The Pimax 8K VR headset isn’t actually 8K, but it’s still pretty cool

pimax 8k vr headset 2
Sometimes it feels like CES is all about big numbers — whoever plants their flag in the biggest, most impressive spec, wins. Pimax is a Chinese startup company which made waves in 2017 with its virtual reality headset that it claimed was the first 8K VR headset. The promise of the highest-resolution VR experiences won over nearly 6,000 backers invested more than $4.2 million into the Kickstarter campaign.

Here at CES 2018, we got to try out the newest iteration of the company’s VR headset. It still promises an 8K resolution, but now includes head-tracking technology this time around, which was missing in previous models.

Before we move any further, it is important to point out the marketing trick being used surrounding the phrase “8K VR headset.” The actual resolution of the headset is a pair of 3,840 x 2,160 LCD displays. Now if you add those up, you might get 8K — but as we all know, that’s not how 8K or virtual reality works! So while the marketing might be a little suspect, the experience of VR in the two 4K displays is certainly still something special.

We tried out the popular VR app TheBlu, which puts you into a deep sea environment. What we noticed right away was just how incredibly crisp the images were. It was most noticeable when something like a massive jellyfish floated right by our vision. The amount of detail you can make out in VR really is stunning. But the resolution isn’t actually the most exciting thing about Pimax’s VR headset: It’s the field of view.

At 200 degrees, it’s got the widest field of view of any VR headset we ever used. Compared to other premium headsets, the wider view makes it feel like you’re much more present in the scene, and less like your looking through a black box. The human eyes’ natural field of view is 220 degrees, so the Pimax headset gets closer to that experience. The result is quite impressive.

pimax 8k vr headset

The closest competitor in terms of pure specs was also announced this year at CES: The Vive Pro. On its high-end Vive, HTC bumped the resolution to 2,880 x 1,600, which still doesn’t quite hit 4K. Furthermore, its field of view is only 110 degrees.

All that said, it should be noted that the Pimax still very much feels like a prototype. The head strap is a made of a stretchy rubber, which was probably a cheap way to make sure it fits heads of most sizes. The trade-off, of course, is comfort. Compared to something like the Vive Pro, the Pimax headset is definitely not the kind of thing you want to have on your face for long periods of time.

Pricing and shipping details for the Pimax 8K headset have not been announced, but shipments for the Kickstarter backers are currently set for May.

Product Review

Nintendo’s Labo VR Kit may look silly, but it really works

During our hands-on with the Nintendo Labo VR Kit, fears of a gimmicky product from Nintendo were quickly dispelled. While not a direct competitor to Oculus or HTCs own headsets, Labo VR brings a clever, new way to experience VR that makes…
Virtual Reality

HTC’s stand-alone Vive Focus Plus will be out in April, and it won’t be cheap

The HTC Vive Focus Plus is set to release on April 15 to commercial businesses and developers. The stand-alone headset features the "six degrees of freedom" system, and includes hazard-tracking protection.

PlayStation’s first State of Play event includes Iron Man VR announcement

Sony held the first PlayStation State of Play video presentation on March 25 and it featured the announcement of Iron Man VR for PlayStation VR. The game is scheduled to arrive this year.

Oculus shows off the Rift S, plans to phase out its original VR headset

Oculus plans to phase out its flagship Rift VR headset for its newly created Rift S. The Rift S made its debut this week at the 2019 Game Developers Conference and is expected to be released in spring 2019.

Keep your laptop battery in tip-top condition with these handy tips

Learn how to care for your laptop's battery, how it works, and what you can do to make sure yours last for years and retains its charge. Check out our handy guide for valuable tips, no matter what type of laptop you have.

Is it worth spending more for the Surface Pro, or is the Surface Go good enough?

The Surface Go vs. Surface Pro — which is better? While the higher price tag of one might make you think it's an easy choice, a deeper dive into what each offers makes it a closer race than you might assume.

Hands-on with Microsoft Chromium Edge: A first look at the early release

We installed a preview of Edge Chromium, and there's now a lot that makes it feel Chrome, but there are also some similarities to the old Edge. So, is the new Chromium Edge the best browser ever? Here's a hands-on look.

Amazon sale knocks $200 off the price of 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

If you always wanted to buy a MacBook Pro but found it a bit too expensive, now is your chance to save. A base version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar is currently on sale at Amazon for $1,600.

Apple’s 4K 21.5-inch iMac is now $200 off if you pre-order it

Apple's new iMacs are now available and if you pre-order one from B&H you can get the midrange version for $200. That's a near 20-percent saving on one of the most competitive configurations.
Emerging Tech

Microsoft’s latest breakthrough could make DNA-based data centers possible

Could tomorrow's data centers possibly store information in the form of synthetic DNA? Researchers from Microsoft have successfully encoded the word "hello" into DNA and then back again.

Own an Asus computer? Malware might be hiding in your system

If you own an Asus computer, your system might have been infected by malware distributed from the tool you typically use to update the BIOS and install other security patches, according to a new report by cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab.

The new Windows 10 File Explorer could look like this in 2020

Microsoft may update Windows 10's File Explorer to adopt Fluent Design principles in an upcoming 2020 update. A report suggests that we'll get our first glimpse at the new-look explorer in upcoming Windows Insider builds.

DisplayPort and HDMI both connect to screens, but here's how they're different

HDMI and DisplayPort are two of the most popular connectors for hooking up consoles, gaming PCs, TVs, and monitors, but which is best? To find out, we pitted HDMI vs. DisplayPort and compared their best and worst features.

Get a new 2018 Apple MacBook Air for $1,000 with Amazon’s latest sale

Online retailer Amazon is currently running a discount on select models of the MacBook Air 2018. You can bring one home starting at $1,000, a full $200 off the usual selling price.