Acer held a global press conference yesterday, and while they briefly showed off their Mixed Reality headset, which is expected to be Microsoft’s official development device, they did not spend much time talking about the HMD.
They did, however, give journalists some hands-on time with the device, and UploadVR, who had a hands-on with the device before at GDC, reports the latest version is much improved, fixing a number of critical issues.
Firstly they report that the features which worked well in the past continue to perform well in the latest model. That includes robust inside-out tracking which does not need external beacons and maintains tracking even with robust jumping around. The flip-up feature of the headset once again made it easy to integrate the device into your workflow, allowing users to easily jump in and out of VR, and even wear their glasses at the same time. The Windows Mixed Reality environment once again impressed, offering a full operating system complete with apps, rather than being a basic launcher like Oculus Rift or HTC Vive.
The new version however fixed an important issue of low frame rate, with the frame rate of the headset’s dual 1440 x 1440 screens having been upped to 90 fps, meaning motion blur is much reduced. The screen remained crisp and comparable in performance with the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.
Acer also increased the length of the cord which tether the headset to your PC to around 13 feet, now allowing plenty of movement, and the headset remained a light and comfortable 360g.
Overall, the Acer Mixed Reality Development Edition headset is a major improvement over the previous Windows prototype we tried. With accurate tracking using inside-out tech, a quality screen, and comfortable ergonomics, this is shaping up to be a solid release. Though we will have to wait for future details and developments to give it a proper comparison to the Rift and Vive — with the lack of an OLED screen being the most notable difference between those systems and Acer’s.
Acer did not announce a release date or pricing at the event but did they did say they expected to be the first on the market, and there are some rumours Microsoft may give away the headset at Build 2017.
Read more at UploadVR here.