Full Pimax 8K and 5K Review

(I m by no means a professional journalist/reviewer, english is not my native language but you will get what I intent to say)

My 2nd day at IFA ended up in an unexpected journey every VR enthusiast would dream about. This time I had much more time interviewing the Pimax CEO, at which he was very generous to me explainging
things in great detail, and ofcourse comparing both headsets of its advantages and disadvantages. He even invited me for dinner afterwards where we ate high up in the TV Tower, famous in Berlin.
Big thank you again to Mr. Pan for his generosity!

But lets be formal and start the actual hands on review of both headsets and the 8K CLPL (low persistence liquid display) unit in particular.
In short both headsets have there strengths and weaknesses on very different VR quality aspects in such an even way that it will be a really though descision which one to chose, provided by the fact that the OLED version will actually be available at kickstarter.I will begin by adressing both headsets individually first then bring them face-to-face together for a final verdict.
My first try was again the 5K OLED version but this time the IPD was set correctly(well kind of) and I was able to form a much more indepth assesment of what experience this unit can deliver. The binocular overlap was allmost perfect, there was very little focusing problems at the center but I think the IPD was not at the ideal sweetspot and even if it was, the focusing problem was close to unnoticble.
I allready wrote about the colours and percieved brightness.In addition I would say the colours felt very intense and had a kind of popout effect on me which was really cool also the brightful image was very apparent to me. There was no real high contrast scene to evaluate the god ray aberration (I tested the underwater jellyfish demo). Maybe the orange jellyfish in contrast to the blue background and there I
didnt noticed any god ray artifacts. This time the outer edges of the screen were moderatly blurrier then last time but again maybe it was due to not perfect IPD adjustment.
So lets talk about screendoor effect for a moment. Oculus clevery disguised this weakness with its customized pixel array allignment and a very little desharpening by the frsnel lens setup just to hide lines between the pixels…that way you percieve allmost no sde on Oculus (IMO) but it cant fool you in delivering the actual sharpness (especcially on distant objects) a normal tv screen would give you.
The Pimax 5K OLED did not have this sde disguisment which resulted in a much more apparent sde visible to the human eye (similiar to the Vive) but the overall sharpness of the objects in front and more important at the distance were much better and it doesnt feel anymore like your overall vision is inpaired to only be cappable of looking 5-10 meters sharply like its the case for Oculus or Vive.

I think I covered most aspects about the 5K OLED version and now I will continue with the highly anticipated 8K CLPL model.
The ergonomics were identical to the other device except this time there was a little knob on the right side where you can adjust IPD. Also the weight felt very similiar to the OLED version.
As you guys might allready know the tracking cable were severely damaged by one of the IFA customers which ended up in disabling tracking for the controllers. Luckily we got it to work at some time and I was able to dive right into the 8K VR Madness. :wink:
Lets go with the focal overlap issue first. This time it was even less apparent compared to the optics of the OLED unit.Also the outer edges of the screen were super clear…close to no blurring, no distortion at all. Much better then at the OLED device but again it could be coz of no ideal IPD settings.
Next I will adress the overall color property and percieved brightness of the headset.
Jumping from OLED to CLPL was indeed quiete noticible on many metrics. The colors did not have this emissive glaring attribute which made each object stand out much more distinctively to the viewer. Also the percieved brightness performed lets say 15-20% less then the OLED counterpart which also can be contribued to the color pop out effet I described above.
But I would’t say that the image looked kinda washed out or undersaturated to me. The image was event out more in terms of colorful objects not pushing your subconscious eye in getting the most of attention.
Also the brightness was totally acceptible at least for me. Sadly I dont have a Pimax 4K to compare but I think the eye will adjust to brightness levels once it acclimated in the dark light sealed headset so percieved brightness will be higher the longer you are in the headset…right?
So lets continue with one of the prime feature this headset advertises…namely the resolution. I allready had this firm believe of how important the resolution is for the feeling of presence and the subcontious acceptation of the scenery but did not expect this huge jump in visual fidelity and the feeling of beamed right into this world. It truely was amazing and pushed all the drawbacks concerning color,brightness etc into the background. There was allmost no sde (screen door effect) visible but as dscribed above this can be missleading. The joy of focusing objects in its full detail was truely amazing even small objects in the distance (for expl.: the fish swarming around in the background) felt so much more lifelike due to the sharpness. I would say the immersion factor on this one was even higher then on the OLED device. This can also be contributed to the fact that the image felt noticibly more stable then the other unit. Contrary to belief you would expect that OLED beats CLPL in that regard (latency, motion stuttering) but this time the exact opposite was true which also greatly adds up to the immersion factor.Ohh by the way the demo was powered by a GTX 1080 (msi laptop).

