Acer AH101-D0C0 HMD – Hardware (P)review
Follow Genre: HMD
Developer: Acer
Publisher: Acer
Platform: PC

Acer AH101-D0C0 HMD – Hardware (P)review

Good: Price, comfort, workings
Bad: The controllers are a bit big
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9.0
(1 votes)
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Back in the eighties and nineties the world of Virtual Reality seemed an ultimate fantasy and was deemed impossible for the technology back then. The closest we got was with special simulator pods at attractions or the Nintendo Virtual Boy and now almost thirty years later this dream has gotten more real. The last few years have been big steps in Head Mounted Displays or HMD in short. With the rise of commercial versions of both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive it is always fun to have someone throw a fresh idea in the mix. Acer has created a very comfortable unit that allows for long sessions that is completely sealed with a flip-up visor for quick interaction with the outer world, paired with some accurate fully tracked move controllers this affordable set will take you on a Virtual Ride.

Design

Something you put on your face must be designed for comfort and practicality, but who doesn’t want to look good when going to the virtual world. While the Oculus is made smooth and the Vive looks more alien-like with its special tracking form, both of them are just plain black. Acer made his one stand out with a warm blue color, combining form and function by placing its sensors under a small angle in the front for optimal reach and its sharp but rounded design provides excellent fitting. The tiny cameras are used to track the users movement within the boundary. What also comes with this set are the motion controllers, at first glance these look pretty big and hilarious but quickly the borrowed elements show up. Remember the guy from pineapple pen? Let him take the Oculus Touch controller in his one hand and the Vive Wand in the other and poof: Acers motion controllers. The marriage of both controllers means that both the touchpad and joystick with buttons and triggers are available for usage. On an ergonomic perspective they might be too big, but being light and having a comfortable design makes them fairly easy to use, but best watch out when playing very active games.

Comfort

A headset that is worn preferably for hours, if the eyes allow it, must be very comfortable to wear. Various elements are important in the best VR experience such as weight, materials used, damping materials and headband. On all these points the Acer headset gets a very high score as it is very comfy to wear and even on longer runs it doesn’t really bite into our head like others would do. To start, the headset is very light in comparison to others, it makes taking the HMD on and off much easier and makes moving around much more fun because there is no fear of having it fall off your head. Secondly are the materials used, the headset is made from a nice glossy ABS and the headbands are a combination of very durable cloth and foam. What makes this one stand out from the others on the market is the easy way to adjust the size of the headband. This is important for two reasons, on one hand it is ideal for events where users get swapped out every ten minutes so it doesn’t take too much time to get adjusted and on the other hand you can very easily put it on and off without fearing that the settings get mixed up.

acer mixed reality

Specs

  • 1440 x 1440 eye-per-eye resolution
  • 100 degree field of view
  • LCD display
  • 5mm audio jack for headset
  • Flip-up visor
  • Touch controllers

Overview

As said in the intro, Virtual Reality HMDs is something that we have seen evolve greatly over the last couple of years. In order to stand out from the crowd Acer decided not to follow normal rules and do something fresh. With a colorful HMD and some all around movement controllers there was still one binding that kept VR games back at one step, the tracking of everything. The Oculus uses two camera like sensors that have full 180° tracking and with either a 3rd tracker or a special setup will allow for an experimental 360° tracking. The HTC Vive has full 360° tracking thanks to its special sensors but what about the Acer? Upon opening the box we thought these where absent, and that is because the Acer doens’t use any, you plug the HMD in and the controllers just work like that and without any loss of traction or hiccups.

The HMD has very high graphical capability and the screen is crystal clear, when tested in various modes you notice that this is one of the newest ones on the market due to its great composure. For Windows users there are many great functions like virtual desktop, browse pictures and movies, fool around in other apps or Windows games. For the real hardcore gamers there is good and bad news, the good news is Steam is supported with the Acer Headset, but it is still in an early stage so not every game is supported and bugs are present. If you want to experience games in their full potential at this very moment, it might be best to invest in an Oculus Rift, if you are looking for a VR headset, on a business level, the Acer Headset might be the one you are looking for.

Conclusion

Acer had a great plan introducing his affordable HMD to the growing popularity for Virtual Reality. While this kit is still in its development stages the attention to detail and wearer comfort is something greatly respected. Its controllers might be a bit big but are light and work well. Steam support might be in its infancy but one day the Acer HMD will be a fair competitor against HTC and Oculus since it will be priced a bit cheaper than the other VR headsets. In other words this little blue thing holds great power if the support is on point. Ideal for gamers who want to experiment with VR gaming, although development is still ongoing for this part.

Acer-Windows-Mixed-Reality-Development-Edition-headset

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Acer AH101-D0C0 HMD - Hardware (P)review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
MC_JP
MC_JP


Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

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