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CES 2023: HTC shows off their Quest 2 competitor, the VIVE XR Elite

by: John -
More On: CES 2023 VIVE XR Elite

HTC has been teasing their next VR headset for a little bit now and today they've taken the wrap off of their latest product. The HTC VIVE XR Elite is an all in one VR headset that can work without being tethered to a PC.

For optics, I'm assuming it's still LCD with a resolution of 1920x1920 per eye and a 90hz refresh rate. That refresh rate seems a little low when compared to whats out there now, but maybe it can be upgraded with a firmware upgrade like the Quest 2 was. The resolution is slightly better than the Quest 2's 1920x1832 per eye and the Quest Pro's 1920x1800 per eye. What does seem really good is the FOV which HTC has at 110 degrees. That doesn't match the Vive Pro 2's 120 degrees (although in our review it seemed less) and Valve Index's 120, but it is significantly more than the Quest 2's 90 degrees. We'll see once people get their hands on it if it is 110 degrees.

This is the second HMD I've seen that has a diopter adjustment per eye so for those who wear glasses and fall into the adjustable range, you can set it to your specifications and not have to worry about add-on lenses or wearing glasses at all. Unfortunately. for me who also rely on having prism lenses even though my prescription isn't that bad, I'll probably have to still use glasses. As with their other HMDs, there's an IPD adjuster as well.

Since this is a stand alone headset, there's some battery and processing unit inside the VIVE XR Elite. The Snapdragon XR2 powers the headset, which seems to be the VR chipset of choice from the various VR HMDs I've seen lately.  HTC says it has a 15 hour battery life, which seems a ton, but at least it's placed behind the head to help balance out the HMD. The Quest 2 is rather front heavy with the battery inside the front so having it in the back seems like a good design choice as a counterweight.

Cameras track your headset and controller, but the VIVE XR Elite also has some nice RGB cameras for high quality pass through. Hopefully, that means we get some good AR experiences as well as VR as well with this one.

It doesn't look like the controllers have cameras on them like the Quest Pro so it most likely will be limited in terms of tracking similar to the VIVE Cosmos without the Elite faceplate. Let's hope the software developers have improved on their tracking algorithms for the VIVE XR Elite as that was one of the issues I had with the VIVE Cosmos.

Something really cool is you can remove the rear head cradle and snap in regular temples for a much more portable VR solution. I currently use the Neal Air for viewing media on the go and while the VIVE XR Elite still seems a little large, it might be a good option if you want to say take it on the plane or a train. The temples have spring hinges too so that should help with keeping the arms from bending or breaking.

The VIVE XR Elite will support attachments as well. The video shows off what looks like an eye tracking unit that can slot right in, which would be pretty damn cool.

You can pre-order one right now for $1099, which is significantly less than a Meta Quest Pro. It's got a lot of interesting features and hopefully, we can snag one for review when it's released.