With Apple estimated to have shifted around 180,000 Vision Pro headsets over its first pre-order weekend last month, initial reports indicated a slow uptake on the latest development from the world’s biggest company by market capitalization.
The sales pitch from Apple describes “an infinite canvas that transforms how you use the apps you love.” The ability to see your apps in front of you, arranged as you wish for the perfect workspace, all whilst moving between real and virtual realms. It sounds impressive and it is, but to what extent? This substantial headset has the potential to be a game-changer but it remains to be seen if people will take to wearing it, as well as carrying around a very expensive piece of equipment.
All the pre-orders are on the way to consumers, but if you are yet to be sold on buying the headset, you will want to read more. Here is a rundown of some of those reports on the mixed-reality device from Apple.
‘Most innovative product since iPhone’
Global editor-in-chief of Tom’s Guide, Mark Spoonauer, lauded the hand and eye-tracking technology as well as the 3D spatial video playback embedded in the Vision Pro.
He approved of the design spec of the headset but opted to take regular breaks from wearing it due to its weight. Spoonauer believes the software is “still in its early stages” in some aspects, with the App Store devoid of several key apps at this time and he noted a gripe with the tethered battery. He rightly draws attention to the high price point ($3,499) with the suggestion that a breakthrough could come with another version of the Vision Pro at a lower, more accessible price for the mass market.
Overall, the Tom’s Guide chief insisted this is “the most innovative Apple product since the original iPhone”, which includes an abundance of immersive environments and significant capability to multitask.
Nilay Patel, editor-in-chief of The Verge coined an interesting paradox with the description of Apple’s creation as “the best consumer headset anyone’s ever made – and that’s the problem”.
He was effusive in his praise for the magic of the Vision Pro whilst tempering the positivity with reality. Patel considered if the headset was too advanced, questioning if it could become another market leader (like the iPhone) or end up a niche product. He also noted a sense of isolation in the mixed-reality environment.
‘Familiar and distinct’
Further reviews came from Tech Radar’s Lance Ulanoff, who required just half an hour to be convinced Vision Pro is “the real future of virtual and augmented reality”. He was blown away by his initial experience of the “mixed-reality headset that is at once familiar and wholly distinct.”
Despite the glowing approval, Ulanoff too balked at the price of the product which will surely be succeeded by other, cheaper releases in order to penetrate the market.
The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern expressed a similar sentiment.
Following a week-long trial with the Vision Pro, she described a work in progress that “you’re probably not going to buy”. The first-generation release was also deemed as “big and heavy, its battery life sucks, there are few great apps and it can be buggy”.
CNET’s Scott Stein described a “thrilling” experience but overall, awarded the Vision Pro a score of just 7.8 out of 10.
His words of a “mind-blowing look at an unfinished future” appear to aptly represent the immediate prospects for this impressive yet imperfect version of Apple’s mixed reality headset.
Popular tech YouTuber Marques Brownlee echoed those thoughts, “I love this thing, not because it’s flawless – it is far from flawless – but because it’s actually interesting…but this [holds Vision Pro], this thing is interesting it’s risky but most of all it’s new.”
Feature image: Apple