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(Pocket-lint) – The HTC Vive XR Elite is the latest headset in the company’s range and one that seems to promise everything.
Revealed at CES 2023, the Vive XR Elite is an all-in-one standalone headset that can also be connected to a PC and promises to be ideal for gaming, productivity, the Metaverse and more.
At first glance, HTC seems to have designed a headset that is a cross between HTC Vive Flow and Vive Focus 3. But this device is designed for both VR and MR, with extended reality in mind.
The Vive XR Elite is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 processor and 12GB of RAM. It has an LCD screen with a pancake-shaped lens that provides 2K x 2K pixels per eye, for a total of 4K and 1200 ppi. HTC claims this headset has a 110-degree field of view, a 90Hz refresh rate, and a “minimized” screen door effect.
Most interesting are the built-in diopters, which allow you to adjust the lens configuration to suit the eyeglass wearer’s prescription. It also features adjustable manual IPD sliders and a built-in IPD sensor. So you have a lot of settings that are convenient for your eyes.
This helmet is designed to be beautifully compact and comfortable. It weighs only 625 grams and does not come with a headband to accommodate multiple sizes, shapes and hairstyles. The battery is rear mounted and has been designed to be carefully balanced for optimum comfort. This battery can also be removed and even hot swapped.
According to HTC, you should be able to use the headset for two hours before it needs recharging, but it also has a 30-watt fast-charging system, and you can connect a USB-C battery pack if needed. .
Battery life can also be extended if you stream content. For example, you can stream content from your Android smartphone, 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-purpose cases. It is designed to be portable and practical. You can access games directly with the headset via the Viveport, but you can also detach the battery and clip in some arms to turn the headset into a Vive Flow alternative. You can then watch content on the go with a battery attached.
The Vive XR Elite has four wide field-of-view cameras and can work with hand tracking. It also has the same controllers as the Vive Focus 3. But it also has passthrough cameras that are good enough to let you see text on your phone while wearing the headset.
Outside of gaming, you can also use this headset for productivity. You can use a virtual desktop mode that gives you three large screens where you can control things using your keyboard, mouse or hand tracking. You won’t necessarily use it to work all day, but you can.
HTC says there will be an expanding accessory ecosystem with eye-tracking and face-tracking add-ons in 2023, but those are optional upgrades, so you don’t have to worry about your privacy.
As with Focus 3, Vive XR Elite isn’t as affordable as Meta Quest 2, but that’s because Meta treats the end user as the product and recoups the value by selling ads. Something HTC won’t do.
You can pre-order Vive XR Elite starting January 5 and it will ship in February.
Written by Adrian Willings.