Dell’s virtual reality headset may be only one out of an entire fleet of PC VR devices designed with the auspices of Microsoft, but it appears to be the first consumer headset of the bunch currently up for pre-order.

Slated to deliver their first batch on October 17th, you can pre-order the headset from Dell for $350, the controllers separately for $99, or the whole controller/headset bundle for $450. The company is currently offering free shipping for a limited time, although it’s not certain for how long.

Windows VR headsets (dubbed ‘Mixed Reality’ by the Microsoft) offer inside-out tracking, meaning there’s no external sensors needed to run a VR experience. Coming from various OEMs, other headsets are set to launch soon too from HP, Lenovo, Asus, and Acer. We got out hands on an early Acer developer kit at Microsoft’s Build conference, and reported that the headset was light, comfortable, and tracking was impressive. Check out the hands-on article here.

Update: Steam Support for Windows VR Headsets to Arrive Before End of Year

We we tested the Windows VR controller, it left something to be desired in the ergonomics department however, as they were remarkably clunky in comparison to similarly designed controllers like Oculus Touch. Because the controllers are tracked by the headset itself, and don’t require any beacon or external sensor, tracking proved to be accurate for the setup, and surprisingly outperformed the PSVR Move Camera tracking solution. Check out our full hands-on with the controller here.

Dell Visor Pre-order Page

image courtesy Dell

We also had a chance to go hands-on with a non-functioning version of headset at Gamescom in Cologne. Although we didn’t get a chance to really try it out, the premium materials used and the halo-style headstrap make for an extremely comfortable wearing experience. The added rubberization to the exterior meant for a good grip, easy cleanup and no fingerprints like some more plasticy models in the Windows ‘Mixed Reality’ headset lineup.

Dell Visor Specs

  • Dual Sharp LCDs at 1440 x 1440
  • 2.89” diagonal display size (x2)
  • Front-hinged display
  • Fresnel Lenses
  • 110 degrees horizontal field of view
  • Display refresh rate up to 90 Hz (native)
  • Single cable with HDMI 2.0 (display) and USB 3.0 (data) for connectivity
  • Inside-out tracking
  • 4.00m cable
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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Wait what?!??!?!?!? Is the field of view 110 or 95?

    • The pre-order page specifies 110, but you should keep in mind measuring FOV isn’t really an exact science. Given the fact that the amount of cushioning can effect FOV (and how you wear it), it’s entirely possible Dell opted to go with a lower-profile facial interface to punch up the number in the final consumer model.

      • RFC_VR

        yes the thinner face cushions are an easy solution. 4mm Vive cushions were fantastic for increasing immersion by bringing you slightly further forward relative to display.

        I actually have a Vive 4mm cushion fitted to a custom Daydream hmd to increase FOV in same manner.

        Trade off is usually more cleaning from facial / eye debris and more tendency to fog, but of course this depends on hmd itself

    • dk

      it depends on how u measure it and how close r the lenses to the screen and how close r your eyes to the lenses ….. and the screen size is the same as the other ones

    • RFC_VR

      horizontal FOV 110 and vertical FOV 95?

      FOV should be given with reference to optimum display to eyeball distance for a HMD (i.e. 12mm)

      Its easy to slightly increase FOV with thinner face cushions on some HMD

  • Konchu

    Hmm does anyone know if the controllers are universal I have the Acer dev kit and with a 10/17 launch on controllers wouldn’t mind just getting these if I could use them. Seems like they all look the same that doesn’t mean they are not flashed/modded to only work with one model though.

    • Ring Dell up and ask them. As these conform to the Microsoft MR program they might have universal windows drivers?

  • GrangerFX

    I ordered the Dell Visor. The inside-out tracking combined with the comfort of the design, ability to flip up the visor and higher resolution display and eventual Steam compatibility make for a killer combination of features. The reason the inside-out tracking is such a big deal is that it means that you can use VR by connecting just two cables. That means you could even use VR on a plane flight using your laptop computer. That is something Oculus and HTC cannot hope to do in any practical way.

