Pimax, known for wildly high resolution PC-connected VR headsets, has a new headset at 8K resolution that’s a lot more pleasant to stick your face into than the 8K headset it had last year, thanks to an improved head strap and softer, more luxurious faceplate.
Pimax Vision 8K X Specs
|Panel||LCD with RGB sub-pixels|
|Resolution||2x 3840 x 2160|
|Refresh Rate||Native: 75Hz; Upscale: 72/90/120Hz|
|FOV||Diagonal: 200 degrees; Horizontal: 170 degrees; Vertical: 115 degrees|
|IPD||55-75mm (via headset dial)|
|Tracking||SteamVR 1.0 and 2.0 6-DoF; Built-in 3-DoF sensor|
The Pimax Vision 8K X features two panels each at 4K resolution, a higher total resolution than any non-Pimax VR headset available to consumers today, making them the highest-res consumer VR headset available to consumers. And it shows.
At the CES tech show in Las Vegas this week, I used the 8K X with the Aerofly FS 2 flight simulator. Where other headsets can struggle outputting clear, well-defined lines, the 8K X’s image looked razor-sharp. From the speedometer, to an array of small buttons, everything was easy to take in without any distracting screen door effect, jagged or shaky lines or making me want to squint for a clearer image. Most impressive was how effortlessly I could read a safety warning in the plane written in very small print no bigger than the size of my pinky nail.
You can add hand tracking to the 8K X through a $170 module add-on. Without any controllers, I was able to see my hands in VR, take hold of the Yoke and steer the plane. Movement was very slow, however, so I’m curious about how well the 8K X can keep up with fast-paced action, like in games. An eye tracking module is also almost ready to be shipped in quantity, I was told, which should appeal to those with certain enterprise applications.
One of the things holding back VR headsets from becoming more mainstream is how clunky, heavy and unnatural they feel when wearing, especially long-term. The 8K X differs in the comfort department than the Pimax 8K from last year, with a wider headstrap and the addition of adjustment dial in the back. There's also some plush cushioning for the back of the head. Compared to the 8K, which had a thin foam face cushion that I almost felt like I could rip off with my hands, the 8K X boasts a softer and more dense velour-like material. I didn’t get hot or uncomfortable in it, although I wonder if that’d change if I spent a longer, or more stressful, amount of time in it.
And while this isn’t a comfort thing, the new headset has a rubberized outside instead of just plastic. Combined with the blue color and green chevron, the whole thing just has a more fun vibe to it than Pimax’s old plastic, black and aqua styling. But if green isn’t so fun to you, you can change the chevron’s hue with Pimax’s software.
My demo was a silent one, but Pimax told me the 8K X uses the same speakers as the Valve Index, and it also has two 3.5mm jacks.
Pimax will start shipping pre-orders of the 8K X this month. Those who want to buy it now will have to wait until April to get it in their hands. If you can stand the wait, it’s available for order now for $1,300 or $1,828 for the headset with Index controllers and base stations.