Please note that I am basically comparing the 8K X to a 5K+ that I have.
Also for context, please note that I haven’t read most of the other people’s posts about their experience.
Edit : Added about IPD.
Edit 2 : Added about Pitool 220.127.116.114
The short answer is yes, there is a problem.
I haven’t read much about the hinges from other people so this is based 99% on my personal experience. Basically, if you look straight down to your toes standing, the HMD will fall off of your head since the backside of the strap rests too close to the top side of your (well, at least my) head. Also since the HMD’s weight makes it wobble around when you look left/right swiftly. So let’s say if there is an FPS which asks for quick head movements and asks you to pick up ammo from the ground, that would give advantage to other headsets in terms of gameplay, not to mention the chance of the headset being damaged.
I wear glasses, so I tried without my glasses and see if I can further tighten the strap to have it more securely mounted, but tightening the strap more resulted in the headset lifting off my head.
As a side note, it came with plastic hinges and not the metal ones (unit shipped on Sept 15th).
Edit: Interestingly, after I received the thick foam and replaced it, the strap seems to fit my head better.
Perhaps because it now has more give to how the HMD sits on my face angle wise.
- Face foam
Seems Pimax has decided that they will only include the thin foam? Mine had the one attached to the HMD and no other foam.
People that wear glasses might have a problem with this. I do wear glasses, but basically there is no clearance between your eyeglasses and the lens of the HMD. Depending on the design of the eyeglasses you wear and the length of your eyelashes, this may be a problem. My eyelashes barely touch my eyeglass lens when I have the HMD on, but if any closer, this could be distracting/annoying and might smear the vision while gameplay.
In comparison to my 5K+, the lens has definitely come closer to the eyes.
Edit: As it turns out, thanks to the many people who informed me, it was a mistake to have only one foam and there should be a thick and thin foam included. I have sent a ticket the same day I originally posted, and I have received the thicker foam together with the eye-tracking module today (Sept 30th).
So if you have only had one face foam in your box, I encourage you to create a ticket especially since there is a chance that the thick foam may make the HMD fit better to your face.
For me, the thicker foam not only makes the HMD fit better, now my eye distance from the lens has comfortable clearance while wearing glasses, and on top of that, the IPD matching seems to work better as well.
If I elaborate, I had no problem with my eyes focusing on the displayed image on the 5K+, but with the 8K X, after testing it for more than a few hours, I started to notice that my eyes had a harder time maintaining focus. As in, my eyes will lose focus every now and then when I lose concentration, which was not the case with the 5K+.
With the thick foam attached to the 8K X, I don’t need to concentrate to focus my eyes as well. So I believe it would be a good idea to ask for the face foam since you will never know until you try.
The Pitool with the 8K X is still a bit buggy (18.104.22.1683).
The most frequent problem I ran into was that even though Steam VR will show you the “Display VR View”, the 8KX will not show any image (black screen) from time to time. At the moment, I would say close to half the time I tried to have it working. Mind you that I have only have used it for half a day or so. As time goes by, I will likely develop a ritual (do and do not) to avoid the cause so this rate should go down as time accumulates. Not to mention bug fixes from Pimax.
As a side note, I have found out that the headset does not like it when you plug the display port before the USB ports.
3.5 Tried out 22.214.171.1244.
The colors are a lot better, other than that, I don’t see much of a difference with my usage.
This means for me there was not much of a reason to stick to 263.
The black screen still occurs frequently and I can’t make out what the cause is, but rebooting the HMD from Pitool fixes this issue so not a big deal. The older version’s (I’m talking about quite a while back) reboot headset never fixed the problems I had so I gave up on it, but good to know it functions now.
- Inherited Quirks
There were quirks from the pre-Vison models but they are also here to stay.
I have one base station fairly close to my playspace (seated VR) but the 8K X still needs some distance from the base station to recognize it, as if it has a minimal focal distance. Also, the lens side still seems to recognize the base station easier than the shell side. This may not be an issue if you have a large room with two or more base stations.
- Build quality
The build quality is improved from the 5K+. The HMD’s shell has less flex but doesn’t feel robust enough to the level of some headsets that will withstand multiple drops from standing heights. No, I have not done the drop test.
My 5K+ had cracked even though I have never dropped it, but likely the 8K X’s shell will survive my handling.
I also must add that my 8K X had it’s left cap fall off from the MAS. Nothing that a bit of glue can’t fix, but you might want to check them prior to using them when received.
- Visual quality
The visual quality is definitely improved from 5K+. I can still see the pixels, but my brain will not perceive it as I am seeing it through a screen door. The god rays and the distortions are still there. I have not noticed any improvements if the lens were revised. Personally, I do not mind the distortion/god rays, but if you were looking for improvements with these particular issues, skipping this generation could be a choice.
One new issue is that when your eyes are off the sweet spot of the lens, the blurriness of your vision stands out, not because of a fault, but because of the improved clarity from the 4K per eye native res.
As of the 4K per eye resolution, I feel that there is a need for even a higher resolution for optimal visual quality (not to mention advancement in lens technology and such) perhaps in the level of 8K per eye and above.
If we speak of let’s say audio quality, old school amps from the '70s can compete and in some cases surpass current models, but I do not see that this is the case with a 4K per panel resolution.
- Impact on (my) PC’s Performance
I have a Ryzen 1800x with a 1080ti atm, but it runs Elite Dangerous with close enough FPS that I cannot really see a difference between the 5K+ and the 8K X. As a measurement, I would say few frames might be lost (from mid-high 30s fps in a crowded environment to mid-low 30s). All the settings are left as it was on the 5K+ and unchanged in this tryout. The HMD was always running in native res.
As a side note, my M/B (Asus 370 prime something something) seemed to have a problem to run the headset on the top USB 3.1 port where the USB-C port is next to.
I would say the function is generally the same, but I feel that the 8K X, at least the unit that I have has the IPD displayed slightly narrower than my 5K+. I set it to 60 on my 5K+ but 61 seems to fit me better with the 8K X. Could be tolerance between units. Or could be that it’ll settle down after moving it around for a while. In any case, not a big issue but might want to look into if you have trouble with setting your IPD.
If you are expecting a near-perfect experience out of the box, Pimax is still not for you.
Just for the record, if you want prompt delivery or support, Pimax is still not for you.
If you are willing to bite the bullet for seeing the future for a hefty price tag, and if you don’t mind crafting/modifying certain elements, this is a very good base kit to get a hold of. I’d say I fall into the latter group.
Do I like it? HELL YES!
Hope this helps.