HTC Vive Professional 2 evaluation: Without equal VR revel in

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(Pocket-lint) – When the HTC Vive Professional 2 arrived it’s essential simply be forgiven for pondering it was once just about the similar VR headset that the corporate launched again in 2018. That is as a result of outwardly it hadn’t modified a lot from the unique, except for some color adjustments at the entrance faceplate.

Alternatively, underneath the hood issues were beefed up slightly considerably. Such a lot in order that HTC is now claiming to have the best-in-class show and ‘true’ 120-degree box of view too. 

It sort of feels that HTC has deserted its efforts with the HTC Vive Cosmos – which we discovered underwhelming anyway – and has selected to construct at the foundations of the frankly superior HTC Vive Professional as an alternative. A wise transfer in our thoughts.

However is an upgraded Professional sufficient to maintain the now sturdy festival from HP and Oculus? We’ve got been experiencing what the Vive Professional 2 has to supply to digital truth enthusiasts on the lookout for the finest of the finest.

Our fast take

There is no denying that HTC has as soon as once more returned to shape with the Vive Professional 2. It delivers a high-end VR revel in and provides the perfect revel in due to spectacular visuals, enjoyable audio, and very good convenience. It is an utter pleasure to sport on.

But it surely does come at a price – actually. Its asking worth is over 3 times the Oculus Rift S’s release worth, and about double that of an HP Reverb G2. We additionally can not assist however begrudge the effort of the bottom stations and the setup required.

But when you wish to have best-of-best then you have to pay for it. The HTC Vive Professional 2 is undeniably the present chief within the digital truth headset area. So if you have got cash burning a hollow on your pocket or you are a Vive fan and need the upgraded revel in then there may be not anything else that may compete.

HTC Vive Professional 2

4.5 stars – Pocket-lint really useful

For

  • Awesome visuals
  • Incredible convenience
  • Nice audio
  • Higher monitoring than the contest
  • Passthrough cameras make existence more uncomplicated
  • Backwards well matched
In opposition to

  • Prices a bomb
  • Extra trouble to setup than its competition
  • Will bake your face

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Highest-in-class show?

  • Speedy transfer LCD IPS panel, 2448 x 2448 pixels in step with eye (4896 x 2448 general)
  • 120Hz refresh fee, ‘true’ 120-degree box of view
  • Twin-stack lens setup with RGB Subpixel design
  • 57 to 70mm IPD (interpupillary) adjustment

Probably the most important improve to the Vive Professional 2 over the former era comes within the type of the visuals on be offering. This headset has a show that includes the « perfect answer thus far » – with 2448 x 2448 pixels in step with eye, totalling 4896 x 2448 visual pixels.

That is a vital bounce over the former Vive Professional – which had a 2880 x 1600 pixel show. It is also awesome to the Vive Cosmos (2880 x 1700 pixels), HP Reverb G2 (2160 x 2160), and naturally the Oculus Quest 2 (1,832 x 1,920). And it in reality presentations too.

That prime pixel rely manner you get a surprising VR revel in. Throughout our gaming periods, we had been struck through how spectacular the graphics are in this headset. The display screen door impact is basically a factor of the previous, too, and you’ll be able to simply to find your self getting misplaced within the revel in. 

HTC additionally has used a dual-stack lens design this time round, with two lenses redirecting the picture for a much wider box of view. That is stated to have a larger candy spot and a extra lifelike view of the arena round you. This could also be how the corporate claims to have a ‘true’ 120-degree box of view. 

Pocket-lintHTC Vive Pro 2 review Headset photo 6

There are some niggles even though. For some reason why, HTC has determined to switch the form of the lenses. Now the highest and backside of the lenses have a flat, directly edge to them, while sooner than they had been rounded. Which means prescription lens adapters for earlier headsets do not are compatible the Vive Professional 2. It additionally implies that the view is other. We temporarily spotted shall we see the sides of the lenses extra simply when taking part in and we unfortunately discovered this slightly distracting. 

Any other small gripe is the rubber nostril shields on the backside of the headset. We discovered those saved flapping up and into the view of the display screen whilst we had been gaming, once more interfering with our view. 

