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The Apple Vision Pro has launched: What’s the general consensus so far?

By Kenny Yeo - 17 Feb 2024

The Apple Vision Pro has launched: What’s the general consensus so far?

Note: This feature was first published on 5 February 2024.

The Vision Pro headset at its grand unveiling back at WWDC 2023.

It seems incredible that Apple’s Vision Pro headset is finally available to buy in retail. It was only a little over 8 months ago that Apple unveiled the Vision Pro at WWDC 2023. I was one of the few who had the opportunity to try it on after it was announced. And while there was no denying that it’s an impressive piece of hardware, its purpose or killer app was less clear, not only to me but also to those who were also fortunate enough to experience it after its unveiling.

But now that the Vision Pro is finally ready for prime time, has that changed? Is it as impressive in the hands of customers and in the real world as it was during those highly scripted closed-session demos at Cupertino? Let’s hear it from the US press and first customers who have had the chance to put the Vision Pro through its paces.

The Verge: “Magic, until it’s not”


The Verge declared the Vision Pro to be "the best consumer headset anyone’s ever made” and said the display was “a technical marvel.” However, they also cited significant tradeoffs that have to be made when you use the headset, and that the Vision Pro also feels like a first-generation product that’s limited by the tech that is available now.

Read The Verge's review here.

MKBHD


MKBHD has a series of three videos showing the unboxing process, the headset itself and its accessories, the important features, and a final review. It's the most in-depth coverage of the Vision Pro that I've seen so far. And like most reviewers, while he was impressed by the hardware, he also said that the Vision Pro feels like a first-generation product and that it's far from perfect. Even so, it provides an interesting glimpse of what's possible in the future

Watch MKBHD's video here:

Daring Fireball (John Gruber)

John wearing the Vision Pro showing off the Eyesight feature. (Image source: Daring Fireball)

John said the Vision Pro is heavy, and that while it’s possible to use it for hours without major discomfort, fatigue does and will inevitably set in. However, he was impressed by its capability and potential as a productivity tool. But more importantly, he believes that the Vision Pro – in its first-generation guise, at least – works best as a high-end display for watching shows and movies.

He wrote:

But I can recommend buying Vision Pro solely for use as a personal theater. I paid $5,000 for my 77-inch LG OLED TV a few years ago. Vision Pro offers a far more compelling experience (including far more compelling spatial surround sound). You’d look at my TV set and almost certainly agree that it’s a nice big TV. But watching movies in the Disney+ and TV apps will make you go “Wow!

Read John's review here.

Wall Street Journal: 24 Hours in Apple’s Mixed-Reality Headset


The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern wore the Vision Pro for 24 hours straight so you don't have to. In those 24 hours, she did the things most people who had a Vision Pro would do, which is to do some work and watch some movies. But she also tried using the Vision Pro to cook and ski. This is definitely the most entertaining take on a Vision Pro review yet.

Watch the Wall Street Journal's review here.

Tom's Guide: A revolution in progress

(Image source: Tom's Guide)

Tom's Guide's said the Vision Pro is revolutionary, but it also feels like it is a work in progress. While certain aspects – like 3D movies and productivity – were impressive, they also said that there were bugs that needed to be ironed out, Personas were creepy, and the tethered battery could be bothersome.

Read Tom's Guide review here.

Reviews from customers around the net

Many customers have started sharing their first impressions and reviews, particularly on Reddit on r/VisionPro and r/Apple. Here are some noteworthy ones to check out:

Final thoughts

One of the best use cases so far seems to be for productivity. (Image source: Apple)

As I expected, given the excellent displays that the Vision Pro has, watching shows and movies appears to be one of the best things that one can do with the headset. Early customers also seem to think it’s a great productivity tool as well, since you could place and resize windows in space, and use it to work in conjunction with a Mac. However, it also seems like my doubts were spot on too. It’s still unclear what the Vision Pro should be used for. And like any other first-generation device, it feels like some parts of it could do with further refinement.

From what I've read and seen so far, I'm most intrigued to watch shows and movies on it. It was the thing that impressed me the most during my initial hands-on, and judging from the early reviews, I think it's what this first-generation of Apple headsets will be best used for. I would also like to view my spatial videos on it and see how realistic they are. I've shot a couple during a recent holiday to Japan and I'm keen to see if it is immersive enough to transport me back to that moment. 

Apple hasn’t announced if and when the Vision Pro will be available outside of the US, but the word on the street is that Apple will likely launch it internationally before WWDC later this year with the UK, Canada, and China being the most likely destinations outside of the US to get it first. I don't think it's a must-have gadget unless you are a huge Apple fan or a headset enthusiast, but it's undeniably interesting, and I hope that we in Singapore will get it sooner rather than later.

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