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on May 13, 2018
I own both the HTC Vive original model and the Vive Pro. You're reading this because you're trying to figure out which one to buy - the Vive original that's just over $400 or the Pro which is .. a lot more.

Short version - if you're new to VR and you're worried the Vive Original isn't good enough - it is. At $400+ it's a steal. You get so much value for what's an introduction price to typical consoles that you really can't go wrong. If you're waffling on your decision, go with the Original and you'll be a happy camper.

For those of you, like me, who are constantly asking "But what if this 'Pro' model is so much better?". It's nice - it's just not "Holy cow I'm so happy I blew my paycheck" nice.

Undoubtedly you've read the professional reviews so here's the non-professional review - the kind of advice you wished your best friend would just give you. They did everything right with this headset. It's more comfortable, the resolution chops down on the "screen door effect" that the pixelated original feels like, and it just feels like a more polished experience overall. Even the remote camera sensors are a bit sleeker.

The problem with this generation of VR is just that they can't deliver a "retina like" experience anywhere close to the price point consumers are willing to pay. So while the Vive Pro is better, we're still 2-3 years away from getting an experience that doesn't feel compromised.

You're still dealing with the issue of having to look dead straight to get the picture to resolve correctly. You can still see pixels, albeit fewer. The headset is still a bit wonky and heavy. It's still Gen 1 VR. Think of this as the Iphone S model upgrade where it's a bit better, but you're still a generation behind.

So I'd leave the decision tree like this -

1. Just testing VR and want to see if it's legit? Buy the Original

2. Totally enamored with VR and can appreciate a subtle improvement. Buy the Pro.

VR is amazing - and I say that as a total cynic. Even though there are only a handful of games out they are so immersive that it doesn't matter. Don't think of it like playing console or PC games. In this cases while the graphics are always getting better, the experience is the same. In the case of VR, even games I've played an unreasonable amount of hours on (like Fallout 4) on my PC feel like entirely new experiences.

One last caution - VR lasts maybe an hour at a time. After that, it gives you a bit of a headache. It sucks because you want the experience to keep going, but putting blinding screens an inch+ from your eyes for any period of time is gonna add up. Think of it more like a ride at a theme park than an all-night couch dwelling console session.
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on May 20, 2018
The ergonomics, link box, cabling, and resolution are great. But the lenses are subpar and are now the worst part of the visuals. The lenses create banding, blur around the periphery, and god rays. I can't wait until I can get aftermarket lenses for this thing to replace them.

You also can't change the brightness on the headset except to "night mode". I would like something in between. The default brightness is too bright, especially with the god ray problem this thing has. Currently, I just stay in night mode always, but I have to set it by hand every day.

The controllers have side buttons that are too easy to press. In games such as shooty-fruity, I constantly press the side buttons accidentally while pulling the trigger. Pressing the side button results in dropping the gun, which is really frustrating. The controllers also still use micro USB for some reason. $120 each seems like too much for these things.

Expect to buy your own longer Displayport->minidisplayport and USB Male-to-Male cords unless your play area is directly against the back of your PC.

The tracking is usually pretty good, but I had to remove some glass from the play area. Even now, every hour or so there's some kind of blip. What I don't understand is why this can't be detected. Why can't gameplay can't pause and why can't the headset can't go dark when it believes my headset literally teleported under the floor or shot 5 feet to the upper left at 400 mph? The game just keeps going and punishes you while you get a headache.

These faults are small enough that 5 stars would be possible if the system were $800 or less, but at $1300, it needs to be better.
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on June 21, 2018
Blown away!! This is my first VR headset. There are no words to describe the experience of putting this headset on for the first time. The experience felt as new and refreshing as if it was the first time I drove a car. Seeing is believing, and this system exceeded my expectations. This is what you call Next Level entertainment!!

Setting up the VR was easy. Just follow the instructions to the T. Dont try to perfect the base station setup as it adapts very well. You can tell the pride and quality of this product right out the box to the software setup instructions. You need at least an 11x11 room to get the maximum enjoyment. I had to move my game room to the dining room (who really uses a dining room anymore the way I convinced my wife) to accomplish this.

Putting the headset on was a breeze, and calibration was quick and simple. The VR headset turns on as soon as you activate the wands. This is where it gets cool. You actually draw your play area out with the wand. This then creates a play area grid. Anything you do in VR, it alerts you with a colored boundary grid so you dont run into stuff or hit something. I know there's not much hype on the sound quality, however I have A50s and the vive set right produces almost comparable sound.

Looking through the lens puts your mind and body into the game. Quality was close to HD, however not quite there yet. I didnt really notice any screendoor effect besides maybe some text that was easy to read. Tracking is to the T.

Gameplay is amazing! Super Hot was the first game I played and worth every penny. Crystal clear gameplay. I was amazed how the wands act as your hands and they track every bit of your motion. I experienced no lag. The refresh rate was well, refreshing. Dreadhalls was my second game. I went into it hardcore, talking to friends as I was playing. 2 minutes into it, I was completely immersed. The game freaked me out all the way to the noise and apparitions. It was a thrill and rush. It amazed me that something like this could really accomplish freaking me out cause I am a horror movie fanatic.

