Apple's Vision Pro finally goes on sale on February 2, a date that is just a few days away. So far Apple has tightly controlled the experience of people spending time with the headset which has led to somewhat sanitized experiences. But that all changes today as new hands-on and early review reports start to hit the internet, and many of them are saying the same thing.
As some had suggested, the arrival of the Vision Pro could prove to be a watershed moment for the world of Spatial Computing, but it's still very early days. That's a sentiment that appears to run through the early reports, whether in text or video form, and it's clear that Apple still has plenty of work to do.
While it will be most interesting to see how people get on with the Vision Pro after spending $3,499 (or more) on it later this week, these early reviews are the best we have to go on right now. And we've rounded up all the biggest and best reports right here.
Our colleagues at Tom's Guide were able to spend some time with the Vision Pro ahead of release and have an early review available. That review explains how impressive Apple's visionOS system is in terms of tracking the Vision Pro wearer's hands and eyes during use, while the AR experiences offered are great. But the headset's price is hard to get beyond, while the tethered battery situation can cause some annoyance. Apple's Persona technology still needs work, we're told, while the lack of Netflix and YouTube apps will no doubt irritate fans of those streaming platforms.
Notably, the Tom's Guide reviewer notes that "after wearing the Vision Pro on and off for several hours, I didn’t find it uncomfortable to wear, but I did feel like taking periodic breaks because of the heft." They went on to add that they "also got some light red marks on my cheeks." That may help assuage some concerns about the headset's weight, although an individual's mileage may vary here.
Video reviews from The Verge, MKBHD, and more
While the reviews do generally suggest that the response to the Vision Pro will be largely positive, the issues that do crop up tend to be repeated throughout all of these early reviews. The battery situation and the high cost are undoubtedly two that jump out, although they are far from surprising.
On the subject of the battery, CNET explains exactly how it works — something that hadn't been made entirely clear until now.
"The battery cable to the Vision Pro is odd – it's a locking, unique circular attachment that needs to be slotted in at an angle and then turned to lock in place," the report explains. "It's to prevent losing power when using Vision Pro, but it also means you can't use a regular USB-C cable to power up or charge the headset unless you route it through the Vision Pro's large, heavy battery, which weighs about 0.75-pound." The lack of a universal charging option is a disappointing one, no doubt. As for the inconvenience of having a battery flopping around, CNET's report says that they "just put the battery beside me, and sometimes tuck it in my pocket. The fabric-covered cord to the battery, which isn't removable, is long enough to tuck nearby but not long enough to snake across a room."
One area that appears to be a real winner is Vision Pro's integration with Macs. The Tom's Guide report outlines that. Reviewer Mark Spoonauer said that he "had a similar WTF moment — in a good way — when I just looked at my MacBook to connect and supersize its display on the wall in front of me. Then I pinned the Apple Music app to the left of my desk and Slack to the right. This is what Apple means by spatial computing."
It's this kind of integration that makes the Vision Pro a potential must-have for those ensconced in the Apple ecosystem. The price will still be a problem, of course, but with rumors of a cheaper Vision Pro in the works we have to assume the economics will change greatly in the coming years.
More from iMore
Master your iPhone in minutes
iMore offers spot-on advice and guidance from our team of experts, with decades of Apple device experience to lean on. Learn more with iMore!
Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.
Regarding the battery pack attached to the headset via the wire: Does the battery pack power the headset or are there batteries IN the headset? Does the headset operate on its own without the wire to the battery pack? MKBHD bemoaned the "odd" connection to the battery pack and having to have the external battery pack at all, but I would think having a 1 pound or more battery pack as a part of the headset would make it extremely uncomfortable. And I have always thought that the headset itself does not contain any sort of battery to power the device, that the power supply for the headset is that battery pack you wear on your hip.Reply
ggore said:Regarding the battery pack attached to the headset via the wire: Does the battery pack power the headset or are there batteries IN the headset? Does the headset operate on its own without the wire to the battery pack? MKBHD bemoaned the "odd" connection to the battery pack and having to have the external battery pack at all, but I would think having a 1 pound or more battery pack as a part of the headset would make it extremely uncomfortable. And I have always thought that the headset itself does not contain any sort of battery to power the device, that the power supply for the headset is that battery pack you wear on your hip.
The battery pack powers the headset. The headset down not operate without any power from the battery pack.
Completely agree would prefer the battery on the hip than on your face .
However the battery pack is actually larger in capacity Then what was previously speculated and reported.