5K+ Impressions after 2 days

review

#1

Got my 5K+ on Friday and here is my impressions after 2 days of playing. (I have the Vive original as reference).

Positive:

  • No dead pixels
  • No black dots. I searched and searched for them, they are not here.
  • Color saturation / black level / brightness - all acceptable. No issues.
  • SDE is visible, but a finer grid. Not a big problem.
  • Tracking is solid, no issues.
  • Wide FOV is the best. I see no reason the use “Normal” or “Small” FOV. The outer edges are useless for anything but peripheral vision so not seeing them clear isn’t really an issue.

Negative:

Setup - I can’t explain all the steps of setup, but basically a lot of restarting Pitool, restarting steamVR, rebooting the computer, and eventually everything started working. Switching back to the Vive after having the Pimax working takes about 2 seconds. Switching back to the Pimax after having the Vive working takes a bunch of messing around and rebooting, pairing controllers, etc.

Distortion - Distortion is present at both the outer and inner edges of the lens. There are two things going on, but they mostly come together.

Distortion 1. Fishbowl effect. This is the image compressing at the edges before it disappears from view. The last sliver of view contains too many degrees view, and they are all squashed together. This only affects the outer edges, not really apparent in the rest of the view.

Distortion 2. Blur / smudge. This is the same effect as if you’ve looked through glasses and someone put a greasy fingerprint on it, or fog on the lens. This happens on the outer edge of the lenses in the same spots where the view is compressed, but there is also a band of smudginess on the inside edge of the lenses, just away from the nose.

IPD - Something is wrong with the way the image is displayed. Even on small FOV, it’s not easy on the eyes like a Vive. Something feels a little off. The feeling is of being walleyed, meaning your eyes point outwards. This is an uncomfortable sensation that is felt when using correct IPD settings. The way to reduce the feeling is by using a smaller IPD setting. However, by using a smaller IPD setting you increase the “fishbowl” effect. The only way to reduce the walleyed feeling without reducing IPD is to move the headset further away from your face, which leads to the next issue:

Head strap - This is the single biggest negative at the moment. Proper adjustment of the headstrap makes a huge difference in the perceived distortion, and also a “wrong feeling” on your eyes. The headset absolutely needs to sit further away from the face. Moving the headset away reduces the wrong feeling at larger IPD settings. I have a IPD of 67 and if I pull the headset away it feels good, but when it’s strapped down and tight it’s just wrong so I use a 63-64 IPD. (Which increases fishbowl distortion, but that’s more tolerable)

In the long run we need a way to articulate each lens while having the main unit mounted firmly against the face. Even foveated rendering will require this I am sure. The current headstrap is just inadequate.

There is a loop of cloth on the headstrap which you are intended to route your cable through. Don’t do it, the cable will pull on the headstrap from gravity and make positioning worse.

Eyelashes hit the lenses. - This is sort of related to the headstrap issue. The lenses are too dang close, never mind distortion. They get gunked up with eye grease quickly. I have deep set eyes and this is still a problem.

Face foam - Besides being too thin the face foam gets too sweaty too quickly. We need multiple face foams to use a fresh one while another one is drying out. And some sort of ventilation into the eye space would be wonderful.

Cord - The Pimax cord is the same length as the Vive cord, but the Vive linkbox it adds another 42". Long story short, the Vive cord was just barely long enough for a roomscale experience, and the Pimax cord without linkbox pushes that limit even lower. It’s easier to get tangled up in the Pimax cord, and easier to pull on it because it isn’t reaching far enough. A longer cord is definitely needed for some kind of overhead cable routing, but even just for normal use it feels too short.

Other - Center View output doesn’t work in Headset Mirror with Pimax. If you want to watch the action with your friend playing in VR, you must choose “Left eye” or “Right eye”. If you select “Center View”, it just shows a zoomed in Left eye. This is a disadvantage to the social aspect of the headset, without a center view it’s hard for friends to follow along.

Conclusion: Worth my money, but… The face adjustment needs to change. The cushioning and the whole face articulation. If that doesn’t happen then it’s basically a tie with the Vive because the Vive is a lot cheaper and less hassle, and less stress on the eyes.


#2

Dude, yes. What you call blur, I think is also what I call in another post “Fresnel rings”. I do have to frequently clean the lenses from smudges too, though.

I hadn’t tried to pull the headset away, but that drastically helps with those rings. And I too hit my eyelashes on the lenses from time to time.

I appreciated the suggestion to lessen the IPD. I should be a 64, but 60 was better, which I think is the minimum.

As for the strap, if you went all in, we are due a 10m cable at some point.

Since you have a Vive, I assume you aren’t seeing any drift. Just in writing this, in BigScreen, the room has moved about 30 degrees clockwise on me. I don’t have lighthouses, so I don’t know whether that would fix things or not. My brother has a previous Vive and so no drift with his Pimax.