    • Only as long as inside-out works and does not lose tracking, even for a second as that is very disorientating. My DK1 lost tracking sometimes and it is vomit inducing. I do hope they have got around that though.

    • Darshan

      Also inside out tracking is kind of a deal breaker too as when ever your controllers get out side view of camera they loose tracking. you can’t play SUPERHOT with this … Any game that require head and hand movement separated is recipe for wobbly jumpy experience.

      • GrangerFX

        The controllers continue tracking when outside the field of view for a short time (not sure how long this is) using inertial tracking. So if you extend your arms to both sides, it will track as long as you bring them back in view of the controllers shortly afterwards. I won’t argue that external tracking has the advantage here but I still think that not having to setup the external cameras is better for many users.

        • Darshan

          Very true .. lets hope MS tune them properly. Also as resolution has healthy bump at 1440P i am still skeptical about lCD due to its high pixel switching time.. Don’t know if low persistence will be there or not..

          • GrangerFX

            I can only go by early reviews of various headsets. Their main complaints were things like: You can’t adjust the forwards/backwards distance so the headsets may not fit some people well. There is wiggle if you move your head rapidly as in a FPV shooter. The controllers are not as ergonomic as the ones from Oculus/HTC. Thus far testers have said mostly good things about the screens/resolution/screen door effect. No one has complained about FOV, streaking or latency. I strongly suspect that for serious gamers, the Oculus/HTC headsets are still preferable but for most casual gamers, Windows MR has the advantage.

          • Darshan

            I am seeing more use case for third person games like Luckys tale,Edge of nowhere and chronos or may be who knows VR Prince of Persia and Racing Titles like Project Cars will be good on this.. rest for first person titles i have many doubts.

          • GrangerFX

            I have tried a few of those third person games but they don’t thrill me. They are interesting but I can’t imagine spending hours playing one. First person sandbox/persistent world games are what I am interested in. Fallout 4, Skyrim and LA Noire for example.

        • Alorwin

          Controller tracking issues could have been solved with side-cameras. Inside-Out tracking is a fail until we get Lighthouse-esque inside-out.

          • GrangerFX

            Possibly or perhaps the controllers themselves could have built in inside-out trackers too. I imagine that they could build a small camera/AI chip combo that could do the trick. DJI uses inside out tracking on their drones for obstacle avoidance.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Don’t count on being able to use the headset with a laptop during a planeflight, it’s not like the older videoglasses which aren’t really big, those headsets are pretty big and will cost you a lot of carry on. Also yes the resolution is slight higher, but the FOV is lower and no hardware IPD (which increases the chance at motion sickness). And when you’re on a plane, positional tracking isn’t really interesting as you can only move a little.. In reality, you can only use it for watching movies on a plane, but for that, you’re better off with a simple cardbox headset.

      • GrangerFX

        “those headsets are pretty big and will cost you a lot of carry on”
        Priorities. It is all about your priorities. Just think how geeky you will look in your Dell Visor on a plane! You could wear it like a hat as you walk onto the plane.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          I wouldn’t even be suprised if you’re not allowed to use it on a plane due to it being too large, let’s not forget, you’ll need the laptop and the headset, so there won’t be any room for the person sitting next to you. Also if I were to sit next to you, I can guarantee you I won’t be pleased if you use it for anything other than just watching movies, don’t expect someone next to you accept you swaying your arms/hands in his/her personal space.

          • GrangerFX

            Have you ever used one? It is like a video game. Most of the time you are looking directly forwards or not far left and right. Head turns of about 45 degrees max are common. You rarely look behind yourself. As for hands, I mostly use an XBox controller. Other than to experiment, I rarely use the hand controllers. there are no personal space issues. Rather than play games, I think using it as a portable theater for videos with noise cancelling headphones are the way to go. Lots of people already use some kind of head mounted display for video on planes and I am not aware of any of them being banned.

