Last night Microsoft officially announced six new Mixed Reality headsets from manufacturing partners Dell, Samsung, Acer, Asus, HP and Lenovo.

The specs are all pretty similar with the Samsung model looking like the highest spec (and most expensive) model.  Here is how they stack up side by side.

Acer Asus Dell HP Lenovo Samsung
Display Res 2880 x 1440 (1440 x 1440 per eye) 2880 x 1440 (1440 x 1440 per eye) 2880 x 1440 (1440 x 1440 per eye) 2880 x 1440 (1440 x 1440 per eye) 2880 x 1440 (1440 x 1440 per eye) 2880 x 1600 (1440 x 1600 per eye)
Display Type LCD LCD LCD LCD AMOLED
Refresh Rate Up to 90 Hz Up to 90 Hz Up to 90 Hz Up to 90 Hz Up to 90 Hz
FoV 95 degrees 95 degrees 110 degrees 95 degrees 105 degrees 110 degrees
Audio 3.5mm Combo Jack 3.5mm Combo Jack 3.5mm Combo Jack 3.5mm Combo Jack -Built-in spatial AKG headphones

-Built-in dual-array mics

 

Tracking 6DoF, Inside out 6DoF, Inside out 6DoF, Inside out 6DoF, Inside out 6DoF, Inside out 6DoF, Inside out
Ports -HDMI 2.0
-USB 2.0
-HDMI 2.0
-USB 2.0
-Cable is 4m
2-in-1 HDMI 2.0 and USB 3.0 cable 2-in-1 HDMI 2.0 and USB 3.0 cable 2-in-1 HDMI 2.0 and USB 3.0 cable
Sensors -Accelerometer
-Gyroscope
-Magnetometer -Proximity Sensor
-Accelerometer
-Gyroscope
-Magnetometer -Proximity Sensor
-Accelerometer
-Gyroscope
-Magnetomer
-Accelerometer
-Gyroscope
-Proximity Sensor
Accelerometer -“Gyrometer”
-Compass(3 Axis)
-Proximity Sensor
-IPD Sensor
Dimensions 195.8  x 94.8 x 106.59mm 210 x 330mm (W x L) 127.8 x 338.8 x 176mm 202 x 131 x 111mm (WxDxH)
Weight 350g Under 400g 834.6g 645g
OS Support Windows 10 Fall Creators Update Windows 10 Fall Creators Update Windows 10 Fall Creators Update Windows 10 Fall Creators Update Windows 10 Fall Creators Update Windows 10 Fall Creators Update
Misc. Bundled with 2 motion controllers -Bundled with 2 motion controllers
-Face cushion has fast-drying, antibacterial coating
Option to bundle with 2 motion controllers Bundled with 2 motion controllers Option to bundle with 2 motion controllers
-Cortana voice control
-Keyboard and mouse input support
Bundled with 2 motion controllers
Availability Oct 17 Unannounced Oct 17 Oct 17 Oct 17 Nov 6
Price $400 Unannounced $350 (base)
$450 (bundle)
$450 $400
$500

(Table from http://www.tomshardware.com/news/windows-mixed-reality-hmds-comparison,35596.html)

In my opinion the Samsung or the Dell would be the ones to go for due to their wider field of view, something that aids deeper immersion and avoids a sense of tunnel vision.

The prices are slightly disappointing, being a little more than predicted, these are still not mainstream consumer prices but more competition in the market could drive prices down fairly quickly.  The minimum PC requirements for these headsets is a lot lower that the Oculus Rift or Vive, which certainly opens up their appeal to a more mainstream PC audience.  In contrast the Rift and the Vive require what would be considered a fairly good gaming PC.

Not much in the way of mixed reality applications was shown so despite the name these headsets look very much aimed at VR but the inside out tracking certainly makes them less fiddly than the Oculus Rift to set up, particularly important if like me, you don’t have it as a fixed installation and end up having to rerun the Oculus sensor setup every time you move it.