Exciting news for tech enthusiasts! Apple Vision Pro finally has an official U.S. release date, but with a hefty price tag of $3,500. If that amount causes sticker shock, fear not! Xreal's Air 2 Ultra, announced at CES 2024, might just be the affordable solution you've been waiting for.
While the Air 2 Ultra may not boast the same virtual reality immersion as the Vision Pro, it presents an intriguing alternative in a sleek and compact form factor that resembles smart glasses. Priced at just $699, it's a fraction of the cost of Apple's offering, set to hit the market in March.
So, what exactly do you get for a fraction of the price? The Air 2 Ultra provides each eye with a "full HD" resolution display, offering a 52-degree field of view, a 120Hz refresh rate, and 500 nits of peak brightness. While it may not match the dual 4K-resolution screens of the Vision Pro, Xreal promises users a virtual display equivalent to a 154-inch screen viewed from 13 feet away, accompanied by impressive cinematic-grade audio and directional sound technology.
The Air 2 Ultra also incorporates "dual 3D environment sensors with computer vision capabilities," delivering the familiar six degrees of freedom (6DoF) tracking that VR and mixed reality enthusiasts have come to expect. Like the Vision Pro, this device can be controlled using hand gestures, eye movements, and voice commands. However, the real test lies in how well these controls perform compared to Apple's offering. After all, not all input methods are created equal, even if they seem promising on paper.
Those who have had the chance to experience Xreal's smart glasses are impressed. Laptop Mag's managing editor, Sean Riley, raves about the Air 2 Ultra, stating, "The 1080p image is crisp and sharp, even with 3D content. It creates a display wall you can reach out and interact with." Another exciting feature is the ability to playback 3D spatial videos captured with an iPhone 15 Pro. So, if you're considering the Vision Pro but aren't keen on visionOS, the Air 2 Ultra might be the perfect affordable option to relive your memories in stunning 3D.
While the Air 2 Ultra doesn't match the Vision Pro's specifications head-on, it doesn't necessarily have to. Its primary goal, like other smart glasses, is to provide a similar virtual screen experience, which can be more than enough for most consumers.
In conclusion, Xreal's Air 2 Ultra presents an enticing and cost-effective alternative to the Apple Vision Pro. With its sleek design, comfortable fit, and impressive virtual screen experience, it's poised to capture the attention of tech enthusiasts looking for an immersive yet affordable solution.