It was Microsoft’s turn on stage at Computex 2017 on Wednesday, and they did not disappoint in giving the audience a first look at their upcoming Windows Mixed Reality headsets. Acer, HP, ASUS, Dell, and Lenovo presented HMDs launching in 2017.
Tech giants Acer and HP were the first ones to show their gear in April, and they are even available for preorder now as developer kits. These sets were designed to meet Microsoft standards.
ASUS and Dell both continued their gaming-oriented presentations with their new headsets, after presenting new ROG and Inspiron Gaming products in previous days. Dell tagged along too, all under the wing of Microsoft’s Mixed Reality division.
Different design but similar specs
So far, the only specification details we know about come from HP and Acer, the two companies that have made their headsets officially available for preorder. The three new sets exhibited at Computex are expected to follow the same trends.
Acer’s HMD is black with a blue or red piece on the front visor. It features two identical 2.89-inch LCDs with 1440 x 1440 resolutions and a refresh rate of 90 Hz. Sensors are equipped with the device to provide inside-out tracking and get rid of the necessity for external equipment.
The front-hinged display hangs from a headband that adjusts to the wearer, and it provides a 95-degree horizontal field of view. The headset’s connectivity solutions are built in, including a 3.5-mm jack for audio and microphone support, a USB 3.0 port for data transference, and an HDMI 2.0 slot for media.
HP’s head-mounted display features the same specs, except for the 4.0-meter cable that, in the company’s full black device, is removable. Aside from that, it has a double-padded headband designed with user comfort and flexibility in mind.
ASUS put its ROG division in charge of the design of its Windows Mixed Reality headset. It features a unique polygonal 3D cover panel, and the Taiwanese giant says it wants to make it ultralight and ultra-flexible, giving users up to six degrees of freedom with its ergonomic headband.
Dell, on the other hand, relied on the XPS and Alienware design team for its sleek-looking HMD. The device is all white, and it is “uniquely focused on user comfort.” It includes a cable routing mechanism to keep them out of the way, and the visor flips up for easy visibility.
Finally, Lenovo went down the road of cost-effectiveness and simplicity, opting for an all-black design and no flashy features other than its “incredibly affordable” price. The Chinese company promises a simplified setup for all mixed reality enthusiasts.
HMDs by Acer, Dell, HP, and Lenovo will launch this year
Acer and HP will start shipping their first developer kits this August for $299 and $329 respectively. Lenovo’s headset is expected to cost a bit less, while Dell’s will have a similar price when they launch on holiday season.
Out of all the HMDs exhibited at Computex, it seems like only ASUS’ won’t debut this year. The company has been reluctant to confirm a release date, so experts believe the company will take its time to perfect the device.