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HP Reverb G2 review: Resolution revelation

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(Pocket-lint) – The upgraded HP Reverb G2 is an interesting VR headset that was built with support from Microsoft and Valve. As such, it’s designed to work with not only VR games and experiences through SteamVR, but also supports Windows Mixed Reality as well.

The HP Reverb G2 is built to be a winner in various different departments. It sports “industry-leading lenses” designed by Valve, an ultra-sharp display with a higher pixel count than the other popular VR headsets out there, and an intelligently thought-out setup.

Like the Oculus Rift S, this HP headset uses inside-out tracking cameras – which negate the need for external tracking base stations like we’ve seen with the HTC Vive Cosmos Elite. The result is a VR headset that’s theoretically easier to setup, offers more potential experiences, and beats everything else in terms of specs too. But is it really that good? 

High-resolution gaming visuals?

  • Dual 2.89-inch LCD panel with Pulse Backlight technology
  • 114-degree field-of-view with Fresnel-Aspherical lenses
  • 90Hz refresh rate (with recommended system specs)
  • 2160 x 2160 resolution per eye (4320 x 2160 in total)
  • Compatible with SteamVR & Windows Mixed Reality

Fresh out the box, the HP Reverb G2 resembles something of a mix between an HTC Vive and an Oculus Rift. Sure, there’s the inside-out tracking cameras and other modern VR headset features like the off-ear speakers, but HP has opted for an understated black shell and a triple Velcro headstrap system.

The only design aspect that really makes it stand out from the crowd is the light-up HP logo on the front that illuminates while you’re gaming. You shouldn’t judge the Reverb G2 on external looks alone though – as a lot of thought has gone into the design and it boasts some pretty nifty features.

It’s really the little touches here that make a biggest difference. Simple things like the large cushioned faceplate – which has a memory-foam-like material inside – provides comfortable cushioning for your face while you game.

The off-ear speakers are high-quality and deliver excellent spatial audio – but do so without sitting on your ears the whole time, meaning you can not only hear your surrounding world if you need, but you’re also cooler as you haven’t got something covering your ears constantly. Similarly this setup means fewer cables to worry about – which is always a good thing in our book.

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Visual performance is obviously an area where the Reverb G2 shines. HP claims the 4320 x 2160 total resolution (it’s 2160 x 2160 per eye) results in the possibility of displaying 9.3 million pixels. That also means the Reverb G2’s display shows more than twice as many pixels as the Oculus Rift S (that’s 1280 x 1440 per eye) and more than the Vive Cosmos too (that’s 1700 x 1440 per eye). 

The Valve-designed lenses are also said to offer a mura-free experience – which means you get better colour and brightness consistency across all the pixels and therefore a clearer and more accurate image.

Add in a 90Hz refresh rate, 114-degree field-of-view, and minimised screen door effect and you’ve got a potentially awesome headset. 

We’re happy to report that during our gaming sessions, the Reverb G2 impressed as you would expect based on these specs. The visuals are fantastic. Games like Half-Life Alyx and Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond look absolutely awesome. Though obviously you need a good gaming machine to make the most of that high pixel count, otherwise you won’t obtain the heralded higher refresh rate (which is important in VR, we find, for keeping you feeling comfortable). 

Comfortable and convenient VR gaming?

  • 2x front-facing cameras, 2x side-facing cameras for inside-out tracking
  • Valve-designed integrated off-ear speakers with spatial audio
  • 6DoF tracking with infinite tracking space
  • 64mm +/- 4mm by hardware IPD slider
  • Replaceable face cushions
  • Weighs: 500g 

The HP Reverb G2 is designed to be lightweight, comfortable and convenient to use. It’s not just the inside-out tracking either, it’s the other elements of the design that work toward the end result.

For example, the headset itself is not only light – at 500g, or 1.2lbs – but the padding means it’s comfortable to wear, so we didn’t get as hot and steamy as we usually do when playing with VR headsets. Which is fantastic news.

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Yes, it is wired, so it doesn’t have as much freedom as wireless offerings – such as the Oculus Quest 2 – but the HP does use a 6-metre lightweight cable setup, which isn’t a constant bother while you play. This cable is fairly straightforward as well, with just two connections required for your PC (DisplayPort and USB-C).

It is worth noting that the IPD (interpupillary distance) adjustment involves a hardware slider with a limited range – from 60 to 68 – which some might find problematic if outside that range. This will be good news for most though, as it allows for easier adjustment than software IPD systems on the Oculus Rift S.