The cushion and headstrap are crap. I’m hoping the better one we’re due will fix that. Meanwhile, bleh.

I think I agree with everything else you said. We should tag the Pimax guys so they see your post.

@Matthew.Xu


#3

That should fix the drift. You only need 1 for seated games.


#4

After using it for a few hours most of those issues seem to disappear as you get used to the feeling of a different HMD, the only thing that doesn’t get better is the cable length, that is actually quite annoying :wink:


5K+ Fresnel Halos are really bad
#5

Yes, I forget about them especially after using my “hacks” like reduced IPD. The problem was when I went back to the Vive for my Wow moment and realized there was still some appeal there.


#6

Oh maan, shorter cord length will be a problem for me, because the cord length from the vive plus the cable from the link box is the minimum i need for my playspace :(.


#7

Cables are definitely too short. Just buy extensions. I bought some on Amazon and they work fine.


#8

Extensions do work. Maybe if someone has time to collect the info we can sticky a list in the 5k 8k directory of brands that are known to work.


#9

Looks like you need to double up your face foam. Its needed by many.


#10

I totally agree with your review of the 5K+. I just received mine and ran into the same issues, and unfortunately mine has dust or something in the left lens. Setting it up took quite some effort, the headset wouldn’t track at first, then the lighthouses wouldn’t be recognized, and finally I had difficulty getting one of the wands to be tracked. Eventually, after an hour of rebooting and restarting PiTool and SteamVR the device was finally recognized. I found that pressing the power button on the headset helped to get it recognized, even if it was already on. I too ran into the issue of my eyelashes rubbing the lens in a slight uncomfortable way, which also led to eye smudges on the lenses and needed constant wiping. What I ended up doing was the Deluxe Audio Strap mod this weekend (I had ordered the 3D parts prior to receiving my Pimax), and instead of using the Pimax foam, I switched to the slightly thicker Vive foam. This dramatically improved the entire Pimax experience. Using the shorter 3D printed DAS mod clips is limited to how tight it can get compared to the Vive, so if you have a small head you may need more foam to make up for it. Mine fit pretty well, but I would like it a tiny bit tighter so I ordered the 20mm DAS foam kit from VRCover. With the new foam it’ll be perfect. Using the modded DAS on the Pimax with the Vive foam made it so much more comfortable and easier to put on. I’m using the 3D printed parts in black and looks like it’s made for it. Also my eyelashes are no longer rubbing the lenses. I would highly recommend doing this, just make sure you order the 20mm foam kit for the DAS as well. Be careful attaching the 3D printed parts, as some people have cracked theirs trying to attach them to the arms. I was able to attach both of mine without removing the rubber insert around the lenses. With the DAS attached, the Pimax now feels like it should.


#11

great to hear that. you can attach pictures to see that?


#12

Sure thing, when I get home this evening I’ll snap some pics of it.


#13

The cord length of the Pimax is 5m same as the Vive without the link box.


#14

There are some topics & links in the 5k 8k Directory in the banner for a wide variety of things. Vive Das mods included.


#15

Yes, you are right. The entire difference is the linkbox, which adds 42".


#16

So 1m extension. Think just about any brand will work if you want something so short. :beers::smirk::+1::sparkles:


#17

Honestly another 3m would be welcome, the Vive was borderline length already. If you’re going through the trouble of getting an extension might as well make it a comfortable length.


#18

I’d have swapped a longer cord for the £100 voucher we got off for swapping from 8K to 5K tbh…maybe they should have thought about these things, I guess the cracks are starting to show through in backing a Chinese kickstarter, no offence but it’s been a hurried mess, I’ve been waiting like 2 weeks for a support reset link lol and Chinese new year just came, if Pimax want to get a piece of the VR pi[pardon the pun] they’re going to have to do things a bit different in the west… 2 weeks off for a holiday is a potential loss of millions, where they excel in hardware they equally fail in everything else :confused:


#19

Support desk is reported to be working again by Sean & @DrWilken has verified. I would imagine the 10m cable option can likely be selected.

But will need someone at pimax to verify.

@Dallas.Hao @Sean.Huang @PimaxUSA

I imagine things will start to be more stable. Imho just not enough staff to help shoulder the workload. The Kickstarter was very successful in funding which is great; but has created growing pains as a result.

But with Kevin’s hiring & the Europe partner this is steps towards stablization. With our support & patience being key.

We already have a great community to help them & each other. :beers::sunglasses::+1::sparkles:


#20

i think its not working yet,i still dont get any replies on my questions,

@Dallas.Hao @Sean.Huang @PimaxUSA

SUPEN-1572