I received my Pimax 8k in early March. I’ve been using it for a while now, and I think I’m ready to
give a detailed review on the headset. So without any further ado, here it is.
Screen-door-effect: The screen door effect (the visible space in between pixels)
is significantly smaller on the Pimax 8k compared to the HTC Vive.
This causes the screen-door-effect to be much less distracting, which
in turn can increase immersion.
Field Of View: The field of view is very wide on the Pimax 8k. While it still doesn’t encompass
your entire field of vision, it’s a large and noticeable increase over other headsets.
This large increase is another step towards creating a fully immersive VR experience.
Optics: Other headsets such as the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, suffer from terrible god-rays. God-rays
are a lens artifact that manifest in the form of beams/splotches of light in high contrast
scenes. While not being completely eliminated on the Pimax 8k, they’re much less apparent
than they are on the Vive.
Clarity: The resolution on the Pimax 8k is a nice bump up when coming from the Vive. While everything
may not look as sharp as it would in real life, it’s still better than the HTC Vive. Text is
generally easier to read. While it may not have the incredibly sharp image we were hoping for,
it’s still a welcomed upgrade.
Performance: I wasn’t expecting games to look as smooth as they would running on my GTX 1070. I
haven’t payed much attention to the exact fps I’ve been getting, but it’s a smooth
experience for the most part. Pimax’s smart smoothing feature seems to be doing a
great job at keeping everything from looking choppy. While I haven’t tried any super
GPU intensive games, Beat Saber and Gorn mostly appear to run smoothly.
Distortion: When I first put on the headset, I experienced quite a bit of distortion. The scene
seemed to warp in certain places. There was also distortion in my far periphery. After
making some adjustments to my IPD, the scene distortion seemed to go away for the most
part. The distortion in the far periphery has not gone away completely, but it doesn’t bother
me very much. The headset also needs to be worn at a specific height on my face
otherwise the image may lose focus.
Eyestrain: The headset seems to cause eyestrain at times. It’s not exactly known what causes this, but
it’s likely related to the IPD settings. The settings seem to be much more sensitive. It also
doesn’t cover as large of an IPD range as other headsets (Eg, Vive, Oculus). Thankfully,
Pimax has just implemented a new software IPD option in the latest Pitool beta, which
seems to help the issue somewhat.
Cable Length: The cable isn’t as long as the Vive’s. This may not be an issue for everyone, but for
people with large play-spaces it could be annoying.
Headset Size: Unlike most other headsets, the Pimax 8k is noticeably larger than your typical VR
headset. This isn’t a huge deal (no pun intended), but it may cause some issues in
specific scenarios. An example being games where the controllers are regularly near
Discomfort: People with low IPDs may experience some discomfort. The lowest IPD setting puts the
lenses very close to each other. Close enough that it may put pressure on your nose.
Although I don’t personally use them, it’s widely known that the headset does not have
much space to accommodate glasses. Pimax has confirmed that a lens frame for people
with glasses is coming, but there’s no confirmed date on when.
Contrast: The Pimax 8k/5k+ use LCD panels. This doesn’t cause too much of a difference in colors, but
in terms of contrast it most certainly does. The color black is more of a dark grey. This may
cause some dismay in games that are full of dark scenes. Examples being scary games, as
well as certain simulators such as Elite Dangerous.
Software: Pitool (The software that provides the drivers for the headset), isn’t very refined.
Restarting the headset through Pitool can cause the headset to show up as disconnected.
You may end up having to fiddle with task manager, or restart even your entire computer to f
fix it. You are also required to enable a setting called parallel projections for specific games,
in order for them to look normal. Only certain games require this, and leaving it on reduces
performance significantly. Since the setting is manual, you may find yourself going back and
forth switching it on and off when changing games.
Overall, it’s a good headset. Much better than the Vive I was used to.
It may have its flaws, but then again, so does every other VR headset.