While the initial development of VR HMD’s (Head Mounted Devices i.e. headsets) is coming out of United States, Taiwan and Singapore, it is widely expected that the next generation of VR devices, and most progress will come out of China. There are over a hundred headset manufacturers, and while some have doubtful track record – there are many manufacturers that see VR as the ticked for their “place in the Sun”.
One such vendor is PIMAX. Thanks to David from Gearbest VR equipment etail store, we learned of an exciting headset coming out of Shenzhen, China. PIMAX 4K UHD Virtual Reality Headset could the the world’s most advanced VR headset. While HTC Vive and Oculus Rift both feature paltry 2.5 million pixels (only 1.25 million pixels per eye), PIMAX claims a full 4K resolution, 8.29 million pixels.
The 3840×2160 splits into two, giving users a resolution of 1920×2160 pixels per eye (2K), four times as much . We asked the manufacturer about the refresh rate of the headset, and it was stated that the panel uses very low 60 Hz refresh rate, with an “overdrive” function. We are withholding our recommendation until we see the production unit. The potential “overdrive” function seems interesting, as 4K panel ticking 90 times a second could represent the “silver bullet” that we are all waiting for. If you’re a pixel-per-inch lover, seeing a figure of 806 PPI should make you quite happy.
The dual 53mm lenses enable 110 degrees field-of-view (FOV) with adjustment between 58-71 mm from the eyes. This should enable good amount of space for users wearing prescription glasses. Six degrees of Freedom (6DOF) comes through built-in dual 1000Hz gyroscopes, accelerometer, magnetometer and light sensor. Features however, don’t end here. Unlike the vast majority of products coming out of Far East, the PIMAX team focused on reducing the potential health impact of VR headsets. There’s Blue laser eye protection, as well as auto light adjustment and auto-demisting systems.
PIMAX comes with bundled software, including the PiPlay driver which enables baseline Oculus and full Steam VR compatibility. We saved the best for last. Gearbest is selling the PIMAX 4K VR headset for just $349. That’s $50 more than $299.99 for OSVR’s Hacker Development Kit 1.4, upon this unit is remotely based, but also massive $249.01 cheaper than Oculus Rift. The difference in price is enough for you to go from a Radeon RX 480 or GeForce GTX 1060 to a GeForce GTX 1070 (and $20 more gets you the cheapest GTX 1080), and that’s a significant difference in performance for your VR experience.
We’ve acquired the unit and can’t wait to publish our review. If the headset is as good as it sounds, Oculus and HTC might be in trouble.