With the launch of Apple's Vision Pro just weeks away, Apple is giving reviewers early access to the headset and apps so they can get an idea of what it's capable of. And while the circumstances mean the reports aren't reviews – there's a huge difference between a short session carefully supervised by Apple's people and proper time spent putting a device through its paces – it does mean we can get a much better idea of what the Vision Pro experience is actually like.
It seems that comfort depends very much on what strap you get. Engadget's Cherlynn Low found the standard strap uncomfortable and was "in pain" after just 20 minutes before Apple swapped the strap for a more comfortable Dual Loop Band. Other reviewers from Engadget and the Wall Street Journal agreed that the Dual Loop is the more comfortable option. Low also felt that the on-screen keyboard was okay and not the "complete write-off" described by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, but her colleague Dana Wollman didn't like it at all.
Over at The Verge, Victoria Song experienced some VR queasiness – an issue Apple is apparently still working on – and said that the Disney+ experience felt like going to a drive-in movie; Song praised immersive videos, which were impressive but left her feeling a little excluded due to the lack of interaction.
When will you be able to try the Vision Pro for yourself?
As we've previously reported, the initial launch will be US only. However, a new report says that those of us in the rest of the world won't have to wait as long as we anticipated. According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple plans to roll out Vision Pro in other countries before its WWDC conference in the summer. That's in June 2024.
Don't expect huge quantities to be available anywhere, though: Apple will have "limited initial supply" and will be prioritising US developers, Kuo says. And the sales process is a bit more complicated than popping into an Apple Store and handing over a few months' wages. Apple's sales process for the Vision Pro includes facial scanning and an expert taking you through the basics.
Some reviewers have now been given the Vision Pro for their own testing, so we should see some proper reviews coming out later this week – just in time to increase anticipation for the launch, which is expected to be on 2 February.