(Pocket-lint) – The HTC Vive XR Elite is the latest headset in the company’s line-up and one that seemingly promises it all.
Revealed at CES 2023, the Vive XR Elite is a standalone, all-in-one headset that’s also PC tetherable and promises to be great for gaming, productivity, the Metaverse and more.
Vive XR Elite packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 processor with 12GB of RAM. It has an LCD screen with a pancake lens design that delivers 2K x 2K pixels per eye, making for 4K total and 1200ppi. HTC says this headset has a 110-degree field of view, a 90Hz refresh rate and a “minimised” screen door effect.
Most interesting are the Integrated Diopters, which allow you to adjust the lens setup to account for your prescription as a spectacles wearer. It also has adjustable manual IPD sliders and a built-in IPD sensor as well. So plenty of convenient adjustments for your eyes.
This headset is built to be “beautifully” compact and comfortable. It’s lightweight at just 625 grams and built without a top head strap to account for more head sizes, shapes and hairstyles. The battery is mounted at the back and designed to be carefully balanced for superb comfort. That battery can also be removed and even hot-swapped as well.
HTC says you should be able to get up to two hours out of the headset before it needs charging, but it also has 30-watt fast charging and you can connect up a USB-C battery pack if needed.
The battery life can also be extended if you’re streaming content to it. You can stream from your Android smartphone, for example, but you can also connect the headset to a PC and play PCVR games via Steam or HTC Viveport.
The Vive XR Elite is also designed for multi-use cases. It’s built to be portable and convenient. You can access games directly with the headset via Viveport, but you can also detach the battery and clip on some arms to transform the headset into an alternative to the Vive Flow. Then you can watch content on the go with a battery pack plugged in.
The Vive XR Elite has four wide tracking field-of-view cameras and the capability to work with hand-tracking. Though it also has the same controllers as Vive Focus 3. But it also has passthrough cameras that are good enough that you can see text on your phone while still wearing the headset.
Aside from gaming, you can also use this headset for productivity. You can use a virtual desktop mode that gives you three big screens where you can control things via keyboard, mouse or with hand tracking. You won’t necessarily be using this for all-day work, but you can.
HTC says there will be an expanding accessory ecosystem with modules for eye-tracking and face-tracking in 2023 but these are optional upgrades so you don’t need to worry about your privacy.
As with the Focus 3, the Vive XR Elite isn’t as affordable as the Meta Quest 2, but this is because Meta treats the end-user as the product and recoup value by selling adverts. Something that HTC won’t do.
Writing by Adrian Willings.