Lets go further in bringing both headsets face-to-face togerher and discuss which one would be more suited for your applications. If you still reading…well thank you, youre a great person! :wink:
As I said in the beginning its a though choice. Both headset deliver so much quality on different dimensions that you really have find out for yourself which is best for you.If youre more of a color junkie then go with OLED allthough it all heavily depends on the application. For expl and game with a more darker serious setting (like Dark Souls, Metro) will most certainly look, from color,brightness aspect, the same if not better on CLPL then on OLED.If you play something like Mario then OLED would be king. Regarding the resolution on the 8K unit I really had the feeling which John Carmack once discribed as looking though a window (a 200° window) where your brain is fooled into thinking this is not a screen in front of your eyes but its actually real. I know I formulated it a bit dramatic but it comes close to what I felt in that moment. Adding up this and a smoother imageflow you have strong arguments to go for the 8K unit. Especially later on when you can crank up the resolution to full native 4K it should look insanely crisp. Anyway I hope I gave you some insights into the funcionality and quality aspects of the headset so that you can make an informed purchasing descision.

Thanks for reading and spread the word about Pimax!

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Thank you for sharing your experience with Pimax Team … I will go for LCD version … I prefer resolution. :slight_smile:

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but what about ghosting on LCD?

There was no image tearing if you mean that.

You see the edges of screens on the side or 200° is enough ?
and you ? you will choose the version oled or lcd?

It depends of how near you press the headset to your face. I was able to see the edges especially on the vertical spectrum.
Regarding LCD or OLED…its not at all safe to say that OLED will be availble for kickstarter but for me the LCD one overall impressed me more.

Nice review! What resolution was the 8k running?

Thank you!
I m not sure about it but I think 1440p upscaled to 4K on the 8K unit.

Pimax 4K has got a filter to protect eyes from LCD brightness. This was one of the reason I returned it since the image (the colors) are not true (like when you watch through sunglasses) compared to Oculus Rift CV1 that I own. My question is, does the new Pimax 8K LCD have the same filter?

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thanks. and presence effect ? did you feel that the fish was next to you?

@Kenny
I asked him the first day about the blue light filter and he stated that prototype units did not have them but for final version he was unsure.

@okok95
The stereoscopic effect was the same on both devices.

Sorry, I use the translator for English, my question is if you were like being next to the fish. the effect of presence. As for VIVE and oculus. Have the impression of being in front and not just looking at 3D screens

I think the LCD unit was more immersive for me as I stated above in my review.

Did he say something about steamVR compatibility ?

@DaHillersen
When he talked to you about native resolution did he say anything about being able to change to full 4K settings in Pi play?

I think what we all want to know is if we can use Full 4K resolution per eye?

For example if your computer has a 1080ti, Will you be able to change resolution settings to UHD 4K

Thanks for the review

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Thanks for the review. In regards to the manual IPD screw on the right side of the LCD version, did they mention what IPD it can get to.

Also if you move you head quickly is there a ghosting image tracking the light source… Like a mouse tracer? If you don’t know what this is have a look in the forum under pimax ghosting.

This for me was one of the biggest issues with the 4k.

Funally, how was the tracking, was it accurate and did it drift laterally… Did the controllers also stay tracked correctly?

Thanks

Eno

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This is essential indeed. But seeing that they’re using DP 1.4 we should be good. Even if somehow the panel only supports 4k compressed then DP1.4 supports that. But I think the panel supports 4k uncompressed.

I must admit I’m getting excited ! Let’s go with that kickstarter campaign, I’m going to be earlybird :slight_smile:

Based on DaHillersons review I will be pre ordering for sure. I just want to make sure it’s future proof. No hardware limitations that stop it from running native 4K per eye. Even if that support comes later or with a hack. As long as the hardware can handle it

@anon23564932 please can you confirm the displays will be able to do NATIVE 4K?

That was an awesome review! If i can swing it will go for tge 8k model for sure (though having the 4k fig the 8k would be great).

Now if only if the boss would give the raises i want. Lol

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Bro you have a pc no such thing as future proof. Lol