Backer 441: Quick 5k+ impressions (Milopapa)

review

#1

(copied from my original Reddit post)

This isn’t going to be super detailed, but I thought I’d share some initial impressions after a couple of hours with the 5k+.

Packaging : a lot better than expected, fully consumer quality, similar to the Vive actually. Nothing to complain about here.

Setup was not easy, wouldn’t track for a while (file deletion, service restarts did the trick eventually). Software seems pretty unreliable.

Picture clarity: beyond imagination! Everything is really sharp, SDE is close to nonexistent. Pixels are not really visible, aliasing and pixelshimmering is. There is the slight 5k pattern on homogenous surfaces but it’s not disturbing. The ability to see distant objects clearly and also being aware of peripheral action is breathtaking. I kept murmuring swearwords in my astonishment while walking around in Onward.

Optics : the edge distortion is annoying at first when you look for it but you quickly forget about it in games. There is some slight fuzziness though that I can’t get over: feels like smudgy glasses. I’ve yet to understand what causes it, seems to be related to headset positioning: the sweet spot is pretty small, you need to make sure you place it right to get the best possible picture. I can see god rays but it’s related to position again. Sometimes it’s there, sometimes it isn’t. I didn’t notice the sideways shrinking some mentioned on the forums.

Comfort : pretty good actually, although I will replace the face foam. It doesn’t feel right - the cheek part needs to be thinner, the nose part needs to be thicker: quite a lot of light is visible around my nose. Oh, and the cut in the foam for glasses is super annoying as it lets light in when you have lights behind you in the room. An integrated headphone solution can’t come soon enough, I guess I’m spoiled by the DAS (which I’ll probably transplant to the Pimax).

Performance : Onward played smoothly without hickups (apart from loading), but sims (Elite, IL2) have trouble keeping up. I kept everything default though at this point, so SteamVR 100%, PiTool 1.0. Probably by lowering one or the other I could get it to be smoother. My rig is really high end (8700k@5.1GHz, 2080Ti) so that’s disappointing. Will need to tweak it.

Picture quality : black levels are ok in most games, but horrible in Elite: Dangerous. Dark gray at best and a little immersion breaking. Maybe one can get used to it over time, but if they can provide software adjustments without losing too much quality, that could make a lot of difference. Colors seemed to be good, not as vibrant as an OLED but acceptable, especially in bright scenes.

FOV : I’m not especially overwhelmed BUT my Vive was in storage since August as we moved to a new house and I had to construct a man cave in the basement and I only just got it to a usable state. So my memories about a ski google is somewhat hazy. I might dig up my Vive for comparison. I see quite a bit of the black frames though, more than I expected. Having said that, wearing the Pimax feels natural.

Overall : even though I know I don’t sound too enthusiastic, despite its minor flaws (black levels, some fuzzy optics), this device is a game-changer. The clarity alone is worth it and combined with the wide FOV this takes consumer VR to the next level. I really wish this can mature into a consumer grade device (it’s close but not quite there yet, mostly due to software) and get wide-spread adoption, and then give birth to the next generation of Pimax products.


Backer #441: Detailed review after two weeks with the 5K+
#2

thx for your impressions!


#3

Nice! But hey, dig up that Vive again for a fast side-by-side and you will be happier than ever about your Pimax :grin: Thats the moment u realize VR has taken big steps with wide FOV!


#4

i dont understand why people cant notice the difference in fov that much, the difference seems huge


#5

Well what I did underestimate myself is that it’s peripheral vision that’s being added. So although it does feel more ‘natural’, I can understand why some people won’t have their minds blown. It’s more like, somebody described, “a problem solved”.


#6

Because your actual focus area (unless you move your eyes quite a bit) is narrower than 100 degrees so as Sjef says, you „only“ get peripheral areas added to the view. This is why I, if I had designed a new headset, had probably settled for much lesser increase in FoV (say around 130-150 horizontally) and rather increased the resolution per degree in the narrower FoV. But still the second-best improvement is an improvement, and it has a subtle but still at the end quite valuable effect. It‘s just not necessary that much of an „in your face!“ effect, you know…


#7

I agree with you that i would also like to see a 140ish FOV with all the pixels used of the 8k.

Pimax, please make another lens! - I know, mold is expensive so it will not happen…


#8

Hopefully we can see a higher panel utilization in future models from Pimax. And i agree 140-150 degrees FOV is more than enough in most cases. Even the difference going from Vive FOV to Pimax small FOV is quite dramatic, in my opinion.