The last batch of Microsoft's mixed reality headsets are finally available. The Asus Mixed Reality Headset HC102 utilizes dual 1,440 x 1,440 LCD displays and offers a 95-degree field-of-view intended for an upscale experience.
The Asus HC102 falls near the top of the pack in terms of price range. The headset starts at $429 but does come with two motion controllers. No external sensors are required to get the headset up and running - all that is needed is the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.
The futuristic 3D polygon design accurately reflects the premium aspect of the HC102. Inside, the dual LCD panels run at 90 Hz instead of a more standard 60 Hz. One shortcoming is the fact that despite being labeled a mixed reality headset, the Asus HC102 does not actually offer true mixed reality features right now. It is strictly a virtual reality headset.
An aspect Asus got right the first time is using antimicrobial materials for all surfaces that come in contact with the wearer. Undoubtedly, at one point or another, a headset is going to be shared and owners are not always great about wiping down devices before passing them on to the next person.
As Windows 10 continues to improve its virtual and augmented reality features, there may be more appeal to owning a headset. At this point, virtual reality remains an enthusiast experience due to the lack of content available and moderately high barrier to entry.