  • MosBen

    I’m definitely glad that these are coming out, but I think that they’re going to land in an unfortunate mid-way point between technological generations. The inside out tracking is great, as are the improvements to HMD comfort that have been developed since the Rift and Vive were released. And they’re a lot closer to a mass-market price, which is awesome.

    That said, I’m confident that sooner rather than later we’re going to see a new generation from Valve and Oculus that incorporate all of this stuff but also include foveated rendering, higher resolution screens, and, really importantly, are wireless. Not needing to set up base stations and also not needing to deal with any cables is going to be a pretty huge deal for the next generation of VR, but these headsets are going to caught about halfway there.

    • Darshan

      Hmm Are you talking about ALL in ONE … HTC soon going to release one VIVE FOCUS which will have all vive has minus wires minus need for super costly PC blah blah…. it would be mostly Gear VR + Pos. Tracking + Controllers – Costly phone.. i think.

      • 12Danny123

        The problem is that SteamVR doesn’t work on it and needs Daydream.

        I’d much rather them use Windows MR, since content developed on PC would work on a standalone device

      • MosBen

        I do think that self contained HMDs are ultimately be where the industry settles, but in the second generation I think that we’ll probably see HMDs wirelessly tethered to a VR-PC.

      • Andrew Jakobs

        Don’t count on the Vive Focus be much more then an advanced GearVR headset as it’s solely based on Daydream. Also, no word on pricing yet.
        It’s not Vive 2.0, remember that.

  • Luke

    no hardware IPD correction? no mic?

  • Luke

    I do not understand why they have 2x 2.89” diagonal display but it doesn’t allow hardware IPD. I hope they will fix this in next model.

  • For $50 more, you can get the highly refined Oculus with better hand tracking. Inside-Out tracking will, most likely, be less reliable the direct tracking. I can’t imagine it wouldn’t be unless the circumstances were very controlled. I guess we’ll see soon enough once the early adopters give them a run-through on YouTube.

    Also the whole package still misses the “Sweet” spot of $300, or less, with the hand controllers INCLUDED! I think it’s going to be a tiny ripple at most. It doesn’t help that Dell is making it. Is has anyone ever been in love with Dell products?

    • Xilence

      It’s because this requires no setup, doesn’t use 20 USB ports, etc. This can be used anywhere, even on a flight or road trip, you can set it up anywhere. This system uses less resources and is truly portable.

      • Nicola Casali

        I wonder how accelerometers and gyroscopes cope inside a moving vehicle that is turning and braking.

        • Michael

          That’s an interesting thought. How the hell would that work? I mean I know it’s tracked via camera but isn’t it assisted with those? Now if you’re mostly stationary I feel like it shouldn’t be a problem.

      • Just for the record you should never, EVER, use VR outside of a comfortable, safe, and hopefully private, environment. I can get behind the hotel room, but on a plane? Can you imagine the nightmare for yourself and others? Whipping your head around well some poor soul sits next to you? That sounds truly awful for everybody involved. That doesn’t even touch on using hand controls. You’d punch the poor guy! You certainly should never use VR in a public area where robbery is a remote possibility. You’re blind for godsakes!

        • Michael

          Okay I think you’re missing one major point here… you don’t need to go for the full experience. It’s like saying VR mobility and then thinking to set up Vive base stations inside a 747.

          No one’s going to be whipping their head around or beating people up with the “Knuckles” controllers. It’s simply for an immersive environment: virtual desktop and movie viewing.

          But yeah in public? Like on the side of the road? Hell no. On a plane? Why not. As long as your stuff is secure, it’s the equivalent of sleeping.

  • Doon1

    Is there a mechanical/physical IPD adjustment on any of these Windows devices? I have an IPD of 71 so a fixed lens/screen or software adjustable IPD won’t work for me.

  • Luke

    will they sell this HMD on Amazon?

  • Luke

    imho world needs a build in mic into HMDs to play Mindshow. lol