Valve and HTC’s Vive is the most immediately impressive (and imposing) VR headset on the market. And it comes with a price to match: $800. Once you’ve got everything setup you can walk through a virtual space with your own legs and grab things with your own “hands.” That’s the key differentiator here: while the Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR have so far been largely focused on seated experiences, Vive is more focused on standing, walking, grabbing, and bopping.
Originally released in 2012 for a whopping $1,550, thousands of Xeon E5-2670 CPUs hit the second hand market last year as massive data centers upgraded their servers. This 4-year old CPU delivers 8-cores clocked at 2.6GHz with a 3.3GHz turbo frequency and a large 20MB L3 cache. But with supply overwhelming demand, prices have plummeted to just $70, so it's possible to build an insanely affordable 16-core/32-thread beast for less than the price of a Haswell-E Core i7.
Diverging from its usual modus operandi, Razer introduced its first ultrabook earlier this year, the Razer Blade Stealth. This is not a gaming machine out of the box. Rather, Razer has unapologetically prioritized mobility over gaming, and its specs are in line with a number of other premium non-gaming ultrabook offerings. But does the Blade Stealth have what it takes to stand apart?
A week ago, Oculus sent me one of their commercial Rift headsets, along with a special loaner “Oculus Ready” PC to use with it. Since then, I’ve been using a pre-release version of their Oculus store and headset operating system. I’ll be covering the Rift a lot over the coming week and beyond. For now, I thought I’d share some general impressions after a week of heavy VR usage.
For many people, spending $1,000 on a laptop is not feasible, even if high-end hardware is important. This is where the HP Envy 13 comes in: it packs hardware that’s comparable to a $1,000 laptop in a MacBook Air-like package, complete with a price that starts at just $800. In some ways, the Envy is the budget high-end laptop that price-conscious shoppers may be after.
Oculus, HTC, and Sony have all released pricing details for their upcoming virtual reality headsets. But what seems pretty cut-and-dry gets complicated in a hurry when you consider they all need additional hardware to power the experience. To help make sense of it all, we've gone through the hassle of analyzing everything to see what the true cost of ownership looks like.