Mar 13, 2017 01:23 PM EDT
Meta 2’s Wider FoV, Cheaper Price Best Microsoft HoloLens, But Sound Quality A Deal Breaker
The augmented reality headsets market is welcoming another player in the field. The Meta 2 augmented reality headset delivers stunning performance at a price that will not hurt your wallet.
The recently launched Meta 2 seems to be bent on toppling Microsoft's HoloLens. At a price of $949, the Meta 2 Development Kit is obviously cheaper than the HoloLens' standard $3,000 price tag.
How will Meta 2 upstage the strikingly popular HoloLens? Meta's AR headset is larger, especially its back part, making it slightly uncomfortable to wear but the memory foam inside the headset makes up for it. The memory foam cushions the device and prevents the sides of your head from feeling too tired from the weight of the headset.
According to Mashable, the headset's front-facing depth sensors are equipped with a 270-degree field of view both for the real world and your hands. Sensors are capable of tracking head and body motion, and there's also quadrophonic surround sound speakers and a microphone array to further elevate the experience.
The headset's sharp 2,550 by 1,440 pixel resolution ensures high-quality mixed reality projections, Engadget pointed out. Meta 2's augmented reality window is bigger than the HoloLens, which makes AR experience in the former (90-degree field of view) more complete than the latter's 30-degree FoV.
Images in the Meta 2 cover your sights more and it doesn't require specialized gestures to interact with virtual objects. All users need to do is point at or grab virtual items.
The Meta 2, however, has its limitations. The device only functions when tethered to a laptop or PC with a separate graphic chip, though Meta is working on an untethered headset that will be unveiled next year. For now, some users can get irked over being tethered to a separate device.
The headset's sound quality didn't impress critics either. The device's four speakers aren't doing a great job in stopping audio from sounding shrill. Meta promised to improve the headset's sound quality via software improvements, but replacing their speakers may be a more helpful move than that.
You can pre-order Meta here. Expect the headset's price to climb up as its availability expands to more markets. The headset requires PCs running NVIDIA GTX 960 or AMD R9 280, Intel Core i7, 8 GB of RAM, 64-bit Unity 5.3x, Windows 8.1 64-bit or newer, 10 GB of internal storage and HDMI 1.4b for video. The PC's sound card should be compatible with Intel HD.