HTC’s Vive Focus mobile VR headset uses the same lenses, displays as Vive Pro

A recent hands-on preview of HTC’s Vive Focus mobile virtual reality headset reveals that the device, currently only available in China, relies on the same lenses and displays that will be used in HTC’s next-generation VR headset for the PC: The Vive Pro. It serves as a “premium” alternative to other stand-alone VR headsets sold on the Chinese market, sporting premium components and a premium price tag of around $525 before tax. 

As previously reported, the Vive Focus doesn’t rely on an inserted smartphone. Instead, it contains everything you need for an untethered virtual reality experience. Powering this headset is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor typically found in high-end smartphones. Behind each lens is a 1,600 x 1,440 OLED display, higher than the 1,280 x 1,400 per-eye resolution seen with Lenovo’s Mirage Solo headset. Combined, the Vive Focus has a maximum resolution of 1,600 x 2,880. 

As for other features, the Vive Focus sports a refresh rate of 75Hz, slightly below the vomit-preventive 90Hz rendered by the HTC Vive and upcoming Vive Pro. It also provides a 110-degree field of view, a micro SD card slot, built-in Wireless AC connectivity, a built-in battery, and sensors for tracking movement and position. There is no need for a tethered PC or external sensors to track your movements through physical space. 

Typical “mobile” VR headsets rely on a smartphone to provide all the hardware, such as Samsung’s Gear VR. In this case, the headset relies on a single screen at 2,560 x 1,440 that is divided into two views of 1,280 x 1,440. Audio either travels through the phone’s included headphone jack or its built-in speaker. 

One problem with this setup ties directly into performance: It’s a phone after all, so there are multiple tasks running in the background associated with the carrier and messaging along with services related to social networks, Google Play, and so on. Juggling all those processes on top of a VR experience can be taxing on the processor. 

Outside eliminating the smartphone, a stand-alone VR headset doesn’t deal with all those processes, but instead focuses solely on VR. Manufacturers are also beginning to incorporate full-motion sensing with world-tracking abilities so you can experience and move around in VR without worrying about bumping into furniture, walls, people, annoyed pets, and tripping over cables. 

Vive Focus includes a fan to keep the innards cool while the Snapdragon chip does all the rendering and motion processing. This essentially allows the chip to provide better performance versus the same non-cooled chip throttling back because it’s simply getting too hot within the confines of a smartphone. You don’t want a hot chip sitting close to your face, either. 

The headset itself provides six degrees of movement — forward/backward, left/right, up/down, and three perpendicular axis — while the included controller simply tracks your hand movements (three degrees). Unfortunately, it’s still a mobile-class device; you’re simply not going to see the same high-resolution visuals generated on the PC-tethered Vive and Vive Pro headsets. 

Ultimately, the availability of premium content on Vive Focus will depend on developers and how well they take advantage of the hardware. 

Computing

Steam survey shows PC gamers are still mostly playing in 1080p and lower

Valve Software’s latest hardware and software survey for July 2reveals that 63.72 percent of Steam’s registered members still play games with a 1080p resolution. Even more, only 1.14 percent are playing at a 4K resolution.
Computing

Pricing and lack of content are still barriers against the adoption of VR

A recent survey questioned 595 VR and AR professionals about business growth in the consumer and enterprise markets. Only 24 percent report strong sales in the enterprise while 18 percent show strong sales in the consumer market.
Computing

Lenovo’s new mobile workstations pack a punch with Xeon CPUs, Quadro graphics

Lenovo has two new mobile workstations arriving at the end of August based on eighth-gen Intel Core and Xeon processors. The ThinkPad P1 is the thinnest of the two at 0.7 inches while the bigger ThinkPad P72 measures 1 inch.
Computing

Need to work from the road? Here are the 5 best laptops with LTE

Although a smartphone can serve as a hotspot for your laptop, where's the fun in that? If you're looking to eliminate that burden and surf the internet without a tether, we list five of the best laptops with LTE you can find.
Computing

Gaming on a laptop has never been better. These are your best options

Gaming desktops are powerful, but they tie you down to your desk. For those of us who prefer a more mobile experience, here are the best gaming laptops on the market, ranging from budget machines to maxed-out, wallet-emptying PCs.
Computing

A dead pixel doesn't mean a dead display. Here's how to repair it

Dead pixel got you down? We don't blame you. Check out our guide on how to fix a dead pixel and save yourself that costly screen replacement, or an unwanted trip to your local repair shop.
Computing

Asus claims ‘world’s thinnest’ title with its new Zephyrus S gaming laptop

The Republic of Gamers arm at Asus is claiming “world’s thinnest” with the introduction of its new Zephyrus S gaming laptop measuring just 0.58 inches at its thinnest point. The company also revealed the Strix SCAR II.
Computing

Intel teases new dedicated graphics card slated for 2020 release

Intel has confirmed plans to launch a dedicated graphics card in 2020. Although precious few details exist for the card at this time, it was silhouetted in a recent Intel video showcased at Siggraph 2018.
Computing

AMD Threadripper 2990WX hits 6GHz under liquid nitrogen overclock

AMD's Threadripper 2990WX was already powerful when it debuted with 32 cores and 64 threads, but one overclocker has used liquid nitrogen to push a single core up to 6GHz for a new world record.
Computing

Arm’s future CPU designs may finally catch up with Intel in laptops by 2020

Arm publicly revealed its CPU road map for the first time, covering designs to be released through 2020. Typically disclosed under an NDA, Arm revealed its plans to show how its CPU designs will advance the always-on laptop.
Photography

Color grading pushes Pinnacle Studio 22 toward more pro video editing features

Designed for videographers that aren't pros but aren't basic users either, Pinnacle Studio 22 expands its advanced tools with color grading and four-point editing. The updates bring more advanced tools to the platform.
Emerging Tech

Buying on a budget? Here’s all the best tech you can snag for $25 or less

We live in a world where you can get a cheeseburger for $1, a functioning computer for $5, and thousands of HD movies for $10 -- so it stands to reason that you should be able to pick up some pretty sweet gear for $25.
Computing

Australian student hacks into Apple, steals 90GB of data because he’s a ‘fan’

A 16-year-old student in Australia broke into Apple’s network multiple times for an entire year to download 90GB of “secure” data and access customer accounts. He did this because he was a "fan."
Computing

Is your PC safe? Foreshadow is the security flaw Intel should have predicted

Three new processor vulnerabilities have appeared under the 'Foreshadow' banner. They're similar in nature to Meltdown and Spectre, only they steal data from different memory spaces. Here's everything you need to know.