I recently bought the new VR headset (HMD) from HP. Prior to the purchase I have read the positives and negatives.
To start with the negatives, I agree with these statements:
No manual IPD
IPD referees to the distance between your eyes. This set only have a software based IPD. Mine is around 71. In the software from Microsoft max setting is 67, but it’s possible to set 71 directly into the registry with Regedit. I’m however not sure it works. I tried different values without noticing much effect. On the good side the picture looks quite good anyway.
One cable comes out from the VR headset but splits into a two cable dongle that is quite thick.
One good thing is that it is detachable if you need to store away the VR headset. Package also contains a shorter cable for backpacks.
Not great tracking
The HMD has an inside out tracking, meaning there is no need for external sensors.
It only have two cameras and you can tell when using the hand controllers that they need to be well in view of the cameras to track your hands.
Bad controllers (Windows Mixed Reality)
Having used controllers from Oculus Rift and Oculus Quest, these “Windows Mixed” controllers is notably much worse to use. Also connected via Bluetooth, yuck.
That was about it for the negatives in my opinion, and I do understand that for many, those arguments is enough to turn this headset down.
Why did I buy it then ?
I have already own Oculus Rift for a couple of years now. They are great! the immersion is definitely there, but often you realize that the picture quality is quite bad with its 1080×1200 pixels per eye.
Having used VR for some time I have also found out where I find most enjoyment in VR space. That is watching videos with Bigscreen, social experiences like with Sansar, but mostly Sim Racing in Assetto Corsa (AC). I have 200 hours with Oculus Rift in AC. Driving in VR with pedals and wheel is the only way for me to drive. It is so much fun and immersive. I find myself coming back as often as I can!
Using those application I mostly sit in a chair without the need for those dreaded controllers. The 6DOF head movement is anyway spot on.
The thick cable can be a bit annoying, but I seem to come to peace with the IPD.
Where the HP Reverb really shines is the fantastic resolution with it’s 2160×2160 pixel resolution per eye. This is instantly noticeable, and the “too bad the picture quality is not there yet” feeling is now gone. In fact, Assetto Corsa looked so good that my first thought when hitting a car was that this will be expensive.
It’s difficult to describe (or show) the picture quality. You have to see it for yourself.
It’s easy to put it on to make it fit right. It does not require a lot of fine adjustment. Notice the nose rubber which fully encapsule you from the real world. You will no longer be able to see anything else (like you could in Rift when looking down)
I have only spent a few days with HP Reverb, but I’m already quite happy with it. It is definitely right for my needs which I anticipated and hoped for before buying.
I’m using a GTX1070 and that is a little weak for powering this resolution. I will probably consider RTX2070 which performs close to GTX1080 TI.
HP Reverb is really not aimed for gamers, allthou it is compatible with the Steam VR library, and most games will work.
If you are looking for a general gaming VR headset , then this headset is probably not what you should buy. If you are a Sim gamer, playing flight or racing games, then this headset will give you the best visuals out there (pr June 2019).