The venerable iFixit has done it again: taken a brand new, perfectly good VR headset and ripped it apart for our pleasure.

OSVR’s recently launched HDK 2 headset is starting to land in the hands of eager users. iFixit has promptly opened theirs up and given it a detailed teardown to find out exactly what’s inside.

Reading through the teardown, it’s clear iFixit admired the ease of disassembly, and scored the headset 9 out of 10 in repairability—good news for a headset that is called the ‘Hacker Development Kit’. In fact, the author of the teardown points out a few bits in Step 7 that might prove useful for modders/makers/hackers:

  • Empty pads look like they’re ready to accept some ZIFs, possibly for extra USB devices.
  • Unused USB 3.0 connector
  • Cute li’l empty 5-pin socket
  • Similarly empty 10-pin header
  • More empty solder pads!

The HDK2’s major improvement over the first HDK is its display which, at 2160×1200 and 90Hz, matches the resolution and refresh rate of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Priced at $400 vs. the Rift’s $600 and Vive’s $800, OSVR could represent good value for those looking for a cheaper and more hackable (not to mention upgradable) VR headset.

Head over to iFixit to see the full teardown with notes and analysis of individual components used on the headset’s circuit boards.

Disclosure:​ At the time of writing, OSVR is running advertisements on Road to VR.

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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."
  • Glad to see that OSVR is mantaining this promise. I’m curious to see how this HDK2 performs compared to Oculus and Vive… and especially if needs a powerful PC like the competitors or if they managed to keep this price tag low.

    • Nigerian Wizard

      It’s just a different brand monitor. Rendering isn’t affected dummy. It’s the same.

      • Vinny

        Tony is not just asking about the hardware part but rather the software that has all sorts of network crud to slow it down and mess up the timing of everything. If you can tell us how to use the hardware part only, without all the other overhead, please let us know.

        • Nigerian Wizard

          Fairly certain he was talking about graphics performance. Not the overhead. The overhead is also probably neglible enough to not warrant a step up in processor.

          • Vin

            Maybe so, but I know the combination of things in their open source introduces all sorts of latency such as C++, audio, and their awful recreation of X11 type networking among other things to throw off timing…

  • Bryan Ischo

    Non-fresnel lenses and diopter adjustments to allow glasses wearers to use the device without their corrective lenses? These are AWESOME features that I would love in the Vive. If only this thing supported lighthouse tech, I’d be all over it. Also I would miss the external camera of the Vive, which is surprisingly useful. But still … non-fresnel lenses are a big selling point for me. The Vive lenses are grotesque.