The HP’s enhanced display also means screen door effect isn’t a problem at all with this headset. There’s no noticeable gap between pixels as there were in the older generations of VR headsets, resulting in a crystal clear image when playing. It means you can really marvel at the quality of the graphics. 

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The field-of-view isn’t perfect though. It’s not as wide as other headsets, so we could certainly notice the edges of the screen – which can be a bit of a letdown, but a minor one if you’re really focusing on what’s happening in front of you and turning your head to when looking.

Convenience is also a big part of why we enjoy using the Reverb G2. The integration of Windows Mixed Reality makes it a lot easier to use in numerous ways. Put the headset on when it’s plugged in and you’re almost immediately in the Windows Cliff House (if you’re new to it – that’s the virtual location Microsoft has setup as your virtual home). From there you can tour the games available via the Microsoft Store, watch 360 videos, browse the web, and even chat to people on Skype.

But what we like more is the integration of other features. Press the Windows key on the included controllers, for instance, and you’re able to bring up a simple menu that gives you access to all manner of things. From there you can click to take screenshots, start recording footage, adjust volume and more.

There’s even a torch button that allows you to turn the front tracking cameras into a passthrough camera so you can see the world around you (though not as fully-fledged as the Passthrough+ system on the Rift S). You can also launch other apps from here too. 

One of our favourite things, though, is the desktop button. Click that and you have a virtual view of your Windows desktop. This means you can easily see what’s happening on your machine and launch other applications.

We can’t say enough how wonderful this is after years of testing other headsets where if something like a firewall setting popped up on the desktop you wouldn’t know about it unless you took the headset off first and strode back to your PC. Now you can see these things and deal with them without coming out of virtual reality.

If you do need to come out of VR, however, the headset does have a flip-up visor design. That means you can get it out of the way with ease. No need to take the entire thing off if you need to talk to someone, look at your phone, or just re-orientate yourself in the real world. 

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The desktop view makes it easier to launch Steam VR games as well. You can make that even more seamless with Steam VR for Windows Mixed Reality. You can also play many of the games that are compatible with other VR headsets as well. Look for the Window Mixed Reality supported games in the Steam store and they’ll work, but Vive and Rift games also work for the most part. 

One gripe we do have is with the HP’s included controllers. They’re not immediately recognised by all games. Walking Dead Saints and Sinners, for example, would not register the controllers and, at first glance, didn’t seem compatible at all – as no button presses would work.

However, you can click into the Steam menus to access controller bindings. From there you can not only remap buttons, but you can also download custom bindings created by both the community and by developers. This solved that problem, which is worth knowing if you launch a game and it doesn’t seem compatible. 

There are some other quirks though. These HP controllers don’t have trackpads like the original Vive controllers, but they do have “emulated” trackpads via some of the buttons. This takes some getting used to and can be a bit fiddly. It can also cause dramas in some games, but again, nothing that can’t be sorted out with custom bindings. 

Connection setup requirements

  • DisplayPort 1.3, USB 3.0 type C, power adapter
  • Mini DisplayPort adapter and USB-C adapters included

All this power and you might think that the Reverb G2 requires a real beast of a machine to run. But actually, the basic requirements aren’t that taxing and a mid-range gaming PC will do. 

The minimum specification requirements are:

  • Graphics: DX12 capable graphics processor
    • Nvidia GTX 1080 GPU or better
    • AMD Radeon Pro WX 8200 or later
  • CPU equivalent or better to:
    • Intel Core i7
    • Intel Xeon E3-1240 v5
  • Memory: 16GB RAM (or more)
  • Video output: DisplayPort 1.3
  • USB Port: 1x USB 3.0
  • OS: Windows 10 (Nov 2019 or later)

Of course, if you do have more power and a modern high-end graphics card then you can really turn the visuals all the way up to 11 and bathe in the glory. 

One thing to keep in mind is you do need to have the right connections. The headset connects to your PC via DisplayPort 1.3 and USB 3.0 Type-C. So you need those connections on your machine. HP provides a DisplayPort-to-Mini DisplayPort adapter and USB-C-to-USB-A – but you need to have a fast USB super speed port to run things properly.

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Optional upgrades

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If you’re worried about sweating too much while using the Reverb G2 or are going to be sharing the headset with others and don’t want to swear moisture then turn to VR Cover for optional upgrades.