Except those minor issues even though, there is no denying the Vive Professional 2 appears nice. We revisited classics and our favorite VR video games to offer it a radical trying out. That incorporated Creed Upward push to Glory, Area Pirate Teacher, Part-Existence: Alyx, Superhot VR, Skyrim VR, LA Noire and Medal of Honor: Above and Past. We quickly discovered that no longer best do those video games glance and sound nice at the Vive Professional 2, however additionally they maintain smartly too. 

After all, you want a beautiful important gaming system with a view to run it at this answer and on the 120Hz to be had refresh fee, but when you’ll be able to organize it from that point of view then issues will in point of fact glance magnificent. 

What spec PC do I wish to run a HTC Vive Professional 2?

In case your PC can not slightly maintain this sort of high-end show then there is no wish to panic. HTC has labored with Nvidia and AMD on one thing referred to as Show Flow Compression. This can be a device that permits the Vive Professional 2 to run at a lesser answer on much less robust gaming programs, that means you’ll be able to nonetheless get a super revel in. The corporate says in case your PC can run the unique Vive Professional, then it might probably take care of the Vive Professional 2 as smartly. In different phrases, it is backwards-compatible and can paintings with DisplayPort 1.2. 

The minimal required specifications to run the Vive Professional 2 headset are:

  • Processor: Intel Core i5-4590 or AMD FX 8350 (an identical or higher) / Reminiscence: 8GB RAM (or extra)
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX1060 or AMD Radeon RX480 (an identical or higher)
  • OS: Microsoft Home windows 8.1 or Home windows 10
  • Video out: DisplayPort 1.2 (or more moderen)
  • USB ports: 1x USB 3.0 (or more moderen)

The really useful specs for the Vive Professional 2’s complete 5K answer and 120Hz refresh fee are:

  • Processor: Intel Core i5-4590 or AMD FX 8350 (an identical or higher) / Reminiscence: 8GB RAM (or extra)
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 or AMD Radeon RX 5700 (an identical or higher)
  • Video out: DisplayPort 1.4 (or more moderen)
  • USB ports: 1x USB 3.0 (or more moderen)
  • OS: Microsoft Home windows 10

It is price noting that you simply do want a DisplayPort connection in your gaming system or computer with a view to run this headset. You’ll be able to use a DisplayPort Mini adapter or DisplayPort-to-USB-C adapter if required, however when you best have HDMI then it’s possible you’ll come unstuck. 

Pocket-lintHTC Vive Pro 2 review the equipment photo 5

Like earlier Vive headsets, the Vive Professional 2 connects first to the Vive Hyperlink field after which in your system by means of DisplayPort and USB connection. That field additionally wishes energy, so be ready with a whole lot of empty plug sockets. 

New visuals however an old-school setup

  • G-sensor, gyroscope, proximity, IPD sensor, SteamVR Monitoring V2.0
  • Eye reduction with lens distance adjustment
  • Adjustable Hello-Res qualified headphones
  • Built-in twin microphones

So the HTC Vive Professional 2 has had some critical enhancements with regards to graphical efficiency. It is necessarily the finest headset in the marketplace in that division, however in alternative ways, the Vive Professional 2 remains to be caught previously. 

With the Vive Cosmos, HTC attempted to take at the Oculus Rift S through including inside-out monitoring cameras to permit customers to ditch the vintage base stations and go for an more uncomplicated setup. Alas, the Vive Cosmos had lacklustre monitoring as a result of it (in contrast to the Rift S) and so HTC has long past again to what it is aware of perfect – SteamVR monitoring base stations. 

This feels oldschool at this level – with the wish to have monitoring stations arrange on your play area, ideally in reverse corners of your room, plugged into the mains energy and tracking your motion. Those monitoring stations be sure correct monitoring and only a few issues in that division, however they are a faff as they need to be fastened up excessive. This implies both wall-mounting, discovering a spare tripod, or precariously balancing on a shelf or one thing else.

We are so used to inside-out monitoring now that going again to base stations is an needless annoyance in our thoughts. Alternatively, when you’ve been the usage of an unique Vive, Vive Cosmos Elite or Vive Professional for all this time then you most likely may not care. There may be additionally so much to be stated for correct monitoring, however we would nonetheless choose the liberty introduced through inside-out monitoring. 

Pocket-lintHTC Vive Pro 2 review headshots photo 5

Alternatively, the Vive Professional 2’s monitoring good judgment manner you’ll be able to use Vive Tracker 3.Zero to trace further issues, together with all of your frame. You’ll be able to additionally upload on a facial tracker to seize your facial expressions in VR and improve to move wi-fi too (even though that’ll imply a success in answer and function). 

