Tech

HP Reverb G2 – Next-Gen VR Headset

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This is the new HP Reverb G2 and it’s made in collaboration with HP, Microsoft, and… Valve.

HP Reverb G2Oculus Rift SValve IndexOculus Quest
Display2 x 2.89” LCD1 x LCD2 x 3.5” LCD2 x 3.5” OLED
Resolution2160×2160 per eye1280×1440 per eye1600×1440 per eye1600×1440 per eye
Mechanical IPD AdjustmentYesNoYesYes
RGB Subpixel StripeYesYesYesNo
Frequency90 Hz80 HzUp to 144 Hz72 Hz
WeightStarting at 1.1 lbs.
(w/o cable)
Weight not publicStarting at 1.78lbsStarting at 1.25 lbs
(w/o cable)
TrackingCamera: 4 for tracking
Tracking area: Infinite
Tracking architecture: 6DoF
Camera: 5 for Insight tracking
Tracking area: Infinite
Tracking architecture: 6DoF
Tracking area: Up to 33’ x 33’
with SteamVR Base Station 2.0
Tracking architecture:
SteamVR Base Stations
Camera: 4 for Insight tracking
Tracking area: not available
Tracking architecture: 6DoF
Face MaskReplaceable magnetic fabric
face cushions, Velcro adjust
Rotary Dial adjust,
Passthrough +
Replaceable magnetic fabric
face cushions, knob adjust
Velcro adjust,
foam cushion
CableCables Included: 6 M
Desktop Cable
Cables Included: 5 M
Desktop Cable

6 meter cable
N/A

HP is not new in the VR industry. They started with the HP Windows Mixed Reality Headset in 2017 and then released the HP Reverb G1 VR Headset in 2019. Now, only a year after, a new version of the Reverb is coming: the G2.

So the G1 was more focused on commercial customers. It was a high-resolution headset with a large sweet spot for people like automotive designers who needed to see textures. That hasn’t changed, but what has changed now is that the Reverb G2 is going to be more focused on consumers too, like gamers. Not only that, but there are some significant hardware upgrades too.

The HP Reverb G2 will cost 599 US dollars. Pre-orders in the United States is available from May 28 2020 and pre-orders in other select countries like Europe and Asia will be available mid-June through July.

The G2 looks pretty different to the previous generation but this is still a Windows Mixed Reality headset with the same inside-out tracking technology so no need for external sensors. Except it now has 4 cameras instead of 2:
One at the left and right, and two in front. It is still 6-degrees of freedom tracking and you get two motion controllers with it, which are new iterations by the way, but more about this later.

It still boots in the Windows Mixed Reality software, so it will work with the same setup and it will have the same guardian and pass-through feature. Everyone with Windows 10 has this software installed. You only need Windows 10 and the May 2019 update installed on your PC. And since HP has partnered with Valve on this one, the G2 is of course also seamlessly integrated with SteamVR content. Existing WMR owners have probably already seen these updates if they use the SteamVR bridge.

You will be able to purchase one directly from HP.com, the SteamVR webpage or select channel partners that they will announce later. Shipping will start in the Fall of 2020.

Valve helped out in the hardware department too. One of those things is the speakers. The HP Reverb G2 will have the same speakers as the Valve Index. Valve Index is our go-to headset at the moment. It’s just the overall package, but what makes it stand out the most are its speakers. It has a spectacular sound that is directed into your ear. So even if you are playing with crispy clear sound, people around you won’t hear it as much, and you’re still able to communicate with them if you want. The speakers are removable, but there is no 3.5mm jack on the device, so if you do want to switch it, you’ll need wireless headphones or something.

The G2 is also going to have dual microphones but these are NOT the ones by Valve. They are actually the same ones as the G1.

The G2 also has lenses designed by Valve. These are not the same ones as the Index, but they are based on the same technology.

HP says the field of view is similar to that of the G1, which is around 114 degrees, but because of the new lens design which have a big focus on angular resolution, it can keep clarity out to the edge.

There is a manual IPD slider that allows you to adjust the distance of the lenses to match the center of your eyes. The range for this is 60 to 68 mm, which is similar to other SteamVR headsets.

The panels are 2.89 inch, full RGB stripe LCDs. But these are not the same panels as the G1, they are new panels with better contrast and brightness.

Persistence is reduced, as well as mura – at least when compared to the G1.

The headset still has the same 2160 times 2160 resolution per eye (4320 x 2160 total) and the refresh rate is still 90Hz.

So the FOV, refresh rate and resolution hasn’t changed much since G1, unfortunately.

The G2 has a new headstrap. This one is very similar to the Valve Index headstrap but it’s not the same. This design has 3 velcro straps, one at the left, one at the right and one at the top. However, the strap does not have an adjustment at the back like the Index does. But the front should also still retain the springs of the G1 that allows you to easily put on the headset without readjusting the straps.

The face cover is magnetic now, just like the Valve Index which should make it easier to put it on and off. The face cushion covers are also new. They say they doubled the surface area of the face and back padding which allows for less pressure on the face. And optional pads will be available for easier cleaning.These face cushions look exactly the same as the Valve Index one.

HP also said they designed the face cover and everything with attention to people who wear glasses. So most frames should fit.

G2 will also come with new generation 6DoF controllers. It has a new ergonomic design with a new button layout. There is no more trackpad, just thumbsticks, A + B and X + Y buttons. So yes this is more like other controllers, which is great as its easier for you to switch headsets.

But its also great for developers as it is easier if all major VR headsets have the same input layout.

The controllers are HP specific, but they are backwards compatible with all WMR headsets. So as the headset has the same resolution,the required PC specs hasn’t changed much since the G1.

In the box, you will get a 6 meter (that’s 19.6 feet) single barrel cable, which can bend in any direction so you should feel the cable dragging around less.

One end of the cable is a DisplayPort 1.3 and because the headset needs a bit more power, the other end is USB-C. The box will include a full-size DisplayPort to mini-DisplayPort adapter. For the USB-C connector, you’ll have the option to plug the USB-C cable to a port that has at least about 6 Watts of power (that’s a USB 3.2 Gen x2 port).

MARIAN

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