There are a couple of different options available. These include a silicone cover that sits over the standard faceplate and lets you simply wipe it clean after use. Or there’s the replacement facial interface which adds wipe clean PU leather foam padding available in two sizes – standard and thicker for more comfort. These are easy to install and a nifty upgrade to your Reverb G2 for minimal extra cost. 

Verdict

Aside from a few niggles, the HP Reverb G2 great virtual reality option, made convenient by the Windows Mixed Reality elements, easy controls, and a comfortable fit.

It certainly has some of the best visuals on offer, too, if you have a strong enough PC setup, and with everything connected it delivers a satisfying VR experience across the board.

However, the included controllers aren’t our favourite and, yes, we wish it was wireless too.

But otherwise the HP Reverb G2 is fantastic. It’s also a heck of a lot more affordable than the HTC Vive Cosmos Elite and more powerful than the Oculus Rift S. So an option that’s well worth considering. 

Also consider

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Oculus Quest 2

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If you don’t have a machine powerful enough, lack DisplayPort connections, or indeed just want to have a wireless headset, then the Oculus Quest 2 is a logical alternative. It offers great gaming with wireless freedom and you can even use Oculus Link to play PCVR games – all with just a single USB-C cable. 

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Oculus Rift S

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It might be a bit old school now, but it’s still a great headset if you can find it at a bargain price. It has all the joy of inside-out tracking, comfort and convenience. Yes, the visuals aren’t as impressive as HP’s headset, but it’s still a worthy contender.  

Writing by Adrian Willings.





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The Pixel 6 may get an under-display fingerprint scanner

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(Pocket-lint) – An Android 12 beta seems to have leaked a brand new function presumably coming to Google’s next smartphone.

According to developer kdrag0n, it reportedly contains proof that Google is planning an under-display fingerprint scanner for the Pixel 6. He seen a reference to ‘UdfpsControllerGoogle’ in code from the second Android 12 developer preview, which is a beta model of the software program for builders. Android 12 is the subsequent main replace to Android, however it’s not anticipated till later this 12 months.

The “Udfps” is for “under-display fingerprint scanner”. It was talked about as a part of a com.google.android.systemui path, which, as XDA Developers claimed, suggests it’s being developed for a Pixel cellphone, particularly. It’s not merely a sign of official assist for under-display scanners in Android 12. That stated, because the function is buried in beta code, it might by no means come to fruition.

While Google isn’t assured to launch its subsequent Pixel cellphone with an under-display fingerprint scanner, a earlier Android 12 developer preview additionally hinted Pixel telephones will assist a solution to unlock units that makes use of facial recognition and an under-screen fingerprint scanner. 

Android 12 likely won’t release for consumers until September 2021, so we suspect many more upcoming features will surface from the betas in the coming months, perhaps even more proof of an under-display fingerprint scanner.

Writing by Maggie Tillman.





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OnePlus 9 collection launch: How to look at it and what to anticipate

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(Pocket-lint) – The OnePlus 9, OnePlus 9 Pro, and OnePlus 9R are all set to reach in mid-March. Here is how one can watch their launch occasion. We additionally element what to anticipate, as a result of, in addition to the 2 flagships and cheaper telephone, there’s a fourth machine anticipated to look.

When is the OnePlus 9 collection launch? 

The OnePlus 9 collection launch occasion is scheduled for Tuesday 23 March 2021 at 7am PDT (10am EDT/2pm GMT). Below you will discover a handful of different timezones, so remember to mark your calendar and comply with the steps under for the best way to really watch the occasion:

  • New York – 10am EDT
  • San Francisco – 7am PDT
  • London – 2pm GMT
  • Central Europe – 3pm CEST
  • New Delhi – 7:30pm IST
  • Tokyo – 11pm JST 
  • Sydney – 1am AEST 24 March 2021

How to look at the occasion

The occasion will likely be streamed on the OnePlus website in addition to the OnePlus YouTube channel. You can watch it through the video hosted above.

What to anticipate from the launch

Here’s all the things OnePlus will doubtless announce throughout its occasion…

WinFuture

OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro

OnePlus not too long ago sent out an invitefor 8 March, the place it introduced a three-year partnership with Hasselblad, while additionally revealing the launch date of the OnePlus 9 collection: 23 March. OnePlus did not say what number of units could be revealed on 23 March, however rumours recommend we’ll see the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro, which comply with up on the OnePlus 8T and OnePlus Nord collection.