Nonetheless, in spite of our lawsuits, there are numerous different issues the Vive Professional 2 does smartly.

It is comfy for a get started. Smartly, as comfy as having a big bite of plastic strapped in your head may also be anyway.

HTC has labored to stability the headset to handle convenience. The entire design is equal to the Vive Professional, however that is no unhealthy factor because it manner you’ve that straightforward adjustment wheel on the again, a forged headscarf design, comfy padding, and a slightly easy on-off setup too. 

Pocket-lintHTC Vive Pro 2 review Headset photo 15

The padding is unquestionably some of the major options we loved concerning the design of this one. It is cushy and luxurious, that means you haven’t any needless power in your face, nostril or eyes when taking part in. It additionally blocks out numerous surrounding gentle and allows you to focal point at the VR revel in as an alternative. 

Vive headsets have additionally come some distance since we first performed at the unique Vive. The Vive Professional 2 provides you with get admission to to much more settings proper within the headset itself. That comes with get admission to to {hardware} as smartly.

The ones two cameras on its entrance, as an example, may also be activated as passthrough cameras. With a few clicks at the settings menu you’ll be able to activate a digicam view that pops out out of your controller and allows you to see your actual international. This implies you do not wish to take the headset off to re-orientate your self or communicate to family members who’ve wandered into the room. 

A triple-click of the menu button on a controller additionally turns on every other passthrough device which allows you to see the room round you with a inexperienced haze. Those two programs are nice for no longer falling over gadgets in the true international and make VR existence more uncomplicated generally.

There may be additionally the approach to click on at the menu to peer your desktop so you’ll be able to have interaction with different apps without delay in your PC. Whether or not that is checking for emails, recording with OBS Studio, or doing one thing else.

This can be a nice growth because it manner you infrequently must take the headset off with a view to fiddle together with your PC to do one thing easy like launching a brand new sport or comply with a firewall exchange. 

Any other function that hasn’t modified is audio. The Vive Professional 2 has integrated adjustable Hello-Res qualified headphones which may also be repositioned till they are in a comfy spot. They are properly padded and ship a super sound when gaming. You’ll be able to alter the amount simply with buttons at the earcup and mute the microphones from there too. 

Pocket-lintHTC Vive Pro 2 review Headset photo 12

We now have a love-hate courting with those headphones even though. Sure, they provide nice sound, are simple to put, and block out a stunning quantity of surrounding noise. However we simply get slightly sizzling whilst the usage of them. We choose the liberty introduced through the back-facing audio system at the Quest 2 or the off-ear audio system at the Reverb G2. In most cases talking, we get sizzling whilst gaming in VR anyway, however the Vive Professional 2 is especially steamy due to each the headphones and the copious quantities of cushty padding. 

Handy keep watch over

At this level it is price us speaking concerning the Vive Professional 2’s two choices of acquire:

  • Simply the headset (for upgraders who already personal the HTC Vive or Vive Professional) – to be had to pre-order at a reduced worth of £659 / $749 / €739.
  • The complete package (which incorporates the headset, base station 2.0, and Vive Wand controllers v2) – to be had from Four June for £1299 / $1399 / €1399.

In case you are purchasing the overall package deal then you’ll be able to get the vintage Vive controllers. Those now recreation a nifty blue color scheme that fits the Professional 2 headset, however differently, they keep watch over the similar as ever. That is no unhealthy factor even though, as we’ve got at all times appreciated those controllers. They are forged, sturdy, simply recognised through maximum VR video games, and feature by no means allow us to down. 

Pocket-lintHTC Vive Pro 2 review Headset photo 16

They have got integrated batteries and fee by means of Micro-USB. One drawback, alternatively, is that the controllers best remaining for a couple of hours – kind of Five hours in line with our trying out – sooner than they want charging once more. So you want to be sure you’re charging them between periods to steer clear of sadness. HTC has made some extent of claiming that the Vive Professional 2 will paintings with Valve’s Knuckle controllers instead even though. 

To recap

HTC has as soon as once more returned to shape with a high-end VR headset that delivers the perfect revel in – however at slightly the price. 

Writing through Adrian Willings.





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