NEW YORK DIGITAL NEWS


Apple has once again invited a slew of journalists to try out its spatial computer (or virtual reality headset, if you prefer), the Vision Pro.

From what we’ve read, the demos weren’t all that different from the ones Apple carried out last year. About 20 minutes in length, they consisted of a short setup for fit and eye tracking, and then a little bit of video (including spatial video), some spatial and panoramic photo, an overview of the Disney+ app’s beta version, a meditation experience, a virtual reality setting with dinosaurs in it, and a brief time with the Vision Pro’s virtual keyboard.

So what’s it like?

The verdict on the actual virtual reality experience is unanimously positive. Engadget’s Cherlynn Low wrote that of all of VR, AR, and MR headsets she’d tried, “the Apple Vision Pro is far and away the best, and easily the most thought-out.” The Verge’s Victoria Song called the experience a “whirlwind.”

“I spent a half-hour like a kid gawping at an alien planet — even though I’d never left the couch,” she wrote.

And The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern praised “how easy and natural it is to navigate with just hand movements. It’s freeing to have no controllers and getting around the interface is just second nature.”

Heavy and not all that comfy

Most of the reviewers in this latest round of demos had spent some time with the Vision Pro before. It’s no wonder, then, that they had more time to focus on details such as comfort of the Vision Pro’s straps and overall comfiness of the headset after a session.

The impressions here aren’t nearly as positive, though. Stern said she “really felt the weight of the face computer on my face” while wearing the Solo Knit Band, though she did note that the Dual Loop Band is “not as elegant looking but definitely more comfortable.”

Song mentioned that “like any other VR headset, you feel it sitting on your head and wrecking your hairdo once you slip it on.” And Low said that, while the strap she used was “wide, ridged and soft,” fifteen minutes into the experience she “started to feel weighed down by the device.”

“Five more minutes later, I was in pain,” she wrote.

Perhaps the most damning is video producer Marques Brownlee’s verdict. Brownlee tweeted that the first time he tried it on, the Vision Pro felt “a little heavy”; the second time, he noted that “this thing is really heavy,” and the third time, the heaviness of the device was basically all he could think about.

Still fun, and still interesting

Overall, most people’s ultimate verdict after this final round of testing was positive. Engadget’s Dana Wollman said that it is “fun to use,” and Song said she “kept replaying the demo over” in her head.

One thing appears unanimous among the folks who tried on the Vision Pro: No one is really sure that it’s a must-purchase.

“I’m just still trying to see where it fits in the real world,” wrote Song.





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