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OnePlus 9R

OnePlus is engaged on its OnePlus 9 collection, with each an ordinary OnePlus 9 and the OnePlus 9 Pro having leaked closely during the last couple of months. There’s one other machine that is additionally been doing the rounds, although: the OnePlus 9R. This machine was additionally known as the OnePlus 9E and the OnePlus 9 Lite previously, but it surely’s now been confirmed – by OnePlus CEO’s – because the OnePlus 9R. 

OnePlus – YouTube

OnePlus Watch

The OnePlus smartwatch has one thing of an extended historical past. Until 2019, it was a “will they, won’t they” hearsay that trundled alongside for years. But with the corporate confirming the watch is being put into manufacturing, it is now greater than hearsay. 

Writing by Maggie Tillman.





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The finest Beats headphones 2021: Which must you select?

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(Pocket-lint) – Beats has one of many world’s most recognisable manufacturers regardless of nonetheless being comparatively younger. Apple’s now owned the model for an excellent few years, although, and its guardian firm has had a giant affect on the tech getting used within the headphones, in addition to its newer designs. 

With fairly a wide array of headphones obtainable throughout all totally different matches, whether or not over-ear, on-ear or in-ear, deciding which pair is finest for you is usually a bit difficult. Luckily for you, we have damaged down each Beats headphone obtainable immediately, overlaying dimension, options and worth.

Quick abstract

There are eight pairs of Beats headphones obtainable, comprising two pairs of over-ears, three pairs of on-ears and three pairs of in-ears.

  • Beats Studio 3 Wireless are an over-ear design and may join wirelessly to your cell machine. They’re obtainable in a spread of colors, have energetic noise cancellation expertise and the brand new W1 chip.
  • Beats Solo Pro characteristic an on-ear design, however with a extra premium design than its predecessor, the Studio 3’s ANC engine, up to date H1 Chip and nice battery life. 
  • Beats Solo 3 Wireless are an on-ear design, characteristic the brand new W1 chip to immediately connect with your iPhone.
  • Beats EP are on-ears and the most cost effective Beats headphones connecting through wire. 
  • Beats Flex are wi-fi pair of in-ear headphones with a neckband and have the W1 chip. 
  • Powerbeats 4 are sports-orientated in-ear wi-fi headphones, with the H1 chip and an ear-hook design.
  • Powerbeats Pro are, primarily, a real wi-fi model of the Powerbeats 4 however with an improved design and the identical inner tech because the Apple AirPods. 
  • urBeats are typical in-ear headphones.
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Beats Studio 3 Wireless

Chunky headphones that convey highly effective sound.

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The Beats Studio 3 Wireless are an over-ear headphone design that encapsulates your complete ear contained in the ear cup. This design helps to dam out exterior noises, though it is aided additional by energetic noise cancellation (ANC). This new ANC is totally different to earlier iterations, in that it always adjusts its frequency to match the sound of your atmosphere, making it extra versatile.

The built-in rechargeable battery can final over 22 hours, and the light-weight construct mixed with the comfortable supplies used will imply you may wish to maintain them in your head for so long as doable. There are controls on the headphones themselves to skip tracks, change quantity and settle for telephone calls. 

The Beats Studio should not simply one of the iconic pairs of Beats headphones obtainable, however one of the iconic pairs of headphones full cease. Soundwise, they’re bassy (as you’d count on), however the complete nature of the audio profile appears to have shifted to make it extra refined. They can go loud and onerous, and the addition of energetic noise cancellation ought to solely assist focus you on the music. 

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Beats Solo Pro

Great for individuals who need smaller headphones.

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Beats Solo Pro is a pair of headphones that takes the smarts and noise cancelling of the Studio 3 and places them in a smaller, on-ear pair of headphones. It’s arguably the most effective pair of wi-fi headphones Beats has made so far. 

The headphones themselves characteristic a premium anodised aluminium arm that slides easily out and in of the headscarf, whereas the ear cups have reminiscence foam-stuffed padding. It provides extra floor contact than its predecessor, due to a redesign and new supplies. The ear cups are mounted on arms in a method that permits them to maneuver and angle freely to suit every consumer. 

There’s no choice to make use of a wired reference to the Solo Pro, and you should use a Lightning cable to cost them, however they’re nonetheless a implausible pair of on ears. They’re comfy, final ages on a full cost and sound implausible. 

