The Meta Quest Pro is finally here, but with the Meta Quest 2 still going strong, should VR fans be thinking about an upgrade? Here’s how the two headsets from the company formerly known as Oculus compare.
Meta announced the new Quest Pro during the Meta Connect keynote on October 11 and immediately put the device up for pre-order ahead of an October 25 release date.
It’s a world apart from the wildly popular Quest 2 and marks the company’s return to cutting-edge virtual reality and (now mixed) hardware. It’s largely a work-focused device for now that has overlapping use across the creative industries, Meta says, so there probably won’t be a huge audience crossover.
In addition, the price difference is really quite pronounced! Let’s see how Meta Quest Pro and Meta Quest 2 compare, in terms of specs, features, price, and experiences.
Quest Pro looks really cool
The design of the Meta Quest Pro is very different from the Quest 2. Rather than the larger white helmet which has a very pronounced, enveloping presence across the top of the head, eyes and nose, the Quest Pro is much sleeker. It actually looks a bit more like the Magic Leap AR headsets we’ve seen in the past.
This is possible for several reasons. First, thanks to the new pancake lenses (replacing the Fresnal lenses of the Quest 2), the optical depth has been reduced by 40%. The battery is now a curved cell and has been moved to the rear of the helmet, behind what looks like a more comfortable padded headrest. Although Meta hasn’t confirmed the weight, it looks like the thinner headphones will be more comfortable to wear.
Other design changes are due to the following.
It’s not just VR anymore…
While the Meta Quest 2 focuses purely on VR experiences – and is designed to be fully immersive and block all distraction from your field of vision – the Quest Pro takes a much broader approach, embracing both the outside world and mixed reality experiences.
It starts with the design, which has a larger variable lens spacing (55-75mm versus 58-72mm on the Quest 2) allowing the experience to be more or less immersive depending on your preference.
There’s also a sleeker, more open design designed so that virtual workspaces are complemented by the actual accessories you use with them, such as the physical keyboard or mouse.
There are also dedicated mixed reality experiences along the way, thanks to a color passthrough mode that goes well beyond the low-res black and white passthrough in the Quest 2.
“Mixed reality on Meta Quest Pro allows you to combine your physical environment with virtual elements in a realistic way, which improves social presence, productivity and collaboration,” the company said. You can get an idea of what Meta has in mind in the video below
Pro is almost four times more expensive
While the Quest 2 recently saw a significant price increase to start at £399.99, the Meta Quest Pro costs £1,499.99 for the single configuration, which includes 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.
This gives you an idea of who Meta is targeting this device. While the Quest 2 is affordable and accessible for fun social interactions, games, and other experiences, the Pro is aimed at professional use cases and the enterprise market. That’s a lot of money to spend on technology and only use it for work.
Fortunately, all of the Quest 2 experiences will still be there on the Pro model, but with a greater focus on high-end use cases. Meta also says that the Quest 2 isn’t going anywhere.
It’s all in the eyes (and hands)
Quest Pro can capture your natural expression, which means your facial expressions will be captured and transferred to your avatar in real time (Meta makes avatars a major focus for Quest Pro use cases). Quest 2 wasn’t capable of that, which is why your avatar was an expressionless, emotionless weirdo.
“Smiles, raised eyebrows, winks and all” will be conveyed, the company says. For those virtual meetings and collaborative sessions, there’s also eye tracking, so you can show you’re paying attention to the right people in meetings. We think we preferred the old method.
Meta has also included new controllers which, unlike the Quest 2 controllers, have independent sensors that can track 360-degree movements independent of the headset. The controller design has also been tweaked and there are new haptics. If you want some of that action you don’t need to upgrade your headset, you can buy them separately for £299/$299.
Here are some high tech specs
Of course, most of this massive price increase is due to Meta integrating the Quest Pro with its most advanced components to date. There’s a new Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2+ processor that’s 50% more powerful for VR than the original XR2 in the Quest 2. There’s also better heat dissipation, which Meta says boosts performance significantly. There’s also double the RAM with 6GB on the Quest 2, compared to 12GB as standard on the Quest Pro.
The screens also got a significant upgrade beyond those aforementioned thinner pancake lens optics. The pixel density offers 37% more PPI than the Quest 2. 1.3 times larger color gamut than Meta Quest. 2,” Meta says in the announcement.
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