The only cons I can list are two things. If I hadn't been saving for a VR, I couldn't have afforded it. I jumped off the cliff as some friends of mine swore the quality of this device and they were not wrong. I think the headset could be cheaper to enthuse the gaming market. I'm no expert on marketing but something like this should keep HTC/Valve sold out of stock for the right price. I'm convinced now VR is very real and here to stay. My second complaint (currently being addressed) is the wire. You have to be very careful not to trip or yank the wire out of the link box. The wireless attachment I'm being told is almost ready and I'm impatient lol. That will be mandatory for me when it hits the market.

Bottom line, worth every penny. I have no regret in buying the Vive Pro. A few things to consider before buying: ensure you have adequate room, make sure your system can handle it by running the system test on Vives website. My 1080 Strix TI OC never broke a sweat. I suspect a 1060 would work well.
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on July 3, 2018
This is SO much better than the regular VIVE!

I play quite a bit of Fallout 4 VR and I thought I'd give the new VIVE PRO a shot. The difference was amazing. Everything used to look like it was smeared with KY or something. Now it's crystal clear. Sooo much better!

Definitely worth the cost for the upgrade if you're an early adopter!
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on May 16, 2018
I received the Vive Pro kit on May 10th. I was super excited to try it out as this was my first VR system. Unfortunately, one of the 2.0 base stations was dead upon arrival. I contacted HTC support and after 2 hours of troubleshooting they deemed the base station faulty. They then recommended that I return the kit.

I have since begun the process of returning the kit for a replacement and it has gone smoothly. I expect to receive a new kit within the week. It sucks to have to pay so much for this kit and an essential part of the system to be dead on arrival. However, it may have been an oddity.

Also HTC needs to update their installer for this kit. The installer has the Vive Pro headset in the installer. It didn't change the trackers which do not have channel indicators and it didn't update the LED light identifiers.

Overall I had a blast for my first VR experience. It's a shame that I have to spend so long without it.

Update: I have recieved my new Vive Pro as of 5/17/18 and all of the components are fully working. I'm very glad that Amazon's returns are extremely prompt and very easy to do.
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on June 3, 2018
Great picture makes you feel like you're actual in the game. Only issue I had purchased this for my laptop and the displayport cable wasn't compatible with it, I had to purchase another cable for it to work properly. For my laptop it was a mini displayport to mini displayport.
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on June 19, 2018
Good product, no problem at all.
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on May 13, 2018
...the additions to this HMD over the original Vive do not come even close to warranting the incredibly horrid price hike.

I have extensively tested this device (friend got it for work) but do not own one.

If we cast aside what they are charging for this (the HMD only is $800; keep that figure in mind later on), the Vive Pro is the best VR HMD I have used full stop.The image quality (taking into account the sharpness of the picture, the brightness, the FOV relative to screen resolution, ext) is equal to the Samsung Odyssey. The HMD also makes use of the SteamVR basestations which provide the most accurate tracking method available In my opinion, this is the most important thing regarding VR; tracking. Because of this, I believe this is what pushes this device past the Samsung Odyssey.

The issues with the Vive Pro are:

- Ergonomics. I know for a fact that HTC listened to enterprise feedback regarding what to change for the Pro versus the original Vive. Easier to put on, more short term comfort, ext. It shows in the final product. While it is very comfortable at first, I found that after about an hour it started to really show its fangs. The device is very front heavy. I tried adjusting the top strap multiple times (like with the original Vive utilizing the deluxe audio strap) but was not able to get it to be as comfortable as the Vive with the deluxe audio strap.If you plan on using the Pro for long periods of time, you might find it to be a little too uncomfortable.
- Sound. It might have just been the unit I was using but the audio sounds really bad. There has been a hotfix for this (steamVR hotfix) but my friend who owns the unit says the fix has not helped very much.
- Proprietary cable. The cable coming from the Pro HMD to the link box is proprietary. If you damage it, you HAVE to get a new one from HTC. This is the same company that has been charging an arm and a leg for ANY a la carte item for the Vive ecosystem.

The BIGGEST con for the Vive Pro in general is the cost-to-quality ratio. The Vive Pro by itself (HMD only package) is $800. That is $300 more than the Samsung Odyssey which has the same screens AND comes with its own controllers (granted worse tracked ones but regardless it comes as a full package). The Vive Pro full package (with basestations and controllers) is $1400. I personally do not believe that the Pro is worth this price point. I have more than enough funds to warrant purchasing this device but I cannot fathom the idea of supporting what HTC is doing here.

In my opinion, you are much better off buying the original Vive (full package) for $500, then additionally buying a Samsung Odyssey for $500 so that you pay $400 less for the same experience. You CAN utilize Windows MR HMDs with Vive controllers and trackers. The controllers and trackers will utilize the basestation and the controllers will communicate back to the Vive. You simply unplug the HDMI plug from the Vive (so that it is only transferring controller data) and follow the steps within this video to get the Windows MR HMDs to work with the other devices.

I will post helpful links on this subject in the comment's section of this review.

It is ridiculous to even notion getting this device. Is it the best assembly of parts for VR at this current moment? Yes, yes it is. However you will be paying an arm, leg, and kidney for it. If you have so much material wealth that you don't really value money, get this device. If you are looking for the best value on the market, get an original Vive with the deluxe audio strap. If you want the best experience for less than the Vive Pro, go the Vive controller and basestation route with the Samsung Odyssey.
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on June 10, 2018
One of the Base Stations made weird noises other than that the product is great
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on May 31, 2018
The helmet position was changing randomly in virtual reality after several minutes of playing. I don't know if it was a hardware or software bug. I had to return it.
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