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Beats Solo 3 Wireless

A strong set of over-ear cans.

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The Solo 3 Wireless have been launched across the identical time because the iPhone 7 and include Apple’s W1 wirless chip. It guarantees larger battery life, a larger Bluetooth vary and improved connectivity choices for iPhone customers.

Touch-sensitive controls are current on the left ear cup for skipping tracks and altering quantity. Beats claims as much as 40 hours of life – they usually do final so lengthy – however naturally you may also plug in a 3.5mm cable for a wired connection to your telephone. Or cost them up for 5 minutes to get three hours of playback time.

In phrases of sound they’re very a lot a pair of Beats headphones, meaning bass in your face. But they do bass very nicely. So should you’re after a strong but transportable pair of headphones, the Solo 3s are for you. 

Beats

Beats EP

A pleasant easy approach to get Beats branding with a decrease price.

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The Beats EP symbolize one of the reasonably priced methods to get your ears on Beats headphones. They are an on-ear pair of headphones, and join through a standard cable, no Bluetooth wi-fi right here. Beats says the EP headphones have been tuned to breed sound “the way it was meant to be heard”. 

They’re designed for portability and as such, have a light-weight, chrome steel body and include a carry pouch. The cable has a RemoteTalk unit which is appropriate with iOS gadgets to take calls and management your music. 

They’re a classy pair of headphones that may little doubt present the signature, bass-heavy Beats sound and will probably be superb for anybody on the lookout for an reasonably priced headphone improve for his or her telephone. 

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Beats Flex

Amazing funds wi-fi audio.

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Beats Flex are a welcome replace to the formulation laid out by Beats X, and are among the finest funds wi-fi earbuds round, with a neckband design.

They’re comfy to put on and actually mild, and are available some enjoyable colors, whereas working beautifully with iOS like many of the Beats lineup now, on this case due to the older W1 chip on board. You get 12 hours of battery life, which is basically spectacular for the value, they usually’re actually nice for a busy life-style. If you need some Beats with out breaking the financial institution, these are the apparent resolution. 

Beats

Powerbeats 4

Solid older earbuds for operating.

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Sports headphones want to remain snugly slot in your ears, present an excellent sound high quality to maintain you motivated and be weatherproof. Fortunately, the Powerbeats 4 tick all these bins – updating the design of the wired Powerbeats line to match the Powerbeats Pro under. 

The Powerbeats 4 have an ear hook fashion match, which makes certain they keep on your ears whenever you’re exercising and include three pairs of ear ideas to make sure a good slot in your ears. The size of the neck cable could be adjusted so you haven’t any further slack flailing about whenever you’re operating they usually’re waterproof, sweat proof and climate proof.

The H1 chip means they connect with your iPhone straight away and the built-in battery lasts as much as 15 hours on a single cost. The sound they produce is large and highly effective, and naturally, has loads of bass. When it involves exercises although, bass is usually a good factor to maintain you pumping. However they are not essentially going to be the most effective pair to make use of for on a regular basis listening. 

The Powerbeats 4 are the best companion for exercises. Their wi-fi and light-weight design, H1 chip for longer battery life and an excellent Bluetooth vary, and fascinating sound will maintain you going for longer. 

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Beats Powerbeats Pro

Amazing true wi-fi earbuds, these are perfect for exercising in.

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Beats has an alternative choice that loses the wire fully, although, leading to an excellent higher pair of earphones that offer you full freedom when operating or within the health club – they’re unashamedly workout-orientated with the distinctive earhooks, however can simply be used for common listening.

They’re based mostly on the identical expertise because the Apple AirPods, however are as a substitute sweatproof and waterproof. They’re extraordinarily mild in your ears and are available a charging case.

You get tremendous sound throughout the spectrum, however you do not really feel like they’re urgent into your ear – you do not have to get an entire seal. They’re not noise isolating, so do not count on that. Battery life is sensible with 9 hours of fixed listening, whilst you can cost them twice over once more from the case. 

Beats

urBeats

A easy set of earbuds that sound respectable.

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The urBeats are a standard pair of Beats in-ear headphones. The supply basic Beats design in a spread of colors, and are wired with a 3.5mm headphone connector, so you’ll be able to plug them into your telephone.

The urBeats supply a cable mic for taking calls, in addition to providing in-line controls. The supply of the music is classically Beats, with loads of bass. 

Writing by Dan Grabham. Editing by Max Freeman-Mills.





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