I’ve been scanning quite regularly for the first full-blown review of Silicon Micro Display’s recently launched 1080p HDM, the ST1080. Though there hasn’t yet been a peep from any major publications, it seems as though customers are starting to receive their pre-order shipments of the ST1080 and have begun posting their impressions.

Over at The Game Veda, there is a series of posts offering photos, info, and comparisons of the ST1080 with Sony’z HMZ-T1 (here’s my ST1080 vs. HMZ-T1 spec comparison if you’re interested). The author has also posted an unboxing video giving us the first hands-on glimpse of the ST1080 production unit:


Much of the impressions compare the ST1080 and the HMZ-T1 noting that the former is much more comfortable (thanks to being lighter), has less eye-strain, and has a larger exit-pupil (the ‘sweet spot’ of focus). In particular, the user says that “Windows 8 looks great whether streamed through your iPad or directly through your PC . The raw resolution of the ST1080 and its sensible design makes it a win if you ever want to do anything other than just watch 10 3d films over and over and over and over again.”

The user also notes the ease of putting on and taking off the ST1080. The same process with the HMZ-T1 is akin to that of the infamous headcrab from the Half Life series (if you don’t get the reference, just understand that it isn’t a term of endearment!):

With just one hand I can just lift the ST1080 off, with the HMZT1 you are basically strapped in for the duration, just go easy on the Double Diet Dew if you are using your Sony, or you may have to reuse the bottle if you know what I mean. Seriously, lifting the ST1080 is as easy as lifting off your NHS specs, not at all like doing the Half Life de-headcrabbing ritual you go through with the HMZT1. I just put my ST1080 back on… in seconds, no locking in or adjusting straps, or yoga breathing or posturing to find that sweet spot again like you do with the HMZT1

On the downside, the user concedes that the HMZ-T1 has better colors thanks to the OLED displays vs. the ST1080 LCoS displays:

[The HMZ-T1] has a beyond Cinema 3D experience with the richest colours you have ever seen , but makes your eyes work and pay, as well as your head and neck!

For those interested in using the ST1080 connected to a PC, the user says that the ST1080 beats the HMZ-T1 for text-readability:

Working connected to a Windows 8 Lenovo X220T; this is a test of text sharpness, with a desktop resolution of 1920×1200, native 1080p for console fans, the text really is razor sharp or as razor sharp as you are going to get with this generation of HMDs.

I must say, this is a strong initial report for Silicon Micro Display.

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I’m still watching carefully for more detailed reviews, stay tuned for more!

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."